Delta Air Lines and SkyMiles are two topics generally in this blog’s main orbit.
But based on some of our recent posts, one may get the impression we’re hopping off the Delta train. (Or plane, as it where.)
René wrote a scathing piece about why he is not pursuing Delta Diamond Medallion status for 2024. That followed a post last year about disappointing First Class experiences. (To be fair, he also wrote about a particularly pleasant experience, too.)
He’s writing about flying American Airlines more and more — although the food isn’t quite up to his standard. (I’ve shared — and even prepared — many meals with René. He’s a true foodie. Don’t feel toobad, AA. 🙂 ).
But I sense sort of a panic from some of our readers that:
- we’re going to abandon Delta content
- we hate Delta
- we haven’t published any SkyTeam mileage runs in a while
The thing is, we call ‘em as we see ‘em. Some people disagree with us — and that’s fine! (René isn’t completely done with Delta. He’s just not actively pursuing Diamond status anymore because it doesn’t work for him. He’ll probably be Platinum for a few years or something.)
It’s been a minute since I traveled on United. But I flew American last year. I took trips on Southwest. Many of my flights were aboard Delta, though. And of those airlines, I still feel Delta’s actual product (planes, food and beverage, onboard and in airport service, etc.) is the best.
I agree with René that Delta’s First Class food isn’t quite as good as it used to be. He hates canned wine — and I’ve never tried it. Remarkably, the canned Tip Top Old Fashioned are, I think, delicious. (Though wine and bourbon, of course, worlds apart — especially when it comes to bottling, canning, and storage.)
Delta’s new Sky Clubs — as I’ve written before — are great. The problem, of course, lies with the overcrowding problem. But other lounges (Amex Centurion, The Club, etc.) aren’t exactly immune.
So, no: we don’t hate Delta. We’ll still write about Delta. Don’t worry.
(That said, not every Delta-related subject or bit of news gets covered. Some of it just isn’t that important or interesting. We’re sometimes crazy busy, too. Maybe someday we’ll have a full staff like some other blogs do! )
But where Delta is starting to lose favor with me (and others) is the SkyMiles program.
SkyMiles award prices on many international travel redemptions are downright absurd. I appreciate the 15% discount for SkyMiles credit card members. But I’ve already heard stories about Delta raising SkyMiles award prices by — you guessed it — about 15%.
The MQD hikes Delta announced late last year felt slightly shocking. Clearly, though, Delta is targeting corporate flyers whose deep-pocketed employers pay almost anything for an airline ticket. And that’s nothing surprising. (Side note: I always get a kick out of the trolls who complain about people earning Medallion status by taking MQD runs. Yet, these same folks rarely pay anything for their Delta tickets — their employers pick up the tabs.)
Speaking of MQD runs: we simply haven’t found any that get us excited. Most are in the 2.75X range. We like to start in the 3X area and go up. We’re searching, though! (You can always get in touch with point.me — their actual job is creating mileage runs.)
So, that’s my off-the-cuff rant. Delta is here to stay — but we’ll continue to write about other topics we hope you enjoy and find helpful.
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Chris. I still think you blog with a pretty high degree of objectivity. However, I stopped reading Rene’s posts a long time ago. He continues to whine and nit-pick about Delta, and now United. I have no time for that …. he has lost his credibility and this blog would be better without his contributions in the long run.
@Joel S – I have not been on a United jet for almost 10 years. My recent complaint was about a simply nasty AA first class meal btw and if you want to catch up on all my recent posts you can see a full list here.
As a side note I have received many thanks for being more active on the blog and you can expect me to continue to blog more and more here on EotF as well as on FrequentFloaters.com
Chris and Rene, you are both outstanding at what you do – I have to speak up here and remind everyone this blog is FREE. Thank you both for over a decade of original content that’s really helped this lifelong NYC-based Platinum maximize his Delta experience. My only suggestion is more Rene articles, because I love seeing alternative viewpoints/perspectives (Chris: you’re still the man!), and pics of Rene smiling in first class without paying for it are priceless
Don’t listent to the haters Rene. Frankly, honest criticism (and praise) is the reason I read this blog. BTW, I met you about 10 years ago when you hosted a bunch of people including me at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta. I still remember your kindness in covering my ticket and we had a very pleasant chat about miles and points. Thanks!
@PM1 – Thank you so much! That was such a fun event – good times.
Joel, help me understand something. If I’m reading a newspaper, I don’t have time to read every single article . . . and I don’t feel compelled to read every single article. I simply skip the articles I don’t want to read. I don’t contact the newspaper editor and demand that the authors of those articles be removed from the writing staff. It might be that other readers of the newspaper want to read those articles. I recognize that it’s not about me, me, me. So, why is it that you can’t simply skip over Rene’s articles? Just curious . . . are you a Millennial?
@Lee – Thanks for your comment. These “drive by” haters are active on many social media sites. Some even run dedicated fake hate sites about me. You will never see them respond to your logical inquiry.
I don’t see it as a bad thing at all for readers of this blog to get a look at competing airline products. keep it coming
Delta needs to wake up! From my perspective, they are the best of the big US carriers both operationally and from a service/product perspective. However, they tend to be elitist when it comes to their rewards program.
They should realize that all their accomplishments do not matter if customers are pursuing other airlines because Delta’s FF program is a major point of contention for their most loyal customers and a deterrent for luring new ones.
@Michael – I think you make a really important point. Delta has pushed the value of Skymiles so low that it is now a perceived negative vs. yes they cost more but worth it. That tipping point has been reached.
However Rene, Delta will continue to be my carrier of choice. American is not an option as their service and treatment of employees is horrendous. While United has the best route network of all US airlines, their service is inconsistent and lackluster at best.
Any innovations United comes up with is to match those Delta initiated. As for American, they don’t even bother trying.
@Michael – The many mergers over the years has truly hurt competition to strive for anything. I will still be flying Delta a bunch – just no longer chasing Diamond anymore.
Many thanks to both of you for your posts. I especially appreciate your info on Delta.
I have been with this blog since it first began with Rene and has now morphed to Chris, and Rene.
I am thankful for both of you, particularly your kindness and generosity on a personal basis with many of your readers.
I do miss the gatherings and meet ups we have had in the past, sharing good times and hope they resume at some point. I am still a deltaLass,, but often and more likely fly sky team to achieve status. I learned this all fro
This blog and am grateful. I hope this continues being a diverse and kind blog. Perhaps more guest blogs and a place for a bit of humor upon occasion could work?
I am grateful for all you do
I agree with Nina!! I have enjoyed the Blog info and meeting both of you over the years.. Keep up the good work…
Been a reader for many years…love the blog and the different perspectives that both Chris and Rene give. Keep up the great work!