I recently flew from Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW) to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) with Delta Air Lines on a Delta Connection flight. There has been a lot of bad publicity about Delta Air Lines, especially because of its devaluation in its loyalty program. The main issue is that Delta SkyMiles is changing to a revenue base calculation for elite qualification.
I do not fly Delta Air Lines often enough to worry about elite status. Furthermore, I also booked this flight before the changes were announced. The reason I book this flight is because the price was very affordable. I was unable to use my points for the specific time that I needed to attend a wedding. Therefore, I had to pay for a flight, which meant that I will pay for the most affordable price within my budget.
As I have written about extensively, this is exactly the reason why I recommend to diversify your points portfolio. I made sure that I earn points with at least one airline out of each of the three major airline alliances. Delta Air Lines is a member of SkyTeam and you can earn SkyMiles points. I like SkyMiles because the points never expire, so I do not have to worry about keeping them active.
The other reason I preach diversification is whenever I encounter a problem like this where I was unable to use my points to fly on a specific flight. That meant that I had to purchase a plane ticket at an affordable price. If I am going to purchase a plane ticket, I want to be flexible on which airline to fly with, so I prefer collecting points on multiple airlines so that I can take advantage of earning opportunities.
Boarding the flight from YOW was pretty smooth. A very common topic that has been heavily debated recently is the carry-ons, because too many airlines are charging for the first checked bag. Delta Air Lines is no different, so I paid very close attention to this part of my trip.
DTW was actually a layover for me, so I went on several Delta flights during my trip. On each of the trip, most people brought carry-ons instead of checking in a bag, which I suspect is happening everywhere anyway. Of course not all carry-ons will fit on the overhead bins, which means many of us had to ‘check-in’ the carry-on. In other words, when we reached the gate, we received a pink tag to put our carry-on under the plane anyway. What I was keenly focused on was the speed of moving the bags in and out of the plane. It was actually a very efficient process. I did not wait more than 2 minutes to receive my carry-on on any of the flights. I rather liked the process a lot.
Even if our first free checked bag was free, there is still a fairly long wait time to go pick up the luggage. There is also the worry of lost, delayed or stolen baggage. So I am actually going to have an open mind about this new procedure with carry-0n bags. Because it is being done so efficiently without a cost, I am happy with the service. Though I am skeptical that one day we may be seeing additional fees to ‘check-in’ a carry-on.
As for this specific trip, I was actually quite happy with my experience with Delta Air Lines. The staff was very friendly at all the airports. I look forward to flying with them again.