Now that I’ve had a few days to mull over Delta’s recent announcement of changes to its Medallion program, I wanted to write a follow up to my previous posts on the matter. The short answer to the big question in the title of this post is no, but I do want to add some additional color to my earlier not so negative comments about Delta’s coming implementation of an actual spend requirement to hold Medallion status. Now, I didn’t get many comments on my posts, but I did get a few emails, and I of course read other blogs and the online forums My sense is that I am in the minority in thinking that Delta’s news isn’t the worst thing that ever happened (he says in the understatement of the century). Let’s forget about the fact that I am a Delta Amex card holder who will likely spend $25,000 dollars per year on the card for as far as the eye can see, and be exempt from the MQD requirement anyway.
The reality of my situation is this:
- I live in Atlanta
- Delta gets the majority of my employer’s business to/from Atlanta
- I spend at least $2,500 dollars annually on air travel and that is only going to rise
- Now that I live in Atlanta, Delta gets 99 percent of all my travel (business and personal)
- I fly internationally only once per year on average
- At least until I’m demoted (temporarily I pray) to Silver Medallion on March 1, I’ve enjoyed a fairly solid upgrade percentage
- I actually like flying Delta
- My other choice is Air Tran
I absolutely understand that not everyone’s flying choices and desires fits within those neat little bullets, and my choices may not remain the same forever. I’ve written before that you have to do what’s good for you when it comes to mileage program decisions. Right now, Delta and SkyMiles work for me. I keep a stash of Ultimate Rewards on hand to help make up for SkyMiles’ shortcomings on the redemption side, and hope for the best otherwise. For now, flying is about convenience and comfort and maintaining Delta Medallion status has given me both. I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing for now because it’s working for me. But that’s not going to stop me from writing an upcoming post on why Alaska Mileage Plan might be better for you.
-MJ, January 23, 2013