Did I just drink the Kool-Aid, or is status worth it?

I am a status flyer.  I am loyal (with split loyalties) to my programs and cost and schedule being equal I will choose Delta or US Airways.  Why?  Because of status…upgrades, boarding early, trip interruption service, free checked bags if I need it and “priority” handling on those, access to lounges without airport announcements every 5 seconds.  I really enjoy the travel experience I have as an elite traveler.  I like knowing I get to go through security faster and I can knock people off the standby list.  Who that travels more than a few times a year wouldn’t like this?

I talked to a couple of my new coworkers who have traveled before and 1 is loyal to a frequent travel program and is climbing the ranks quickly.  The other prefers Southwest.  Soon even Southwest will allow certain flyers to use PreCheck, and Southwest does have some perks for frequent flyers, but doesn’t even have First class or many of the perks I enjoy.  Another coworker told me he likes AirTran.  I purposely find a reason to arrive at a different time so I accounting doesn’t wonder why I didn’t take the same flight.  I used to fly AirTran quite a bit (around 10 times a year) and only when Delta was just too expensive to justify.  Whenever I had irrops I would usually just be told to call a number.  It got to where if I misconnected from ATL-CLT I’d just rent a car and drive home because AirTran didn’t make it easy to get on the next flight.

I enjoy the service I get from Delta and I enjoy the direct flights with few delays I get from US Airways.  The fares in Charlotte usually resemble price fixing so why would I fly on a discount carrier?  Did I just drink the Kool-Aid, or is status worth it?

Comments

  1. As a DL silver, I think its kool aid.

    What benefits do I get that I can’t have with a credit card or flying Jetblue / Southwest / Virgin?

    The only benefit is ability to upgrade, which has never worked out for me. (though economy comfort works 50%)

    So perhaps I should be choosing the most convenient flying times and airlines like Jetblue or Virgin for a better experience…Or, I’ll hope for gold 🙂

    • As a Delta Silver you don’t even get priority phone support. I called Delta and got picked up after a couple rings. My coworker is a Silver and called and was told it would be 15 minutes for a call back. When I was done with my business I had the lady fix his ticket before he got a call back.

  2. My home base is Charlotte, and I agree with the price fixing comment. I envy all of the discounts and mileage runs others are able to score regularly.

  3. Status is ABSOLUTELY worth it! If you aren’t a Delta Diamond, you should strive for it. The service is awesome, and the awed pricing and availability isn’t as bad as some paint it to be.

    • I’m already over 30 segments on Delta and 13 segments on US Airways so I should hopefully end this year at the Platinum level in some program, maybe even Diamond with Delta.

  4. @Gene–for those of us who won’t make diamond, the calculus is a bit different. I agree if you spend that much time in the air, you shouldn’t be low level across the board. But for those of us who fly 20-50 segments per year, status may not be all its cracked up to be

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