While writing this post for our sister blog, Frequent Floaters, I noticed something interesting about Chase’s co-branded United Airlines MileagePlus credit cards.
They offer 25% in statement credit for onboard purchases such as WiFi, food, and beverages on United-operated flights. That’s fairly standard for airline credit cards (though rates vary between 20-25% and WiFi isn’t included on all airline cards).
But this part stood out: the 25% benefit also applies to United Club premium drinks charged to the card.
Delta Sky Clubs and Premium Drinks
Delta Air Lines puts a lot of time and effort into the premium drink programs at its Sky Club airport lounges.
Like nearly all lounges, they offer complimentary beer, wine, and spirits. Some lounges (the Chase Sapphire Lounge, Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses, American Express Centurion Lounges, etc.) charge nothing for their premium alcoholic drinks.
Others (Delta Sky Clubs, United Clubs, etc.) offer lower-shelf booze for free but charge for the good stuff.
At nearly all of the Sky Club previews I attend, I see bartenders put under rigorous training. Like, Jon Taffer-Bar Rescue-style stuff. I’ve seen and heard Delta’s resident mixologist and trainer issue a terse, “Nope! Dump it out and start over!”
I’ve written, well, not exactly glowing reviews of some Delta Sky Club premium cocktails. At some lounge previews, I’m instructed to sample the bartenders’ sample cocktails and provide feedback. (Apparently, I’m slightly critical or have a reputation or something 😉 .)
But Delta creates some very good signature drinks. My wife and I love the Flower District Margarita.
When made properly, the Strawberry Rye Spire cocktail is fantastic.
But here’s the thing: those aren’t complimentary. My wife and I occasionally treat ourselves during special trips. But we’d rather not spend the money or SkyMiles.
Similarly, Delta serves Old Forester bourbon — which is fine. It’s not great. Just fine. I certainly wouldn’t store it in my bar at home unless it’s to mix with cola. (And even then, Jack Daniel’s is the way to go.) Occasionally, though (like, once or twice a year), I’ll buy a Woodford Reserve or Buffalo Trace just because they’re so much better.
I occasionally see and hear people upgrading their beer, wine, and liquor.
But I wonder how Sky Club guests don’t bother trying the premium drinks simply because of cost?
Add a Sky Club Drink Discount to the Delta Amexes
Why not give people some incentive to try the good stuff?
I think the eligible, cobranded Delta SkyMiles® American Express cards – that come with perks such as first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 boarding — should also incorporate a discount on Sky Club drinks. We’re talking about the:
Give it the same 20% discount as we get for eligible onboard purchases. (To be fair, I can only assume this has crossed Delta’s mind a few times.)
But unless a lot of Sky Club visitors are already purchasing premium drinks, I can’t imagine this would put a major dent in Delta’s lounge profits. If anything, I think it’d give people incentive to try the specialty cocktails or upgrade their hooch to the good stuff.
What do you think?
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