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Delta’s President has said that he wants SkyMiles members to spend their points for products and services sold by the airline instead of free travel. He’s even speculated on ‘miles for haircuts’ which doesn’t strike me as particularly motivating of consumer behavior.
However the airline may have finally hit on something almost appealing. The Points of Life covers Delta Airlines current pricing for premium champagnes in their club lounges — in both miles and money. And he declares Krug the “Best Use Of Delta SkyMiles.”
Now, Delta’s menu doesn’t tell you what year they’re offering you, check with the bartender. That’s crucial for both the Dom and the Cristal. Dom Perignon in particular has been incredibly inconsistent year-by-year since the disappointing 2003 vintage. (They didn’t even used to turn each year’s grapes into a vintage.)
And more importantly the cash prices for the bottles do not reflect retail values. I think it’s fine for an airline to charge a premium in their club considering they have to buy, store, and bring the bottles through security. This isn’t the same as picking something up in your local bottle shop.
However don’t mistake Dom Perignon for a $250 bottle, or Krug for a $200 bottle for that matter.
Still, considering that Delta had been valuing miles for premium drinks at a penny apiece against their own inflated prices, this represents a real improvement. 12,500 SkyMiles for Dom rather than 25,000 brings this into the realm of consideration and gives you slightly more than a penny apiece in value against street prices.
I value Delta miles at 1.1 cents as it is. And I’ll generally prefer the Krug, where you’ll get about 1.4 cents a mile compared to a wine merchant’s price — and you’ll get it airside.
It may not be how everyone spends their miles, and frankly most of the time I’m in the airport waiting for a flight where Delta offers the best available lounge I’m not thinking about popping open a bottle of $130 champagne. But it’s not crazy either.
I do have some Delta flights coming up this month, and I will have access to Delta’s SkyClub thanks to my Platinum Card by American Express. Sadly I’ll be alone and don’t foresee the opportunity to give this a go.