First – allow me to apologize for basically shutting the site down for much of the past 2 days. My technical abilities are not quite as good as I think they are, and in the process of doing something small, I managed to make a mess. It’s all fixed now.
Anyway, Delta is upping its game in coach on its flights across the Atlantic. They just announced that they’ll offer new sleepkits (these will be available on all long-haul flights), featuring eyeshades and earplugs and some other crap.
On European flights of less than 3,850 miles, they’ll be offering, get this, a full bottle of water (they made it sound like a big deal), and, more importantly, mid-flight ice cream. Come summer, longer European flights will also enjoy water and ice cream.
I have a vague recollection of coming back from Europe on Northwest Airlines roughly a billion years ago and getting ice cream.
Nice to see an airline adding, rather than taking away. And who doesn’t like ice cream?
Delta will launch nonstop JFK – Honolulu service from December 18th through January 4th on a 767-400 aircraft with lie-flat seats up front. The service does not operate December 24, 25 and 31st.
There’s mid-level award availability in coach, and, from what I see, mid-level business class on the outbound and, incredibly, low-level business class award seats on the return (so 125,000 round trip).
Departs JFK at845am and arrives Honolulu at 343pm.
Departs Honolulu at 515pm and arrives 8am the next day.
I received a mailer (in the actual mail) from Delta this week offering me 60 days of Gold Medallion status and 60 days of free Sky Club Membership – from what I could tell on the signup page, this was targeted to people in New York (go to delta.com/Gold50 to see if you’re eligible). I couldn’t get that link to work on one of my browsers, so try a couple if you live in NYC.
If you book a BusinessElite ticket within 60 days of signing up for this promo, they’ll extend your Gold status through February 2015, give you a full 12 months of Sky Club membership, and give you 50,000 bonus miles. That’s a helluva deal (if I had any Amsterdam trips coming up I’d definitely fly Delta rather than United….pause…pause…pause…nah, I probably wouldn’t. I’ll be starring in Her 2, where a man falls in love with his frequent flyer program).
Anyway – check out the link to see if you’re eligible.
Delta just sent out an email that will, in their words, “give you a more exclusive experience.” Which is to say, you’re not going to be happy.
Effective immediately, membership price for Sky Club is $695 annually. They’re calling this “Executive Membership” and will continue to allow two complimentary guests.
- For those customers who rarely need guest access, an Individual Membership at the current rate of $450 will be introduced Spring 2014. This membership will allow guest access for $29 per visit.
- Beginning May 1, 2014, all customers who receive complimentary Delta Sky Club access as a benefit of their eligible credit or charge card will no longer receive complimentary guest access. A $29 fee per guest will apply.
That last one means that Amex Platinum holders will now pay $29 to access the Delta club. (EDITORS NOTE: THAT’S WRONG – I MISREAD THE EMAIL. AMEX PLATINUM HOLDERS STILL GET ACCESS, BUT IT’LL COST $29 TO BRING A GUEST.
If you’re currently a Club member, they’ll give you “Executive Membership” until your current membership is up.
I think Delta sums it up best when they write in the email: “We hope these changes will provide a more comfortable and productive experience for customers like you.”
Have you flown Delta internationally in business class recently and felt that their amenity kit wasn’t quite up to par? Me neither.
But Delta doesn’t care what you think (and that’s a good thing in this case, I guess?) as they’re kicking their old amenity kits to the curb like they’re a Northwest DC-9 and replacing it with a schmancy new amenity kit. Listen to this:
The amenity kits will feature Malin+Goetz’s Neroli Hand & Body Lotion and Lip Moisturizer, a Tumi eye mask, socks, shoe horn, shoe polish, comb, dental kit, tissues, antibacterial wipes, earplugs and a pen. The products will be contained in a Tumi case made from the brand’s exclusive, virtually abrasion-proof ballistic nylon fabric.
I know that your amenity kits have been plagued by abrasions. Your shoe horns and tissues can take quite a toll on the poor thing. But no more, not with Tumi’s “virtually” abrasion-proof fabric. And what’s with “virtually”? Does that mean it’s not abrasion proof? Because if it’s not, I’ll haul my butt over to United and see if I can
abrase (?) abrade (apparently that’s a word, thanks commenter!) their amenity kits.
Bag aside, Malin+Goetz makes some nice stuff.
My brother received Delta’s email yesterday outlining the changes to the Skymiles program, then wrote to me and asked this question:
“What the hell does this mean?”
I know every travel blog has written about this already, but I thought my answer to him was succinct enough to reprint here for those of you who didn’t want to read thousands of words:
To get elite status on delta going forward u will need to spend a certain amount on tickets ($2,500/$5,000/$7,500/$12,500 for silver/gold/platinum/diamond) AND fly a certain amount. Previously there was no spend requirement. If you have their credit card and spend $25k a year on it, they’ll waive the minimum ticket spend requirement.
That’s pretty much it. Carry on.
Apply before December 23rd and you can get 45,000 bonus miles with the Gold Delta Skymiles American Express card when you spend $3,000 in 3 months. The normal offer is for 30,000 miles with $500 spend. The deal is good on both the personal card and business card (both applications here).
You’re not eligible if you’ve had this card in the past 12 months or any Delta Amex within the last 90 days. First year is free, $95 thereafter.
3 brief ones this morning (I can’t be bothered to drag these shorter ones out into their own posts…)
- Southwest Airlines announced that they will introduce a “no show fee” some time in 2013. They currently allow you to change your flight – even after departure – for no additional charge (you only pay the difference in fare). You’ll still be able to do that, but you’ll have to cancel the flight if you want to avoid the as-yet-undetermined fee.
- Another LOT Polish story: the airline will phase out its 737-400s and 767s by the end of this year. This is only (mildly, if that) interesting because their fleet will at that point be comprised of 5 787s and 27 Embraer regional jets (E-170s, E-175s, and E-195s). I believe they are the only airline to fly a 787 as their only non-regional-jet aircraft (I know, the E-195 isn’t exactly an RJ, but you know what I’m saying).
- Delta will re-introduce 777 service to Europe for the first time in a while, with one of its 3 daily Detroit- Amsterdam flights moving from an A330 to the 777. Worth noting because the 777 has fully flat beds in business class.
I’ve written before about how you can use Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles to redeem one-way awards on Delta (even though Delta does not allow you to book one way awards with Skymiles). I pointed out that this was useful for domestic travel and for one-way travel to Europe (they don’t charge a fuel surcharge on Delta flights to Europe, though oddly enough they do charge the surcharge for the return trip).
I hadn’t noticed before, but Flying Blue also does not charge a fuel surcharge on Delta redemptions to Central America, South America Australia or Asia IN EITHER DIRECTION. Flights on Delta metal are 30,000 miles round trip (or, as with all, you can book a one way) to Central America; 50,000 round trip to South America; and 80,000 round trip to Asia. The online tool appears to have some trouble with business class redemptions on Delta, so you’ll have to call to straighten that out.
Also, don’t forget that Flying Blue is also an Alaska Airlines partner, so you can redeem just 30,000 miles round trip (or 15k as a one-way) for travel on Alaska to Hawaii — you’ll have to call to book, as this redemption isn’t available online.
The one-way option allows for some flexibility when you’re booking since you can find availability in one direction and use miles from another program for the other direction (sounds obvious, but lots of people forget about that). You can get miles into Flying Blue from both Membership Rewards and Starwood (with the usual 5k bonus for 20k transfer).
Delta doesn’t have great availability, but using Flying Blue miles does basically open up a good chunk of the world for one-way award travel in both directions on Delta with no fuel surcharge. Always nice to have more options.
No, it’s not the 70,000 mile offer we’ve seen out there, but I thought I’d share anyway:
Follow this link and enter your Skymiles number. If you haven’t had a Delta Skymiles American Express before, you should see an offer for 35,000 miles after $750 spend in 3 months. First year fee is waived, $95 thereafter.
The offer is good for both the personal and business versions of the card.