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By my mental count, I have flown on nine Delta flights this year, four of which were in the last week to get to the Bahamas and back. In addition to those most recent flights to Atlanta and onto Nassau, I have also flown Delta this year from Houston to Salt Lake City, LaGuardia, and another trip to Atlanta. All of these trips were done in economy, most using SkyMiles miles, and frequently with one or two kids along for the ride. In other words, these were not fancy flights where we were getting any special treatment or pampering up front, but yet they were all relatively enjoyable. I’ve been thinking about why we keep enjoying our Delta flights, and I think I have identified the five main reasons my family really likes flying Delta.
SkyMiles can be very valuable
Feel free to disagree with me on this, but for us, SkyMiles have been very valuable this year with all of these trips ringing in at or below what a saver level award would have cost, if Delta had an award chart that published saver award prices…which they don’t. In recent months I have seen Delta flights to Alaska from 10,000 miles, flights to the Caribbean from 11,000 miles, and most recently flights to New York City from just 5,500 miles each way. I had so much luck with SkyMiles this year that I even transferred in Amex Membership Reward points when I temporarily ran out of SkyMiles. Their monthly SkyMiles flash sales are absolutely worth paying attention to as that is when you can really get the most value for your SkyMiles.
I think the only Delta flight I personally paid cash for this year was an under $100 flight home from Atlanta, and the rest of the flights were scored at very fair award prices using miles from their co-branded credit cards or transferred in from Amex Membership Rewards. SkyMiles are not perfect for everything, but they have been a great fit for us this year and flying “for free” is almost always more fun than paying for the flight.
Delta is simply on-time more than most
To the best of my memory, 100% of my Delta flights were either on-time or early this year, and I cannot say the same about other carriers we have flown. It’s isn’t just good luck on my part as Delta again led the other US carriers with an 83.8% on-time percentage in August 2017, which is pretty normal for them. When traveling with my little ones, I don’t think anything matters as much as simply having a safe and on-time flight, as delays or cancellations with kids are exponentially worse than without kids.
Delta employees are nice and helpful
While I’m sure there is a bad apple out there somewhere, I have yet to encounter a grumpy Delta employee. They don’t seem “out to get you” as some other airline staff sometimes seem to be both in the air and on the ground. They haven’t given me trouble about carrying on bags, proactively offered us a blanket in coach, are patient with us when we are traveling with little ones, and just all around provide for a pleasant flying experience. This sounds like a no-brainer sort of experience that should exist on every airline, but I can assure you that not all airlines have employees that are this professional and friendly.
I also appreciate the way that they consistently allow families traveling with small children along with a stroller or car seat to board immediately after those who “need a little extra time getting down the jet bridge”. It is so much less stressful to have a few extra minutes to install the car seat, or collapse the stroller at the end of the jet bridge, or not worry about hitting anyone going down the aisle with all the stuff that goes into flying with a little one than when an airline skips family boarding or does it later on in the boarding process when it isn’t really all that helpful.
I also greatly appreciated how nice and easy to work with they were when we had to cancel a trip to California when Hurricane Harvey was about to hit Texas. Josh was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to San Diego on a paid Delta ticket (using a statement credit we got with the Delta Platinum Amex) and they gave me no pushback at all when I asked if we could get a credit to use at a future time instead of taking that flight since he needed to just head straight back home before the hurricane arrived. I fully expected the ticket to go to waste since that intra-California ticket had nothing to do with anywhere a hurricane was going to hit, but they made the process so easy and instant with just one direct message request on Twitter.
Delta has Biscoff cookies
Delta has not only yummy Biscoff cookies available for free on their flights, but they actually have a variety of very good complimentary snacks. This is a minor thing, but it is the minor things that can add up to a better overall experience. On our recent relatively short Delta flights, we got to pick between Biscoff cookies, Kind Bars, almonds, and pretzels as a snack, which these days really is a step above what most others offer to those sitting in the back of coach on a two-hour flight, though I do also love my United Stoop Waffles.
DELTA SKYMILES OFFERS REFERENCED BELOW HAVE EXPIRED!
Last, but not least, it is still relatively easy to get a big number of Delta miles via a co-branded credit card sign-up bonus. Their co-branded cards are issued by Amex, so while the terms do have a “once in a lifetime” clause, at least they aren’t subject to Chase 5/24 rules, and there are multiple personal and small business Delta cards available.
I am now on my third Delta Amex Card, and I think Josh is on the verge of getting his first Delta card. Right now the Delta sign-up bonuses outlined below are increased to 60,000 to 70,000 total sign-up bonus SkyMiles + available statement credits through November 8, 2017, making this a great time to add to your SkyMiles account total to try Delta out for yourself.
DELTA SKYMILES OFFERS REFERENCED BELOW HAVE EXPIRED!
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months + additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 in first 6 months+ $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months + additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 in first 6 months+ $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. Terms apply.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express: 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. Terms apply.
As I have moved away quite a bit from worrying about airline status and instead become more comfortable with just flying on whoever has the best price and schedule, I’ve been very pleased with my experiences on Delta Air Lines with my family and see no reason why we won’t continue to fly Delta when it makes sense.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.