Carter Page Bragged About Delta Elite Status Before the House Intelligence Committee

Former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page made a trip to Russia in July 2016 and testified about his contacts in front of the House Intelligence Committee.

He explained that he was flown over by a Russian university on an economy ticket, prima facie evidence it seems to me that there weren’t improper financial dealings. Anyone worth influencing, that you’re trying to influence, you fly at least business class.

However Page notes that he managed to endure the flight thanks to his SkyMiles elite status, leading to speculation that Delta could have been facilitating these contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia… perhaps all a part of Delta’s attempt to ingratiate itself with the President to obtain protectionist measures against foreign airlines.

Need I mention that Delta has a history of handing out elite status to politicos as well?

(HT: @BradSpahn)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. You call that bragging? Then most of your blog posts are bragging (in between the whining and the republican bashing).

  2. Delta stopped flying to Russia a while ago, so any flights would have been on Air France/KLM or, more likely, Aeroflot, meaning his benefits as an elite would have been fairly minimal once on board the plane.

    Need I mention that Aeroflot has a long and storied history as a front organization for Soviet intelligence agencies?

  3. Lots of people get upgraded. Why is this news? Perhaps his upgrade was from DCA to ATL!

    As far as the other link to ‘handing out elite status to politicos’ – again many get complimentary status for a variety or reasons; corporate buyers, ancillary products (Delta Private Jets), ‘some’ card products, or for other ‘services rendered’ in special cases

  4. Gary this post shows how shallow and insecure I believe you are. You feel on top of the world because you have a megaphone, effectively rode the social media wave and carry certain cards in your wallet.

    There are so many people with tremendous influence (and net-worth) who have never flown F, or fly exclusively WN because their network is most convenient for their needs. Go to Love Field and see all the suits flying WN because their time is too valuable to schlep over to DFW to get a processed meal and booze in FC.

    Often times the people sitting forward of the curtain just happen to be there because of elite status, upgrade, non-rev, etc.

    Most of the traveling public hates Airlines and thinks of flying like a gloried Greyhound bus, Gary.

    You lose credibility when you post things like this. Leave the thought leadership to McKinsey, BCG and Seabury (who, btw fly Y, as legitimate thought leaders often on positive space tickets for company business)

  5. @Josh G – again – as usual – you make all sorts of (incorrect) assumptions, not knowing what at all you talk about.

    1- this post is firmly tongue in cheek
    2- however if a government were trying to bribe or curry favor with a campaign for long haul travel they’d likely be offering business, that he was flying Y is indicative of a genuine university-sponsored trip rather than bribe
    3- i fly southwest all the time, i may make status with them this year, precisely because they’re most convenient.

    You can insult me all you want, by the way I see crap coming out of consulting firms all the time, you don’t like me and somehow read things into posts that aren’t there and attack straw men. It’s been awhile. Welcome back!

  6. Arguing about airlines is like debatong over local grocery stores! Good for you, whatever it is! But I love it! I will fly China Eastern Z fare to Japan in part to game Delta’s ridiculous MQD requirement for Diamonds! And the new chart doesn’t penalize premium fares on Aeroflot as much as it used to! All good news for Delta status chasers (as a hobby) and the Russians! I admit, I am both! Keep on posting, Gary, your post was where I learned about the new partner chats for Delta and I when I come across something a little less useful, well, I just don’t read it!

  7. Correction: I fare (the cheaper biz class, in case the reader appreciates the difference and MQD earning opportunity on JFK-PVG-NRT return) 🙂

  8. Not really newsworthy and seems to be another Dis against Delta here. They don’t fly to Moscow any longer as was pointed out so the flights were probably on another SkyTeam carrier at least in part.

    Trust me that I’m no Trump fan but this seems a little picky.

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