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Rapid Travel Chai: Delta and SkyTeam at FTUA SNA 2015

Rapid Travel Chai presentation, Delta and SkyTeam at Frequent Traveler University, Newport Beach, December 4-6, 2015.

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Delta LikesOblivious CustomersDelta LikesOblivious Customers
Delta Adores Big SpendersDelta Adores Big Spenders
Delta RespectsPassengersDelta RespectsPassengers
Delta Hearts InvestorsDelta Hearts Investors
Delta Loves ItselfDelta Loves Itself
Delta LoathesUsDelta LoathesUs

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Rapid Travel Chai: Delta and SkyTeam at FTUA SNA 2015

  • 1. Delta LikesOblivious CustomersDelta LikesOblivious Customers
  • 2. Delta Adores Big SpendersDelta Adores Big Spenders
  • 4. Delta Hearts InvestorsDelta Hearts Investors
  • 5. Delta Loves ItselfDelta Loves Itself
  • 7. Delta and SkyTeam FTU SNA 2015FTU SNA 2015 Stefan Krasowski Rapid Travel Chai
  • 8. Ground Rules 1. Comments and questions should be applicable to others in the audience 2. No customer service/irregular operations stories ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 9. My Delta Experience Grew up in Minnesota as NWA flyer Lived in China 8 years flying NWA NYC-based, Delta as primary airline Diamond Medallion and Million MilerDiamond Medallion and Million Miler Flown most SkyTeam partners Have had Silver, Gold and Platinums in the family ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 10. Itinerary Talk about Delta and SkyTeam ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 11. Should SkyMiles Be Your SkyTeam Program?SkyTeam Program? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 12. Air France/KLM FlyingBlue Cons: Customer service Booking process Pros: Promo awards Israel in Europe Fees Freeze accounts for credit card transfers ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Book AF first class
  • 13. AeroMexico Club Premier Cons: Customer service Pros: Award sweet spots ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 14. Korean SkyPass Cons: Booking process Pros: Book first class Award holds ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Stable program
  • 15. The Problem With Partner Programs ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 16. Awards on Delta Require Delta Saver Award Availability (but wait, it might be better than(but wait, it might be better than for SkyMiles members) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 17. Delta SkyMiles Cons: No notice changes Deceptive/mispricing Pros: One-way awards Virgin Atlantic/Australia Still broken website Delta award prices 72-hour cancel rule ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 18. Delta is Also an Airline ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 19. Delta as an Airline Cons: Still a US airline Non-elite customer service Pros: In-flight experience Solid operations service ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved twitter @DeltaAssist
  • 20. About Delta Customer Service Call or twitter email and website customer service forms are atrocious Even missing mileage I call in to get resolved ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 21. Delta Cutting Off Interline Agreements First American Now Emirates What next? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 22. Delta Screwing With Seating/Updates May 16, 2016 Comfort+ upgrade system ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 23. Separate PNRs for Travelers Helps with individual upgrades Hassles when things go wrong ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 24. But Pajamas are Coming Hard to find any actual good news! ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 26. 2015 Earning ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 27. Where are the Promos? Few promos since merger ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 28. The Promos are in Seattle Occasional geographically targeted promos (Washington state residents) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 29. By the Way, Seattle is Annoying! Revenue and award tickets pushed to Seattle From the East Coast that is 6 hours in a 737 (some 757s) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 30. 2016 Elite Status ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 31. Rollover MQMs MQMs rollover Be strategic: 124,999 to roll over 49,999? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 32. Silver Medallion “It’s really more of a teaser” Upgrades on paid tickets 2 free checked bags ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 33. Gold Medallion + Upgrades on award tickets + Same-day confirmed fee waiver + SkyTeam Elite Plus ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 34. Platinum Medallion + Award ticket fee waivers + Choice benefits ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 35. Diamond Medallion + Sky Club Individual Membership + more Choice benefits + unofficial co-terminal SDC (LGA/JFK/EWR) My take: much better than United 1K (upgrades & service) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved My take: much better than United 1K (upgrades & service)
  • 36. Delta 360 Invite-only elite tier, reported $40k+ annual spend ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 37. Choice Benefits Platinum 1 choice, Diamond 2 (plus Platinum) Diamond Global Upgrades improved Available when qualify – 2016 status good to 1/31/2017 ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 38. SkyBonus Small business program for $5k+ annual spend Cancel accounts for not meeting spend ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 40. SkyClub Improved snacks, some have paid dining Bartender hassle Individual $450 or 70k miles Executive $695 or 110k miles ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Executive $695 or 110k miles Diamond gets individual, 1 Choice Benefit to upgrade Amex Delta Reserve (+2 guests) Amex Platinum cardholder only (not Amex Delta Platinum)
  • 41. SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus Delta Silver = Elite, Gold and up = Elite Plus Elite gets Sky Priorty-type things Elite Plus gets lounge access + 1 companion on same-day international travel (not 3rd-party lounges for economy) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 42. Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Transatlantic to London biz class on Virgin or Delta Gold in economy: JFK, EWR, IAD, BOS, SFO Platinum & Diamond in economy: + LHR, LGW Gold and above: 1 guest ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Gold and above: 1 guest
  • 43. Where SkyMiles Can Take You ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 44. Virgin Australia to Guadalcanal ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 45. Aerolíneas Argentinas to Argentina ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 46. AF/KL Caribbean-ish to Europe ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 47. Gol to Fernando de Noronha ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 48. Tarom to Romania ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 49. AF/KL to Africa, North, South, East, West ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 50. AF/KL/KQ to Indian Ocean and Kilimanjaro ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 51. China Southern to Central Asia and Siberia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 52. Korean Air to Palau ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 53. Saudia to Middle East & South Asia ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 54. But How to Book SkyMiles Awards? ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 55. How to Book SkyMiles Awards Go to Tiffany’s Award Booking sessions  ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 56. What’s New in Awards One-way awards No free stopover Website mispicing many awards (still) 5 award price levels (as of now) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved 5 award price levels (as of now) Award charts gone Intermittent, unofficial 21-day domestic saver award cap Promo discount routes from 10k one-way Many more partners online
  • 57. The Old Rules Still Apply Know what an award should cost Don’t relay on calendar (but it is improved) Search segment by segment Call if website is wrong ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Call if website is wrong Call back if agent is clueless Don’t ever agree to be sent to delta.com web support
  • 58. Use Schedule Changes to Get What You Want ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 59. Consider Pay With Miles ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 61. Partner Airlines Principles Group 1 airlines have good earning, 2-4 terrible New: MQDs based on distance flown Delta-coded flights earn as Delta ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 62. Partner Airlines Awards Partner awards price at low award level Many Delta agents don’t know how to book partners Call Delta to get partner PNR (Korean RSVN 8-digit #) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 63. Partner Airlines with Fuel Surcharges Aeroflot (especially domestic) Air Europa Air Tahiti Nui China Airlines ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved China Airlines China Eastern (massive, nearly same for biz and economy) China Southern (slightly less than China Eastern) Kenya Airways
  • 64. Partner Airlines Call to Book Air Europa Air Tahiti Nui Czech Airlines Kenya Airways ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Kenya Airways Tarom Xiamen Airlines *And always check case by case and if website working
  • 65. Partner Airlines Blackout Dates China Airlines China Southern (new, most of the year) Korean (peak dates replacing blackout) ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 66. AeroMexico (Group 1) New Joint Venture application – expect more to come Lie-flat Dreamliner New York – Mexico City Flights to Tokyo and Shanghai ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 67. Air France (Group 1) Missing trans-Atlantic award space Indian ocean network ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 68. KLM (Group 1) Seat assignment issues (even on Delta metal out of AMS) Gate upgrades to premium economy Long AMS lounge shower waits Missing trans-Atlantic award space ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved Missing trans-Atlantic award space
  • 69. Alitalia (Group 1) Better experience than assumed but chaotic Poor IT links with partners, Rome transit a pain ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 70. Gol (Group 1, non-SkyTeam) Dumpy experience Orlando flight to Brazil Good award availability ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 71. Virgin Atlantic (Group 1, non-SkyTeam) Great award availability Fun, noisy flight experience Great lounges, even at Newark ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 72. Virgin Australia (Group 1, non-SkyTeam) Great award availability, when working Absurdly overpriced awards for Australia domestic ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 73. Air Europa (Group 2) Overlooked Europe option Generic EU-style flight experience ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 74. Kenya Airways (Group 2) Good award availability, hard to get agents to book Not great, but neither is Ethiopian ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 75. Middle East Airlines (Group 2) Regional flights Pastel uniforms ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 76. Saudia (Group 2) Still good award availability Transit times and process a pain, no more transit visas ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 77. Tarom (Group 2) Functional Eastern Europe option Lots of ATRs in fleet ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 78. Aeroflot (Group 3) Great award availability, fastest NYC to Maldives Better experience than expected Surcharges makes domestic awards absurd, use Avios on S7 ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 79. Aerolineas Argentinas (Group 3) Reportedly unreliable Argentina domestic tickets others very expensive ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 80. China Airlines (Group 3) The Taiwan-based SkyTeam airline, not mainland China New planes on the way ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 81. China Eastern (Group 3) Massive fuel surcharges on awards Shanghai Airlines awards possible but poor availability Delta co-locating at Shanghai PVG and expanding presence ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 82. China Southern (Group 3) Also big fuel surcharges on awards Better than Lucky says ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 83. Czech (Group 3) Typical EU-style ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 84. Garuda (Group 3) Most reliable Indonesian airline ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 85. Vietnam Airlines (Group 3) Decent Southeast Asia option Revenue tickets buy from airline, not OTAs to save $$$ ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 86. Xiamen Airlines (Group 3) Regional Chinese airline “The soaring egret leads you to a wider world” ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 87. Xiamen Airlines (Group 3) Regional Chinese airline “The soaring egret leads you to a wider world” ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 88. Alaska (Group 4, non-SkyTeam) Devolving frenemy relationship ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 89. Great Lakes (Group 4, non-SkyTeam) Regional US airline ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 90. Hawaiian (Group 4, non-SkyTeam) Inter-island flights only ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 91. Korean (Group 4) Delta and Korean plain don’t like each other ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 92. WestJet (Group 4, non-SkyTeam) Earn only, no awards ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 93. Air Tahiti Nui (No group, non-SkyTeam) Awards only, no earn ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 94. Asia/Japan Residents Only ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 96. Amex Delta Cards Delta Reserve $30/60k = 15/30k transferrable MQMs Delta Platinum $25/50k = 10/20k MQMs Reserve/Platinum companion certificates are ok Gold card is crapGold card is crap Targeted sign-ups for elites ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 97. Starwood (Marriott?) Reciprocal earning Pseudo-elite reciprocal benefits Business class bedding ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 98. Hertz Delta elites gets Hertz elite status Bonus rental mileage earnings ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 99. Enterprise First mileage-earning airline on Enterprise ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 100. Why I Sort-Of Stick With Delta ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 101. I Have Been Sort-Of Boycotting Delta Delta’s arrogance really irritates me No notice changes Deceptive practices and website that fleece customers ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 102. Why I Haven’t Cut the Cord United is decrepit and dispirited American is hardly a NYC hub anymore Diamond customer service and upgrades are great SkyTeam works for me, especially in AsiaSkyTeam works for me, especially in Asia SkyMiles value on partners ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 103. This is What I Get on United ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved
  • 104. And I Listen to Gary Leff Gary’s preferred US airline: ©Stefan Krasowski, All Rights Reserved