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Delta is for Disappointment - What I wish I would have known

Delta is for Disappointment - What I wish I would have known

Old May 28, 19, 3:49 pm
  #1  
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Delta is for Disappointment - What I wish I would have known

I've always been a frequent traveler both domestically and internationally. Until recent, I would always book the cheapest ticket for the fare class I was interested in. In Sept of 2018 I was convinced to stick to Delta as with the amount I traveled I would earn medallion status and have a better flying experience. Thus far i've had just a slightly better experience that hasn't been worth the incurred cost of booking the more expensive Delta tickets. I got my Delta Business Reserve AMEX so I now have lounge access when flying with Delta. I reached Silver Medallion last year but have yet to see any benefit outside of my AMEX. What I wish I had known:

1. Silver Medallion does not come with Sky Priority boarding and check in
2. Silver Medallion does not get you Sky Team Lounge access when flying internationally when flying partner airlines
3. Premium Delta International flights are not as luxurious as other international carriers (Korean/Emirates/Cathay)
4. Medallion members do not get complimentary upgrades on international flights

In short- The correlation of being loyal to Delta versus the cost spent in higher fares isn't worth the return of being a medallion member. If I'm doing something wrong, please let me know.
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Old May 28, 19, 3:50 pm
  #2  
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Go for the cheapest fares this is what i do
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Old May 28, 19, 3:53 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: NYC
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The lounges are already packed and often around half the plane has Sky Priority under the current rules, so if those benefits were extended to SMs in addition to STE+, they really would be of no value to anyone.
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Old May 28, 19, 4:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: NYC, BOS
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Seems like a post and run or clickbait from the OP. While #3 is up for debate depending on the equipment and cabin (I see KE is listed as more luxurious without direct aisle access in most business cabins?? and DL has been putting a lot of effort into Y amenities lately), #'s 1, 2 and 4 could have been known to the OP with some light searching as they have been DL policy (and competitor airline policy) for several years now. Silver does get you some level of priority check in and boarding (although not skypriority) and better economy seat selection, as well as pretty much last crack at domestic/short-haul international upgrades. No airline gives comp elite upgrades on long-haul international flights without some sort of instrument as far as I'm aware...
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Old May 28, 19, 4:09 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: ATL
Programs: Delta Plat
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If one has little to no status, then they should go with what airline gives them the best value on a per flight basis. Selecting a carrier in order to make a low status is likely a losing strategy. Only exception would be if one knows one's miles will be on a significant growth curve.

Yes, OP. You are right. Do you think DL and all others have these budgets for "loyalty" if not for exactly people like you?

IMO, DL is a good airline. But that is not because of any loyalty nonsense.

EDITL Point #3 is a bit of a joke. I would take DL over KE in C any day.
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Old May 28, 19, 4:11 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
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You won't get any better treatment at the lowest elite level on AA or UA. KE flights can be credited to DL and will earn full MQM even on cheap fares (as well as partners like KL/AF). It shouldn't be that difficult to hit Gold or Platinum with a frequent schedule of domestic and international flights if you stick with DL and partners. The 15K MQM boost with the Reserve card could also help if you can spend $30K on it.
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Old May 28, 19, 4:30 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Originally Posted by jdallas.nelson View Post
I've always been a frequent traveler both domestically and internationally. Until recent, I would always book the cheapest ticket for the fare class I was interested in. In Sept of 2018 I was convinced to stick to Delta as with the amount I traveled I would earn medallion status and have a better flying experience. Thus far i've had just a slightly better experience that hasn't been worth the incurred cost of booking the more expensive Delta tickets. I got my Delta Business Reserve AMEX so I now have lounge access when flying with Delta. I reached Silver Medallion last year but have yet to see any benefit outside of my AMEX. What I wish I had known:

1. Silver Medallion does not come with Sky Priority boarding and check in
2. Silver Medallion does not get you Sky Team Lounge access when flying internationally when flying partner airlines
3. Premium Delta International flights are not as luxurious as other international carriers (Korean/Emirates/Cathay)
4. Medallion members do not get complimentary upgrades on international flights

In short- The correlation of being loyal to Delta versus the cost spent in higher fares isn't worth the return of being a medallion member. If I'm doing something wrong, please let me know.
All of this is your fault for not doing the research ahead of time.
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Old May 28, 19, 4:35 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL GM, Bonvoy Gold
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Originally Posted by jdallas.nelson View Post
What I wish I had known:

1. Silver Medallion does not come with Sky Priority boarding and check in
2. Silver Medallion does not get you Sky Team Lounge access when flying internationally when flying partner airlines
3. Premium Delta International flights are not as luxurious as other international carriers (Korean/Emirates/Cathay)
4. Medallion members do not get complimentary upgrades on international flights
1, 2 and 4 are not new policies and could easily have been known before you decided to stick with Delta. Like, this is all literally on one page of DL's website. (https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...-benefits.html).

As for your point number 3, it is widely known that certain Asian and Middle Eastern carriers offer a superior product to US domestic carriers, especially when it comes to in-flight service.

In short, none of this should be a surprise, especially to a "frequent traveler."
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Old May 28, 19, 4:36 pm
  #9  
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Delta does upgrade medallions on some international flights. Iíve been upgraded to Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica to name just a few. It doesnít as a rule upgrade on widebody international flights.

You certainly should have researched the real benefits before jumping in.
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Old May 28, 19, 4:42 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
It doesn’t as a rule upgrade on widebody international flights.
Upgrades have nothing to do with plane type, it has to do with the class of service offered and the route, though this often means no upgrades on wide-body international flights with Delta One cabins.

However, Delta could decide to fly a A330 to Cancun during peak season, and medallion upgrades would be offered. Though the hard product would be Delta One, the soft product and fare class would be First Class. Conversely, Delta uses some 757's on transatlantic routes, and they will generally not offer complimentary upgrades on those narrow body aircraft.
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Old May 28, 19, 4:46 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: The ATL
Programs: Delta DM, Marriott Lifetime Titanium, HHonrs Diamond
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You know what is a disappointment?
Wishing for something to happen when anyone could have easily researched the outcome in advance....

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...on-status.html

Get an AMEX Reserve, enjoy the SkyClub access, the free companion F ticket, and make the quick jump up to Gold. Then see if you fly enough to go for higher status. That is what I did when I first hit silver and it was the best travel decision I have ever made. My reserve card gives me back a 3x on my annual fee just for the SC and companion ticket benefits.

As for #3 , the refurbished Suites in J is an outstanding hard product. And if you flew enough international flights on DL in J to come to that conclusion, you would probably be higher than a Silver by now.
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Old May 28, 19, 4:50 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Now: SAT. Previously: SEA, DAY/CVG
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
If one has little to no status, then they should go with what airline gives them the best value on a per flight basis. Selecting a carrier in order to make a low status is likely a losing strategy. Only exception would be if one knows one's miles will be on a significant growth curve.
It depends on what one values out of low-level status. Any time I fly an airline with no status (particularly island hopping on HA), I'm reminded how miserable it is flying without status. Even low-level status is enough to take flying from "miserable" to "tolerable/bearable". FO status on DL gets one access to exit rows - a big perk (I think AA and UA label them as MCE and E+ so UA Silver and AA GLD don't get immediate access, I believe). DL FOs either get dedicated check-in lines at main hubs or can use the SkyPriority check-in line at other outstations. IROPS handling/priority is also a big one. And the occasional upgrade. While it's quite a step down from what DMs & PMs may be used to, even low-level status is a decent and significant step-up from no-status.

Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Delta does upgrade medallions on some international flights. Iíve been upgraded to Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica to name just a few. It doesnít as a rule upgrade on widebody international flights.

You certainly should have researched the real benefits before jumping in.
Int'l upgrades depend on whether the flight is marketed as "Delta One". Int'l flights to Canada/Mexico/the Caribbean/Central and northern South America where the premium cabin is marketed as "Business" are eligible for complimentary upgrades. Flights to deep South America and TATL/TPAC are marketed as "Delta One" (or for the couple of TATLs with 75Ds, where the domestic FC cabin is marketed as "Premium Select"), there are no complimentary upgrades, to either Delta One or Premium Select.

I do believe DL does do complimentary upgrades on domestic flights marketed as Delta One (including Hawaii) though one should have pretty low expectations of clearning a complimentary upgrade on any domestic D1 routes.
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Old May 28, 19, 4:55 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post

Int'l flights to Canada/Mexico/the Caribbean/Central and northern South America where the premium cabin is marketed as "Business" are eligible for complimentary upgrades.
Delta no longer markets these flights as "business." They are now sold as First Class.
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Old May 28, 19, 6:01 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by jdallas.nelson View Post
In Sept of 2018 I was convinced to stick to Delta .... I reached Silver Medallion last year but have yet to see any benefit outside of my AMEX. What I wish I had known:

1. Silver Medallion does not come with Sky Priority boarding and check in
Two things-
1. At some airports, the Sky Priority check-in line has a sign that reads "Sky Priority blah blah blah AND Silver medallion". Or it may say "and Sky Team Elite, which includes silver medallion. Read the fine print on the sign; you may be able to use the SP check-in line.

2. You only started sticking to Delta from Sept-Dec last year and made silver? If you do indeed fly frequently, I would think that if you could earn silver status in four months, you could probably earn gold status over the course of an entire 12 months this year. That would get you even more benefits.

As for the other things I'll echo what others have said. Most of this should not have been a surprise. The info is readily available.
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Old May 28, 19, 6:01 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by third_wave View Post
All of this is your fault for not doing the research ahead of time.
No need to throw around words like "fault", nowhere is Delta blamed... Just things OP wished they had known ahead of time.

I have silver medallion but since I don't have their credit card, the free bags and occasional domestic upgrades (yes I've gotten lucky as FO) make it worth some effort to me.
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