Delta - Skymiles Program

 
Old Sep 13, 09, 10:40 am
  #1  
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Delta - Skymiles Program

I have been a freq flyer on NWA since 1995 with numerous travels from SFO to MNL over the years as well as domestic. Although this has prbably been discussed on numerous ocassions on here, I have to put in my 2 cents worth.

What is the DL skymiles worth? If the standard conversion rate for NW was $.01 / mile, with DL it should be $.00001 / mile.

I was shocked to learn first hand that even though they're happy to take your money for an "M" class fare upgradeable using miles, they will put you on a "priority" waitlist and have their phone agents as well as check in agents at the airport have you believe that your waitlist has a good chance of clearing all the way until boarding. Then at the boarding gate, you get a rude guy who tells you:

- "cough up $6K if you want to upgrade"
- "all upgrade's must clear 7 days in advance or no dice" - not one phone agent mentioned this.
- phone agent says "your reservation has been modified in the last few days" - no modifications were made whatsoever
- Airport agent = oh there are 30 plus business elite seats - you'll clear at the gate.

In the end, the aircraft flew LAX-SYD with 30 business elite seats empty! THIRTY. Gate agent - "Its a marketing decision they've made to only allow 2 seats per aircraft upgradeable using miles".

Very customer friendly indeed. So much for their upgrade one way for 1 mile promo. No wonder they so boldly declared it. Its because the promo is worthless and the miles look like they dont have much value to begin with. Paid $2060 for an M class fare LAX/SYD with the assurances that upgrades would clear based on availability instead of a $600 lowest economy. Not once did anyone on the phone specify that there are a very limited number of BE seats and the chances of clearing are very low.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 10:45 am
  #2  
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Suggestions for SFO MNL

Any suggestions for best alternates to NW/DL for traveling west coast to Manila, Phils (MNL)? Ideally would like to travel on *A but they have very limited service. With DL taking over NW, I really need to find a new airline to get to MNL. Philippine Airlines is not really an option due to their lack of global alliances.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 11:32 am
  #3  
fti
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Personally I would never pay that much more for an upgradeable fare unless I could be upgraded immediately (i.e. upgradeable booking class was available at the time of booking). That is a risk to be taken, and unfortunately you lost the gamble.

I prefer to play their game. $656 RT LAX-SYD, less $300 bump voucher I had reducing the cost to $356. Then used 25K miles and $10 tax to get from central MN to LAX. I will earn 45K to 55K miles depending on which bonuses they post.

So for $366 I get a trip to SYD and 20K-30K net miles. It is a deal I couldn't pass up.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 11:38 am
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Have you looked at Asiana (OZ)?

[KVS Availability Tool 5.0.2/Diamond - WSpan: Availability/ITN/US-WOT]
Code:
SFO  San Francisco Int'l CA US [KSFO]
MNL  Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l PH [RPMM]
WED  07 Oct 2009

Carrier    Flight  From  Depart    To    Arrive    A/C  St  Availability
---------  ------  ----  --------  ----  --------  ---  --  --------------------------------------------------
OZ         213     SFO   13:15     ICN   17:25 +1  777  0   C2 D4 Z4 J4 Y4 B4 M4 H4 E4 Q4 L0 K0 V0 S0 W0 T0 G0
 -> OZ     703     ICN   19:50 +1  MNL   22:50 +1  320  0   C0 D0 Z0 J0 Y4 B4 M4 H4 E4 Q4 L4 K4 V4 S4 W4 T0 G0
OZ         6615    SFO   13:27     ICN   17:50 +1  777  0   F0 A0 C2 D4 Y4 B4 M4 H4 Q4 V4 W4
 -> OZ     703     ICN   19:50 +1  MNL   22:50 +1  320  0   C0 D0 Z0 J0 Y4 B4 M4 H4 E4 Q4 L4 K4 V4 S4 W4 T0 G0
Originally Posted by Chappan View Post
Any suggestions for best alternates to NW/DL for traveling west coast to Manila, Phils (MNL)? Ideally would like to travel on *A but they have very limited service.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 1:21 pm
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to be unfair, DL miles do worth something. (as much as i want jumping ship now, i still have 3 ECVs worth 1100 USD.)
the pay with miles can get close to 1c per mile (probably 0.9c per mile).
it is true that u need amex credit card to use it.
but annual fee for gold card is free for the first year. so. if one wants to cash in the miles, one just get the gold card, use the miles, and then get rid of the card to avoid the annual fee.

unless i cant find better use of my miles. this will be my way to part with DL after using up all ECVs and so on. i really cant deal with the difficulty of using the miles. unpredictable pricing, and so on. it is a lot more easier to work with star alliance.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 1:59 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
Personally I would never pay that much more for an upgradeable fare unless I could be upgraded immediately (i.e. upgradeable booking class was available at the time of booking). That is a risk to be taken, and unfortunately you lost the gamble.

I prefer to play their game. $656 RT LAX-SYD, less $300 bump voucher I had reducing the cost to $356. Then used 25K miles and $10 tax to get from central MN to LAX. I will earn 45K to 55K miles depending on which bonuses they post.

So for $366 I get a trip to SYD and 20K-30K net miles. It is a deal I couldn't pass up.
Makes sense. I did indeed take a gamble and lost. But had a DL agent been honest or educated enough and warned me that only a very limited number of seats are upgradeable, I would not have taken that gamble.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 2:01 pm
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Originally Posted by thezipper View Post
Have you looked at Asiana (OZ)?

[KVS Availability Tool 5.0.2/Diamond - WSpan: Availability/ITN/US-WOT]
Code:
SFO  San Francisco Int'l CA US [KSFO]
MNL  Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l PH [RPMM]
WED  07 Oct 2009

Carrier    Flight  From  Depart    To    Arrive    A/C  St  Availability
---------  ------  ----  --------  ----  --------  ---  --  --------------------------------------------------
OZ         213     SFO   13:15     ICN   17:25 +1  777  0   C2 D4 Z4 J4 Y4 B4 M4 H4 E4 Q4 L0 K0 V0 S0 W0 T0 G0
 -> OZ     703     ICN   19:50 +1  MNL   22:50 +1  320  0   C0 D0 Z0 J0 Y4 B4 M4 H4 E4 Q4 L4 K4 V4 S4 W4 T0 G0
OZ         6615    SFO   13:27     ICN   17:50 +1  777  0   F0 A0 C2 D4 Y4 B4 M4 H4 Q4 V4 W4
 -> OZ     703     ICN   19:50 +1  MNL   22:50 +1  320  0   C0 D0 Z0 J0 Y4 B4 M4 H4 E4 Q4 L4 K4 V4 S4 W4 T0 G0
-------------I have looked into Asiana / OZ. Problem is their fare quotes are always very high. Lowest coach fare is usually 300 to 500 more than NW. Plus the connections on the return usually do not work too well.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 2:03 pm
  #8  
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TheZipper and FTI

Could'nt agree more with your signatures.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Chappan View Post
Makes sense. I did indeed take a gamble and lost. But had a DL agent been honest or educated enough and warned me that only a very limited number of seats are upgradeable, I would not have taken that gamble.
Lack of transparency, as always on DL, but more than that. Inconsistent and incorrect answers preventing you from using the cert as per published conditions, it's amazing this is tolerable.

I agree, there's no point in booking such an expensive M fare because it's not a reliable, or predictable, upgrade. Might as well pay the apparently high cost of B on CO and then use miles/copay. Much more transparent process and if you don't clear, miles/copay is returned.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 4:12 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by redtailshark View Post
Lack of transparency, as always on DL, but more than that. Inconsistent and incorrect answers preventing you from using the cert as per published conditions, it's amazing this is tolerable.

I agree, there's no point in booking such an expensive M fare because it's not a reliable, or predictable, upgrade. Might as well pay the apparently high cost of B on CO and then use miles/copay. Much more transparent process and if you don't clear, miles/copay is returned.
In all fairness, I would never have done this with NW either, even when their upgradeable fares were not as high as they are now.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 4:20 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by pbd456 View Post
DL miles do worth something
In the end, the two things that might keep me with DL are that a) if I leave, I would need to drive 2-3 hours each way to MSP to use a different airline, and b) I can earn so many miles with DL (all the promos) and if I can plan my award trips wisely, I can get the low mileage level and find great value. My example with my SYD trip is a classic example.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
In the end, the two things that might keep me with DL are that a) if I leave, I would need to drive 2-3 hours each way to MSP to use a different airline, and b) I can earn so many miles with DL (all the promos) and if I can plan my award trips wisely, I can get the low mileage level and find great value. My example with my SYD trip is a classic example.
i am in a slightly different situation as you.
i am on my own dime and the building block of my elite status is my 2 round-trips per year on HKG-east coast.
to be loyal to DL, it means i have to cough up for the expensive pricing.
fortunately, i manage to book a ticket on UA/KE this time for december/jan.

*A seem to have more rational pricing to hk. it may not be the cheapest all the time, but it is only slightly above the lowest. but DL is just giving a random price which i find very frustrating.
middle tier doesnt have lounge access (since i fly mostly on international route, so this is a big difference on DL vs *A). my airport is served by US/UA/CO/DL only. i have two choices when i go to hkg, and i am near where AC serves as well.

i have got okay value on redeeming my miles. booked 2 pvg-btv tickets for my friends. 4 hkg-nrt-gum ticket, and 4 hkg-nrt round trip. all on perksaver level. however, it is really frustrating to find those.

for now, i will switch my business to CO after i use up all my ECVs (let's hope i will earn more so that i can stay!)

i love NW, but i hate DL.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
In the end, the two things that might keep me with DL are that a) if I leave, I would need to drive 2-3 hours each way to MSP to use a different airline, and b) I can earn so many miles with DL (all the promos) and if I can plan my award trips wisely, I can get the low mileage level and find great value. My example with my SYD trip is a classic example.
You could get lucky and have DL ask for a grant to serve your airport, then have Skywest come in and underbid Mesaba.

I was pretty much a hub captive but now it appears the Mesaba EAU-MSP service will be replaced by Skywest (UA) EAU-ORD service - and the 340 replaced by a jet. A little nervous about delays connecting through Chicago, but my schedule is almost always flexible and my sister is a 20-minute train ride from ORD, so worse comes to worse I have alternatives.

I was probably going to have to bail on NW EAU-MSP anyway since their schedule makes it very difficult to connect anywhere.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Chappan View Post
Any suggestions for best alternates to NW/DL for traveling west coast to Manila, Phils (MNL)? Ideally would like to travel on *A but they have very limited service. With DL taking over NW, I really need to find a new airline to get to MNL. Philippine Airlines is not really an option due to their lack of global alliances.
I feel for you there. One of the major reasons I love NW was their MNL flights, especially after UA left in the late 90s. Now that I'm back with UA, I have to either a) fly OZ, SQ, or TG or b) fly UA to TPE or HKG and connect with PR or 5J from there. I miss flying to MNL all the way on NW metal, but sadly the changes to WP has made it difficult for me to stay for this reason alone.
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Old Sep 13, 09, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by redtailshark View Post
Lack of transparency, as always on DL, but more than that. Inconsistent and incorrect answers preventing you from using the cert as per published conditions, it's amazing this is tolerable.

I agree, there's no point in booking such an expensive M fare because it's not a reliable, or predictable, upgrade. Might as well pay the apparently high cost of B on CO and then use miles/copay. Much more transparent process and if you don't clear, miles/copay is returned.
--------------------
Call me naive, I have never come across the miles/copay option. Is CO the only airline that provides this and return the copay / miles if the ug does not clear? Fantastic. Any other carriers do this?

Lack of consistency is really unbeleivable. Its been passed along to the NW reservations as well. It truly is very frustrating. At one point, I called DL 5 times and each time the agent gave a different response to the same question. Unbeleivable.

Honestly, I would have rather paid for 3 economy seats for me and my accompanying passenger $600 a pop than paying for the M fare at 2080 a pop.
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