I have just received an offer from Delta to purchase MQM miles so that I can reach Silver status. It would cost me about $300 and has to completed by Dec. 30. I've never had the opportunity to do this before because we don't travel for business, but this year I guess we've flown enough (to Alaska and Hawaii among other shorter flights) to get to this point.
Can more frequent flyers tell me if this is worth paying for or not?
Hi, I am MVP with Alaska (Delta Partner) and I go out of my way to do it every year. Nice first class upgrades on Delta, American and Alaska, free bags, prior boarding. So, if you factor in if you pay 50.00 round trip per trip for a bag, that means 6 roundtrips next yr and you pay for it....not to mention all the other perks. You also get more mileage when you get a higher status. For ex, on Alaska, I get 1.5 miles for every mile flown (but that does not count as 1.5 towards my next yr status... I still need my 20,000 miles (yes, Alaska only makes you get 20,000 on their flights alone or 25,000 on theirs, KLM, Delta, American and something elese I think. So, I say do it! For, 300.00 it is worth it. you could get 300.00 back in just extra .5 miles you earn towards free flights.
Hope that helps
I consider myself a minor expert on the subject, especially since I only fly Delta, except sometimes tour trips in specific countries, and have their Amex Reserve Card ($450 a year, but unlimited Skyteam lounge access plus Elite Plus which helps with upgrades). Silver is not going to get you much. However, if you are already Gold, Platinum or Diamond and are missing a certain amount of MQMs then it could be worth it. It's truly at Gold (if, in my opinion, not at Platinum Elite) that you start to get the upgrades. Silver gives you minimal things except priority lines (which is no small thing). But if you can bump yourself up to gold or platinum, it's a great place to be with the mileage rewards (far better than Marriott - as a Platinum Elite Plus I get 100% mileage awards, so every trip to Europe gets double miles). IT's also great for luggage and security. They won't say it, but I've been suddenly whisked through security at places that used to put me through the wringer.
So it depends where you are on their scale. If you don't fly a lot and don't fly abroad at all, I'm not sure it would be worth it. If you are already Silver and could get Gold, do so, and if you're Gold and could get Platinum absolutely do so. DIamond is a mixed bag. Highest level, but very few different benefits from Platinum. I got upgraded internationally once last year (probably because of the Amex Reserve Card) when my DIamond seatmate did not. Also, if you are Gold or above you get Economy Comfort seats, not only on Delta but many of the Skyteam members, which are a little better than coach (a few more inches of space and free booze). That does matter, and it puts you in the next rank for a Business upgrade. As on my recent trip from London, I was the first to get upgraded to Business, then many more EC people did (and they were there either because of status or paying extra for the seats -- which if FlyerTalk is correct, few people do.
All that said, I'm a Delta person even more than a Marriott person if I had to choose which status to lose. Three years ago (the worst of the economic years) I got upgraded to business all the time to Europe. This time from London was the first such experience since though I have never been in worse than EC. And the few times I fly in the US I am always upgraded as a Platinum.
We decided to go ahead and buy the MQM miles that would get us silver status. I realize that it won't get us much, but with Delta starting to charge for preferred and exit row seats if you are not a medallion member, we think we will come out even at least.
When we flew from New Orleans to New York City, we chose to spend $29 each to sit in the exit row, then before we took off the flight attendant announced that you could move to any seat you wanted. No one took advantage of that offer to sit in the exit row for free. On the return flight, we were not able to get seats next to each other, so when they opened the flight I asked the gate agent if any seats together had opened up. She moved us to row 6 which I think is now called economy comfort, but said someone had the middle seat. When that gentleman arrived, he jumped at the chance to move to the aisle because his wife was seated on the row behind us and he hoped to change seats with someone beside her. When noone sat on her row, he moved to that row and we had plenty of room. Our flight actually arrived 35 minutes early!
I'll let you know if buying Silver status is worth it.
Just made our first Delta reservations after paying $300 to upgrade to silver medallion. We were able to choose extra row seats which we have not been able to do in the past. When we flew to NYC at Christmas we paid $29 each for an exit row seat...if the rate stayed the same, an exit row seat on each leg would cost a total of $232. We will be eligible for an upgrade on 2 legs of the trip.
So far, I'm pleased with our choice to buy Silver Medallion Status on Delta. We were able to select exit row seats on our flight to/from Phoenix last month. We ran into one problem on the ATL/PHX leg when the seating configuration was changed because of an aircraft change. Our new seats were not together, but we were able to swap seats with other travelers so that we could sit together. Families flying with children were also separated and that really created a mess. Because our flight into Atlanta was about an hour late, we did not know of the change of seats until we were boarding and it was too late to do something about it then. We did receive an email asking how the late flight was handled and my husband also got a phone message from a real person who said they would call back, but they never did.
We have been able to select exit row seats on all our upcoming flights and that makes a big difference in how comfortable we are on the flight. We try to reserve the second row of exit row seats if there is one because the seats in front of us don't recline.
If we get upgraded to first class one time, that will be the icing on the cake, but I really don't expect it to be.
Delta, is my preferred airline, however, they have a habit of changing plane configurations and departure times, especially on international flights. Normallly, they will email you of these changes, but not always.
This really adds to the stress of traveling, especially with loved ones!
Good luck on your upgrade! Be persistent and check the flights daily for changes.
I'm an exclusive Delta/Skyteam flyer unless I have no options. The thing is once you've booked and selected your seat, you can regularly check/change it on their website. I have never, ever had a seat changed on a Delta flight, though I have on Skyteam code shares. So when I fly on a Delta ticket with Air France or Alitalia, I call Delta a day or so ahead and get the codeshare flight number and airline number. They will also usually check it for you.
I have never been a FF, because (aside from the fact that I barely fly frequently - 5 times/year) I figured that since I fly so many different airlines (and am not a business traveler), it would be impossible to ever acquire enough FF points to amount to anything. My habit has been Lufthansa to see the kids in Germany, Air France for France and Italy, Alaska for regular travel to the Pacifc Northwest (I really like Alaska), and Qantas to see my sister in Sydney. I have relatively low mileage balances with all of these airlines. It has just never seemed to work for me (even though I fly to Germany twice/year on Lufthansa, which is not partnered with any of the other airlines that I fly, I think I only get 1/2 mileage credit, so it would take forever to get enough miles for a free ticket or upgrade.) Then last year on a trip to Idaho, the flight attendant explained to me that Alaska was partnered with Qantas, and I think Air France/Delta, which I did not know, so she talked me in to joining their program. Supposedly you can fly anywhere round trip for 30K points on Alaska, but when I went to to book a flight on points, I found that the truth is that the best flights (referring to intinerary - the normal itinerary that I would choose as a full paying customer) are really about 43K redemption miles, so I am feeling a bit deceived. And this isn't for an upgraded seat, just economy.
So my question is, do you or anyone know how easy is it to combine points with the partnered airlines to put enough points together for free flights?
Also, I purchase a lot of plane tickets (kids and grandkids) that are not in my name, but I cannot get credit for them. Only the named passenger can get credit. That's kind of frustrating. And I never get picked for the emergency exit seats when I volunteer. I wonder if maybe they look at me and think, 'Lady over 50,' but the truth is, I'm strong and capable and have the mental grit needed in a crisis.
Any tips would be helpful in making my air dollars go a bit farther. Or maybe I should call the airlines.
Here is the connection to Skyteam alliance, which shows all Delta partners:
I often fly on KLM, Alitalia or Air France and get full credit. Sometimes it's more difficult to get an immediate seat assignment because the codeshare numbers change, but you can simply call Delta if you've booked through them. For the most part I get all the same benefits and miles, except some of the partners don't yet have Economy Comfort for international flights (though they are planning to).
Also, this site says you can use Delta miles on Alaska Airlines:
Okay, well I took the first step and got a skymiles number and the skymiles gold card. I thought I'd see how my delta flights go over the next year or so, and if I'm flying more and I like the lounge access and the zone 2 boarding privileges are decent, and I feel that I'm getting my money's worth on the free bag thing (overseas, bags are already free) then I'll consider upgrading to the platinum or reserve card. Maybe with the combined points, and Delta and Alaska being partnered, at least maybe my husband and I can fly first class to Hawaii. That would be worth it. The Alaska credit card is cool because every year, you can purchase one companion ticket with a paid ticket for just $99. I like that (although I've never done it, and now I'm wondering if it's $99 each way? ) What I don't like is now having 3 credit cards, the Marriott Visa, and the Alaska and Delta cards .
Since I started out as a really poor grad student I've always flown Delta or Skyteam and never regretted it. By a recent count I have had 12 free business class trips to Europe/Middle East, about 5 free coach trips to Europe, and a few trips in North America free in the past 7-8 years. And I have a balance of 300,000 points. I use almost all my points for very long-haul free business class tickets.
The key difference with the Platinum Reserve Card is it's expensive, but if you fly often it's worth it because it includes unlimited access to Skyclubs everywhere (that means AirFrance, KLM, etc.) So it's only about $75-100 more than what it would normally cost for that and I have found that one of the benefits I most enjoy.
(PS - I won't tell you how many credit cards I have, though the only ones I use are the Amex Skymiles Reserve, Marriott Platinum Premier VISA, Venture CapOne and Chase Sapphire because they're all travel cards.)