A (possibly) forced switch to Delta--thoughts and opinions?

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by DeacFlyer1, Mar 19, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Hey everyone,

    My current project in LA is drawing to a close; next up looks like a number of months in Montgomery, AL. Looking at flight schedules, it just looks really hard to get from DCA to MGM on US. Even taking first flight out on a weekday, I wouldn't get to MGM until almost 11:30am; likewise, the last US departure is at 3:06pm. The first is probably too late to arrive on any given weekday, and the latter is too early to depart.

    I hate to do this, because US has been pretty good to me, but I'm thinking of flying Delta for a while on this project...I can take the first flight DCA-ATL, get to ATL by a little after 7am, and then drive the couple hours to Montgomery--with the time change, I should be able to be there by 9am on any given day. I could also take a connection in ATL (but it's only 36 minutes which can be hairy there) and land in MGM a little after 8, then rent a car there.

    If I did start flying DL, do you guys think it's worth burning a status match on it? By the time I'm done with my LA project at the end of April, I'll be close to requalifying to Platinum on US...I figure DL would probably match me to Gold...but I'm just not sure what I think about doing that.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. SS255
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    SS255 Silver Member

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    While DL certainly makes much more sense, a status match is a terrible thing to waste unless you are ready to make a long-term commitment. I personally would not do the status match unless I expected to permanently switch to DL.......or at least fly them pretty exclusively for the next several years. If this is just a short-term project, you might be better off sucking it up with no status on DL (at least at the beginning), and then going back to US after the project ends.
     
  3. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Absolutely agree since airlines only generally ever allow one status match and that's it.
     
  4. ramolnar
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    ramolnar Silver Member

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    Delta makes sense, schedule-wise. Do you have AmEx MR available? Or can you get the Platinum card? You could make a 50K transfer, get 25K MQMs, and start at Silver without using your match.
     
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  5. MikeLaw
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    MikeLaw Silver Member

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    The schedules from MGM are terrible. I used to have to arrive at 8 the night before every time and take the 6am flight out the next day. Good for hotel nights, crap for efficient scheduling.
     
  6. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    that's exactly what i would do
     
  7. DCAview
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    DCAview Silver Member

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    It's been a while since I've had to travel to MGM, but even then it was tough to make flights from DCA work easily on anyone but Delta.

    If you're making the switch, though, I'd suggest putting your miles in Alaska's program instead of Delta's. Alaska lets you earn and redeem on Delta and American, so you'll have much more flexibility, and Mileage Plan elite members get complimentary upgrades on Delta in the U.S. (though I'm not sure where they rank).
     
  8. N670DN
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    N670DN Silver Member

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    It's worth it to move to DL. It is just whether you are long-term or not.
     
  9. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I don't think you would get many upgrades on DL's DCA-ATL and vv route at business times. Although they offer many flights, they tend to be full of elites, frequently on government fares which generally count as full Y for upgrade purposes. Even as a DL PM (Plat), I wouldn't be optimistic about upgrades here unless you fly at off times, which doesn't sound possible in your case.

    However, the new DL attempt to monetize FC might be interesting for you. If you have a high enough fare class, you're likely to sometimes be offered a buy-up at either ticketing or OLCI. You could do this and still credit miles to Alaska.
     
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  10. RedM3Pilot
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    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

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    What are the ballpark figures for the buy-ups on say, something like a DCA-ATL or an ATL-LAX?
    Is each eligible fare class assigned a different buy-up cost?
     
  11. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It's new with DL so we don't know much yet. At the time of ticketing, delta.dumb just asks if you would like to pay XXX more for FC, which usually a something-UP fare or a P (capacity controlled and discounted restricted FC, similarly to what A used to be). I've observed numbers for this around $100 RT but this was when a deeply discounted coach fare (the infamous sLUT fares, meaning fare classes T = lowest on DL, U or L) wasn't available and probably for nonstops MSP-DEN/DCA/LGA, so about 600-1000 miles OW. IIRC these were the fare differences from K to H-UP for example. (Delta domestic revenue coach fare classes are ordered as follows: YBMHQKLUT.)

    The buy-up offer at OLCI (or at the gate) has been about $75 OW for the same routes if FC seats are available. It might not be offered at OLCI for deeply discounted fares, but could then be available at the gate for them.

    These are just a few date points that I've observed. DL is still fine-tuning the system. YMMV.
     
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  12. RedM3Pilot
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    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

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    Thanks. Makes me appreciate US's at the gate buy-up system: a simple $50 (or $100?) for every 500 miles...and more importantly, we don't have Shena.
     
  13. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Thanks for all the opinions guys. I've put some thought into it and I don't think I'm ready to burn my status match because I just don't see myself committing to DL anytime soon (especially because I might be moving to CLT in the near future). I think I can suck it up for a few 2 hour flights for the first few months until I at least hit Silver...
     
  14. MSPeconomist
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    Here's one more idea: Find a DL PM or DM to gift you Silver or Gold respectively as a choice benefit. If you have access to coupon connection in that other place, there are usually trade offers floating around and you can see the prevailing terms of trade. However, if you're gifted Silver, it will still require 50K MQMs to earn Gold.
     

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