News of the Day: Delta changes partner earning and Airtran kicks off school group

Delta announced a change in earning on partners effective Sept 1, 2013.  The most notable being that Korean Air no longer accumulates Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) which is quite odd for a full partner in an alliance.  Even Alaska, not even a member of Skyteam still allows full MQM earning.

Gary and Lucky give some analysis of this, but one quote Gary makes is:

Does anyone that knows anything about travel, miles, and elite status — that doesn’t live in Atlanta or the Upper Midwest — still fly Delta?

Well yes, Gary, I still do.  Why?  Because my weekly travel is 90% in the US and most of the time Delta is vastly cheaper than even US Airways. Although I have accrued Delta points regularly for 7 years and I’ve only bought a TV and made a crappy redemption to Ireland before I knew better. I’m sitting on a stockpile of Skymiles that I never use because United miles seem to get me where I’m going easier….I still fly Delta because I like the flight experience and I get around the country with minimal issues.

Delta is definitely treating me like a frog in boiling water and the Same Day Change changes really ticked me off, this change doesn’t really upset me at all.  Ever since Continental moved into Star Alliance and merged with United and Northwest merged with Delta I rarely fly any Skyteam partners.  I occasionally fly Alaska but if Delta changed that partnership I’d just start crediting them to American to anticipate the merger.  The Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQD) doesn’t affect me much because most of my trips are booked <7 days out so spending $5,000 for Gold is not an issue…and if it weeds out the ranks that actually gives me MORE value in the form of increased upgrades I would assume.

I do, however, hope to go to Korea in the next few years for vacation, but I can always fly Delta or continue using United miles or US Airways miles instead…and this is nothing about redeeming on Korean Air changing, just accruing MQM.

Delta also announced it dehubbed Memphis.  They rarely had as attractive flight times as ATL from CLT, but I have connected in MEM maybe 3 times already this year although I had never connected in MEM before.  The more I hear these stories the more I get afraid for the fate of CLT after the US/AA merger.

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In news of the stupid a school group was flying from NYC to ATL on Airtran and decided to play musical chairs and not put away devices.  Sorry.  Flight Attendants are not baby sitters and regardless of age if you don’t sitdown and shutup they will turn the plane around.  I’m glad I wasn’t on that flight!  Quotes from the chaperones referred to  the flight crew as stewardesses.  If you want to get your point across that you are a victim and were discriminated against, don’t use outdated phrases to refer to the flight crew!  The students’ twitter posts quoted on CNN also refer to Airtran and the flight crew in a derogatory way for being Southern.  Well…you just lost my sympathy there and I’m going to side with the flight attendants and pilots.  Also, there is a quote from a business traveler on the flight and he backed up the flight crew.

I’ve never seen a group so large on the plane.  The chaperones should have been vigilant about getting the kids to sit in their seats, seat belts fastened, and portable electronic devices stowed.  The seat swapping should stop as soon as it’s time for departure!

Comments

  1. Southwest/Airtran offered the school free roundtrip tickets anywhere they fly for all 101 passengers. They did it very quickly and so that to me is an admission of guilt that their flight attendants were at fault. Calling a flight attendant is a stewardess is not a reason to side with them and critique them.

  2. And the redaction of many of the tweets means what? Did CNN make up tweets in the Storify section of the article, or did the chaperones realize that sometimes it is better to say nothing and let the lawyers handle it?

    Airlines typically offer something after a major news outrage. It doesn’t admit guilt, it is an attempt to stop the bleeding. I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened, but I have been on flights with school groups of maybe 35-40 students without issue. I have been on flights with large families who appear to practice Islam or are Orthodox Jewish. I have also seen large groups (10-15) of Mennonite teenagers. This has been on Airtran and other carriers. Unless a kid documented anything with a phone (I’m surprised that footage hasn’t surfaced) to prove otherwise, religion is a red herring.

  3. funny how you don’t know the details of what happened but are already quick to judge.

  4. I agree with Harry. Like you said yourself, you weren’t there, yet you are very quickly to side with the airline based on past experiences. That is a very flawed method on your part and until more facts come out for either side you should just report the news as it is without any of your nonsensical opinions.

    None of us were there and so we don’t know who was at fault.

  5. another point: apparently this took place in the very early hours of the morning. I am a teacher and the nature of a person is that very early in the morning (especially without a full night sleep) a person is very cranky and does not have patience for children. (ask any teacher)
    This could also be a reason that the flight attendants overreacted.

  6. I too am glad that I was not on that flight. However, after the offending group, apparently quite large was removed, the rest may have enjoyed a very nice flight. “Stewardesses” or “Flight Attendants,” I’ll skip for this round as the titles used won’t change the facts: Everyone on an airplane has an obligation to everyone else – to follow the safety rules. I won’t even go to being civil and polite in public, just the safety rules and instructions. When an on-duty “Cabin Staff Person” asks you to do something, just DO IT. If, upon landing, one still feels the need to complain, write a letter to the airline. In no circumstances should one argue with a “Cabin Person,” at the gate or while in flight. While my position may give those “Cabin Persons,” more power and authority than they deserve, arguing with them while *in flight* is begging for a federal charge of one thing or another and it is just NOT worth it. Sit down, shut up, buckle up and stay that way. Once at altitude, drag out your laptop and start your letter to the airline – if you must. I will grant that many “Cabin People” seem to have a serious attitude problem these days, but pissing and moaning about it While In Flight is a serious stupid idea. As noted, sit down, shut up, buckle up and stay that way for the duration. And yes, if you an electronic device, turn the damn thing OFF when asked to do so. If you don’t like those simple rules, hire your own jet – and you’ll still get much the same instructions. Screw with them and they too will toss you off their airplane!
    I’m delighted that these kids were tossed off. If their parents have anything to say, the comments should be directed toward the kid, not the airline. And SHAME on those supposed chaperones. They failed, miserably. Wanna argue? Go for it!

    • @Cook, the point Harry and Marc are trying to make is that we don’t know that they did not sit down and power off/put away when instructed.
      With seats for only about 17 other people on the plane there aren’t a lot of witnesses outside of the group either.
      The fact is, it costs airlines a lot of money to not push back on time and they do their darndest to get on unless there is a reason.

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