panam330
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:58 am

Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Sat Jul 09, 2005 3:33 pm

I'm evaluating various FF programs, as I need to myself join one due to the fact that I'll be going to school in Florida and commuting home monthly to New York. I've narrowed it down to US Airways or Delta, because both fly mainline equipment to SYR, and offer relatively good pricing. I'd like to be steered in the right direction, because I'm dead split on which to join. Which company enables faster mileage accrual, easier upgrades, etc? I know a bit more about Dividend miles, so I'm much more interested in learning about SkyMiles. Obviously there are little things not listed on the DL website that we 'insiders' know. I'd like to know what A.netters think of the programs they are in, and any advise they can offer.

Thanks to all who reply  ! I really appreciate it.

[Edited 2005-07-09 08:35:23]
 
baw716
Posts: 1459
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:02 pm

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:22 pm

The advantage of SkyMiles is the fact that it has so many partners. In many ways, it is much like any other mileage program. Where it really is beneficial is the reciprocity of the program in terms of on which carriers you can accrue and burn miles. There are a lot of options, both in and outside of SkyTeam.

Of course, like most other frequent flyer programs, it is hard to use your miles. However, Delta has the capability in one search to check ALL its SkyTeam partner airlines for availability, so you don't have to call everybody to check each carriers for space. This is a major advantage over Mileage Plus, because in some cases, United must request the space from the other partner.

Of course, the tie to American Express is the big factor. With Membership Rewards, you can accrue 1 point for each $1 in spending and in some cases 2 points for every $1 in spending. These points add up fast and there is no limit on what you can accrue. You can transfer those points to Delta and use them in SkyMiles. So if you travel frequently AND use your American Express card for travel purchases, you will very quickly accrue points and miles and be able to combine them for fast accrual of points sufficient for domestic and international free tickets.

Finally, it is very easy to work with SkyMiles. One phone call to Delta's SkyMiles desk and you pretty much have everything done for you. The Customer Service at SkyMiles (in my experience) has been quite good and the mileage awards I have been able to use with them have been easy to obtain and easy to use.

My recommendation, therefore, is SkyMiles, hands down.
Second would be OnePass...followed by MileagePlus.

Stay away from AAdvantage and the OneWorld partners. The program is heavily focused on using American and if American is not available, it is hard to get partner seats.

If you are only going between Florida and New York and that is only your ambition, then look at JetBlue's program. You can accrue pretty fast, but spending it is a little tougher...but then again, JetBlue is worth the effort.

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
newkai
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:39 pm

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:51 pm

You're not only choosing DL vs US, your picking SkyTeam vs. Star Alliance. Take a look at the respective airlines in those two, as it might make a difference, even domestically now, as DL, CO, and NW are in SkyTeam and US and UA are in Star Alliance.

The tie with American Express works against SkyMiles, as US uses VISA, and as we all know, VISA is "everywhere you want to be," while American Express is, well, not.
 
shawnnyc
Posts: 234
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:48 am

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Sun Jul 10, 2005 12:04 am

One advantage with Delta: when you fly partner airlines you can still change your flights without penalty. For example you fly JFK-CDG on AF and then decide to change your return, they can only get you back on KLM via AMS...that would work with Delta FF. On say UA or AA you can't change a segment to another partner airline (and I think on UA, you can't even change the dates on a partner airline flight, but I could be wrong on this). So Delta really gives good flexibility.
 
cgnnrw
Posts: 1044
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:11 am

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Sun Jul 10, 2005 12:04 am

Why not join both??

It doesn't cost anything to join a FF program. If you plan to do a lot travelling between NY and FL you will surely run into times when one carrier is completely booked out but the other still has a few seats and vice versa. Or one airline is way too expensive but if you act quickly you just might get that really super cheap fare with the other carrier.

Loyalty is nice and it can have its rewards but being a student there will be times where price does matter.

Just my  twocents 
A330 man.
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5026
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Sun Jul 10, 2005 12:38 am

To be honest with you, perhaps, a Worldperks card would be better. You will still get Delta FF miles on your Worldperks and Worldperks has been rated one of the better programs all around. NW also flies mainline equipment into Syracuse. Otherwise if you dont even want to look at that option go with Delta, if you looking to get a card, as many have said a lot of places dont take AMEX. NW has Visa like US.

Just some thought.
 
UAalltheway
Posts: 1358
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:31 am

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Sun Jul 10, 2005 1:18 pm

Between the two choices, I'd say DL. As said above- they're program is easy to use, which can come in very handy when trying to book award tickets. DL also promotes itself as the "easiest airline in the world to achieve elite status" with. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but from the number of DL elites I'd say it is. I'm coming to find that although I do not prefer it, DL isn't that bad of an airline. So I'd definitly go with them. Good luck with your future DL experiences.  Wink  Smile
 
AR1300
Posts: 1686
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:22 pm

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Sun Jul 10, 2005 1:26 pm

well, so far so good.DL is my favorite carrier in the US, even though I mainly fly them internationally.Usually a good fare and a excellente service.But they could do a little bit better with the interiors....
40,000+miles and adding often.

Mike

[Edited 2005-07-10 06:27:05]
You are now free to move about the cabin
 
panam330
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:58 am

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:40 pm

Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 4):
Loyalty is nice and it can have its rewards but being a student there will be times where price does matter.

One of the factors I used in narrowing it down like this was price. I have specific dates that I have to leave from/arrive at school on, and DL was the cheapest all but one time. That one time, they were $12 more than US, the next cheapest. So I figured that with either US or DL I could both be loyal, and save cash.

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 5):
To be honest with you, perhaps, a Worldperks card would be better.

NW was by far my first choice before I checked pricing. Of course, NW was roughly TRIPLE the price of DL ($660 vs. $225) for Holiday break in December, and was only in the cheap range during February. A shame, because I love their stretch -9's.

I appreciate all the replys, folks! Thank you again. I will soon be a member of SkyMiles  Smile.
 
UAalltheway
Posts: 1358
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:31 am

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:35 pm

Sorry for getting off-subject, here- but for some reason people here really seem to have a liking for NW. I need to check this airline out, unfourtunatly haven't flown NW in almost 4 years now.  Sad
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5026
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: Delta's SkyMiles - A Good FF Program?

Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:05 am

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 8):
NW was by far my first choice before I checked pricing. Of course, NW was roughly TRIPLE the price of DL ($660 vs. $225) for Holiday break in December, and was only in the cheap range during February. A shame, because I love their stretch -9's.

I appreciate all the replys, folks! Thank you again. I will soon be a member of SkyMiles Smile.

Depends on timing and such, remember youll still get worldperks miles flying Delta.

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