Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dear Delta, it's not me, it's you, and we are done!

This is a somewhat unorthodox use of my blog, since this issue is only tangentially related to my science or lab management, but this is the most public forum I have. So I thought instead of sending in a complaint on Delta.com, why not put my letter out there for everyone to see.

Dear Delta, we are done! You are not my preferred airline any more and I will stop going out of the way to fly with you. We have been almost exclusive for 15 years and while many people kept saying "Are you crazy? Delta sucks!", I defended you "Have you ever flown United or American? They suck even more! I like Delta." This warm and fuzzy feeling towards you was helped by the fact that I maintained status (either Silver or Gold) for all this time and because you or your partners got me where I needed to go, hence I got to fly mostly Air France or KLM, which are lovely. Then this year it all ended and I am relegated back to Skymiles Member....despite logging almost 40,000 miles with you, going to Mumbai and Paris and Milan...plus a few US destinations. All because I am a very thrifty traveler and snatched up the best possible rates, so didn't reach the new $2,500 dollar limit you set.

Well, Delta, I travel a lot for work and for pleasure, but as a scientist I don't have much money and I like to be mindful of what I spend, so even when I fly on a funding agency's dime, I make sure I choose my flights carefully. For this reason, unfortunately, I have to tell you that you're back in the same pool with all the others and will receive no preferential treatment. I can cancel the silly AmEx credit card I never use and on which I most certainly never spend 25K in a year. You'll say "Good riddance! I only really care about the business class people, anyways. They book a few days in advance and reach that $2,500 limit in one sitting." Yeah, maybe you never loved me, then... Sometimes, it felt you did, but you may have been faking it. When I really think about it, all those business class upgrades were on KLM, Alitalia and Air France.

Goodbye, Delta. Now I can go where I have secretly wanted to go for a while and find a way to take Emirates everywhere (that camera on the nose of the plane rocks!) or maybe I can give a chance to Lufthansa. The world is my oyster....apart from Heathrow. I hate Heathrow like the plague and will do anything in my power to avoid it, even when the connecting flights are "oh so cheap".

PS: Note added in proof on 1/18. In the 2 weeks since this post I had to book 3 flights (2 domestic and 1 to Europe) and though one was still with Delta, one went to United and one went (oh, yes) to Emirates. I tried to see if I could use my 60,000+ miles to go to Europe, but Delta wanted a whopping 110,000 miles for the flight. I'm so glad I quit you...


  1. Haha, welcome to the non-Delta club! I too flew Delta for several years but I quit giving them preference a couple of years ago after I realized that their skymiles were nearly worthless unless you had at least 50k+ miles. I rarely found tickets in the 12.5k one-way range. That and their useless Amex card. Cancelled that a long time ago too. United is terrible. American is OK. Southwest is great but they fly to and from limited airports. Now I'm at a point where I just fly whatever airline has the most convenience price+flight-time option. The result is that I have a bunch of below-threshold miles in a bunch of frequent flier programs but I don't care anymore. My rewards credit cards help me earn more points to get free flights than the airline miles do.

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  3. Delta and I would certainly be exes had I not moved out of the US. It's nuts that even with unfailing loyalty you can't keep your status.