Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PRPR - Dont forget the E

So Delta and American Express announced their new "Delta Reserve" level credit card. But the press release has one tiny (MAJOR) mistake...can you spot it?

The link they have listed: www.americanxpress.com/deltareserve [DONT CLICK] goes to a pretty unsavory squatter site americanxpress.com (note- NO "E" in express) which re-directs to creditcarddeals.com.

DOH! -- correct link is here: www.americanexpress.com/deltareserve

Anywho - the card has some pretty unique benefits -- much surrounding getting additional SkyMile MQMs and free Crown Room access...all for the low price of $450/year.

My only complaint is the card looks really boring

More Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) - INTERESTING!
Up to 10,000 MQMs with first purchase and Spend $30,000 dollars in a calendar year and you can earn a Miles BoostSM of 15,000 MQMs. Spend $60,000 in that same year and you can earn an additional 15,000 MQMs. Your annual Miles Boosts not only allow you to earn up to 30,000 MQMs for Medallion status, they also allow you to earn 30,000 miles for travel.

Give the Gift of MQMs - OK
As a Delta Reserve Cardmember, you have the unique ability to gift Miles Boost MQMs earned through the use of your Card to friends or family members to help them reach Medallion status, faster.

Crown Room Club - GOOD
From Wi-Fi access and satellite TV to fully stocked bars, you and two guests can experience the ultimate in comfort as you wait for your flight in the Crown Room Club.

Companion Certificate - GOOD
Each year you will receive a free* domestic companion certificate, which can be used for a First-Class or Coach- Class ticket.

Pay with Miles - YAWN!
Pay with Miles is an exclusive Cardmember benefit that lets you redeem your miles for any Delta flight, any time. With no blackout dates, just log in to delta.com, search for flights, and select the Pay with Miles option.
Learn more at delta.com/paywithmiles5

Concierge Services - DOUBLE YAWN!
Concierge consultants are standing by 24 hours a day to help you make dinner reservations, find gifts, and take care of other requests, big or small.

Always Double Miles - OK
With Always Double Miles® you can earn two miles for every dollar you spend when you use your Card at gas stations, home improvement and hardware stores, wireless phone bill payments, stand-alone supermarkets, drugstores, the U.S. Postal Service, and Delta Purchases.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Trip Report - Virgin America SFO-SEA

I had the pleasure of trying Virgin America this week from SFO to Seattle. Overall it was a very different and enjoyable experience. There were a couple odd things, but for most travelers it would have been a very nice fun flight.

Virgin flies out of SFO's underused International Concourse. Its a nice clean roomy gate area with lots of nice views of the Bay and the planes at SFO.

The flight was very full -- probably since the fares are as low as $73 one-way on this route, plus its still Spring Break. My flight had mostly spring break students and "leisure" fliers on it. The First Class cabin (all 8 seats) were full, so I ended up with 24C.

Boarding the airline is like entering a "club" with purple/pink hues and dance music playing. The seat backs are white HARD plastic which extends the club feel to your seat.

The Red inflight system was working and is light years ahead of anything I have experienced on Delta or Air Canada. There is a handheld controller in each armrest, which is handy but it also is placed where your elbow usually rests -- not a big deal, but it felt a bit odd.

The service was above average, the flight attendants were cheerful and seemed to enjoy the club like setting. However, two things during the flight did seem odd or not well developed.

1- There is no "welcome to Virgin here is how things work on our plane" video. Travelers are left to figure it out by themselves -- the lead flight attendant did make an announcement at the start of the flight, but it didnt do the system justice. The Red system is fairly intuitive, but I am not sure my Mom would be comfortable figuring it out without help. I think it would be smart to have a "intro" video so folks know how things work -- and it would promote how much better the inflight experience is compared to United, Alaska, etc.

2- The inflights did a regular beverage service with a cart, but "guests" around me were confused if they should order wine/beer through the Red system or when the cart gets to their row. Again, a video or announcement describing the inflight service would have really helped.

I enjoyed the flight-- bonus points for Dance music on the Red System!! If there are First Class seats available on your Virgin America flight, make sure you do the upgrade. The seats are real International Seats and have tons of leg room.

Orbitz- Keeping You A Step Ahead! 180x150

And that makes three...er..FOUR

Wow - what a week for US airlines, first Aloha shuts down, Champion Air says they will close up shop in May, and then ATA stops flying and now SkyBus announces it done as of tonight!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Alaska Air - First Class Meal SEASFO April 2008

Here is the "upgraded" First Class meal on the 6:15am flight from Seattle to SFO. The cinnamon bun was very good, but not the most healthy meal -- I only ate half.