Why Delta Miles are Worth Even Less Than You Think, Play Onboard Pac-Man, But Don’t Come to the U.S.

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Why Your Delta Miles are Worth Less Than You Think: In one of the best posts on any miles and points blog this week, Tiffany walks through how Delta prices awards. She shows much more extensive examples than what I wrote up in April of how Delta practices ‘journey control’ when redeeming miles for their own flights.

    You don’t just need saver availability on each individual segment, rather availability will vary depending on the connections you’re making too.

    While Delta has done this for years, it’s grown far more extensive. In some sense it makes Delta miles worth less — but I have the same mental model as before: Delta miles are good for partner awards, but assume you have to buy any domestic segment to connect to and from the international flights unless you can book those segments on partner Alaska Airlines.

    Lufthansa Miles & More practices journey control too (though when you use United miles you can still build an award segment-by-segment).

  • At no extra charge: Ryanair pilot insults passengers, wears tin foil hat inflight. And customers weren’t even charged extra for it.

  • When Will Delta Trump With Ms. Pac-Man? Virgin America introducing seatback Pac-Man. This makes me insanely happy, like the day Google Doodles was a Pac-Man game. (For those of you flying other wifi-equipped airlines, you can still play Pac-Man on Google)

  • Limited-Time Credit Card Offer: Million MIle Secrets notes that there’s a new link for the Miles & More credit card with signup bonus up to 50,000 miles.

  • Worth a read for aviation buffs: Anchorage and aviation: flying through time

  • This is a Really Big Deal for the World: State Department suspends overseas passport and visa issuance due to technical problems. They say a hardware failure stopped their system from receiving biometric information originating abroad. The system went down last July, too, apparently for unrelated reasons.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. I’m sure the Delta news won’t stop Mr. Woodford Reserve (aka DeltaPoints DB) from his relentless 15 segment mileage run reports to shamelessly pimp his Amex Delta cards. Can there be any more pointless rants about Skypesos flying little planes to BFE (South Bend) than he has? Move to a real city and stop complaining.

  2. I do not like touch-screens on the back of my seat. Pac-man seems like a horrible idea. 6 hours of a kid hitting the chair is not fun.

  3. The Delta stuff is getting tired. I have done far better with my Delta miles than United. I went to South Africa Non Stop from ATL in Business for 160K each. You can fly almost any day to the UK on Virgin for 30K miles each way no surcharges (coach). Can you do that with American? Nope. There was a survey last week about redeeming miles Delta was last, with American one above them. American can be pretty restrictive as well. And you can still I guess get tickets from LAX to SYD as Gary did this year. So there are a few sweet spots for Delta. You can go to Africa through Europe with some planning. They are good with schedule changes as well. What are the sweet spots to use my United Miles. And American will be making vast changes in 2016. Already many routes and flights are never available at low level.

  4. @robertw there are absolutely sweet spots for Delta like Australia on Virgin Australia. Try getting the connecting flight to Los Angeles on Delta, though. And complain about availability on American metal? “Already many [Delta] routes and flights are never available at low level”… 😉

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