A friend of mine and fellow T-Bird alum Lee Abbamonte did a piece on Fox News today regarding Delta’s enhancement of its frequent flier program. I’ve become so desensitized to Delta dehancing its program that the prospect of hearing good news for a change piqued my interest.
Before I get into how defunct Delta’s SkyMiles program is let me point out that Delta and I had a lovely relationship once upon a time. Being from Michigan, Northwest Airlines was my airline. Nothing was more exciting than taking that endless drive from Flint to DTW waiting to go on whatever magic surprise my father had planned. What made it all worthwhile was getting off the exit and seeing the Northwest 747 livery painted on a hangar.
Years before I lost my virginity on Lufthansa, I dreamt about flying first-class on the top level of a Northwest 747. My Abagnale aspirations to get on board a 747 only increased when I used my dad’s US Bank Northwest card to book annual Christmas trips to Maui. The card featured, you guessed it, a silver 747 on the front. It was the most beautiful credit card I have ever seen and eventually I got one of my own.
At the age of twelve, thanks to being bumped on a flight, I finally did get to take the winding staircase up to first-class. Unfortunately, I slept the far too short 2 hour duration of the flight.
In 2009, Northwest the merger between Delta was complete and US Bank switched to its FlexPerks program which came with an ugly card and residual points that I burned going to India.
Next came bad news and more bad news and more bad news; Delta was hacking away at its SkyMiles program leaving me with nothing left to love. Sensing the end of our romance, I burned my last 100k SkyMiles in August of 2013 flying business class to Argentina. I can’t even guess how many miles it requires to fly there on business now not because its way more than 100k but because Delta has removed its rewards chart from its website. All that was left to do was cancel my Delta Platinum card which didn’t even prompt a retention offer from Amex.
Much like the occasional Facebook creep on an ex, my curiosity led me to watch Lee’s video on what Delta was up to. Just like finding out the ex is up to nothing worthwhile, Delta had no breaking news to share.
In a nutshell, the worst airlines program is now offering 10k SkyMiles on short-haul flights like LAX-PHX. To put this into perspective it used to cost 50k to fly to Europe. Also, it is subject to availability and must be booked three weeks in advance.
Let’s compare this to British Avios which is 4500 points, can be booked the day of like I did in Myanmar. As for the rest of the ‘breaking news’ details, I have no idea because I quit watching.
I still love you NWA.