My Delta Million Miler flight – The planning & start of the run to Japan
My Delta Million Miler flight – TSA at Chicago O’Hare ORD Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta 777 Delta One Business class review to Japan NRT Narita Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Gogo International Satellite Speed Review
My Delta Million Miler flight – 2016 Delta One TUMI Amenity Kit Black and Gray Review
My Delta Million Miler flight – Narita NRT Airport outside observation Deck
My Delta Million Miler flight – IASS Priority Pass Lounge Review NRT Narita Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Korean Air Lounge Review NRT Narita Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Sky Club NRT Narita Airport near Gate 21
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Sky Club NRT Narita Airport near Gate 15
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta 747 Delta One Business Class review from Japan NRT Narita Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Million Miler Gift Choices & My Selection
My Delta Million Miler flight – Final thoughts of reaching one million miles with Delta Air Lines
It really did take a long time to reach the 1 million mile mark with Delta. It’s funny I was a multi million miler with Northwest but they, back in the day, would credit ALL miles and I clearly amass a boatload of points from travel cards (and still do year after year btw). Once the merger happened, Delta went back and only credited me (us) with BIS points or my backside in the seat miles flown on NWA and partners.
The adventure of crossing the goal was a ton of fun as you can see in this series. Delta, the company itself, really did nothing to thank me for the accomplishment other than the auto generated email. Not even one of the press folks I work with sent a personal email saying congrats or thanks. I was not expecting anything at all from them and thus set things up myself to make it a sweet memory (with help from a frequent flyer pal and those I know inside Delta). So if you have just crossed, or are about to cross, this major milestone don’t expect anything from Delta.
I was really pleased with the price of the run as well as paying for it with a bump voucher and then successfully applying my Global Upgrade certs to this trip. For a frequent flyer and program enthusiast it was great to utilize so many perks I love on a trip of a lifetime to remember. #Winning. Extracting max value is what my blog has always been about for you and me.
So now I have lifetime Silver Medallion (FO) status. No wait, it was lifetime but since Delta is Delta they changed the wording to annual status. I have no idea why they made this wording change but I would assume so they can dump the perk if they wish without legal implications. Either way I now have yearly the lowest elite status with Delta giving me a number of perks that I can really work to maximize once I no longer fly Delta that often.
Speaking of perks, do I plan to go for 2MMs with Delta? I really doubt it. My years of heavy flying are nearing an end and I expect to enjoy my Diamond status for maybe 3 or 4 years more but not for a decade more. Well, that is my thinking at this point at least. But years ago Delta’s lowest elite status really meant something to the airline as well as in Skyteam. Now, you really need to be Gold Medallion or higher to be appreciated. My sinking suspicion is that if I push to reach 2MM and Gold status for “life”, by then GM status will be as under appreciated as FO status is now. Depressing but the reality of loyalty today – you are what you spend and what you spend right now.
Reflecting back, I miss so much of what both Delta and NWA was. I miss the days when they liked their partners rather than looking for ways to make them hate me as a Delta elite. I really think Delta has lost sight of what it means to be part of Skyteam. I hope things swing back at least to the middle. I will be including thoughts like these when I get a chance to comment after flights.
Another change I miss over the past year or so is Delta boarding music. Have you noticed it is now just “Muzak” type music. In the past it was always a neat lineup of unique stuff. I found some of my favorite artists by their selections like Gary B as well as a number of others. I would guess the folks at Delta who did this got cut along with those who ran the “real-ish Delta blog” that is no longer even called a blog (hey, at least you have me, right?).
So where do I go from here. Clearly Delta is the best of the bunch right now. United has so far still to go that I have just no interest in them. American is racing to the toilet so there is no considering now to go for that airline and alliance. I have a ton of points with them but will do what I have to in order to keep them active and start to burn them soon.
One thing is for sure, you will be able to keep counting on me to blog about all that Delta is doing now and in the future! – René
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Say what you want about United but as a 2.5 million miler with Delta and Dianmond since it’s inception, I am a lowly Silver with United (thanks to my Marriott Platinum status) and I have been upgraded 7 out of the 8 legs this year. I was also able to get my colleague with no United status into Economy plus. I would have been upgraded on the 8th leg but the 7th leg was delayed to ORD so they moved us to an American since we would miss United’s last connection without any fuss. Try doing this with the Diamond line. I have a couple big trips coming up and I think I will try United.
@Fred – Flat out impressive. Enjoy!
Did I read that right? Gold status for “life” at 2MM? Would I earn Platinum for life at 3MM? 3MM is probably just a year away for me. I wish I could find a place in the FlyDelta App that shows the lifetime miles counter, but instead have to login into delta.dumb to find the odometer. Anyways, congrats on your 1MM and thanks for your blog!
@Scott – 3MM you get another gift and that is it. Takes 4MM to be PM for “life”-ish.
The current state depresses me. I have some potential MRs teed up right now, and I’m thinking of not doing them. The program devals just suck the joy out of them. Cashed in the last of my skypesos recently.
We can thank the CC bonuses and churn for that.
@Embraer190 – Actually Delta loves the CC bonus deals and you can no longer churn AMEX cards. 1x lifetime per card.
I am at 944,256 and should hit the big 1 Million next year and at 50 years young and not flying even close to what I use to fly I don’t think I would hit 2MM.
I see these stories about being met with red suits, etc.. did any of that happen? taken to the lounge?
@Ken – My best advice is tweet to Delta days before your flight to mention you are crossing the mark. Then again the day of flight.
Again say what you want about United, but as a million miler on United both me and my wife are gold for life. Plus she also gets my 1k status all year round. As a million milerror on Delta all I get is silver for supposedly for like. So I am glad I made the switch, and so is my wife.
Had to laugh. You described to a tee what my hysband experienced when he became a Milliom Miler with Delta recently. That is, nothing. Hwever, they do (very) occassionally approach him during flight to say “thank you”. What, no drink coupon at least? Nope. And since he flies out of RSW, there is never, ever an upgrade available. He’s always like #29 out of 30 on the upgrade list. True story. Fortunately he will retire at the end of this year and his 6’5″ self won’t have to be relegated to an aircraft seat that was sized for anorexic midgets.
Congrats again, Rene. Living in ATL, I am friends with may people who work or worked for Delta – many for over 30 years. They too are disgusted with Delta. They say it is not the same airline they began working for. They have very little individual discretion to help out a customer any more, they have to do things like tell passengers the overhead bins are full (when they aren’t) just to get the passengers on quickly, they have to deny boarding to even Platinums and Diamonds on orders from a supervisor to get the flight out — not on time — but EARLY, leaving people still in line at the gate. It disgusts them to do this, but if they don’t they are in trouble and have to fill out tons of paperwork. They all say, Delta doesn’t care about their customers any more.
Congratulations on 1mm. If you are going to be DM for the next three or four years, going for 2mm might be worth it. Skyteam Elite+ is nice for lounge access and comp economy plus seats when travelling internationally. Of course international Priority Pass lounges are just as nice if not nicer than Skyteam lounges.
Why would someone tweet Delta before and then again the day of crossing the MM mark unless it is to call attention to yourself?
@Dale – Yes, that is the point. This is a once in a lifetime event for most.
Rene, Congratulations and thank you for all the good info.
I leave Saturday – SEA-NRT, ironically, and as I’m sitting at 999,085, I’ll join you in 1MM land. Dang, don’t think they’ll spring me from Delta Comfort up to business for the occasion. Since I’m a lowly Platinum I had only RU certs so …
I have a Delta Reserve that I’ve used for MQMs and was recently advised to get a Ink Business Plus card to start accumulating points – sounds like you are recommending the Platinum AmEx Business card over that? or just over the Delta card?
@Meg M – Congrats! I am doing a both. See this post: http://renespoints.boardingarea.com/2016/10/10/what-to-do-with-delta-skymiles-post-mortuum-is-there-an-impact-on-medallion-status/
Rene – Just wanted to update with the minor miracle that occurred – I was contacted while sitting in the Seattle Sky Club, and at the reception desk there was a Delta employee, Craig Ehlers, from Elite Services, holding a red Delta gift bag to congratulate me on my upcoming 1 Million Mile segment/status. Inside was a card from Team Seattle, two different kinds of chocolate and a pen set – took a picture of the pen set and card but don’t see how to post. Craig was gracious and expressed genuine interest.
Yesterday I received my updated Platinum luggage tags and member card with the 1M marker on them – so I would say Delta did a nice job of stepping up for the occasion!
@Meg M – That is great and congratulations and welcome to the 1MM club 🙂
Probably silly question, but since you now have Silver status with the 1MM membership, does that mean you sort of “skip” that level and the first 25K MQMs you earn then means you’re Gold (not bringing MQDs into the equation)? If not, doesn’t seem like much of a benefit until you stop flying with Delta, correct?