Advice - Delta or Continental

 
Old May 18, 09, 8:39 am
  #1  
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Advice - Delta or Continental

Asking for some advice.

My travel patterns are about to change starting June.
Which airline FF Program would be better convenience standpoint.
My main goals for FF programs are Award Travel and Lounge access.

Home airport West Palm Beach (PBI).
Currently a Delta Platinum & USAir Silver with Continental Lounge membership.

New travel:
- Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, or Munich every 4-6 weeks (8 trips per year)
- Anchorage every 3-4 months (3 trips per year)
- Calgary every 3 months (4 trips per year)
- PHL every 3 months (4 trips per year)
- Charlotte every 3 months (4 trips per year)
- Various other cities (Houston, Buffalo, Toronto, Chicago) 6-10 trips per year

It looks like USAir cannot get me to Anchorage and Calgary is painful.

Continental can get to all of these places (usually through Houston or Newark) - and with the STAR alliance shift - I can use USAir miles for East coast runs to CLT & PHL.

Delta can get to all of these (usually through Atlanta) - but no benefits from USAir points (which I use for East Coast direct flights).

Your thoughts?
davemflyer is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 8:55 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by davemflyer View Post
Asking for some advice.

- Anchorage every 3-4 months (3 trips per year)
- Calgary every 3 months (4 trips per year)


It looks like USAir cannot get me to Anchorage and Calgary is painful.
What about taking United from MIA or FLL and getting USair miles when you go to Anchorage and Calgary.
poohhead80 is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 8:58 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by davemflyer View Post
Asking for some advice.

My travel patterns are about to change starting June.
Which airline FF Program would be better convenience standpoint.
My main goals for FF programs are Award Travel and Lounge access.

Home airport West Palm Beach (PBI).
Currently a Delta Platinum & USAir Silver with Continental Lounge membership.

New travel:
- Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, or Munich every 4-6 weeks (8 trips per year)
- Anchorage every 3-4 months (3 trips per year)
- Calgary every 3 months (4 trips per year)
- PHL every 3 months (4 trips per year)
- Charlotte every 3 months (4 trips per year)
- Various other cities (Houston, Buffalo, Toronto, Chicago) 6-10 trips per year

It looks like USAir cannot get me to Anchorage and Calgary is painful.

Continental can get to all of these places (usually through Houston or Newark) - and with the STAR alliance shift - I can use USAir miles for East coast runs to CLT & PHL.

Delta can get to all of these (usually through Atlanta) - but no benefits from USAir points (which I use for East Coast direct flights).

Your thoughts?
Sounds like you want to go with CO.
DeltaFirst is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 9:01 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Not sure if this helps... and you might already know this. Delta and Alaska Airlines recently upped their alliance. Don't know if this will help much from PBI. Here.
Evan! is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 9:45 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by poohhead80 View Post
What about taking United from MIA or FLL ...
UA has pulled out of FLL and in general completely sucks when it comes to serving South Florida and New York City.

My opinion about the OPs question is that since domestic upgrades are not a factor, he should fly on CO and, until he sees how the wind blows, credit the miles to his US Dividend Miles account. The US miles are as of now about the best mileage currency of any domestic carrier since US does not filter the *A awards as does UA and you can get any available *A flight using them.

The two wind-blown kickers are that if CO follows the US pattern and allows full award access, he can change to them immediately. And if US appears to be ready to leave the alliance, the miles must be rapidly burned (which is not much of a problem considering the availabilities scenario).

And since Lounge access is the same across the *A carriers, if the OP is *Gold, that will get him access on all of the international flights. The domestic clubs for everybody require a membership but the rumors are that CO is planning to get the PC members on domestic UA itineraries into the UA RCCs as a standard benefit. If you belong to the USAir Club, that RCC access is an add-on.
monitor is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by DeltaFirst View Post
Sounds like you want to go with CO.
+1

I would stick with DL, though.
tvnwz is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 10:14 am
  #7  
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Though I'm a US refugee ... it looks like US (or at least a *A carrier) is the way for you to go. I only say US instead of UA or (soon) CO because of the free unlimited upgrades and the lack of filtering on awards on US.

For your international travel, you can connect pretty conveniently in Charlotte for LHR, CDG, FRA and for other European cities you can take UA via IAD or CO via EWR once they join (I'd avoid US via PHL). As a *A Gold (which you'll hit pretty quickly with your travel schedule) you'll have full lounge access when going to Europe.

US flies PHX to both Anchorage and Calgary ... however there is no non-stop from PBI-PHX ... so if you're unwilling to go to FLL or MIA for a one stop to ANC or Calgary you'd have to double connect.

You can fly PBI-CLT and PBI-PHL non stop on US.

Also, PBI-ORD you can do non-stop on UA and PBI-IAH you can do non-stop on CO once they join.

You can also fly non stop from PBI - Toronto on Air Canada.

*A seems the way to go.
Jumpgate is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 10:33 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by tvnwz View Post
+1

I would stick with DL, though.
I would absolutely!
DeltaFirst is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 11:38 am
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My DL domestic upgrade percentage is much higher than on CO, and I'm satisfied with the service (not that different, IMHO). However, mileage redemption on DL STINKS.
vatraveler is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 2:15 pm
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What about AA? They are pretty strong in FLL and very strong in MIA. You could get to LHR and maybe CDG (can't remember off-hand) nonstop from MIA, which would be pretty nice, and you could also connect to anywhere in Europe from LHR. Personally, I'm a huge fan of European connections over stateside ones. Plus, you get the best lounge access on AA (first class oneworld lounges) based on the amount you fly. I'm pretty sure you'd only get business class lounges on Star or Skyteam. Plus, AA has (in my experience) the best redemption opportunities.
aa4ever is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 3:04 pm
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If you're doing a lot of TATL in J, the CO is the clear winner. I've got CO fares for J this summer that were cheaper than DL's B/M fares.

The down side to CO is fares accrue at different rates depending on class. The upside is better availability, sane millage redemption charts and lower fees.
motytrah is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 3:14 pm
  #12  
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As a company, and their attitude toward their elite flyers, I'd go with CO in a heartbeat. Much better IT, and elite benefits. In most cases, your domestic upgrades will not be as good as DL, though.
Jaimito Cartero is offline  
Old May 18, 09, 8:20 pm
  #13  
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Thanks for all the good feedback.

The plot does thicken.
My company has a contract with United for TATL.
And another with CO for ANC and YYC.

They are pushing UA, but I agree with Monitor, UA really sucks for South Florida. Looks like I need to depart from MIA (sometimes FLL) as United insists PBI connect through IAD or CLT.

So my thoughts are Delta is a gonner - My company has sold it's soul to *A.
Now it comes down to CO, USAir or UA program. I'm leaning towards USAir as I can get shorter duration trips to LHR and leave directly from my home airport.
davemflyer is offline  

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