Very disappointed with Delta rewards program

Old Nov 22, 19, 1:16 am
  #1  
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Very disappointed with Delta rewards program

I’m flying back from Japan, and since the less than stellar delta rewards program doesn’t provide upgrades on international flights, I called to buy an upgrade. There are several open seats in Delta one...... they quoted me over $5000 for a one way upgrade......Doesn’t say thanks for your loyalty! So that’s not happening, I guess I wasn’t really surprised, because I think the Delta rewards program is awful. But then I get to the airport in Tokyo, and am told I can’t use the lounge. My delta diamond status should give me access....... but on top of it I pay the membership fee for sky club, but their deal with the airport doesn’t take either of these into consideration.

I’ve been at the top of the Loyalty Programs for KLM, United, and American over the years as well.......but Delta’s program seems like a slap in the face rather than a reward for loyalty. At one time I really liked delta, but feel their program has been circling the drain in recent years. I’ve got another trip to Europe booked right after TG already on Delta.... but the last trips I have planned before the end of the year are on another carrier. Not using Delta for these flights will bring me up short on renewing diamond this year.... but there is so little value to diamond status I don’t care.


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Last edited by Nomoredelta; Nov 22, 19 at 1:21 am Reason: Spelling
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:20 am
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As a Diamond Medallion member surely you know about Global Upgrade certificates. I'm unsure why you were so surprised at how international upgrades work.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:24 am
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The lounges at HND (TIAT) are third-party lounges and are not operated by Delta or any of it's Skyteam partners. It is only available for passengers in Delta One. Delta will be opening a Sky Club at HND next year.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:34 am
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Yeah the HND lounge issue for non-J pax is really frustrating but hopefully the new lounge will open SOON!!

But agree it's pretty pennywise to not just fork up some $$ for the current HND operations. Surely someone will cut a decent deal...

Yeah and the GUCs, I've figured out a decent way to get them to work (hopefully I didn't just jinx myself as I re-qual for DM) but it's really what my BF calls "illusion benefits"

Oh good luck with anyone else....really not sure where is "best"
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Last edited by NOLAnwGOLD; Nov 22, 19 at 2:43 am
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:51 am
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This is the reality of flying these days... no red carpet anymore. Other than the GUCs there is not all that much value in Diamond, and that has been a downward slope for a few years. That is the cost of consolidation in the industry. However, IMHO DL DM is still a bit better than the UA 1K program.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:56 am
  #6  
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I think you missed my point. I know exactly how the upgrade certificates work...... and it sucks. Further I am saying that for me, this does not engender loyalty, rather frustration that I went out of my way to be loyal for such a paltry rewards program. I do think that when a high status member wants to buy an upgrade when there are open seats close to departure, there should be some consideration. Secondly, after many flights to Haneda, because Delta changed their routing from Narita to Haneda, to find that as of last year I could not get into the Haneda lounge was a further frustration. I was assured this was only a temporary situation and would be resolved....
it has not. You might be happy with this program, good for you.... I think it sucks and certainly does not warrant going out of my way to fly Delta.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 1:58 am
  #7  
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I think the point is, for me, no loyalty earned none given. I’ll be open to any carrier for a specific flight.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 2:37 am
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Airline loyalty schemes are a one way street. They want ours but don’t reciprocate. Twas ever thus.

I'm not sure why you expected to get a cheap upgrade just because of your status.

When planning flights always look for the best schedule or cheapest flights based on your needs.

If that’s DL then fine. if it’s AA or BA or JL or KL or whoever then fly with them.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 2:41 am
  #9  
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Why do you think the Delta program is superior to United? It looks a bit better the way I’ve understood it, seems they do upgrades on international flights. 90% of my travel is international, so outside of the few GUC’s, there is no value to the rest of the Delta program to me. If I can transfer my status to United, will give them a year to show me, and if that doesn’t pan out will just give up on the whole loyalty thing.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 3:10 am
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It wasn’t so much a discount was expected, rather I was hoping not to be gouged when the plane is undersold. The one way upgrade quote was very close to the cost of of round trip D1 R/T price when I booked. I’ve been a priority flyer on one carrier or another for 30 years, and it has been my last few with Delta when the value of my loyalty program has diminished to essentially nothing. In an hour I’ll be boarding the plane and some poor flight attendant will come back to thank me for my loyalty...... I will endeavor not to laugh in their face.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 3:59 am
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Airline yield management does not work well, if free seats in Business Class are given away for free or for cheap upgrade instruments.

Airlines want you to buy a J-fare, if you want a J-seat.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 4:57 am
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My wife had a similar issue a few years ago... to the far east.. up front, plenty of seats open,
she was told upgrade would be an insane amount of cash, no way to use miles to upgrade.
she was also told, she did not buy the correct type of ticket to be considered for upgrade.

Bottom line, she switched to AA (now EXP, of course along with me)
has been able to use SWU on international flights with ease, getting upgraded 9/10 on
domestic trips.. she will never go back to DL (and we based based in ATL)
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Old Nov 22, 19, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Airline yield management does not work well, if free seats in Business Class are given away for free or for cheap upgrade instruments.

Airlines want you to buy a J-fare, if you want a J-seat.
Except when a FO gets a cheaper upgrade price than a DM... which has happened multiple times to colleagues and I. I think his point was about loyalty being a 1-way street lately with most airlines.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 6:05 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Nomoredelta View Post
It wasnít so much a discount was expected, rather I was hoping not to be gouged when the plane is undersold. The one way upgrade quote was very close to the cost of of round trip D1 R/T price when I booked. Iíve been a priority flyer on one carrier or another for 30 years, and it has been my last few with Delta when the value of my loyalty program has diminished to essentially nothing. In an hour Iíll be boarding the plane and some poor flight attendant will come back to thank me for my loyalty...... I will endeavor not to laugh in their face.
One-way is weird. Always check round-trip if you get a one-way quote that seems way out of line to you and round-trip is available for your flight. Also try whatever tricks you can think of. I flew transatlantic in 2017 and got an astronomical quote for Biz on Delta; I checked Expedia flight+hotel and adding the hotel made the flight plus hotel $4000 cheaper than the flight by itself.

This doesn't really touch on your complaint, which I have no disagreement with and don't know how to solve, but all airlines are like this I guess and the only way to try to get a better deal is to try whatever approaches we can think of and continue to share information.
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Old Nov 22, 19, 6:16 am
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NWA gave many free upgrades in J, when flying to/from NRT, informally. Always a nice surprise. Revenue and reward flights.
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