SPIFFIER SKY CLUBS. Sky Clubs have been getting a makeover across the country with trendsetters Los Angeles and Miami (see photo) among the first to reopen with a contemporary new look. The latest additions to the pack include the long-awaited changes at the dated Minneapolis-St. Paul G Concourse club, now proudly sporting a 21st century look, the new Sky Club at ATL’s gate B-10, and New York LaGuardia’s club, now expanded since the Northwest merger. Philadelphia’s long-awaited terminal D lounge should open soon. Self-service bars, snacking areas with fresh vegetables, charging stations, complimentary Wi-Fi and wireless printers are the new standard. Did you know… that Delta’s Sky Clubs are the only airport clubs that serve premium booze brands gratis? All other airline clubs charge for call brands.
TRIPLE SKYMILES TO THE SUN. Hop on a Delta jet to sunny Florida between now and February 15 and you’ll earn triple SkyMiles on flights between ATL and Ft Myers, Miami, Orlando or Tampa. Registration required.
THE SPIRIT OF ATLANTA. Watch Delta execs christen a brand new Boeing 777, The Spirit of Atlanta, with a bottle of Coke (natch!). This month Delta celebrated 70 years in Atlanta. Here’s the video.
TOKYO BONUS. Don’t like the lengthy and pricey transfer between Tokyo and its distant Narita Airport? Then consider Delta’s new service from Los Angeles and Detroit nonstop to Tokyo Haneda Airport. Recently opened to long-haul traffic, Haneda is much closer to downtown Tokyo than Narita. To celebrate, Delta is offering a double SkyMiles offer for all Economy Class fares and triple SkyMiles for BusinessElite fares. Register and then purchase a ticket and fly between Feb. 19 and May 31 to qualify. Since Delta’s got a hub operation at Narita, nonstops from ATL will continue to land there.
THAT NEW PLANE SMELL. Delta has put feelers out to aircraft manufacturers for a major order of up to 200 narrow body aircraft of various sizes for delivery as early as 2013. The new aircraft will help lower the overall fleet age while placing an emphasis on minimizing fuel burn and being more energy efficient (in fact, that was a mandate from CEO Richard Anderson). These new planes would be used domestically and put an end to the decades-old DC-9s that Delta inherited from Northwest after the merger. Despite getting interior face-lifts and being outfitted with GoGo Wi-Fi access, those creaky DC-9’s are showing their age.
SKYMILES FOR HOTEL STAYS. This winter several hotel programs are offering SkyMiles bonuses. Marriott is offering triple miles with any qualifying stay between February 1 and April 30. Be sure to register. Hilton offers up to 2,000 bonus miles after an eligible stay at any of its participating brands. Register here. Headed to Europe or Asia? Japanese chain Nikko Hotels is offering double miles (1,000) for stays at any of its properties through March 31.
SHOP ONLINE. EARN MILES. Now that the holidays are over, shopping portals like SkyMilesShopping.com are encouraging New Year spending with special promotions like this one with American Express. Visit americanexpress.skymilesshopping.com to enjoy special deals for SkyMiles Amex cardholders such as bonus miles offers of up to 25 miles per dollar spent and sales designed just for Delta-branded cardholders.
NIFTY ARTY NUGGET: Did you know that you can use your Bank of America debit or credit card for free admission to 150 museums one weekend per month throughout 2011? Nice deal! Details here
DELTA GROWTH FOCUS: LATIN AMERICA, AFRICA. “To really comprehend Delta’s international growth, consider that in 1996 — the year that Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics — Delta flew to only 12 international destinations out of Atlanta. Today, it is flying to 79 international destinations out of ATL. Historically, Delta had been focused on European destinations out of Atlanta. Then it increased its service to Latin America. And recently it has discovered the opportunities that exist in Africa. Click here to read Maria Saporta’s interesting analysis of Delta’s international growth.
SKYTEAM INVADES MIDDLE EAST. SkyTeam is on a growth spurt of late with news breaking this month that Saudi Arabian Airlines and MEA, Middle East Airlines of Lebanon, have plans to join in 2012. The two airlines will fill a major white space in the alliance network since there are no Middle Eastern carriers in SkyTeam at the moment. This is somewhat of a first as there are few airlines in the region that have joined a global alliance. Two modern hubs at Riyadh and Beirut will ease connections in the Gulf and the Levant regions respectively. While at first glance the two airlines may raise some travelers’ eyebrows, both have excellent safety records, strong route networks, and high service standards.
THE MOST POPULAR TICKET POST OF 2010?? Silver Medallions, Million Milers, What’s your Beef? From June 17. We are STILL getting comments almost weekly on this post.
ANOTHER AMEX>SKYMILES TRANSFER BONUS. American Express, Membership Rewards members can transfer points to Delta SkyMiles accounts and earn a 30 percent bonus on points transferred. There is no limit to the number of points that can be moved over so this is a nice way to top off your SkyMiles account with some extra points. A small fee to offset the federal excise tax is imposed, but it is more than worth the price considering the bonus miles awarded. Details. This deal is not as lucrative as the one we included in December. But if you missed out, go for it!
LAUNDRY LIST. Loyal SkyMiles members know that the SkyMiles Clothing Care network is a mileage-earning staple. There is no sign up charge and new members earn a bonus. Earn SkyMiles for every dollar spent at participating dry cleaners in your area by visiting www.SkyMilesClothingCare.com. Can’t find one nearby? Print the form on the web site and submit it with your next batch of dry cleaning to encourage your local dry cleaner to participate.
BOINGO FOR SKYMILES. Most frequent users of Boingo’s extensive international Wi-Fi network are champions of the service. And now, Delta SkyMiles members can rack up 500 SkyMiles for signing up for an unlimited access account. The service provides unlimited access at thousands of airports, hotels, restaurants, and public access. Members regularly save significant amounts if traveling and logging on frequently. Visit http://www.boingo.com/sales/skymiles.
SMALL BIZ BONUS. Own a small business or handle the travel plans for your company? Then you need to know about Delta’s Sky Bonus program (if you don’t already) designed to reward small businesses AND individual travelers. All that is needed is a tax ID number to sign up. Both the company and the passenger earn points for their flights. This double dip enhances the incentive to fly with Delta and offers awards like free tickets, Sky Club passes, and in-flight beverage/headset coupons for redemption. Between now and February 28, SkyBonus is offering a promotion for companies based in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania (Details). Earn a free roundtrip flight after signing up and flying one trip plus other bonus prizes. Atlanta-based travelers with a company based in NY, NJ, CT, and PA are eligible for this promotion.
VACATION BOOKING BONUS. Consider stopping by Delta Vacations’ Talkin Travel blog (blog.deltavacations.com) before booking to read travel experiences and tips from others who have booked combined air and hotel packages with this Delta affiliate. For social media fans, follow Delta Vacations on Facebook or Twitter for a chance to win a gift card redeemable for a Delta Vacations package. Medallion members can even earn up to 2,000 bonus miles when booking a vacation package at DeltaVacations.com between now and Feb. 28. Often, these hotel and flight packages can be cheaper than booking them independent of each other so be sure to compare prices before booking. Booking luxury packages adds up to even bigger bonuses.
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