Better FF program - CO or DL?

 
Old Aug 14, 10, 4:43 pm
  #1  
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Better FF program - CO or DL?

I have an upcoming opportunity to make several business class flights to the western Pacific on either Delta or Continental, and anticipate using the FF miles for reward travel within the CONUS and/or Hawaii. Which airline should I "invest" in, since it only seems to make sense to put all those miles in one account. Appreciate any insight on why I would choose one over the other. As of today, have a few more miles in DL than in my CO account. Thanks.
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Old Aug 14, 10, 4:46 pm
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Redeeming CO miles for awards is apparently easier than trying to redeem DL miles (if you read the DL board, you will see the difficulties folks are having redeeming miles).
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Old Aug 14, 10, 8:43 pm
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Delta for domestic travel and free upgrades (even on awards!). CO for *A and easier intl and domestic awards.
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Old Aug 14, 10, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
Delta for domestic travel and free upgrades (even on awards!). CO for *A and easier intl and domestic awards.
+1. This pretty much sums it up.

Since you'll be paying for Business, upgrades will be of little use to you. Try to bank up on CO miles since they're much easier to redeem.
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Old Aug 14, 10, 11:30 pm
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
Delta for domestic travel and free upgrades (even on awards!). CO for *A and easier intl and domestic awards.
DL also allows a free stopover on award tickets, which is huge. Just that you have to expect to pay 40K or more miles for a round trip domestic award ticket. Very hard to find 25K awards for DL domestic flights. In fact, nearly impossible unless you are extremely flexible with dates/routings/even O/D.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 9:50 am
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As a NW/DL refugee, still with miles there that I am desperately trying to burn, this question is a no-brainer. Sorta like, where should I go to the beach, Hawaii or Wyoming? DL redemptions are horrible. Avoid that airline like the plague.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by Carolinian View Post
As a NW/DL refugee, still with miles there that I am desperately trying to burn, this question is a no-brainer. Sorta like, where should I go to the beach, Hawaii or Wyoming? DL redemptions are horrible. Avoid that airline like the plague.
If your goal is simply redemptions, I may agree.
However, if your goal is domestic upgrades, I echo ffI and channa. There is simply no better NA airline for consistent upgrades, at or before window.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 10:38 am
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DL Redemption

I have read many of the horror stories regarding DL ff redemtpions so I was surprised when I recently needed to acquire a reward ticket NYC-SIN that the easiest redemption was on DL.

In this case, the travel needed to be booked only about 10 days in advance, and I realize this is not a lot of leadtime for award travel

I researched a number of airlines, including ANA, JL, AF, and SQ. None of these had any availability. Only SQ could put me on a waiting list, and only at their highest redemption tier of 240,000 pts roundtrip (this is for coach).

I tried CO, not expecting much since CO clearly doesn't fly to SIN, but I was surprised to find no *A options made available.

DL was really a final, desperate attempt. After fiddling with the dates slightly, I was able to redeem a roundtrip JFK-SIN (via NRT) for 105,000 miles, not the cheapest, but, in my mind, a good value given the short leadtime.

Although only one example, I think this episode demonstrates that even an apparently unloved system can have its pluses.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 10:57 am
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Have been a CO Elite for many years and was status matched to Gold this year on DL.

I am in agreement with other posters on the pluses and minuses of each. DL has definitely been superior for me in terms of complimentary domestic upgrades. I have actually been upgraded on 100% of my domestic flights with them this year, 10 legs I believe. CO upgrades have been extremely hard to come by, on the other hand.

I have always had good luck with redemptions on CO, but have limited experience with DL. It does seem from the experience of others (and some online searches I have done) that the DL miles are "worth less" (not worthless) so you just need to keep that in mind going in.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by ctroadwarrior View Post
Have been a CO Elite for many years and was status matched to Gold this year on DL.

I am in agreement with other posters on the pluses and minuses of each. DL has definitely been superior for me in terms of complimentary domestic upgrades. I have actually been upgraded on 100% of my domestic flights with them this year, 10 legs I believe. CO upgrades have been extremely hard to come by, on the other hand.

I have always had good luck with redemptions on CO, but have limited experience with DL. It does seem from the experience of others (and some online searches I have done) that the DL miles are "worth less" (not worthless) so you just need to keep that in mind going in.
Nice to hear this point of view on DL miles "Worth Less vs. worthless".
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Old Aug 15, 10, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by TWA Fan 1 View Post
I have read many of the horror stories regarding DL ff redemtpions so I was surprised when I recently needed to acquire a reward ticket NYC-SIN that the easiest redemption was on DL.

In this case, the travel needed to be booked only about 10 days in advance, and I realize this is not a lot of leadtime for award travel
Delta tends to really open up award inventory at two weeks before travel - great for those of us that like to use miles on spontaneous trips, but not good at all for those that like to carefully plan everything in advance.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
Delta for domestic travel and free upgrades (even on awards!). CO for *A and easier intl and domestic awards.
If you have a CO credit card, domestic award upgrades will start next year on CO.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA Fan 1 View Post
I have read many of the horror stories regarding DL ff redemtpions so I was surprised when I recently needed to acquire a reward ticket NYC-SIN that the easiest redemption was on DL.

In this case, the travel needed to be booked only about 10 days in advance, and I realize this is not a lot of leadtime for award travel
Delta is usually good for last minute redemptions, and very painful if you plan ahead. I doubt you will find many seats > 20 days out though.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
If you have a CO credit card, domestic award upgrades will start next year on CO.
Of course that assumes there will be upgrade seats available.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 2:38 pm
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I was lucky enough to fly first to HNL via UA but I tell you what. I don't think anything beats NWA now DL A330 Out of places like ATL. A true first class experience to HNL if you want to use your miles.
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