Special thanks to Ryan for forwarding me details on Delta’s new offer for double Medallion Qualifying Miles (and award miles) on all nonstop flights to and from Seattle, domestic AND international, through December 31. That’s quite an offer!
Note that this offer is specifically targeted toward residents of Washington state, and though you could always change the address in your Delta SkyMiles profile it still likely won’t help unless you plan on visiting Seattle. (Those of us who live here don’t need to change our addresses and will have more eligible flights.) Also, while you can earn miles on nonstop flights that are part of a larger itinerary, continuing travel will not qualify. That means double miles for SEA-JFK but only regular miles for JFK-YYZ.
And you still need to meet the new Medallion Qualifying Dollar requirements. Just saying…
This is clearly meant to heighten the competition between Delta and their “partner” Alaska Airlines. I wrote last week about all the DEQM promos that Alaska Airlines is already planning throughout the year for Seattle residents. I still believe Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is a superior loyalty program, both in the benefits it provides to elite members and in the value of its frequent flyer miles.
Delta’s primary objective, as I see it, is to grow its domestic network to feed customers into Seattle, which it is developing as an international hub as United Airlines exits the market. For whatever reason Delta is no longer willing to let Alaska fulfill this role. Alaska still has a much larger network throughout the West Coast. But I suspect Delta is reaching its limits in expanding in the Pacific Northwest without more commitment from customers. Before adding more routes it needs people to fill its planes, which means it needs more Alaska loyalists to convert to Delta. It’s already tried this in numerous other fashions including targeted credit card sign-up offers.
Will Delta succeed? I doubt it. At least not without buying Alaska Airlines, which would be like admitting defeat. But this development does raise the stakes. I’m hoping for another round of DEQMs from Alaska in response. Alaska usually likes to target promotions to select routes and on select dates, and with the generous terms offered by Delta, maybe Alaska will have to respond in kind.