Delta to Offer Gift Cards for Customer Service Issues


Delta has announced that it will offer gift cards to customers for service issues – previously this was limited to SkyMiles or vouchers.

While vouchers let you buy a flight, offering gift cards is a much more valuable way to reward customers. As this program ramps up, expect to see an email from Delta which will forward you to a selection of reimbursement methods (gift cards include Amazon, Amex, Delta, and many other popular stores).

Note – they will not be doing away with vouchers for overbooking, which is also a good thing.


Uber will now allow a Person as a destination


Starting this week, Uber will allow a person to be a destination, rather than only an address. You will be able to upload contacts and then select one, and the Uber driver will be able to take you to them. This works great if you are trying to meet someone after a flight, for example, and your friend is already out on the town.  Game changer.

However, the person can’t move around – its a one-time Uber to Person location lock.

Alaska & Virgin Merger Set To Close


As one of the most closely watched airline mergers of recent times comes to a finale, many travelers are wondering what will happen as the two airlines become one. Making this more interesting is that both small-ish airlines have a loyal following, and for totally different reasons.

As of December 19, 2016 :

  • Fliers on both airlines earn rewards on each other’s flights
  • Elite benefits are accepted on each others’s flights
  • You’ll be able to purchase Virgin tickets on Alaska’s site
  • No changes to the Virgin flight or brand experience

As of January, 2017

  • Virgin elites will be able to status match to Alaska’s elite plans as of January
  • More information will become available on points transfers, elite statuses, etc
  • Single operating certificate for the newly combined airline
  • Branding and marketing questions to be answered once a more complete evaluation of the Virgin brand and it’s value proposition to customers can be finished



LGA to DFW Weekend Round Trip for $107


May 20, 2016

LGA – DFW – LGA Weekend Trip

Delta Platinum Medallion Status

MQM 2,776
MQD 82
SkyMiles 738
Price $107
Cost/Mile $0.039
Delta Reserve Card 214 SkyMiles


I wasn’t planning on going to Dallas, but this amazing fare popped up and I couldn’t resist. $107 round trip non stop from LGA to DFW and back is a great fare. It was gone just a few hours after I booked. I used my Delta Reserve card to get 2x SkyMiles, although a better card to use the Amex Gold Premier which gives 3x rewards points on airline purchases.

Getting to the airport

LGA is always interesting to get to – if it’s early enough in the morning, a cab from downtown is about $35 and there is generally no traffic. If it’s any other time, you’ll hit traffic and a better alternative if taking the subway to Astoria and then grabbing a cab to the airport (usually around $10).

LGA doesn’t have a separate SkyPriority area, just a divided line, but it’s generally quick. TSA PreCheck is always a little more congested here than at T4 in JFK. After making it through, I checked out the SkyClub, which allows decent views of the Delta tarmac area and one of the runways.

Gates C12- C14 are in the basement and you take buses out to the aircraft which are in a parking lot at the back corner of the airport. You literally feel like you’re in the basement – low ceilings, awful lay out, and all three gates were boarding simultaneously, etc. It was probably the worst boarding experience I’ve ever had at any airport. Plus you’re also in a crowded bus on the tarmac. I was upgraded to Comfort+ at the last second (they had already called PREM boarding). It seems nearly every time I fly, the upgrade process is different, and very few reps can shed any light on what to expect.


The flight was uneventful, as are most Delta flights that aren’t in business/first. The Comfort+ seats 5C & 5D have a huge amount of legroom, which was great, since the plane was old and tiny. Thankfully this was a short flight and I was able to doze off for a little while. The only notable item was that on the flight back, Chewbacca Lady (from Facebook video fame) was on our flight, travelling to the Good Morning show in NY. Lots of people recognized her and were requesting photos, which made boarding slower but she was really friendly and accommodating to everyone.

Metrics :

Total time from Apt to LGA SkyClub Bar : 55 mins

Total Time from LGA entrance (defined as exiting the cab & entering the terminal, including security line and walking through terminal to SkyClub) to SkyClubBar: 18 mins

Transcon Sale : NYC to LAS, SFO, & LAX from $237

San Francisco, CA, USA

All major airlines are offering deals in Q1 2017 from their NYC hubs to Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. From Google Flights you can play with dates and times – these fares are appearing for many dates through mid March.


These are great deals for transcon flight – it doesn’t get much lower than this, especially on all the airlines with tons of availability.

Remember that on direct flights, you generally can’t get a complimentary upgrade to LAX and SFO – although there are ways around this.


Delta To Upgrade Snack Selection In Economy


As of December 14, 2016, Delta will offer improved snacks in Economy on all flights over 250 miles. Gone are the amusingly-labeled pretzels and peanuts, replaced by Snyders of Hanover pretzels, Squirrel Honey Roasted peanuts, and NatureBox Apple Cinnamon bars. The Delta Biscoff cookies remain (thankfully).

Delta says that the improved snack selection was a result of customer feedback, and that moving forward, snacks will be changed out more often. These upgraded snacks are a step above what other legacy carriers offer in economy.

Vending machines in NYC, LAX, and SEA will offer Delta fliers complimentary samples of the new snacks.


New York City to Portland On Delta’s 767 in First Class


JFK to PDX Weekend Round Trip

Delta Platinum Medallion Status


MQM 4,908
MQD 268
SkyMiles 2,412
Price $316
Cost/Mile $0.064
Amex Gold Card 948 Amex Rewards

I wanted to check out Portland, since I had not been there for years and had heard great things about how much fun the city had become. I had the fare on the google flights tracker for awhile, and it was always around $350 for a Friday – Sunday round trip on Delta. When it dropped closer to $300 I decided to buy, since I was set on these particular dates. I now see it just under $300, dropping to $260 or $270 occasionally.


I purchased on my Amex Gold Premier card via Delta’s website, which gave me 3x Amex Rewards points for a total of 948 ($316 price x3). Another alternative would be to use my delta Reserve Amex, but that only gives 2x points on delta purchases.

Getting to the airport

With a Friday AM flight, you can take the LIRR to the Airtrain, or the A train running express to the Howard Beach Airtrain, which is what I did. From downtown, the A running on its normal schedule is actually a pretty efficient way to reach JFK. (When it runs local that’s a whole other story). For some reason the Howard Beach Air train always seems to have less problems than the Jamaica route, so overall it took me just over an hour to get into Terminal 4.

I rave about the Sky Priority ticketing area at JFK T4, and this time it was not a disappointment. Delta seems to always staff this desk with the best people – always smiling, helpful, and ready to go above and beyond. Always a pleasure.

After checking in and a quick trip through TSA pre-check, I stopped by the T4 SkyLounge near B32 – love this club, but their breakfast isn’t impressive – think of an inexpensive hotel’s continental breakfast spread. I grabbed a bite and a bloody mary and hoofed over to board – which as per usual is a rather disorganized affair. Delta really needs to improve their signage or process or something – although a lot of the gate mess can be attributed to passengers not reading their boarding slips or in general acting like they’ve never gotten on a plane before.


I had chosen this flight to PDX specifically because it was a 767 and unlike most of Delta’s domestic 767 flights, this was upgradable to first. In this situation, this flight continues from PDX to Tokyo, hence the 767 aircraft. For this JFk to PDX leg, I was upgraded 3 days before the flight, and selected the second seat from the front with a window. This 767-300ER (76w) features Delta One Lay flat set up with 1-2-1 seating. The flat beds had power adjustments, a massaging function, and well designed lighting, outlets, and USB ports. Surprisingly the entertainment units, while decent, were not the newer hi res type in other renovated delta aircraft. There was plenty of room to lay down, however the foot area was a little tight – there could also be another bin or slot for storage somewhere in the area (there is a bin for shoes by your feet). The headphones are cheap (not noise cancelling) and the blanket and pillow are basic. I’m not sure if they upgraded these for the PDX to Tokyo portion, or if this was representative of that flight as well. Honestly if I was paying for a first class ticket on a 12 hours flight, I’d be a little disappointed in this product – however for a domestic flight and a free upgraded it was obviously pretty amazing.

The service was decent – friendly flight attendants, pre-take off drinks, usual good Delta food and entertainment. Nothing was particularly stand out – but overall a good flight. The 767 on domestic routes is such a bonus – not just the medallion upgrade, but also just a smoother ride and more room to stretch and move around.


Total time from Apt to Skyclub : 1 hour 30 mins

Total Time from T4 entrance (defined as exiting the Airtrain & entering the terminal, including security line and walking through terminal to SkyClub) to SkyClubBar: 25 mins