Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

Forbes Story on Skymiles Redemption on Premium Class Award travel

Forbes Story on Skymiles Redemption on Premium Class Award travel

Old Aug 29, 19, 10:09 pm
  #16  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 24,096
Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
I think if someone fell asleep in 2008 and woke up today, mileage redemption would be among the least shocking things
Touche!
ijgordon is offline  
Old Aug 29, 19, 10:52 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 440
While mileage redemptions might be "bad" I look at it this way. A value of 0.01/skymile (arguably the minimum value you get, and what DL values skypesos at). Any skymiles member earns 5 miles / $ spend thats at least 5% back on spending right there, by the time you factor in medallion bonus you are looking at close to 11%. My travel is out of pocket and my current CC setup gets 4.5% back on airfare, so potential for a minimum 15% back when all is said and done, can't complain much about that.
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 29, 19, 11:07 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Upper Sternistan
Posts: 7,834
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
While mileage redemptions might be "bad" I look at it this way. A value of 0.01/skymile (arguably the minimum value you get, and what DL values skypesos at). Any skymiles member earns 5 miles / $ spend thats at least 5% back on spending right there, by the time you factor in medallion bonus you are looking at close to 11%. My travel is out of pocket and my current CC setup gets 4.5% back on airfare, so potential for a minimum 15% back when all is said and done, can't complain much about that.
If you are looking at Delta in isolation, sure.

But you'd do close to as well or better (depending on status) with any other carrier.

And you'd have more valuable and usable loyalty currency as a result.
josephstern is offline  
Old Aug 30, 19, 4:54 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 269
If I don't want to burn a GUC, it's been a much better value for me to upgrade with points than to use miles than to buy outright with miles. Often it's $8-10k (or 480k+ miles) if I buy it outright vs $2k for an economy ticket and 120k miles to upgrade to D1.
USCTrojan83 is offline  
Old Aug 30, 19, 6:57 am
  #20  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 87,715
Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
It's true. DL premium cabin redemption are terrible, in general. They try to redeem themselves with occasional sales, but it is a pretty sad state of affairs. Delta doesn't care and this article won't change things.

I've had DL status for 10 years, most of the time DM, and drop to zero in 2020 because Skymiles has been so devalued, especially wrt premium awards.
OT, but if you've had status for ten years, mostly at the DM level, that should be approximately MM, which would give you "annual" FO. How close are you and does it make sense to try for MM before your GM end?
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Aug 30, 19, 9:00 am
  #21  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 24,096
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
While mileage redemptions might be "bad" I look at it this way. A value of 0.01/skymile (arguably the minimum value you get, and what DL values skypesos at). Any skymiles member earns 5 miles / $ spend thats at least 5% back on spending right there, by the time you factor in medallion bonus you are looking at close to 11%. My travel is out of pocket and my current CC setup gets 4.5% back on airfare, so potential for a minimum 15% back when all is said and done, can't complain much about that.
But that 5 miles / $ is $0.20 per mile (or $0.09 for DM). Historically, people would post mileage runs for ~$0.05/mi, probably before elite bonuses. So for the cheap-o travelers the cost to acquire miles has increased substantially. Of course for the high-value corporate flyers, it has decreased substantially, which I guess is exactly what DL wants.

So the program in isolation isn't bad per se, it's just (1) worse than before for many travelers, and (2) worse currently than many other programs. And there are fewer opportunities for "arbitrage" given the dynamic award pricing. That said, it does make it easier to just use the miles instead of hording them for those arbitrage opportunities (although I guess they do exist with the award sales, like the ~128k r/t to Europe in business (although last time I saw that, many flights were pricing around $2k, at least from NYC, and so that's only ~1.5-1.6c/mile, not significantly better than the typical 1.3c.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Aug 30, 19, 5:46 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: MEL
Programs: VA-PLT, DL-GM, QF-GLD, UA-ex1K, AA-exPLT, HH-DM, IHG-PLT, MR-GLD
Posts: 7,773
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OT, but if you've had status for ten years, mostly at the DM level, that should be approximately MM, which would give you "annual" FO. How close are you and does it make sense to try for MM before your GM end?
Well it's been 5 years at DM, I've been DM more years than anything else, as the other years were a mix of PM and GM.

MM is very close but it FO isn't worth much to me so I'm not really interested to be honest.
CPMaverick is offline  
Old Aug 30, 19, 9:19 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Somewhere...
Programs: AA PLT/3MM, UA GM/1MM, DL DM/1MM, FB Plat, AS MVP Gold, WN AList+
Posts: 1,571
Originally Posted by third_wave View Post
Yes, the redemptions stink, but ultimately what I care about most is a good all-around experience on my paid flights. On that metric Delta is performing better than United or American.
That is it. For a long time finding international J class seats with SM has been problematic. .01 a mile seems the norm for pricing on awards - or sometimes even worse.

Because DL offers a much better product in so many other ways they can afford to do this. At least right now, in terms of retaining customers.

i have to wonder though what this reality is having in terms of wanting to have/spend on an AMEX DL card.

CoMooter is offline  
Old Aug 31, 19, 12:13 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: 6 year GS, now MM Jeff-ugee, *wood LTPlt, VX Gold, SkyPeso PLT
Posts: 6,471
Originally Posted by josephstern View Post
If you are looking at Delta in isolation, sure.

But you'd do close to as well or better (depending on status) with any other carrier.

And you'd have more valuable and usable loyalty currency as a result.
I have flown those other carriers, and when I am looking at a flight on DL on a new A220 to SEA vs the cruddy slimmed B739ER on UA or a flight in First TCON on DL vs. UA or AA it really is no contest. The delta (pun intended) between DL's skypesos and what are now MilageMinus miles and AA's parkarized mileage used to be vast, not so much now. The reality is that I can rarely find any really usable flights on any airline (and to be fair, I am always looking for 2-4 seats) to the point that I recently just used MileageMinus miles on a domestic Y flight for a family trip. At 3.2c/mi I felt it was a good value compared to the (lack) of reasonable/workable J, and I figured I might as well burn the miles before UA's new devaluation kicks in.

Is there some distance between the usability of AS miles and to a lesser extent AA miles and SkyPesos? Yes. Is it enough to counteract the really poor OT performance and Oasisized planes on AA, definately not. Is there much distance between the usability of MileageMinus Miles and SkyPesos? Not really, and certainly not enough to get me to fly UA to collect miles, putting up with a much worse airline.

Bottom line is that redemption really is not top of mind for me, no airline really has a program that will tie me in at this point. I'll collect miles, and will use them if the opportunity arises, but I am just not sweating it at this point.

Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
So the program in isolation isn't bad per se, it's just (1) worse than before for many travelers, and (2) worse currently than many other programs. And there are fewer opportunities for "arbitrage" given the dynamic award pricing. That said, it does make it easier to just use the miles instead of hording them for those arbitrage opportunities (although I guess they do exist with the award sales, like the ~128k r/t to Europe in business (although last time I saw that, many flights were pricing around $2k, at least from NYC, and so that's only ~1.5-1.6c/mile, not significantly better than the typical 1.3c.
exactly the way to think about it. Miles are now worth a little more than 1c. That is it.

The real impact for me is to have given up on airline credit cards. The miles are worthless, so its not where I put my spending.
spin88 is offline  
Old Aug 31, 19, 4:06 am
  #25  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: ATL
Programs: Delta DM HH Diamond
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by USCTrojan83 View Post
If I don't want to burn a GUC, it's been a much better value for me to upgrade with points than to use miles than to buy outright with miles. Often it's $8-10k (or 480k+ miles) if I buy it outright vs $2k for an economy ticket and 120k miles to upgrade to D1.
I hear you and you aren’t wrong, but geez this one burns a little going down.

its an acceptance issue with me and my stubbornness but that 100k number was my threshold for TATL biz, feels like 80k happened a lot to.

so it’s hard for me to digest spending $2000 cash on top of the 100k

however, in full disclosure I am typing this in the shadows of the Roman forum where delta got delivered my SO and myself to FCO for 110k each in D1

i also agree about the coach dialogue, it is actually a bargain over seas these days, my aging oversized frame isn’t willing to do coach anymore. As a younger more pliable man, these are a steal

IMHO, the best value these days are awards EU to OZ up front on partners, pretty regular at 180k or less , which is the more than I spent LAX to SYD in 2014 😒
Rhinolicious is offline  
Old Aug 31, 19, 9:49 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 1,697
Originally Posted by CoMooter View Post


That is it. For a long time finding international J class seats with SM has been problematic. .01 a mile seems the norm for pricing on awards - or sometimes even worse.

Because DL offers a much better product in so many other ways they can afford to do this. At least right now, in terms of retaining customers.

i have to wonder though what this reality is having in terms of wanting to have/spend on an AMEX DL card.
DL recently stated earlier this year that they expect revenue from the Amex relationship to double from $3.5 billion to $7 billion annually by 2023. I can't imagine they would be bold enough to publicly state such a goal if revenue from Amex spend had been trending downward. Is it really that difficult to imagine that FTer priorities are likely outliers and that most people don't obsess as much over the award programs in general and premium cabin awards in particular? I believe that DL publicly stated a few years back that something like 90% of awards are for domestic coach. Consider the fact this is a self-selected community and those with only a casual interest in award programs aren't really reflected that well here.
xliioper is online now  
Old Aug 31, 19, 10:07 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL GM, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 8,039
When DL moved away from fixed redemptions levels and we started seeing these insane award tickets, I assumed it was only a matter of time before UA and AA would follow.

Well, those airlines are now well past their mergers, they (UA in particular) have made some real investments in their hard products and they seem to still offer better redemption value and certainly better alliance redemption options.

I still prefer DL, but I don't think they can continue to expect the loyalty they have earned when they are no longer so exceptionally better than other legacy carriers.
jdrtravel is offline  
Old Aug 31, 19, 11:22 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: 6 year GS, now MM Jeff-ugee, *wood LTPlt, VX Gold, SkyPeso PLT
Posts: 6,471
Originally Posted by Rhinolicious View Post
i also agree about the coach dialogue, it is actually a bargain over seas these days, my aging oversized frame isn’t willing to do coach anymore. As a younger more pliable man, these are a steal
For me the big difference is that I can do a coach award on DL in Y+, because the seats on the 763/777/330/350s DL flies are not micro-narrow. The Y seats on the UA are horrible in comparison (for me and my normal sized son) not to mention the UA Y soft product is really sub-standard. A little math exercise helps to show this, by taking the cabin width, removing the aisles (typically 19", but 18" on the 10x 777s AA/UA are flying) and looking at effective seat width:
-A380 (at 10x, lower deck) has 21.8”/seat (at 8x, upper deck) has 23.8"/seat
-777 (at 9x) has 21.3"/seat
-763 (at 7x) has 21.2”/seat
-A320 (at 6x) has 21.2”/seat
-A330/330neo (at 8x) has 20.8"/seat
- A350 (at 9x) has 20.3”/seat

-737 (at 6x) has 20”/seat
-787 (at 9x) has 19.8"/seat
-777 (at 10x, using 18” aisles as UA/AA are, which is why they are so narrow) has 19.4”/seat

What this means is that I can use an overseas Y+ seat on DL, but not AA/UA or can use certain partners (LH, OZ in *A comes to mind, or CX on the A350, but not the 77W using AS or AA miles). My point being that its much more complex with Y than simply saying "all Y is bad", for me at least a Y+ seat on an A380 or on a A330 or A350 is doable, on a 777 at 10x or a 787 is not.

Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Well, those airlines are now well past their mergers, they (UA in particular) have made some real investments in their hard products and they seem to still offer better redemption value and certainly better alliance redemption options.
UA has gone from having J product that was seriously behind the curve, to having J product (the Polaris seat) that is perfectly acceptable on the 777, and tight on the 787 (which is narrower and shorter). Delta's new D1 seat is far better. But UA's Y product, as is AA's is far behind what Delta is offering. Narrower seats (see above) worse soft product. In PE all three airlines have the same seat.

But the reality is that I am happy to trade a subpar J product for a decent milage redemption. The useable tickets at this point are (excepting some *A redemptions, where UA has a slight advantage) in Y, and Delta's product is a real advantage, at least for me, in valuing miles...
spin88 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: