Delta is Attempting to Poach Alaska Flyers from Seattle

Sep 1, 2016

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If Delta and Alaska Airlines had a Facebook relationship status, it’d certainly be “It’s Complicated.” The two airlines are partners — allowing members to earn and redeem miles on one another and reciprocating elite benefits. However, the relationship has soured over the past couple of years. The carriers have gone from working cooperatively to competing hard against each other. The battle between the two frenemies has been especially fierce at Seattle (SEA).

This week, we found out about another shot fired: Delta currently has an enticing offer for Seattleites who haven’t already joined SkyMiles. If you join SkyMiles and fly one qualifying round-trip, Delta will give you 5,000 bonus miles. If you complete a second round-trip, Delta will also grant you mid-tier Gold Medallion status through January 31, 2017. Finally, you’ll earn double SkyMiles for all mileage-eligible flights between registration and November 30, 2016.

The 5,000-mile bonus isn’t too special; at current TPG valuations, these miles are worth about $60. However, Delta Gold Medallion status is another story. Based on using this status for at least 60,000 miles, we value Gold Medallion status at $1,955. However, make sure to factor in that you’d only be getting this status for a maximum of five months. If you want to continue to receive these Delta elite benefits through 2017, you’ll have to re-qualify by flying 50,000 Medallion-Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and spending $6,000 Medallion-Qualifying Dollars (MQD) before the end of 2016.

Basic Economy (E) flights don’t qualify for this promotion.

As always, restrictions apply:

  • Offer is only available to Washington state residents who aren’t currently SkyMiles members.
  • Travelers must enroll in SkyMiles through this promotion.
  • The round-trip flights must be completed by November 30, 2016.
  • Flights flown prior to enrollment don’t qualify.
  • Only round-trip flights “departing from and returning to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are eligible for the promotion.”
  • Delta’s Basic Economy (E Fare Class) flights don’t count as qualifying flights for this promotion. In case you aren’t familiar, these are bare-bones flight options that Delta introduced to compete with ultra-low cost carriers like Spirit.

Bottom Line

If you aren’t a Delta SkyMiles member, live in Washington and have upcoming flights over the next three months, this is certainly an offer to explore. In reality, this promotion probably won’t move the needle much in Delta’s battle for Seattle. However, it should definitely work to further undermine Delta’s partnership with Alaska Airlines.

H/T: View From The Wing

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