profchiara

Delta - from Insult to Injury

Discussion created by profchiara on Jul 3, 2014
Latest reply on Oct 7, 2014 by erc

As a Platinum Medallion Elite Plus with an Amex Reserve Skymiles card (which is most valuable for its lounge access), I've made my opinions about Delta's 2015 FF changes clear before now.  But they keep adding insult to injury with some announced and more unannounced devaluations.  My recent FF flight to and from Athens made this clear.  When I went into the Skyteam lounge in Terminal E at Logan run by Air France, I was told despite status AND flying business class, that I could not enter without an invitation from Alitalia (which I was flying on a Delta ticket).  Since I printed my booking pass at home and re-printed it at the airport at a kiosk and only had carry-on luggage, I had no reason to check in with the desk. The lounge attendant argued with me that I had to go out through security again, go to the Alitalia desk, and re-enter with an invitation, even while admitting that flying Business Class I had access to the lounge. Ya think? This led to 15 minutes of bickering until she finally copied down my information and let me in.

 

Returning home I went to the Skyteam Lounge in Athens, run by Swisshotel but with Delta and Skyteam plastered all over it inside and out.  I was told in no uncertain terms I was not welcome.  I showed all the appropriate PM and Reserve cards, and the attendant pulled out a May 1 notice from Delta stating that international flyers (unless they are flying business class) with the above credentials or less are not allowed admission to Skyteam clubs run by 'third parties' (this apparently includes AF and KLM).  I eventually paid 30 euros for the 'privilege'.

 

Then, on the flight from JFK to BOS (which actually took off the same day for a change), I was upgraded to first class along with another man.  We were both sitting there enjoying our drinks when the gate agent came on board and said we'd have to move back to our original seats because two passengers with first class seats had finally checked in.  OK, I get that, but not what came next.  She then said we'd have to either gulp our drinks or give them back!  Fortunately the flight attendant intervened at that time.

 

With the other changes Delta has made, I will still make Platinum next year and fly Delta when it is worth my money (and burn my 500,000 miles), but otherwise not.  I wrote to both Richard Anderson (CEO of Delta) and Ken Chenault (CEO of the Reserve Card section) snailmail to express my feelings in no uncertain terms.

 

All of you know what I did when Marriott changed its loyalty program a few years ago.  I have been loyal to Delta for 30 years, and they are throwing that away.  The lack of access to international lounges makes the Amex $450 reserve card useless to me (as I made clear to Mr. Chenault, I will be canceling it) since the places where I fly in Europe and the Middle East do not have Delta operated Skyclubs (they're usually AF or KLM, but also other airlines). This was the final straw.

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