August 22, 2013 Leave a comment
I have been with Delta for years and have been a Diamond Medallion with them since this level was created several years ago but this year presented me an outstanding opportunity to try another airline. I rolled over 127,500 Medallion Qualification Miles which means that I had already achieved Diamond status through Feb. 28, 2015 even if I flew no miles on Delta this year.
And, since I carry both the AMEX Delta Reserve card and the AMEX Delta Platinum card, I can earn up to 50,000 Medallion Qualification Miles each year by meeting spending thresholds on each. If I were able to meet those thresholds in both 2013 and 2014, I could end up with 102,500 MQM’s towards extending my Diamond status on into Feb. 2016. So, if there was ever a good time to try another airline, it seems like this year would be it.
Flying out of LEX, I have options to fly on United, US Air, and American and would simply be connecting in cities other than DTW and ATL as I currently do on Delta. In addition, both United and American do status matches/challenges that would allow me to fast track to elite level status with either of them.
So, why didn’t I jump ship? The simple answer is that Delta does a great job of taking care of it’s elite customers. Their in-flight product and service are quite good, they have widespread Gogo internet on their fleet, and they have topped the other legacy carriers on almost every survey in the past few years when it comes to customer satisfaction and on-time performance.
Yes, there are some things that are aggravating and they have made some changes that are negative to me, but I’m not hearing great things from my fellow elites over at United or American. For instance, Delta’s recent changes to the same day confirmed change are not positive (and I’m not sure what “problem” they are solving with the change) but it is not out of line with what other carriers have had in place for years.
The other knock you will hear about Delta is how hard it is to book award tickets at low levels with SkyMiles. While the criticism has some merit, I have had some real success with award bookings this year which I will write more about in the upcoming days.
The bottom line is that fliers tend to complain about whoever their primary carrier is and think the grass will be greener and the sun will shine brighter on another airline. But, for me, Delta continues to earn my business.