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Some good news from Delta today from Delta that we will no longer have to “hope” we are selected by TSA PreCheck (I always feel like a puppy waiting for a treat when I wait for the 3 beeps)!
We’ve got some good news for you if you’ve already experienced TSA PreCheck. Starting today, we will become the first airline to print an indicator on kiosk-printed boarding passes to give you some advance notice if you’ve been selected for TSA PreCheck. On Thursday, April 19, we’ll add a similar indicator on OCI and mobile boarding passes. The indicators will be available at the start of the check-in window in all formats.
“TSA PRECHK” will appear immediately underneath the passenger name on printed boarding passes and for customers using mobile boarding passes the TSA PreCheck logo will appear at the top right corner above the barcode.
The TSA PreCheck indicator will appear on boarding passes throughout your itinerary whether the airport has TSA PreCheck or not so be sure to verify that the airport is a participating location.
The addition of this visual queue does not change any other aspect of the program, but it gives you some valuable information. While passengers with the TSA PreCheck indicator have been pre-cleared, no passenger is ever guaranteed expedited screening. The TSA continues to incorporate random, unpredictable screening measures. – DLCorpGuy
But, as the last few lines say, we may still get randomly pulled out by TSA. It will be fun to see what difference this does make in practice.
▲Delta▲ SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
Click here for more information
At this point I will end the year with 115,000 MQM’s including a Personal Reserve card before year end and roll-over 40,000 MQM’s. Just about perfect as it would only take me 10k for GOLD the following year or, if I want to push it, 35k more for PM until FEB2015! I will make GM without question from flying and I will not allow myself to drop down to FO again unless the draconian rumored revenue based system materializes next year.
So on to what I touched on both Friday & Saturday. Delta has recently started selling upgrades at the gate. Now if you have not looked at yesterday’s post please do that now as you will understand more. The flight where they sold an upgrade I cleared as a silver on a T-class fare in the upgrade window. I hope you see my point. Plus, the basketball player who did pay for the upgrade, $75 for the 1+ hr flight, he and his wife did NOT have any status with Delta (yeah I snooped and looked at his boarding pass that he held for the flight while he slept).
So is Delta selling a seat that a medallion should have got? I have been assured by the Delta corp. rep that this will NOT happen. You may be yelling at the screen: “this has happened to me!” I ask, was it on an international flight? Keep in mind we medallions don’t get free upgrades here. If there ever is a case where you have not been upgraded, domestically, and they sell an upgrade, you had better check you were on the upgrade list. If lastly you know of a case where a non-medallion could buy an upgrade over you as a medallion, show me and I will let corp. know. The standing policy is to only sell when ALL medallions have cleared first. To me this is just smart business. I hate to see business seats on any flight go empty as THAT is revenue lost to our airline.
Next on to the impact of the group sales change to MQM’s earnings on flyers. I sat behind the comic Steve White from a Carnival crusie ship on his way back home (yeah funny I know). Carnival pays for Steve to fly back home and they have a negotiated rate much lower than the public prices for you and me and keep in mind they fly staff back home all over the planet all the time. Steve overheard me talking to my seat mate about points and miles (shocking I know) and started asking questions. He had been hit on his latest Skymiles statement with the lower MQM’s and he did not think THAT was funny at all (oh I could do this all day). I talked to him about the change and here is the bottom line. I told him he could negotiate to have Carnival buy a fare class that will earn full MQM’s for him. Also, if you are reading this Steve, keep in mind
many companies keep all the Skymiles etc. for themselves and use them [edit: not possible with Skymiles]. They do not have to give you anything other than the flight home. I also suggested he get a Skybonus account so he can earn some more points that way. So, I still stand by the statement that MOST will not be affected by the group sales change, but oh I am shaking while I type this if this is the shape that the new rumored revenue based Skymiles program will be. I think it will hurt Delta more than they have ever dreamed if they force this on us. We will see.
Next on to a few more fun topics. I saved my GoGo info on my laptop. Every single time I went to a Skyclub I would connect, on the ground, to a plane nearby with GoGo apparently still on. I did not try to log in with my info to see if I could (now I wish I had) to see if it was in fact active while on the ground. If it is, it could be a way to get wifi in the airport when you are not in a Skyclub. If anyone has tried this let me know as officially GoGo should just turn on and off at 10k!
More musings and bits. I got my GOES free from when I had my Platinum Membership Rewards card as they rebate you back the $100 fee. The one day I left the airport to meet my friend I had to go back into the airport. The line was long. This trip I used my GOES ID card for everything and also I have entered all my GOES info into my record at Delta.com. So, when I hand the TSA “kid” (he had to be all of 20) my card and boarding pass I get 3 beeps. Then the interchanges goes like this:
TSA kid: Did you hear that
TSA kid: Do you know how lucky you are
TSA kid: Yes you get to go that way
Me: OK thanks
I smile at the little TSA twerp and went on my way. However, I wanted to say (but DID NOT):
“I get how all this works and btw, you dimwit, I handed you my GOES ID card! Don’t you think I already have all my TSA PRE info in at Delta.com?”
Oh the things that pop into your head some days after 36 hrs of non-stop flying! Naturally I kept all that in my head so I am not sitting and blogging in an LA jail right now as that would have been much less fun to write about!
I end this little adventure with many of the same feelings I had going in. Those who work for our beloved airline, from gate agents, to FA’s to flight crews to you name it, they are all great! I, like most of you, dislike the TSA more and more each trip. I love airports and we all should have lounge access (hello AMEX Reserve card) and spend time NOT running from gate to gate but enjoying the time between flights. I start trip two later this week then get some time off. When I land I will be GOLD Medallion. In two weeks I get my AMEX MQM dump. Then after another run in November, when I land, I will be Platinum. Thus, during my last run, my trip to Sweden, my trip to Grand Cayman, my trip to Denver, my trip to Utah – Lisa & I will BOTH be Platinum Medallion. Our trips to Sweden in spring and summer are already in biz on points so all good there and I booked them with MY miles so I will get free changes all I want very soon (I booked as FO but once I hit PM I get free changes ). Am I the only one who plans his trips a full year out? – Rene
PS – don’t forget to comment on yesterday post
for a chance to win free Delta coupons!
Most of the thousands of visitors to DeltaPoints each day understand the list above. We get that earning elite status is nice and what it can bring us with our airline. We get that a 3 hr connection is just the right amount of time so we can enjoy time to “decompress” in the Skyclub with a beer or a glass of wine and free wifi. We use the sky priority lane to board an international flight while there are 100+ people glaring at us who have to wait.
Those who fly a ton of BIS (butt in seat miles that is) on Delta are not very happy about all we can get from churning Delta cards. But we know this a fast track way to get higher level status status since our dear airline that keeps beating up Silver Medallions. I shared some of my thoughts about this fact last month with MICHELLE HIGGINS from the The York Times about her current piece out this weekend “Have Elite Fliers Been Downgraded?”
One thing that I now love more than any of the above is GOES. While I have blogged about how to go about getting GOES before now TSA PRE CHECK is open to all who have GOES as we see also from the NYTimes:
PreCheck is also open to travelers who are enrolled in government trusted-traveler security programs like Global Entry, which provides international travelers with expedited re-entry and the ability to avoid long lines at United States Customs and Immigration checkpoints.
The result is the best of both worlds. You fly through security at check-in and you get to beat the flight crew getting through international customs. I had mine paid for with my AMEX Platinum card and enjoyed $200 in incidentals as well and instant GOLD SPG status! Membership Rewards transfer 1:1 to Delta and do so almost instantly if you need them for an award! Plus you get lounge access for you and two guests.
Bottom line, if you have a churn planned this month, why not enjoy the perks that 99% of the flying public just don’t get and will never get. If you also add with your churn the 40,000 Chase Sapphire plus the 40,000 Citi Hilton and you have over 100,000 points plus Silver Status with Hilton hotels! I either have or have had all 3 of these cards and Lisa as well! – Rene
PS – don’t forget you still have time (till noon EST) to win the
HP Laptop Backpack from yesterday post!
I loved my last trip to Florida where I ended up getting PAID for the 3 day vacation in the sun where for the first time I almost RAN through security. All the things we loathe like shoes off, laptops out, belts off and radiation dosing scanners that “One Mile at a Time” refuses no matter what was not an issue for me as I had the old trusted metal detector flavor.
Having done this after the “new norm” I have to say wow is it great. The TSA people were relaxed, smiled and generally looked just bored and were waving me on as fast as I could move. Wow can not be said enough.
So why this travel down memory lane? It seems the big media like the Wall Street Journal are starting to pick up on our secret little program. They all want you to spend $100 to go get the GOES membership. I am all for GOES as I posted here but I am not all for paying for it when you can get it FREE. Recently AMEX had a 75,000 Platinum membership rewards card but you had to spend $10,000 to get the points . That to me is a lot of spend for the points (there is also a 50k MBenz one with higher cost btw). But they do still have the standard offer for 25,000 with just $2000 spend.
Æ – Platinum Membership Rewards Card
from American Express – 25,000 points card
Click here for more information
In addition to paying for your GOES, this card also gives you $200 toward ONE and ONLY ONE airline for incidentals, like bag fees or other such costs. Just pick the program online and then pay with the card and you get credit back. You get lounge access, not just on Delta, but any airline. You get instant SPG GOLD status for a YEAR. 25,000 Membership rewards points are nice and we all hope Delta runs another great promotion later this year to give us more MQM’s and RDMs!
So if you, like me, have a credit card churn on the radar soon ( my next one is planned for 1st week of April ) and you have not had this card for 24 months, consider it in your mix. Other great ones would naturally be:
This is a great question. There is only one time when the answer is simple and black & white. If, for whatever reason like starting your 24 month new card bonus clock, you are going to close all your Membership Rewards cards (or one going to a single account), you MUST get the points out first or they will be lost forever! End of story. Also if you are ever targeted with the AMEX Financial Review it may be wise to move the points out as if you do not “win” the review, the points will be gone, but you can move them out during the process.
If you are not going to close the card then there should be no “pressing” reason to move your points anywhere else. Many times during each year there are good bonuses of 30-50% for sending them to many airlines. Now if you are short some miles and want to book seats right now, that is also a good reason to transfer some, but not more, than you need now. I have done very well with this card as the $200 airline incidentals credit, $100 towards GOES, lounge access and more + 25,000 points is a very good value and should be a card to include in your next card churn if you are planning on one soon.
The same thing goes most of the time with the SPG points earned from either the personal or the business flavor of the cards.Your SPG points will NOT go away if you cancel your SPG AMEX card. However, SPG points do expire if you do not have activity in the account, like a stay. You can also every month take advantage of the audience reward trivia and get 10 free points to keep the account alive as now any activity counts! The answers are even provided here at MilePoint in this thread. So no rush to get those miles out until you need them.
Lastly with SPG it is important to remember the bonus they give you. For every 20,000 you transfer to an airline, they give you 5,000 bonus miles so you net out 25,000 at the other end. This is a great value and one of the reasons SPG points are so good. So I hope that covers the question asked and feel free to shoot off any more if this is not clear. – René
Also, to end the month on a high note, let me know if you have a MR or SPG card, plus if you want to brag, tell us your credit score, or just tell us you are working on getting it back up again to be able to churn cards, and you will have a chance to win ONE – FREE DAY PASS to any DELTA SKYCLUB!
Neither answer will increase your chance to win btw.
Now that I got you to “click here” I want you all to click on these words and be sent over to Million Miles Secrets blog site as I have the distinct privilege of being interviewed by the legendary Daraius Dubash and you have the chance to learn a bunch more about your DELTA blogger and my adorable bride Lisa!
And if you are coming over to my blog from Million Mile Secrets, I want to whet your appetite of what is coming up at my blog over the next week or so:
Hotel programs I love and use
GOES – what is it and how to get it?
Triple dip earning DELTA miles buying stuff !
Q & A session all about DELTA points and programs.
More updates on SKYMILES low level booking step by step how to.
These are just a few plus I will have more giveaways next week on the way like a SKYCLUB lounge day pass, also more drink coupons and maybe some really kool stuff you don’t want to miss out on the chance to win!
Thanks for reading my blog! – Rene