NEW DELTA.COM. Likey or no likey? We’ve all heard that sometimes change is hard—but eventually we get used to it and realize that the change was for the better. Is that what’s going on with Delta’s recently revamped website? It’s been two years since Delta last finagled with it, and now that you’ve had a few weeks to play around with it, what do you think? Many of the design elements are the same, but a new drop down twist is new and feels a little buggy. Have you memorized your complicated new login password? How does Delta’s site compare to other airlines or booking sites you’ve used? Bummed that Delta did nothing to improve its broken online SkyMiles award booking site? Do you plan to “get social” with Delta and link to your Facebook or Twitter pages? Suggestions for the web designers? Here’s a link to Delta’s online introduction to the new site. Please leave your thoughts below.
PRECHECK NUMBER. With all the complaints about missing or incorrect profile info migrating to the new Delta site, PreCheck members should be certain that their GOES “known traveler” number is intact. But finding that is tough. Here’s how: Login at Delta.com, then go to your profile> in left hand column, open “Basic Info”> scroll to “Secure Flight Passenger Data”> click the “Edit” button to the right> click on the “Add Redress or Known Traveler Number” link> then check to be sure your known traveler number is there… and correct. Phew! I hope you get your three beeps!
DELTA FIRST CLASS FARE SALE. Delta’s offering a great deal on upgrades to first class on US and Canada flightsduring the busy holiday season– Dec 15 – Jan 5. Upgrades on the cheap! Details here. Not a bad idea to pony up a little extra cash as a gift to yourself (or others) for the Holidays!
WIFI AT ATL. FINALLY FREE. No more squatting on the floor outside the Sky Club to snag free wi-fi. ATL has decided to install free wi-fi beginning in the fall of 2013. As the airport adjusts to a heftier system to accommodate the increased demand, it will gradually lower the price of access until it becomes completely free. This revenue loss accounts for around $1.5 million to the airport, but with airports around the country offering it without charge, Atlanta has finally succumbed to the pressure.
MQM BONUS FOR SKY CLUB. Need to renew your Sky Club access for the coming year? If you do it now, Delta will throw in 1,500 bonus MQMs that can help with Medallion status in the coming year (or opt for two free months of membership added to your current Sky Club account). The offer is valid until Dec. 31. Details here. If nothing else, it’s an easy way to snag some extra MQMs without having to book a last-minute flight somewhere before the end of the year. http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/airports-and-aircraft/delta-sky-club/membership/delta-sky-club-promotion.html
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MORE SHRINKAGE IN MEMPHIS. Delta’s cutting back in Memphis once again, this time nixing nonstops to Birmingham, Jacksonville and Ft Lauderdale. It also will trim one daily round-trip flight between Memphis and the following cities: Jackson, Kansas City, Knoxville, Little Rock, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio and Tulsa. As we’ve long expected, this adds fuel to the fire that both Memphis and Cincy will eventually not be Delta hubs at all.
SOUTHWEST TO THE KEYS. Southwest will take over AirTran’s flights between ATL andt Key West via Orlando and Tampa beginning in March 2013, making it Southwest’s 8th Florida destination.
DELTA SOARS IN CORPORATE TRAVEL. While it might be tough for Atlantans (most of whom love to complain about the 900-lb gorilla out at ATL), corporate travel buyers ranked Delta first among its peers for the second year in a row in the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey. Delta says that the recognition is a result of its $3 billion investment in improving the flying experience—like upgrades to business class seats, the roll-out of economy comfort, pervasive inflight wi-fi, the re-vamp of multiple Sky Clubs, a new terminal at NY-LaGuardia and JFK. With United crippled due to a botched merger and American fighting with unions in bankruptcy court, Delta’s mopping up new customers all over the country—even in non-hub cities. What do you think? Is Delta getting better? Please leave your comments below!
BUSINESS TRIP. What are the top five hottest, newest hotels and restaurants in Las Vegas…and have you heard what they are going to do the THEhotel next year? Do you love Vancouver as much as I do? Do you have any plans to travel to India’s capital city of Delhi… or have just wondered what it might be like to take a business trip there? Take a peek at the latest in my BBC Business Trip series to learn the answers!
AIRTRAN+SOUTHWEST INTEGRATION. An excellent look by the AJC at how the combination of the two carriers came about and how it is progressing through the eyes of AirTran’s co-founder Lewis Jordan: “A year and a half after the deal closed, the combination of the two carriers’ operations is still in progress, and the AirTran name is expected to remain in some form into 2015. AirTran still had roughly 170 flights a day from Atlanta this fall, while Southwest had about 20 daily flights. Next year, Southwest plans to connect AirTran’s route network with its own. Southwest has cut some AirTran routes as it gradually dismantles the AirTran hub in Atlanta to decrease the focus on connecting passengers.”
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NEW CHINESE PARTNER FOR SKYTEAM. Xiamen Airlines is set to join the Delta-led alliance later this month adding another option for travelers to Asia. The airline is a heavily domestic Chinese carrier and expands travel options for those flying to fast-growing but poorly served secondary and tertiary cities. While the addition is hardly cause to drop everything and plan your next vacation, SkyTeam is certainly becoming the market leader in China. Mileage earning and redemption will be in place by the end of the year.
HERTZ/SKYMILES PROMO. A new Hertz promotion for reservations between now and the end of the year offers bonus SkyMiles based on the number of days of your rental. One to two day rentals earn a 500 mile bonus, three to four day rentals earn 900 extra miles, and five days or more brings in 2,000 bonus miles. Hertz already offers 100 miles per day for SkyMiles members (200 miles per day for Medallions), and these extra miles sweeten the pot. To reserve, visit the offer page.
TIME LAPSE ICE RINK. Southwest put together an interesting one-minute time-lapse video showing how they set up the ice skating rink at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park. Have you ever seen how they do this? Pretty neato!
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POSH UPGRADE TO DELTA TRANSCONS. Too bad these flights don’t touch Atlanta… but if you are out and about…. Delta is upping its game against transcontinental competitors with true Business Elite service on these cross-country flights. Until now, Delta only offered its famous multi-course meal service and in-flight amenities (duvet, large pillow, noise-canceling headsets, menus, and amenity kits) on these high-profile flights. The 757s used had the recliner-style seats, but soon, all flights plying these routes will have full flat beds up front. Boeing 767-300ERs will be added to certain flights (the first starts in March 2013 and is timed to connect with the LAX-Sydney flight) while the 757s go in for a retrofit to flat beds. The addition of Seattle to the list of domestic Business Elite flights signals Delta’s heavy commitment to this market. Beginning in May 2013, all transcon flights with the new product will depart from JFK’s renovated Terminal 4. It will take two years for this change to be implemented across all transcon flights so be sure to book your flights accordingly. What do you think? Is a flat bed on a transcon all that important…or is it overkill?
DELTA + ALASKA. The code share agreement that Delta has with Alaska Airlines is proving to be a meaningful source of revenue as passengers can connect to a host of international cities from Seattle including Amsterdam, Beijing, Osaka, Paris, and Tokyo Narita. According to Alaska and Delta, there are as many as 1,200 daily connecting passengers between Delta and Alaska flights. Have you flown Alaska lately? What did you think?
TIME TO DONATE MILES?Even though Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on its northeast operations in early November canceling flights and tugging on profits, Delta made a hefty $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross’ relief efforts through the Delta Air Lines Foundation. In addition, Delta has a long-standing agreement with the Red Cross to provide cargo and seats needed during disaster relief efforts.Customers can also donate SkyMiles to the Red Cross or other charities here.
CHRISTMAS IN LONDON. Is like something out of Dickens… And Delta is matching other airline’s promotions to offer a hefty pile of SkyMiles for passengers flying to London on full-fare tickets. Your first round trip will earn 15,000 miles; the second round trip earns 35,000 miles, and the third scores 50,000 miles. Three roundtrips equal enough for a free roundtrip award in Business Elite to Europe. Full fares including J, C, D, S and I in business class and Y, B, and M fares in economy. Register and fly before Jan. 31, 2013.
EASY 500+ SKYMILES BONUS. The holidays are the BEST time of year to avoid oversold on-airport parking lots…. so why not help out The TICKET, and our newest sponsor, Peachy Airport Parking, on your next trip? You’ll help yourself, too, since Peachy is offering TICKET readers 500 SkyMiles plus three SkyMiles per dollar spent. If you are tired of worrying about on-airport lot sellouts, long, dark walks to your car or the congested mess that is Camp Creek Parkway, just exit I-85 south at Sylvan Road, one mile north of the airport, and follow the signs to Peachy. Once there, you’ll find extra wide spaces in a secure, climate controlled indoor lot, afree car wash and a short two-minute shuttle ride to the airport. Daily rates are just $6.99 outdoor or$8.99 indoor. COME ON! Help keep The TICKET free by clicking on this link or on the ad to the right to learn more about ATL’s newest parking option. Note: You have to click on the link and print the page to get the SkyMiles!