In the middle of my 18-hour Delta mileage run, in a case of particularly egregious linkbait Gary at View from the Wing asked today:
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, I live in New England, and whether I know anything about travel, miles, and elite status is an exercise I'll leave to the reader .
And I fly Delta almost exclusively.
As I confessed earlier this week, in the 20 years I've been flying more or less constantly, I've only spent about 11,000 miles on airlines operated by oneworld alliance carriers (and my recollection is that the majority of those were earned on a single cheap Aer Lingus flight to Dublin in the early 2000's. So I'm prepared to believe that American Airlines is a world class airline, with comfortable seats, good loyalty recognition, on-time departures and arrivals, and courteous flight staff.
On the other hand, due to a serious of unfortunate career decisions, I was forced to fly a hundred thousand miles or so on United Airlines over the course of a few years, both domestically and internationally.
And that's why I fly Delta almost exclusively.
A lot of digital ink has been spilt over the consequences of the merger between United and Continental. The loyal flyers of each airline were shocked - shocked! - by the terrible flight experience they found on flights operated by their new crews.
Since I was never a loyal flyer of either airline, I can say with complete equanimity that every flight I've flown on pre-merger Continental and pre- and post-merger United have been absolutely abysmal. The cabins are dim and unpleasant, the flight attendants are apologetic at best and rude at worst. I'm graciously leaving unmentioned the libertarian capitalist fantasies expressed by United CEO Jeff Smisek in almost every issue of their inflight magazine.
United MileagePlus miles are still the most valuable traditional airline miles (with Alaska's Mileage Plan a close second).
As much as I value the inflight experience offered by Delta, the fact is that United offers more award seats, with more partners, to more destinations I need to fly than any other carrier. And that's why I use United miles regularly for award seats, for example on my spring break trip to Prague earlier this year.
But I earn those United miles through manufactured spending on my Chase Freedom and Sapphire Preferred cards, not by flying on paid United and US Airways flights.
So tell me, does anyone that knows anything about travel, miles, and elite status — that doesn’t live in a United hub — still fly United?