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What Are Bloggers Saying about the New Delta 4th Tier?

Rather than jump on the bandwagon about Delta’s announced 4th tier in SkyMiles (called Diamond, earned when you hit 125,000 Elite miles.  You get lounge access, waved fees, upgrades on expensive coach fares, and unlimited upgrades on domestic frequent flyer tickets, and a handful of other things) and yammer about what I think (oh wait, yes I will:  except for the new “rollover” benefit where your elite miles over and above your current level roll over to the next year, there’s nothing particularly special)…I thought I’d give a quick roundup of what everyone else is saying (ranging from Happiest to Saddest):

Forrester:  This is the greatest move in history: “Keep ringing that bell, we have another winner here.”  Yes, Forrester is very happy with what Delta has rolled out and thinks it will help increase loyalty (As if someone with 100,000 miles wasn’t loyal already).  No mention of how Platinums used to get many of these perks.  Or that AA and United actually have better programs.

Cranky: Cranky is also pretty happy with what he sees: “it’s another day of good news for frequent flier mileage junkies…nice work,” which is both true (better than not offering a 4th tier) and not true (when has taking things away and re-instating them become the new benefit?).  Gary Leff from View from the Wing does a number on him in the comments section.  In a nice way, of course.

One Mile at a Time: Lucky is pretty ho-hum, noting that UA and AA flyers get many of these benefits already and some additional, including systemwide upgrades:  “This is a non-event…Diamond is probably better than US Airways Chairman, although that has more to do with the product as such instead of the actual benefits…”

View from the Wing: Not happy at all and thinks the whole thing is overblown, like Charles Barkley on a Phoenix street corner (OK, I wrote that, not him).  “Delta miles are also worth less than those of most competing carriers…Delta just isn’t that rewarding, of course, and likely never will be.”

Flyertalk Delta Forum: If you want bitching, this is your place.  Most disappointment around lack of systemwide upgrades.  People do like rollover, though.  “Diamond tier is just not as competitive with the current marketplace as the other tiers…”

There you have it…Rollover is good; lack of systemwide upgrades on all fares is bad; and everything else doesn’t matter much.

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  1. I think you hit the nail on the head with:

    “There you have it…Rollover is good; lack of systemwide upgrades on all fares is bad; and everything else doesn’t matter much.”

    As a very frequent DL flyer, that’s how I feel (sort of). The Y/B/M international fares are MUCH MUCH more expensive than the cheaper fares 2-4x usually. If they added 1 fare bucked (DL’s order is YBMHQKLUT) then we’re looking at 1.5-3x which is much more of a “benefit” to high mileage flyers.

    The difference between Plat & Diamond is relatively little for 50K flown miles (or mid-tier status on another alliance).

  2. Well, Chris is correct. There is a logarithm increase in prices from H to MBY.
    If T is at 500, H is at 1400, M should be around 1600. Why is it always stuck at 2200 up north? regardless of season.
    So, yes- MQM rollover- good! I will keep mileage at approx. 115 and have an easy start for next year. Now, its time to wrap up benefit with another airline (mid-tier double strategy).

    More options, better.

  3. After 4 years with Platinum with NW and my fears have come true — Delta stripped away my 125%, waived unlimited mileage ticket changes, GREATLY reduced inventory on low-tier mileage tickets. Miles worth less, harder to get, and have to pay more for changes…

    A fair compromise would have been Delta put their top tier at 100K and kept all the NW Platinum benefits from last year. Oh, and give me back some of those PerkSaver seats — you’re killing me with a lack of inventory!

    I’ll give’em the rest of the year to fix or I’m jumping ship to Star Alliance.

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