Why does Delta have your loyalty?


Old Oct 21, 15, 2:50 pm
Join Date: May 2013
Location: TPA
Programs: DL MM, Plat; Marriott LT Plat
Posts: 61
Delta has occasionally pissed me off royally but when it comes down to it, I consider it a safe airline that usually gets me where I am going within a reasonable time. I don't mind ATL or DTW as hubs. Then again, maybe it's because I went to college in Atlanta and started flying whenever I could and Delta was the airline I got used to. I've been with it through highs and lows in its operations over the last 35 (gulp) years. But maybe it's really that it is like a pair of old slippers. I'm just used to it and while I still get a kick out of flying most airlines anywhere, it's the one I keep coming back to. Besides, I'm on the way to the 2MM mark so there's no reason to stop now.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 3:47 pm
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: VPS
Programs: IHG Spire
Posts: 3,656
I will say that, despite the Sky Peso moniker, Delta's FF program is actually pretty decent from my local airports when I just want to find a cheap economy route somewhere domestic or transatlantic. I don't have enough in OneWorld to compare there but from my hometown, it's loads better than trying to find Saver inventory on United. And there are maybe three places I'd want to go that end up being fewer points on WN than Skymiles on Delta because WN is rarely cheap out of local airports and dollar-based redemption and all.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 4:54 pm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: CLE/CAK
Programs: DL Gold (2.5MM program miles), Airtran A+ Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 593
Angry Loyalty is a two way street ...

My best answer is ... it doesn't.

As one of of those old guys -- I'm in my late 50's -- that has been around long enough to have seen the advent of FF programs in the early 80's, I can provide some perspective.

FF programs are designed to create loyalty. Delta's changes over the past several years have destroyed the loyalty I once had to Delta. Rather than direct my business to Delta when and wherever possible, I now just travel on the airline that will provide me with the best value for my travel dollars.

Sure, I am grateful for my lifetime Gold status, earned because of my total program miles. Not paying for checked bags and the ability to get the occasional upgrade to Delta Comfort or First has value for me. But, ultimately, it comes down to total cost. For example, earlier this week I was looking at seats to Costa Rica: over $900 RT on Delta vs. $412 on United. With that kind of difference in fare, I'll pay for my bags and fly United.

Likewise, on a domestic trip where I may have to change my plans, I'll most often go with Southwest, as I know I can cancel my original flights and still retain the full value of the fare paid, as long as I use it within a year of my original booking.

Same Day Confirmed had caused me, for a while, to switch much of my travel back to Delta. SDC was an innovative product that provided real value for me; I used it quite a bit. Then Delta implemented the "same fare bucket" requirement which, for me, just about killed any value SDC once held.

I could go on ... the elimination of the 48 hour hold on reward tickets, the 72 hour "no changes" policy on award tickets, the "executive membership" change in the Sky Club, etc., etc.

Moves like that don't inspire loyalty.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 6:00 pm
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: SJU
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 121
Why does Delta have your loyalty?

Great customer service; flights are on time; and lots of UG's.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 6:14 pm
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: PIT, BWI, or IPT
Programs: Dividend Miles, WorldPerks
Posts: 740
DL does not have my "loyalty"...as I only fly them when it makes sense (For example, I am flying Spirit for the first time next week to save $500 )

However, my wife and I highly enjoy the high number of x2 seating arrangements on aircraft (MD-80,90,717,767,330,CRJ700/900, etc). Sitting in Y with just your wife makes a flight endlessly more pleasant than with a stranger.

We also fly to the Gulf Coast a lot and pricing, equipment, and frequency with DL cannot be beat.

That being said....Skymiles is now absolutely worthless for leisure customers.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 7:23 pm
Join Date: Jun 2009
Programs: Delta skymiles DM + 1MM
Posts: 8,144
Delta continually waves ticket change fees for me. On one recent itinerary, I changed it three times, once even changing destinations altogether. Every time the change fee was waived resulting in savings of $600.00.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 7:33 pm
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: ORD / MDW / FLL
Programs: DL DM/1MM, AA EXP, SPG Platinum, Hyatt Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,957
DL MM DM in Chicago. While I am not exclusive to DL I am preferential to DL with AA coming in second and WN a distant third. UA only when someone is spurting arterial blood and I have to get there quickly.

My reasons...

1. On-time performance is superior to other carriers I am willing to use

2. Management of IROPS is far better than AA and WN that will both tell you to go pound sand (and I am EXP on AA)

3. Hard product is pretty good by North American standards

4. ATL in the winter and DTW / MSP in the summer

5. Lots of TATL options which is my most frequent int'l travel direction

6. LGA to NYC (yes, it's a [email protected] but it's convenient to my office in Manhattan)

7. SCs getting better, food options have improved and well liquors are better than the swill served at AA and UA clubs

8. Int'l hard product up front is FAR superior to UA (some 2-4-2 and 2-3-2 configurations with rear-facing seats) and AA with some 2-3-2 configurations.

9. Front line staff generally professional, polite and responsive.

10. Woodford.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 9:04 pm
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NYC
Programs: DL
Posts: 220
Operational performance.

I switched my loyalty from JetBlue to Delta this year. I fly frequently, but almost exclusively LGA/JFK -> FLL (I'm not quite the world traveler many of you guys are). JetBlue does have better on board amenities in coach, but it reached a point where just about every single JetBlue flight I was on would be delayed unless it was the first flight in the morning. Then they started canceling on me -- 3 last year alone. So I switched to Delta.

On all of my flights so far this year there have only been a handful of minor delays and zero cancellations, so I'm happy.
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Old Oct 22, 15, 7:08 am
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tricoastal - London, New York, Silicon Valley
Programs: DL DM/2.5MM, 20 Years Top Tier on DL, UA 1K, AC E75k, MR/SPG Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 1,307
They dont have my loyalty anymore....

...but *DOMESTICALLY* you can't beat the wifi, cheap F seats, very good FAs, and of course.... Woodford!

DL is still my go-to airline domestically (and internationally when I can use my GUCs). So, it's not about loyalty - It's the standard airline economics (minus the GUC comment).

For International trips, I am mostly flying ME3, Asian or Euro carriers (in that order). DL is totally uneconomical in cash or miles in Int'l J.

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Old Oct 22, 15, 9:08 am
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: UA 1K; DL GM 2MM
Posts: 8,117
  • No IFC
  • Terrible FF Program
  • Terrible MM Program
  • Poor Alliance
  • I mostly fly international where DL has no advantage on reliability, hard product or soft product
  • Dishonest
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Old Oct 22, 15, 10:13 am
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SJC
Programs: DL PM, SPG Plat
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DL flies where I need to go and gets me there usually on time. WN and AA have a huge gap in the intermountain west. AA didn't serve Northern New England until the merger. Plus, SLC is more convenient than DEN for those of us out west.
MSP and DTW are good for traversing the country.
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Old Oct 22, 15, 10:24 am
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Treasure Coast, FL
Programs: DL Diamond, Marriott LT Plat, HH Diamond, Avis Preferred Plus, National Executive
Posts: 4,060
Living in FL and heading mostly to the midwest and west coast DL is usually cheaper than AA and not a fan of WN.

They get my company's money but I don't participate in Skymiles program.
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Old Oct 22, 15, 10:37 am
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: CMH
Programs: Delta SkyMiles, AAdvantage, US Airways Dividend Miles (Fmr), Northwest WorldPerks (Fmr)
Posts: 252
CMH flyer:
-Most convenient, frequent, flexible schedule on the route I travel the most (CMH-DAB). DL via ATL is almost always cheaper than now-AA via CLT, and it's always an M88/M90/737-7,-8,-9/757 mix.
-Large amount of non-stop destinations available, with ATL, MSP, and LAX seeing mainline. RJ flights are mostly the more comfortable Embraer family (ERJ/E70/E75), thanks in part to the Republic maintenance base in town.
-Sense of loyalty toward a brand I've flown extensively for the last 20 years.
-On-board product. Despite being a Millennial, it's going to be a while before I lean on streaming to keep me entertained. The extensive AVOD lineup, much of it free (to my surprise), was really nice to have on SAN-ATL yesterday as it was MSP-SAN last week.
-Current DL is a mix of two of my three go-to airlines from "back in the day" (which were DL, US, NW).

...that said, the garbage SkyMiles payout system they have now have me looking toward AA more for future travel.
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Old Oct 22, 15, 10:50 am
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PWM/BOS/MHT
Programs: DL Platinum 1MM, Hilton HHonors Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 233
1. Good flights out of PWM (except in the winter)
2. Outstanding personnel here at PWM
3. FA's overall are the best in the industry IMHO
4. 75% UG rate for a PM which I'll take
5. RUC when I can use them
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Old Oct 22, 15, 11:26 am
Join Date: May 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 811
Originally Posted by FLYPWM View Post
1. Good flights out of PWM (except in the winter)
2. Outstanding personnel here at PWM
3. FA's overall are the best in the industry IMHO
4. 75% UG rate for a PM which I'll take
5. RUC when I can use them
This PWM flyer agrees! Although I don't have any issues with the flights in the Winter.... just a bit more opportunity for WX issues. Flying out of BOS is always an option but I always hate the drive (or bus ride) home. Also not a big Jet Blue or Southwest fan.

I'll also add the DL American Express products to my reasons, they help me attain at least PM based on current travel patterns with plenty of rollover to get a jump on the next years qualifications.

Finally, I like to travel in 1st class. I've had pretty decent luck out of PWM, and in general as a PM, with Delta. Although it's not the best value, I have been using Pay With Miles to book 1st as well for MQM bonus and 1st class lifestyle.
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