Friday, February 17, 2006

A Delta Strike?

The AP reports today that Delta pilots are picketing alongside the passenger drop-off zone outside Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport. They aren't on strike, at least not yet. Their picketing, according to a spokesperson for Delta, is purely "informational," causing no service disruptions.

But if the company and its pilots union can't reach an agreement by March 1st--and if, as a result, Delta unilaterally imposes the pay and benefits cuts motivating the current picketing--then the pilots may go on strike. And if the strike happens, Delta warns, the company might go under.

This is unsettling news for me, as almost all my airline miles reside in Delta's SkyMiles program. Fortunately my next trip to California will be aboard Delta's SkyTeam partner, Northwest. Because I have elite status with Delta, I was able to snag a bulkhead seat on Northwest. Whether these privileges would survive Delta's demise, I'm not certain. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Is there any rule of thumb about when using miles becomes a better deal than simply buying a ticket and accruing miles? More specifically, do you have guidance as to whether it would be better to 1) pay $480 for a ticket from California to Costa Rica, or 2) use 35,000 United miles for the same trip?

Also, (only semi-related) if one is sitting on Delta miles is it a good idea to unload them now on the assumption that the program could go down with the airline?

4:45 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Hmmm, that's a good question. I'd have to say that both deals are pretty good. A trip to Costa Rica for under $500 is reasonable, as is 35,000 miles (Delta asks for quite a few more). I would say you could go either way. As a rule of thumb, save miles for expensive international flights or domestic flights between small cities.

Don't unload those Delta miles yet--unless, of course, you have just enough for a free ticket (with most of your miles on another airline), in which case you should go ahead and spend them.

10:19 AM  

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