This year I promised myself that I would stop flying Delta and throw my loyalty behind a different Airline, but as everyone knows, when you’re loyal and you like one program, it’s hard to give it up for another. SkyMiles has been legitimately good to me over the years and since my loyalty with them began in 2006, (when I started my travels) I haven’t been able to leave them. Ok honestly, my loyalty was with NWA, but I got rolled into Delta and Delta hasn’t been that bad.
Since 2006, I’ve only flown ~369k miles towards my lifetime accumulation, however I’ve also done a lot of flights on other airlines and a number of Skymile redemptions because of this and my Gold or Platinum status that I’ve held with them every year since I was 19, I have a hard time walking away from Delta. However as Skypesos continue to loose their value, redemption prices continue to rise, and other issues with the program (to long to list here) and lack of availability on Delta Metal continues, Skymiles and me should probably part ways.
Back in August, I asked for your advice on who I should fly and I got a number of responses. I thought about them all but found myself glued to Delta. I tried out United, and after a flight to the Philippines and back and a domestic flight from Alabama, I decided that United was not for me. I love Star Alliance awards and the number of seats available, however the rude ground crew and cabin crew left at lot to be desired. Despite this, I still qualified for Silver Elite and that will roll over till Feb 2014.
Also, this year in June, I received a Status Match from American. Their program is my least favorite, but that’s only because I am not one to fly 100K revenue miles every year; if I did, I would love this program and would stick with AA. However, every international trip I did this year, AA was either more expensive, didn’t fly there, or was nearly impossible to earn EQM on their partner flights, so instead of flying Cathay Pacific (CX) to Asia, I ended up on United and earned United Miles because I couldn’t justify an extra $900 for a fare class that would earn elite miles to my AA account if I flew CX.
Honestly though, my biggest hang up with the AA program is the lack of upgrades for those flying less than 100K miles a year. As a Delta Platinum, my upgrade percentage domestically is around 85% (maybe even 95% now that I moved to San Diego). AA, however doesn’t have the same upgrade policies, therefore even though they matched me with Platinum status, when I flew AA, I ended up in the back of the bus. Long story short, I didn’t fly very many AA flights because I wasn’t in the mood to sit in the back.
So as the year comes to an end I ended up re-qualifying (barely) for Delta Platinum. Unfortunately, I’m in the same boat I was in at the start of the year and I still don’t know what I want to do. I’ve decided that I really will stop flying Delta if the much talked about SkyMiles devaluation happens and I’ve actually burned almost all my miles in my SkyMiles account just incase.
Subsequently, who will I fly in 2013? That is still unknown. I’ve decided to let my work decide for me. If the water cooler rumors are true and I start flying to Flagstaff every week for work, then I’ll start flying US Airways, for they are the only airline that flies to Flagstaff. If the rumors aren’t true, then I’ll fly whoever gets me there the fastest. Although, if the Delta SkyMiles devaluation doesn’t happen and I don’t get assigned to a client in Flagstaff, my loyalty will remain and I’ll rebuild my SkyMiles stash. I guess at this point it’s a bunch of what ifs!