When opening up my Fly Delta App the other day (that is the old version of the app that does not stink like the current one) I came across a small notice that I almost missed. It said this:
Do you remember 1993? Heck were you even born in 1993? 😉 Either way were you a member of the Delta SkyPennies program back then? The reminder from Delta gave me some time to reflect.
First up – at least I think this is this case – my “join date” was likely merged in from Northwest Airlines not from Delta. I honestly can not remember when I first created a Delta membership but I think it was much later than the NWA one.
Back then NWA was a complete pleasure to work with and they were also happy work with their partners KLM and Air France. With some flexibility I could always find low level award space I wanted, in coach or business class, from a fixed award chart.
Earning points with a goal in mind and a fixed number in mind was rewarding and drove my spending habits on my old US Bank NWA Visa almost to a fault. Heck did you know during the breakup that Northwest even sued the old bank partner for coming up with the term Flex Perks for their new card program? They eventually came to some kind of agreement and I did not keep my Flex Perks card for long and the consumer card is no longer available for new applicants (there is a business one but earnings are lame).
When the merger first happened I was pleased with Delta and they seemed to really want to make the merged in NWA folks happy with the move to SkyPennies. Back then they were not SkyPennies but had real value with wide open stopovers on awards allowing me to get outsized vacation value from my awards and even tack on an open-jaw award on the way back saving me 50% on a later domestic award – gosh those were amazing days.
Fast forward to 2023. We know major news is on the way on September 14th and I doubt we will like it. I had already made the move to end my chase for Diamond Medallion status this year but if something happens like the end of MQMs I may push to have one more year as Diamond for 2024 rather than fly as “just” a Platinum that I have already locked in from MQMs and Delta Amex card $25,000+ spending this year.
Most regular readers know I have blown my last big stash of Delta points spending just under 100,000 each for business class awards to Europe next year. Yes I will have to connect in Mexico City to accomplish this but I would rather do that than fly coach or Premium Economy (PS) the faster way. I still plan to earn some Delta points by getting big new card offers now and then and looking for domestic 1st class value but beyond that the program really is dead to me – there are just too many other better choices for so many less points.
Delta, it has been an interesting 30 years and I thank you for reminding me to reflect on my nearly 2 million miles with you but you really need to roll back some of the #KeepDescending events if you want me really engaged again for another 30 years of my life! – René
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