Delta Skymiles vs American AAdvantage

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by thepointstraveler, Dec 18, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. thepointstraveler

    thepointstraveler Silver Member

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    With the new year rolling around soon, I am trying to decide which airline is going to be my sole airline next year. I will be traveling domestically 1 to 2 trips per month. From where I live in South Dakota Delta, American, United, and Frontier are the main airlines that fly out from here. I have been loyal to AAdvantage in the past but I am considering Delta for next year. When it comes to an airline loyalty program, there are a couple things I look for: ability to earn and redeem miles and also the ability to get upgraded from coach (my company only pays for coach). A plus for American seems to be that their miles are easier to redeem however I must take a 2 hour flight in a CRJ to either ORD or DFW to catch my connecting flights, whereas Delta only involves a 30 minute CRJ flight to MSP to catch a connection but from what I hear is harder to redeem miles at the lowest award levels. Anyone have any thoughts as to any pro's or con's to each program for my situation? Thanks guys and gals!
     
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  2. thepointstraveler

    thepointstraveler Silver Member

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    Also I should mention that each trip consists of 4-6 segments for the roundtrip flights. And lounge access would be nice but not an absolute must.

    Thanks again.
     
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  3. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    The starting point I would use is how much is it likely to cost to go where you want to go, then consider what each airport you're going to be connecting in.

    I find MSP and DTW much better places to connect than ORD.

    Lounge access will be about same where ever you connect, but you should consider whether you'll have time to use them.

    This past year, I flew through ATL several times and only had one connection long enough to even consider using a SC.

    The last factor I would consider is the value of the points.

    DTWBOB
     
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  4. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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  5. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    what is your present status on AA? That makes a big difference in the equation.
     
  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Well reasoned logical and I agree with you on all counts, although my connections in ATL are longer than yours.
    If you do get to DL Diamond on segments you'll get Skyclub for free!
     
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  7. thepointstraveler

    thepointstraveler Silver Member

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    THis is in response to everyone together... Thanks again..

    My main concern is, is it really hard to redeem delta skymiles and which airline will I have a better shot at upgrades if I acheive mid-tier status?

    I currently have no status because I was on a project this past year and didn't get to travel much, but next year will be 1 to 2 trips/month @ 4-6 segments each, so I will be obtaining status next year.

    My company will be paying for all the trips, so I don't care about cost.

    From what I have heard, no one really gets upgraded w/ Delta unless they are top tier. Is that your experience?

    Good points on lounge access, I have only had a few connections in the past that were long enough to bother with lounges.
     
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  8. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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    With Skymiles, you get 500 miles for EVERY flight regardless of true length. AAdvantage gives you the acutal amount of miles flown- you could get bonus qualifying points on a high fare class. So, if you're doing a lot of regional short hops such as from SD to MSP, on Delta each would give you 500 MQM's. I've only just attained Gold on DL, so I can't speak to their upgrades. As a silver, I was never upgraded. From what I've observed, it's platinum medallion and higher that are consistently upgraded. Golds rarely or on non elite routes.
     
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  9. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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    AA also offers easy status challenges that could help you get a status pretty quickly. That's how I attained platinum with one trip to Hawaii on a high fare...:)
     
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  10. thepointstraveler

    thepointstraveler Silver Member

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    Thanks Chaz4449! You have given me some good info to consider! I appreciate it.
     
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  11. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I am platinum with Delta and I do get upgraded although certainly not on all flights. I am also EXP with American and I have not missed an upgrade all year. The good thing with Delta is that the upgrades for mid tier are free. That is also the bad thing as you have lots of competition. With AA the mid tier require certificates which can be earned and also bought. With AA there seems to be less competition with mid tiers as many people don't want to pay for upgrade certificates. The good thing with AA miles is that you can use for partners in first class. Delta only allows partner awards in business.
     
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  12. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    once you are elite with AA you will get the 500 mile minimum
     
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  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    At mid-tier you'll get more free upgrades from Delta, mostly because AA requires e500s which you get a few of for free but then you'll have to pay for more. DL points are harder to redeem at low levels, particularly on domestic segments.
     
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  14. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Flying less than 100k or whatever the exp thresholds for segment qualification is you will almost certainly get more upgrades on delta. There is huge route and schedule variation, but flying a variety of routes as a plat (75k, high mid tier) with the reserve card flying for business I get 75 percent or better. Last year I cleared maybe 25 consecutive upgrades late in the year.
     
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  15. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    This does change once you get any elite status with AA. Once you are elite, you do get 500 EQM / RDM regardless of the segment length. I have a colleague that flies Delta and he told me that since Delta changed some of their program rules, it is very hard to get upgraded with low tier statuses such as Silver & Gold. He is Gold ATM.
     
  16. DLB404

    DLB404 Active Member

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    I will add a few of my own. I am Atlanta based and PM on DL.

    Miles are a challenge to redeem on DL at low levels unless you plan well in advance.
    Not sure if AA allows, but DL has a cool feature called pay with miles which often uses a lot less miles then booking with straight SM. The cost of the ticket determines the amount of miles not the calendar.
    AA allows miles to be redeemed for a one way. That is cool.
    DL Skyclubs provide free alcohol.

    The fact that you have to fly an RJ from home to a hub, distance and frequency would matter to me. I agree with an earlier post of preferring DTW and MSP over ORD and DFW.

    Good luck with your decision.
     

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