As you know, I’m an American loyalist, mainly because they have the best loyalty program and are convenient to where I live and want to visit.
Admittedly, I used to be a Delta fanboy. Actually, up until last year, they were my carrier of choice, but I jumped ship as they revised their loyalty program to cater more to those who spend tons. In all reality, Delta is a really good airline. A really good airline. They have a good product. Reliable flights. Decent service. They’re smart, and I don’t fault them for that, even if it means that the frequent flyer isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt.
That said, as of now, I’m more than thrilled flying American as a top-tier elite, enjoying my complimentary upgrades, systemwide certificates, free food in coach and more. Actually, I’m really enjoying it.
But, then I did the unthinkable. Last night, I booked a ticket on Delta. You read that right: I booked a ticket on the “enemy.”
I need to be in Atlanta in two weeks for an event I was invited to, and because I can’t make it out the night before, I need to catch the first flight the next morning. American’s options didn’t work since they only got me into Atlanta at around 9a, and I have to be at an event at 9a. That wouldn’t do. So, I needed to book the obvious choice…Delta. They have consistently reliable service between Washington DC and Atlanta, and it would get me in in time to be where I need to be.
As I told you, as an Executive Platinum, I receive complimentary upgrades, and I’m fortunate enough that they clear at almost a 95% rate, which is astronomical rate. That means, when I pay for a coach ticket, I’m sitting in the front of the plane for free. Talk about perks. I’m fortunate to be able to have this, and, to be honest, I take it for granted. So, coming back to earth, what does this have to do with Delta?
I gave up my Delta status last year, which means I’m a nobody on them. Nothing. Nada. Niet. That means I’d receive no upgrades, and no chances to score priority boarding, free bags and more. To further complicate things, I cancelled my Delta Reserve card a few weeks ago, too. Wow, I really am a nobody.
So, I had to book a First Class fare. I couldn’t subject myself to the back of the plane willingly.
At only $80 or so more, it was worth it for me. Besides, I needed to make sure I was off of this plane first in order to make it to where I needed to be at 9a.
The flight was expensive, but could have been worse — actually, much worse. So, comparatively speaking, it wasn’t too bad.
Was it worth it? For me, yes. Sometimes schedules get the best of you, and you need to make due with what’s there, even if it isn’t what you are used to. It makes you appreciate loyalty even more, I’d have to say.
I’m happy with my decision, even though it seemed odd at first. To me, being where I needed to be at the time I needed to be there was far more important than knowing I’d be flying my preferred carrier.
Anyways, just my thoughts for the day on this…
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Do you think you have a 95% upgrade rate on AA because DCA/IAD/BWI are your main airports? My friends who live in AA hubs JFK and DFW don’t have that high of an upgrade rate.
James Larounis says
Possibly. I think what helped was the through upgrade priority which is now no-longer, so I’m curious to see whether my rate will drop now that I’m no more “important” than a passenger flying directly out of a hub. We’ll see…
Welcome to the world of Delta and FCM (first class monetization). Not that it matters in your case, but the extra $80 earns additional MQMs. (though in this example it’s a rather short distance) In any event, I agree 100% with buying up when the difference is so little. No wonder Medallions are getting fewer and fewer upgrades. And, technically, you are now SOMEBODY…. SOMEBODY who is sitting up front while a number of Diamond Medallions are in the back (Comfort+ or otherwise).