Delta SkyMiles still serve a purpose.
I was at the Frequent Traveler University this last weekend and really enjoyed meeting a lot of Noob readers and other bloggers. I love the mile/point community and it makes me feel more sane when I’m around obsessed miles travelers like myself. That’s probably just an illusion.
But on to how I found a reason my SkyMiles. Ready, set…here is how I found value in SkyMiles.
At first I wasn’t going to FTU because of a scheduling conflict, but once my schedule opened up, I was scrambling to find a flight. It was about 3 weeks out from the event and I could find any flights that were affordable or weren’t all day flights.
Now, I have a lot of miles across many programs, so I wasn’t just checking one airline. I have Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred into United, Southwest, and British Airways to name a few. I was checking these programs like a mad man. I found a United flight, but it left at 6am and had a 3 hour layover, plus there was an $80 close-in booking fee. Hell no. PLUS, United wanted 40,000 miles. I wasn’t too thrilled about using my United miles on a domestic flight anyway.
I looked over the American Airlines site and availability too, and there were the same sad results. That means I wouldn’t be able to try British Airways, because the BA flight would’ve been a partner flight on AA. Why??
I then hopped over to the US Airways website (reluctantly, because I have been growing my US Airways balance for a killa Europe trip). I have been churning the US Airways card and playing the Grand Slam building up that balance, so I really didn’t want to deplete it. But when I looked at the flights, I got the same thing. An s-load of miles wanted (over 55k) and a hefty late fee.
I was beginning to think I couldn’t go and started to feel a little beaten down…then somehow I remembered I had a little reserve of Delta SkyMiles. I wandered on our over to the Delta site and was expecting nothing, but to my surprise there was a roundtrip trip flight that was only 32,000 Delta SkyMiles (which was perfect because I only had 34,000). The times were perfect too, and only had a 45 minute layover. Plus, there was only a $10 fee to book the flight, even though it was a week out! I like that a lot. I booked it right away.
I’ve got to say, I wasn’t expecting much when I went to fly Delta, but every Delta employee was polite and their customer service was much better than the last United and AA flights I’ve taken. When I checked in, I was even bumped up to economy plus (extra legroom) by just asking. I have no status whatsoever with Delta- I just asked politely and each time I my request was accomodated. I like it, I like it a lot.
I would say the moral of this story is that you can never diversify your miles balance enough. When it comes to redeeming award tickets, you want options and a few more options. You never know which airline will be able to meet your last second needs. You may be surprised like I was. Every program has different benefits and can meet needs that another program may not be able to.
I was glad that I had some reserve Delta SkyMiles for this rainy day. I had gotten my Delta SkyMiles from signing up for their rewards card a while back. Shocker. If you don’t have any Delta SkyMiles and would like some, you can apply for the Delta Gold American Express below. Disclaimer Alert: I do receive a referral if you use my link; only use it if you are uber satisfied with the service I provide.
Thanks Delta, for a nice trip and being there when I needed you. I’ll try not to be so hard on you in the future.
— Noob Master