It's Good to be Gold...

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Old Nov 1, 18, 2:43 pm
  #1  
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It's Good to be Gold...

Just got the official email (and 4 drink vouchers) from Delta this AM; I am now a slightly-less-lowly-than-FO Medallion member! It's only been about a year since I started to realize the potential benefits of remaining loyal to Delta, although of course I understand that "loyalty" isn't as much of a two-way street as it used to be. That being said, in the slightly more than two months that I was FO, the benefits have really proven useful and will only serve to exacerbate my newfound desire for "elite" FF status.

I've read a good bit about the various Medallion levels and the general consensus seems to be that the value increase from FO to GM can be substantial, particularly with things like waived fees for SDC/SDS. With a couple more international trips coming up in 2019, I can also see potential value from the ST Elite+ status and lounge access. Even a marginally increased upgrade percentage would also be great, although I didn't do too terribly as a SEA-based silver (50% C+ upgrades and 25% FC upgrade rate, 75% overall).

I don't travel enough currently to think that I'll reach Platinum, so GM is going to have to do for now, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the differences are, however minor, from FO. If nothing else, at least I'll only be 30th on those 75+ upgrade lists to/from ATL/DTW/MSP instead of at the very bottom!

I'm sure there are many other Golds here, so what has been the most useful benefit for you?
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Old Nov 1, 18, 2:56 pm
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Congratulations Daitheflu84, gold is great! Each step is an improvement, and may increase your upgrade percentage, 'specially since your window opens now at T-72 hours (tho I don't do better than 25% as a PM for F). And those waived fees can be key moneysavers and increase your flexibility. The only major new benefits at Platinum are RUCs and waived redeposit fees for award tickets.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 2:56 pm
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Wow! Seattle based and you've seen an upgrade as a Silver! My suggestion is to keep your expectations low and you will not be disappointed. I am a Diamond with lifetime Gold and use most, if not all, of the accommodations that Delta provides. SDC is probably one of the best, especially if you are on a paid FC ticket. The STE+ lounge access has historically been great, but many carriers are making changes to limit the access, so don't get used to that for too long. If you do international, Gold puts you into the same boarding group "priority", so that too is a benefit.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by DL Platinum View Post
Wow! Seattle based and you've seen an upgrade as a Silver!
Yes, although I suppose that's misleading, as all of my FC upgrades have been on the shorter legs of my flights. I.e. in September I flew to MCO and was upgraded to FC from MSP-MCO but only C+ on the SEA-MSP leg. I've yet to snag a FC upgrade on a flight longer than 3 hours, but definitely not complaining!
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by daloosh View Post
tho I don't do better than 25% as a PM for F
What is your home airport?
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Daitheflu84 View Post
What is your home airport?
NYC metro, so LGA/JFK/EWR. I think I upgraded twice this year without a RUC between JFK and SEA, that was nice! But lots of DMs here, sadly.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by daloosh View Post
NYC metro, so LGA/JFK/EWR. I think I upgraded twice this year without a RUC between JFK and SEA, that was nice! But lots of DMs here, sadly.
Yep, I've flown through JFK a few times in the last year on Delta and those lists are always super long. I would think that paid FC is also much higher in NYC, given its status as a media/financial hub. LAX is very similar; on a recent flight LAX-MCO there was a 75+ upgrade list and lots of GM/PM elites sitting in C+ with me.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:38 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by daloosh View Post
Congratulations Daitheflu84, gold is great! Each step is an improvement, and may increase your upgrade percentage, 'specially since your window opens now at T-72 hours (tho I don't do better than 25% as a PM for F). And those waived fees can be key moneysavers and increase your flexibility. The only major new benefits at Platinum are RUCs and waived redeposit fees for award tickets.
And access to C+ at booking (in most cases) versus only at T-72 hours. That's a pretty big one, IMO.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by daloosh View Post
NYC metro, so LGA/JFK/EWR. I think I upgraded twice this year without a RUC between JFK and SEA, that was nice! But lots of DMs here, sadly.
Highly route and date dependent in NYC. I am a PM based in NYC, mostly flying out of LGA on mid week hops to Chicago, Florida, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland and I'm at an 85% upgrade rate (check out my posts in the upgrade forum). My last 4 flights had upgrades at the 5 day window

I've even had a bunch of gate LGA-ATL upgrades, but I've missed (with a RUC) several transcons including JFK-SEA and JFK-SAN in lie flats.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
And access to C+ at booking (in most cases) versus only at T-72 hours. That's a pretty big one, IMO.
That's true; definitely a nice benefit. I'll probably hit the Platinum MQM requirement this year but will fall short of spend by about $1500-2000.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 4:11 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2015
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I just reached Gold on Monday too after years of being a lowly Silver!! I've always enjoyed Silver status since I switched my flying to Delta in 2014. As someone who wasn't here for the heyday of Medallion status, I really enjoy the benefits that are offered to me. Upgrades were rare as an FO but they'd be a fun surprise once in a while. The trick is to never expect it, never watch the list or the seat map. Just pick an exit row and be surprised when you occasionally get moved up front.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 4:32 pm
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Congrats! No-cost SDC is a pretty big benefit.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by live5 View Post
Just pick an exit row and be surprised when you occasionally get moved up front.
Exactly this. Although I usually at least get upgraded to C+, there are some routes and planes where exit row is far superior. It's nice to have this as a fallback on Thursday night hub to hub routes when even C+ is jam packed with a 20 person UG list. Underrated benefit, IMO.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
And access to C+ at booking (in most cases) versus only at T-72 hours. That's a pretty big one, IMO.
Discomfort +? Seems the routes I fly they are squeezed in there with large passengers in C+. Even when the back of the plane is not full and could be in a row with an empty midle.

Also guess only Golds get drink vouchers. Just hit Diamond for 2019 and nary a drink voucher for me.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by apodo77 View Post
Also guess only Golds get drink vouchers. Just hit Diamond for 2019 and nary a drink voucher for me.
I would happily trade drink vouchers for a RUC or SC membership.
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