About to hit Platinum...which Choice Benefit to take?

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by DeacFlyer1, Nov 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    My friend is about to hit Platinum, and she's not sure which Choice Benefit to choose. I realize it depends on what's more important to you, what kinds of trips you take, etc...but still would be curious as to thoughts about the decision making process others use for determining this.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. icurhere2
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    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    My PM choice (past three years) has been the $200 DL travel voucher. Most of my DL travels are out of my own pocket and I get 125% RDM as a diamond on the itinerary paid for with the voucher, which can generate a pretty good haul of RDM and MQM. Despite cutting back on flying and redeeming a ton of miles in the past 12 months (over 800,000 I can count), I seem to keep earning enough to get by ...

    The 20,000 RDM are a close second choice, as these can be redeemed on short notice for most of a last-minute domestic itinerary (e.g., 25,000 mile ticket available for a BNA-ATL-DCA and return that might cost almost $700).
     
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  3. mersk862
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    mersk862 Gold Member

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    I've done the $200 voucher for each year that I hit Platinum. Much as icurhere2 mentioned, on a $200 voucher, I can often find myself getting 15k RDMs plus 6,000 MQMs.

    Last year, for Diamond, I did another $200 voucher plus 25k miles. I am unsure of what I'll do this year; likely $200 voucher plus maybe the Gold Medallion benefit.
     
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  4. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    ++ on the $200 voucher...
     
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  5. BamaGirl
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    BamaGirl Silver Member

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    Voucher here too.
     
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  6. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts on this--looks like the voucher is the consensus!
     
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  7. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    I'll take 20,000 miles this year. They are always worth $200 and could be much more.

    Next year is a problem. My wife will lose her FO status. When we fly together, her having status helps us both to get upgraded. I am thinking about conferring Silver on her for 2012.

    She says to let her sit in the back and to take the money!!!

    Any advice?
     
  8. icurhere2
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    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    I've had this precise talk with the SO, who has gifted GM until the end of February but is coming up on just her third revenue itinerary in more than a year with the status. With the value of award redeposits and the benefits of travel with a DM, we've decided it's more beneficial for my second diamond choice to be the 25,000 RDM instead of status that will upgrade her on half of her limited domestic segments per year. She's visited many destinations comfortably as a result of my mileage earning ;)
     
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  9. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Sounds familiar. My wife has flown two paid and two award Delta trips this year. But I will be platinum not diamond next year. The 20,000 points/$200 will not change our lives, but getting us both upgraded (versus one upgrade) might. Next year she will have the same number (maybe one more) of Delta RTs.

    Another factor -- she has 300,000+ Delta Skymiles. Status will make those easier to use. Now because of the free changes/redeposit for platinum, we mostly use my miles but I am at just a bit over 200,000 and we will be using her miles for all award travel for a while if we feel safe on dates, etc.
     
  10. icurhere2
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    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    Silver is frustrating because it does not get fee waivers, SDC, upgrades on award tickets, etc. I also don't know if there's a difference on the expanded award availability for low-level domestic awards.
     
  11. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    No, there isn't. In fact, I gifted FO to my wife last year and the redemptions using her account is the same as a kettle.
     
  12. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Not sure that is right.

    I Tweeted @DeltaAssist and was told

    @KyRoamer Yes. Silver Medallions have more choices than non-status flyers when booking award tickets.^TH

    .
     
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  13. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    That is what they say; but unless you count a double connect with the opportunity of a 23 hour layover in ATL "more choices", in practicality, they don't exist. Similar to the elusive low award.

    I'll concede there may be more choices, but the choices offered are not good choices.
     
  14. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    You are likely right. I never checked to see how much better choices were for Platinum. To me the value of Platinum is in the free redeposits and the ability to claim extra miles, gift silver, etc. The SWU's are worthless for me.

    This year my wife made Silver on her own so I will likely take the 20,000 miles. I figure they are always worth at least $200. Next year will be tough as we will not be on Delta a lot, but when we do her status makes getting a companion upgrade easier.Since she will not earn Silver, my gifting it seems the right thing to do.

    We could each ask for an upgrade and perhaps enhance our chances but I too often get one where she does not. If that happens, staying together in Y is tough as they reassign my seat as soon as I am upgraded. She refuses to take my upgrade and it goes downhill from there. So we do one reservation and a both or none upgrade request.
     
  15. icurhere2
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    We're at the point of simply splitting our PNRs a few days before the flight - she espouses that I fly more often to provide us both benefits and she's a tiny 5'2" while I'm 6'2". She's refused every upgrade when I've cleared and she's missed (three segments thus far), so I give her my blanket, pillow, a headset, and coupons for Woodford Reserve.

    Given our expectation that she'll miss about 40% of the time, I do book her directly into a premium aisle with me on the window - that way we don't have to scramble to get her a decent seat if I clear but she does not.
     
  16. USAF_Pride
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    We mirror you identically. Same height's, same sending drink backs, same refusal, same booking her into the aisle while I sit middle.
     
  17. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Phyllis and I book an aisle and window. She insists on a window. I hate windows. If a 3 seat section, we leave the middle open. If I get an upgrade, I will not take her window seat so I take the upgrade. She is alright with that - sort of.I'd rather take the window seat and if I get upgraded give it to her and then have her window seat. no upgrades, we switch seats.

    She won't take the upgrade though and then mentions it to her friends who all feel sorry for her, etc. She then repeats what they say. Guess that is her way of not complaining.

    Anyhow, to avoid issues I have decided on upgrades that it is both or none. On long trips I use miles to upgrade. The odds of both increase if she has status so I gift her status. The lost $200 or 20,000 miles is the price of peace.

    BTW, beware of split PNRs. In case of a delay (weather, equipment, etc.), the status partner could get on the next plane and the other be stuck for days.
     
  18. samonyc
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    samonyc Silver Member

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    Thanks to everyone for sharing perspectives. I decided to go for PM this year and wasn't sure what benefit to choose. The vouchers sound like the surest bet, but considering the surprisingly good luck I've had with flight redemptions lately, maybe I'll go for the miles.
     
  19. I'm on the verge of PM as well, and have a couple intl trips planned for next year. Would SWUs make more sense for me? The miles are nice, but as a 6'4" male, not flying coach for 12 hours is always good.
     
  20. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    M fares are very expensive. Are you prepared to pay double for a shot to upgrade. Based on availability of upgrades and cost of M fares, I find SWU's useless. If you or your employer pay for M, maybe. BTW discounted business fares cost about the same as M fares.
     
  21. redii

    redii Active Member

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    Oh wow... I had no idea SWU's were so worthless. I'm MR-ing for Platinum this year with those as my goal... I feel a little bit like a kicked puppy now. I guess the real benefit is the higher rank for domestic upgrades.
     
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  22. brfort
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    brfort Silver Member

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    Voucher. They are in desperate need to change the SWU's on Delta.
     
  23. MrLincoln

    MrLincoln Gold Member

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    Yeah ,when the UA board folks complain about those swus, I grin and think calming thoughts.

    As a plat in a fortress hub my dom UDU rate has been pretty good. I only miss on dca/atl runs, mostly. I miss more than I do on UA (1k) ,but the pervasive WiFi and lots of work to do keeps me occupied for the two hours.
     
  24. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    I am going to resurrect this thread with the new Choice Benefit changes coming in to play for Delta. Should I take the miles or the RU's?
     
  25. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    I'll probably go miles.

    But then I fly a lot of short-haul and mid-con flights. Even my occasional transcon isn't on attractive equipment.

    Sent from a place using a fruit thing.
     
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