Today is a day for random Delta musings that are little tips that really help my Delta travels. Some of these you may know or some may be new to you. Either way, perhaps they can make your Delta adventure a little bit better from start to finish! Let’s get started and dive right in.
Tip #1. First when it comes to booking; I have two schools of thought when I go to book a flight and it depends on what I want. If regional jets are included expect a ton of schedule changes. This can help or hurt you. I sometimes intentionally book tight 31 min connections and it can take just days to get a change to the flights I would rather have. Other times I always look at the MAX allowed (too much can count as a stopover) to be able to relax in a Skyclub, get a massage or grab a bite to eat. Also, when it comes to Delta and points, I know how to find low level seats. Other airlines, not so much; then I turn my attention to Adam and say HELP find me what I need!
Tip #2. This one kinda ties in to Tip #1 but not really so I broke it out. Picking my Delta airport. What is most important, schedule or cost. For me, the convenience of my home town SBN is nice but there are drawbacks. ONLY CRJ200′s is a big one. No Skyclub or any kind of lounge. Cost to fly is almost always higher than either Chicago airport. Even my other regional cities are often cheaper with Delta like AZO, FWA or GRR. So consider airports w/in 1-3 hours from home if cost matters OR if trying to spend say a BOGOF from your Delta AMEX Platinum or Reserve card (not my link).
Tip #3. Parking. I always look for discount parking. Some of them will have online coupons. Find such a place you like? Before you just printing the coupon, check places like TopCashBack or Ebates or BeFrugal to see if your favorite shopping portal has some deal or percent off you can stack with the parking coupon for an even better value.
Tip #4. Luggage. Delta may not enforce the “Size Check” much (or at all) for carry-ons but they do enforce the 1+ personal item rule firmly (most times) that is, if you have 3 bags they will tell you to consolidate. Also, even though there are times a medallion can have 70 lbs I always try to stick with 50 lbs per bag MAX as a rule of thumb as Delta just beats the snot out of bags that are over 50 I have found (and the same goes for the rest of Skyteam)! Clearly having any Delta AMEX card (not my link) helps on cost if you are not a medallion. Or, if on a FlexPerks award you can pay with ANY of your FlexPerks cards and get $25 back per trip (not each way only once)! So you cannot if you say have both a personal and a business FlexPerks card get $25 twice (officially).
Tip #5. At the airport. Your choice of to lounge or not to lounge and what lounge does make a difference. All of us have lots of gadgets and if you find a spot with no power you can burn much of your juice before you ever get on the plane. Then, depending on cabin and plane type, you may not have in-seat power. I like having a battery brick of some kind (one of the reasons I give so many away on SWAG Saturdays btw) and make sure it is fully charged the night before flight (should that not have been my 1st tip?)! Oh, one more thing, as you can see from my tweet above, learn to love your Fly Delta app while waiting. Check it often for gate changes, seats changes due to equipment swaps and possible upgrades. BTW, a reader coined a term we medallions do pre-flight; the act of constantly checking our status on the upgrades list and refreshing it again and again is called = “tapgrade”.
Tip #6. In flight. So what can you do once in the air? You should already have picked your favorite seat and then as tip 5 showed protected it. You should have printed a HOOU if you had one already even if in 1st class as I buy a Travel Treats snack box to take home if I scored my upgrade (love those for later). You should have also thought about GoGo before you are up in the air as there are often (just not right now) discount codes you can use. Even without paying for GoGo you can use much of Delta.com or the App so do check arrival gate, connecting flights or even check in for the rest of your trip if need be say on a mileage run. Other than that, do always remember if things go wrong in-flight that the FAs can use their hand units to make Skymiles or credit vouchers to make up for onboard issues!
Tip #7. Issues and IROPS (that is irregular operations). When thing go wrong, start looking for options. Perhaps you looked at alternate routes pre-trip but if not be on your game. Never ever just trust a rep has the best choices for you. If you don’t like what you are hearing, ask again or ask another rep in person or on the phone. Find a Redcoat or work with reps in the Skyclubs. Even if you get a change; you can most times change it AGAIN if you find something better for free. Be in the driver’s seat is my point.
Tip #8. Getting what you should. Keep your old boarding passes. If in your phone, take a screen shot just in case. Then, make sure you get all the RDMs, MQMs, MQDs including class of service bonus you should be getting. Delta.dumb often gets this wrong and our Delta points do matter to us as Delta flyers right?
That is about it. I do all these as second nature but perhaps some of these are new to you or ones you don’t think about (but you should). Any other great Delta related tips you just “do” we should know about? Please share them on the blog in the comments below in the post – René
PS – Be sure to get your 6.6% back while you can!