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Factually Incorrect Article

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Tom Tuttle, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Tom Tuttle

    Tom Tuttle Reader

    You wrote a factually incorrect article that needs to be revised.

    https://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2018/03/09/delta-million-miler-status/#comment-3895353

    In this article, you claim that someone can earn Million Miler status on Delta by applying for a Delta Platinum AMEX credit card. Wrong. Million Miler miles only reflect actual miles flown through the air. I called and confirmed it with Delta today, April 14, 2018.

    So you're misleading readers in a big way and it needs to be fixed.
     
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  2. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the comment, but the article is correct. If you read the details, Ben notes that the Medallion Qualifying Miles offered by the Delta Platinum card (which are different than the general Redeemable Miles earned by spending on the card) are what would push his dad over the threshold.

    MQMs do indeed count towards Million Miler (and all other Delta status).
     
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  3. Tom Tuttle

    Tom Tuttle New Member

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    Dear Tiffany,

    Again, I called Delta today on April 23, 2018 to double check on this. And again, the original author Ben (and now you), are both wrong. The miles reflected in Delta’s Million Miler mile total only capture actual flight miles flown. So for example, if someone has a Million Miler total of 990,000 miles with Delta, signing up for a Delta Platinum Card that issues in excess of 10,000 MQM’s will NOT count toward the Million Miler total. It might count towards annual Diamond, Platinum, Gold or Silver status, but NOT Million Miler.

    I read your response directly to Delta and they told me to call their corporate office and have someone officially write your blog to clarify this. Not trying to be a jerk here Tiffany, but you guys are a blog specializing in sharing knowledge about rewards programs. This is not a small or minor “miss.” The fact that you took the time to respond to my question is admirable and appreciated but it loses meaning fast if you double down on the wrong answer! It is dangerously misleading to people who might indeed sign up for a credit card thinking the signup process or any of the bonuses they get from using it, will be reflected in the Million Miler total.

    Said another way. You must fly 1 million miles in the air to become a Delta Million Miler. Anything short of that will not allow you to reach the milestone. ACTUAL MILES FLOWN IN THE AIR. Period.

    Please do your research again before responding again with inaccurate information. Otherwise, I will feel obliged to call Delta and draw their attention to this specific post.
    Again, not trying to be jerkish. Just seems important.

    Kind regards, Tom

    *Said yet another way: recently I took a 12,500 round-trip from the U.S. to Europe. My ticket was cheap. Only $750. Being a Platinum, I received only 4,500 MQM’s from Delta toward annual medallion status but my Million Miler total adjusted upward the entire 12,500 total. My travel partner who traveled on the same itinerary and paid the same price for the ticket, and didn’t have any medallion status with Delta, received only 2,500 MQM’s, but the full 12,500 miles towards Million Miler.

    Think about it: if Delta would try to count anything other than actual miles flown towards the Million Miler achievement, the MM milestone would lose most of its meaning and prestige. No one should ever be able to buy their way to that honor. And to be clear, it is an honor, because anyone who has flown enough knows how much effort goes into spending that much time in the sky and on an airplane.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  4. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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  5. thehowieee

    thehowieee New Member

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    Hey Tom -

    As a Million Miler and a cardholder of both the Consumer and Small Business version of the Delta Reserve card, I can say with 100% confidence, that the MQMs earned from Delta credit cards DO COUNT TOWARDS MILLION MILER STATUS.

    The numbers you mention above look like you might be mixing up RDM (ReDeemable Miles aka SkyMiles) and MQM. Your travel partner earned fewer RDMs than you did because you have Platinum status and Platinum Medallion members earn 9 miles/dollar whereas general members earn 5 miles/dollar (see https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/skymiles/how-to-earn-miles/earn-with-delta.html#medal).

    In your example, if you were booked in the same fare class, you earned the same amount of MQM. Take a look at each of your SkyMiles statement and you should see the same number of MQMs earned. If they differ, it has to do with your tickets and the fare class/ticketing carrier, and nothing to do with your Medallion status.

    All MQMs are created equal when it comes to million miler status.

    All the best!
    Howie
     
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  6. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    Hey @Tom Tuttle,

    I don't know who you spoke with at Delta, but I can assure you that we are more knowledgable about most aspects of the SkyMiles program than the vast majority of people who answer the phone at Delta. The terms of Million Miler status are also pretty clear:

    "Million Miler Status is based on total Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) earned over a Member’s lifetime."

    My Million Miler Status absolutely reflects my lifetime MQM earning.

    Are you possibly confusing redeemable miles (RDMs) with MQMs? In the example you gave above, the math would make more sense if:
    • Tickets were $750, presumably ~$500 before taxes
    • Flown miles were 12,500
    • MQMs (based on distance) were thus 12,500 for both passengers, and were added to Million Miler Status
    • RDMs (based on fare paid) were 4,500 for the Platinum Medallion (9x $), 2,500 for the non-status member (5x $)
    Also, I appreciate that you're "not trying to be jerkish," but your tone, and particularly the bit about being "obliged to call Delta and draw attention to this specific post" doesn't really come across well. Delta's Corporate Communications team reads the blog, and has my cell number, so the threat of exposure isn't really necessary or useful.

    We are always happy to make corrections when we get something wrong, and I'll confirm to make sure there hasn't been a sudden and drastic change, but I don't love the insinuation that we're being intentionally or dangerously misleading.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  7. Tom Tuttle

    Tom Tuttle New Member

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    Hello Tiffany and All,

    After spending another 45 minutes on the phone with Delta and speaking to my fourth representative, it is true what Tiffany states: this blog and it’s authors do know more than the vast majority of people who answer the phone at Delta. Sad, but true.

    First, I would like to apologize to Tiffany, Ben and this blog for accusing them of being inaccurate on this matter. They were not. However, the people whom I spoke with at Delta before today, were in fact wrong and gave me wrong information.

    The bottom line is this: you can earn more Million Miler miles as a result of buying higher fare tickets and signing up for credit cards. Indeed, not all MM miles are created equally as one might think. The flight from SFO to CDG that you pay $2,000 for versus $700 for is going to get you to Million Miler status sooner.

    I was wrong and I apologize. Tiffany was correct that my note came across as chippy at best and mean-spirited at worst. The last Delta agent I spoke with told me to call their corporate customer care department and let them get the truth out there through places like this blog. That in fact, MM miles only reflect Butt in Seat (BIS) miles. And that was just plain wrong. Which is why I wrote what I did earlier.

    Aside from my own personal learning and the mea culpa I’m offering here, I just want to express my super big disappointment and letdown. One of the great achievements some of us have left in life was to have become a Million Miler. And now that designation means very little to me since others can simply purchase their way to that level. And that means there can be no apples to apples comparison and Delta’s Million Miler is more about how much business they can generate from you versus how much you have traveled and seen the world.

    Surely Delta knows how disappointed a lot of people like myself would be if they understood this. I certainly would never have strived to reach MM if I knew it was not a reflection of the actual miles you have flown. Kind of like buying an Olympic Gold medal instead of running the race and winning/earning it. Or in political terms, it’s like the Electoral College for the U.S. Presidential Election or for the U.S. Senate. Your vote in North Dakota technically counts for more than your vote in California. I could buy a number of super expensive round-trip tickets from Los Angeles to Tokyo totaling only 300,000 BIS miles but spending $750K and get to Million Miler. And that counts the same as someone who travels 1 million BIS miles through the air and might have only spent $200K to fly those million miles.

    In my opinion — and I realize everyone does not see it this way — I say for shame to Delta and all the airlines who do the same. At the very least you should have a BIS tracker and metric available to your travelers to look at. But you have lumped it all together and made the MM designation a meaningless and arbitrary level, just to fill your pockets more.

    I was looking forward to celebrating my MM flight later this year with my parents, wife, etc. And honestly, now it means absolutely nothing other than I spent a bunch of time and money in the air. Especially when Joe Schmo sitting next to me can say, “Hey, I’m a MM too!” when in fact he just uses his Delta Amex and/or flies First Class all the time to get to the same level a lot faster and without spending nearly as much time in the sky with the same airline.

    And this thus ends my care for airline loyalty programs. What a dummy I was. For anyone sitting at a much lower MM level and now reading this post and seeing that wealth can buy someone MM status, perhaps it will make you re-think how much time you spend flying in the coming years. Perhaps there are much better spends of your time.

    Sorry if this comes across as overly dramatic to some. I’m sure it will but that’s just how I feel. It doesn’t seem right at all. But I have also learned and come to accept that money and profits are certainly much more important to corporations than a consumer’s altruistic goals in life.

    Once again, apologies to Ben and Tiffany and the good people of this blog.

    Kind regards, Tom Tuttle
     
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  8. TexasFlyer

    TexasFlyer Member

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    Good point. I have always wondered about why people esp in the US care so much about status, miles, etc. and let big corporations fool them into addiction. Esp given the products are mediocre at best. Sure, there is value to be had if the miles game is played strategically, and I admit having done that a few times myself too but other than that I prefer using cash over supporting big banks bottom line.
     
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  9. thehowieee

    thehowieee New Member

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    An unfortunate but valuable lesson learned. Like you, I'll enjoy the free checked bag and occasional upgrade with lifetime (million miler) status.
     
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  10. Gia

    Gia Active Member

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    I left Delta back in 2010 when I switched over to US Air (now AA) largely because my travel needs changed. I was, at that time, about 50,000 miles short of Million Miler. Last year I decided to book some Delta flights to get me over the top. And like you, all my miles were earned the old fashioned way through actual flying. I no longer fly Delta regularly but I decided this was a goal worth achieving. At some point you may decide to complete the journey.
     
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  11. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    Hey @Tom Tuttle, no worries -- it's easy to get wrapped up in this stuff, and we know the programs don't always do a great job of communicating. That's why we do what we do!

    There are so many incredible opportunities with miles and points, and we love leveraging those, but it's important to remember that these programs are all run by companies with an eye towards profit. They want to drive irrational loyalty, so keeping a dispassionate perspective will allow you to best utilize the benefits without getting sidetracked. This is doubly true for elite status, and probably tenfold for lifetime status -- the benefits associated with those statuses are only valuable to the extent you can leverage them for your travel. They aren't valuable or prestigious in their own right.

    I'm sorry for your disappointment though, and hope you can find other ways to strategically extract value from the SkyMiles program.
     
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  12. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    @Tom Tuttle

    It's great to see that you have such a passion for hard earned million miler status.

    Have you looked into United's MileagePlus Program? If I'm not mistaken, their Million Miler qualification program is strictly based only on BIS miles flown on United metal. That's about as hardcore loyal as you can get to an airline.
     
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  13. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    Alaska does this too, which is even more impressive when you factor in Alaska's paltry route network and narrow-body fleet. That's a very uncomfortable million miles!
     
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