As regular readers know I have been really disappointed with Delta Air Lines over the past few years. They have done so much to
damage hurt slash crush destroy obliterate value in not just the Skymiles frequent flyer program but also the elite Medallion program that was capped off with the “enhancement” of the Global Upgrade certificates that the top tier Diamond Medallions can earn each year as a reward for massive spending and travel loyalty.
Also all should know that for many years now I have NOT held a Delta branded Amex card (I have a number of other Amex cards that are more valuable). I may pick up a Delta card sometime this year and quickly knock out the 25k MQD waiver to preserve my large pile of MQMs and end 2023 as a Platinum Medallion after many many years as a Diamond (no way I am dumping 1/4 Million spend on a Delta card for Diamond waiver no matter what my 2019 self said back then). Nor am I doing what many of my friends are doing this month, that is, doing cheap Skyteam business class mileage runs to earn $20,000 in MQDs – I just don’t see the value anymore.
But wait you said you are going for Diamond this year – what kind of click bait is this post, René!
Well I am going for Diamond and it will be life long Diamond not just for yet another year. Take a look:
I am only 21 nights short of lifetime Diamond status with Norwegian Cruise Lines. When I say 21 nights I do not mean I will have to spend another 21 nights at sea this year (not that I may not do that anyway but…) as due to promotions I can get 2x or even 3x nights credits depending on if I book a suite and or a Latitudes insiders deal to earn the multiplier.
Bottom line is I will, at some point in 2023, become an NCL Diamond for life!
What does that get me? Having looked at long time blogger, Marshall Jackson’s post about being a Diamond Plus on Royal Caribbean (RCI) I am considering for myself who of us has a better deal. Plus, as Frequent Floaters author Freshman will cover soon on FrequentFloaters it takes a LOT less to make RCI lifetime Diamond than with NCL. Anyway… take a look at all the perks I will get no matter what cabin I book on a sailing of 5 nights or longer:
If that is a bit hard to read then you can look at this link here to see the chart in full size. What perks do I value the most? While getting a one time cabin upgrade (I will try for a Haven upgrade) is nice it really is all the other bits that matter so much to me every time I book.
Two free (and they really are free including a bottle of wine) specialty restaurants every cruise is worth hundreds of dollars for my wife and I. Free laundry for both of us I is so convenient and allows us to travel light. Early boarding, departure and access to tenders (you can wait forever) is hard to put a number on but it is huge. The list goes on but unlike Delta folks who thank me for being a Diamond but really are just spitting out a scripted text when they don’t care – NCL shows it to me over and over and over!
So yes, I am going for Diamond in 2023. Delta – you have lost my loyalty – do you care? – René
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It’s tempting, but it’s a bumpy ride by water from DC to CA!
I agree, the devaluations are incredibly disappointing. Restricted club access even for those that pay for it, less miles awarded for flying, no miles awarded for Amex status boosts, more than 500K points for awards that used to cost less than 150K, global upgrades that expire a year earlier and can’t be confirmed until the day of departure, which also makes first class meal service impossible for those with special diets, and more outlay required to get these reduced benefits. Thankfully the service you get it still excellent.
@Barry – Honestly, on the Delta flights I have been on over the past year, service is WAY down from what it once was and I am not the only one who has noticed this.
And the [Delta] food is inedible and the wine border line undrinkable. But hey, it’s woke wine. And still no pillows or blankets in domestic first class even though airfares in first are almost double the price of 2019-2021.
I’ve officially become a free agent. Purchased Singapore Airlines Business Class(JFK-SIN-HKT) for 1/3 of what Delta wanted. United First Class domestically 35-45% cheaper than Delta depending on day of departure. Between lounge access and service received, I’m finally free, although, when riding Delta, I’ll still share my datapoints. Hello “KrisFlyer” program!
I still love Delta. I’ve been a Platinum Elite for many years and I get upgraded to First Class on my AVL-LGA runs and I get Comfort + at other times. Yes, the devaluation is upsetting, but I don’t choose my airline based on the Loyalty Program, I choose it based on comfortable seats, polite flight attendants, on-time performance and delivering what they promised. I try to get status, but I don’t care about the miles; they’re nearly worthless. BTW, I absolutely HATE the new Terminal C at LaGuardia. What used to be a short walk to a gate has turned into a quarter mile (or longer) marathon. Escalator up, escalator down, walk sideways for 10 minutes and end up 100 feet from where you began… I’d like to shoot the Architect.
I think that long walk at LGA is temporary. There is still work to be done to complete the terminal. I agree with you that it’s way too long at the moment.
I have been a multi-year DL Diamond, but no more. I will achieve Platinum easily without effort. The Diamond advantages have slimmed down and since I only fly 1st and Business class in corporate retirement, I am buying tickets on other airlines based on price. Already in Feb, Mar, April, I have 3 domestic and 3 international trips planned. Two domestics are on DL (because they were best situated for time, price). One is on United – strictly cost. The international trips are all on foreign carriers (JAL, Lufthansa, BA).
As far as club access is concerned, I have a Priority Pass. Flying International Business allows me access to clubs in most foreign airports.
I know you are a relatively new Frequent Floater. I hate to pour cold water and dampen your party, NCL is the WRONG cruise line to focus your loyalty. Royal Caribbean has a much better loyalty program. For one, when you reach the top level, you will get UNLIMITED internet. Having internet access is almost a MUST in today’s world. Not only 100% complimentary, it is internet that can surf and stream – Yes, you heard it right… Streaming Netflix via Elon Musk’s Start Link. Also, 6 drinks per day and 12 drinks per couple (I can’t imagine most of us can drink 6 martini per day.) Each drink can value up to $14 – EX: Grey Goose and Tonic. Oh, if you are foodie, you also get BOGO at their Specialty Restaurant; and UNLIMITED access to the exclusive Lounge. I have cruised on Royal for 1500+ days; so I know these perks are real. So if you want to go for Diamond on NCL, consider investing to become Pinnacle in Royal Caribbean.
@Roger – Oh have have plans to spend many nights on RCI over the coming years and two of my fellow Frequent Floaters on the blog are RCI Diamonds and Dimaond Plus so I get an ear full all the time about how great RCI Diamond status is!