My Delta Mailbox June 4: Million Miler and Partner Knifing (as I step off NYC-Shanghai in BusinessElite)

My company just spent $4,950 and I 24 hours flying Delta JFK-NRT-PVG in BusinessElite and I am greeted upon the arrival with the following emails:

Delta Inbox June 4

  1. Welcome To One Million Miles
  2. Future Mileage Earning On Korean Air And Other Partners

So I am loyal and I am screwed. Great. Stupid me for persisting with Delta through June. Delta already ‘fired me‘ with their changes to Same-Day Confirmed. I stuck for the past few months because I had a series of China trips and was targeted for double miles to Asia through 2013 (DL metal and codeshares, of course!) plus 5,000 bonus miles per segment, up to 20,000 total, for JFK-NRT in Business Elite. Bribed so easily. I also wanted to hit my Million Miler and 250k MQMs. More than that I realize I am clinging to Delta out of inertia and a hope that someday, somehow I can return my true home, Minnesota, to live, and Delta has retained a strangehold on that market.

The two things I valued most about Delta were its former SDC policy and the SkyTeam partner network that works pretty well for my scattered travel plans, especially in East Asia. I get the arguments and understand how sticky customers like me are. Delta is taking the ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ approach to screw everyone to the breaking point and assume the money will keep flowing and the economy will be strong forever. One dear, crazy friend even argues that the knifing of partners is a good thing. I can tell someone who only flies US-Western Europe a mile away. Try pricing codeshares on Asian partners, as I recommended to him.

My lunch break in Shanghai is up and I need to scurry back to the office. More to come.

Oh, and Garuda is joining SkyTeam. Maybe they can be the first to earn negative miles?

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13 Comments on "My Delta Mailbox June 4: Million Miler and Partner Knifing (as I step off NYC-Shanghai in BusinessElite)"

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Just found this post because I will be traveling to Asia 3 times in the coming months. My sentiment is…good luck with whatever you do. All the airlines are in a race to the bottom for customer service: – letting you accrue fewer miles with discount ticket classes (Lufthansa now gives just 50% of normal miles for booking their cheapest tickets) – requiring a certain dollar spend in addition to elite qualifying miles (everybody seems to be doing this) – screwing you with partners in one way or another (earning rates, upgrade ability, etc.) My personal experience with United is… Read more »

[…] turned the screws on its airline partners this week, it is devastating to my Asia-centric travel patterns, while others, such as US domestic travelers and the Rick Steves […]


Really sorry to hear about how much this affects you. Hopefully you can find some ways to mitigate it now that you’re a 1 million miler.


Sad part is that their is nowhere to go. AA? Gonna be USAir soon. United? The noose tightens for us all.

Amol (@PointsToPointB)

Enjoy your annual Silver Medallion status that can be taken away unilaterally anytime Delta feels like it! Don’t worry, it will be a difficult decision, but “the right one.”


[…] it will profit from former Dutch colonial ties with KLM. Where will Garuda fall on Delta’s new partner earning structure? Perhaps by then Delta will introduce a new level of anti earnings to penalize use of its partners. […]


Not sure what the cretins ( under Mr Anderson) in ATL are thinking by antagonizing valuable customers like you. It is not going to get any better with that airline, that horrible “reject” alliance and the for-masochists-only mileage program they think they run.

Time to cut your loses and move to a more rewarding airline.

Aaron Hurd
I’m already challenging to American and I’ve already shifted all of my travel to them for the next three months. (I wonder if anyone in Revenue Management at Delta has noticed that I’ve stopped booking tickets on DL every week?) At this point, I would much rather be ExPlat on AA than Diamond on Delta. System-wide upgrades that I can actually use, and at least something that resembles a real airline alliance. If I can make the connections work for most of my travel, I’m gone. Of course, the earnings on discount fares on Chinese carriers have always been pretty… Read more »

You’ll find pretty much the same thing over at UA (their reliability is even worse than AA).

Rapid Travel Chai
@Sahib – I am planning a status challenge to United late June-July if I can line up the business travel sufficient to support qualification. I should have done it with these Asia trips but wanted to qualify July 1 or later to be good for the following year as well, never know when business travel will run dry. AA I just have too much bad luck with cancels and delays and everything about them seems stuck in the 1980s, my primary business and personal travel is not focused on Americas (anymore) and OneWorld is too limited to be of use… Read more »
Marshall Jackson

I had speculated that this would have a big impact on you. Wonder what is next?


I remember your promise to switch to United… Is that still on?

Delta Points

Uh, congrat’s on making it to the 1 MM club? 😉