New Contender for Worst Credit Card in the Universe and Delta Loves New York’s Apparatchiks

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Heh. I took forever to merge my aa/us accounts. When I went online, aa wouldn’t let me do it. So I called, punched the option for advantage customer service. It was so nice to have an option fur merging accounts!

    Except that option only gave you a message saying to go to the website. Argh…

  2. I know Gary hates Delta, and I’m no Delta fanboy myself, but did he really just equate Delta giving out elite status with UA’s flying a commercial jet (at a loss) as a private taxi? That is a (ludicrous) stretch, even for Gary.

  3. @Gary – To be fair, it’s not just the matter of degree. There’s a material difference between offering a good/product/service for free to all members of a certain class unconditionally, and offering a specifically requested, massively expensive, personalized product/service/good to a specific person in power *in exchange* for the expectation, implicit or explicit, of (improperly) returned favor.

    I certainly don’t like what Delta is doing there, but I’m not about to suggest they’re corrupt for doing it. There’s an inherent difference in both fairness and abuse of power in these situations.

    Further, if Delta is receiving improper treatment from politicians, I suspect that’s due to factors besides elite membership. After all, what difference would that even make in an individual politician’s experience or view of Delta? The product is still basically the same (a seat from point A to B), they would just receive a skewed view of what other customers receive in the way of customer service.

    With all that out of the way, the US airlines certainly deserve heaping criticism for their attempts at distorting reality to fit their protectionist ends. Good on you for that one!

  4. @jamesb2147 they are not offering the good/product/service ‘free to all members of a certain class unconditionally’ it is very much conditioned on their good graces and different status levels for different poliiticans, and in any case offering the good/product/service ‘free for all members of a certain class’ is very much problematic when that class is ‘politicians who influence your business’.

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