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US Airways and Delta Decrease Baggage Allowance for Silver Elites

by on December 17, 2011 · 10 comments

in Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, US Airways

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Low level elites have seen a lot of their benefits trimmed back this year – starting with United’s watering down of their Premier Silver program which included only allowing premium seat selection at check-in and decreasing the amount of free checked bags to one.

Delta and US Airways have both also revised their baggage allowance for their 25,000-mile-a-year Silver elites to one bag of 70 pounds or less. American is the lone holdout, giving their Gold elites two free checked bags and I don’t anticipate them changing that rule as they try to ride out their bankruptcy without angering too many of their frequent flyers.

I rarely check bags, but this elite perk can save you a ton of money if you do – especially if you travel with multiple family members. Of course, if free bags are most important to you, flying Southwest might make the most sense, because they allow two free checked bags for all passengers.

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  • PanAm

    What hurts 1st tier elites the most is both the devaluations AND the fact that now in many cases, airline credit card holders can enjoy most of the same benefits. Kind of cheapens any feeling of the loyalty-rewards relationship. I wonder if the day is coming where 50K is the minimum to earn elite status and the current low level tiers evaporate.

    Of course, to me the kicker with the elite baggage benefits to begin with, is remembering the days when everyone could check a free bag domestically!

  • MotorCityMadness

    Is this policy in effect immediately?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rockferd Rocky Horan

    https://www.delta.com/skymiles/about_skymiles/skymiles_program_updates/index.jsp

    per the release it’s March 1 when this goes in effect (the end of the current program year) However if you bought your ticket prior to Dec 15 then you are not effected by this change

  • http://www.facebook.com/rockferd Rocky Horan

    Delta Loyalty or Just Get the Sky Miles Gold card?

    As a Silver Elite on Delta you get:
    1 free Bag
    Preferred Seats
    25% bonus miles for flying
    Priority Boarding
    Free upgrades to 1st class – 24 hr window
    Free Companion upgrades – wait as a Plt Elite my companion has only been upgraded 1x in all my travels, so count this benefit out!

    And in the unlikelihood of there ever being a silver elite upgrade, you might be upgraded to first class. However Even as a Platinum Elite I only get upgraded about 70% of the time, so I see the likelihood of a silver being upgraded close to zero.

    Yet, Instead you could skip the loyalty you currently have to Delta, pay $95 a year, (free the first year) and get instead:
    1 free checked bag – not only for me, but up to 9 people I travel with (Better than being Silver Elite!)
    Fly on any qualifying flight and receive DOUBLE Delta SkyMiles!
    Priority Boarding – Same as the silver Elite
    20% bonus miles on anything I buy in flight- Yes! I’m still better off with this card then being a loyal Frequent flyer!

    My Final conclusion, Get the credit card for free if you happen to fly a few flights a year on delta, enjoy the 30k sign up bonus, at the end of the year ditch the card to avoid the Fee. Otherwise forget about brand loyalty and fly who ever is cheapest! Not to mention Southwest and Jetblue both have Free baggage allowance!

  • Asdfasdf

    you don’t get double skymiles for flying… you get 2X $ spent on the tickets.

    Other than that, I agree with you and I will not do anything outrageous to try for MQM’s with Delta

  • Asdasdfa

    strengthening your point… you also forgot you get $99 companion LUT ticket… but for $150 a year you can get the delta plat amex and you get free companion LUT ticket and milesboost which can max your miles earnings at 70k for 50k spend

  • Anonymous

    collecting skymiles is worst than collecting sand at a beach, at least you can find more then one use for sand and you so sad when it slips thru your fingers

  • http://www.facebook.com/rockferd Rocky Horan

    Not to mention, with the delta PlT there’s 5,000 MQM sign up bonus plus they had a targeted offer this year for an addition 10,000 MQM if you spent $1500 in the first 3 months! So again, another stick in the side for silver elites!

  • Melina71

    As I found out, the one bag at 70 pounds for Silver Elites, is only for travel within the US, Canada and other territories.For international its still at 2 bags .I just flew over seas and I called and verified this information.

  • CKing006

    Just flew last week, and the Caribbean is considered a non-international domestic flight (1 free bag for silver), and the 70 lbs. only counts if you fly first class, and coach is 50 lbs. My bag of coarse weighed 56 lbs, and the agent was going to make me pay the fee, but lucky enough I got upgraded to 1st class.

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