Wednesday, January 30, 2019

No Longer Elite

For the first time in 14 years, I no longer have status with Delta.  While I never had significant status - I was Gold for a 4 year period of that - I did have a heck of a run in staying at Silver.  

It took some doing.  About ten years ago I took a cheap mileage run to Las Vegas to keep my status, and a couple of years ago I bought some miles via a new program Delta launched to maintain Gold for an extra year.

It was worth it.  Even at lowly Silver, the benefits paid off:

  • Being able to pick exit row seats had been a huge boon.  Many of them are even better than the new Comfort Plus area - in some instances, by a long shot.
  • I got bumped up to first a lot.  It was way better years ago, but I would bet my overall average was about one out of every three flights.  That's a nice benefit.
  • My wife got bumped with me a handful of times, which was doubly nice.
  • Once upgraded, one got all the benefits commensurate with flying first, with the most important being the first class check-in at the airport and through security.  That was a huge time saver.
No, being captive to Delta isn't cheap, especially at satellite airports like Green Bay and Fargo.  Indeed, most flights from those airports run $650 on average - brutal.  However, the one benefit of it has been that air travel gets aggregated to the one carrier, and with enough trips, status comes along with it.

Now that the job has changed, I just don't travel anymore.  That's fine with me - since 9/11, business travel is a flat bitch.  However, when I do travel from now on, it will be without status, which I'll miss greatly.

It was a really good run while it lasted. 

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