Starwood and Delta are strong partners, and high status members of each benefit from each other’s services. Per Starwood’s site:
Having just hit SPG Platinum with the current stay, I was eager to take full advantage of benefits. Thus, I focused on my Delta flight that same afternoon. In this post, I focus on the hotel side and will address the benefits from a Starwood program member standpoint. Of course, as a Delta Medallion member, you also earn benefits in miles, and the equivalent of some SPG Gold level benefits for Delta Diamonds and Platinums.
Rewards & Benefits
The rewards for SPG Gold members is 1 Starpoint per dollar on eligible Delta flights. However, the benefits do not really kick in until SPG Platinum status.
SPG Platinum Rewards include the 1 Starpoint per dollar on Delta flights, as well as:
- Priority Check-in – designated Silver Medallion and SkyTeam elite check-in lanes, where offered, or designated Sky Priority check-in lanes. For those without TSA Pre-Check or any of the various private company options, this can help avoid those pesky security lines.
- Zone 1 Priority Boarding – up to nine total passengers on the same reservation. My cheap, $90 flight from SEA to SFO, on the lowest fare class and a paltry Group 3 boarding, was promoted to SKY Priority. I boarded very early, just after the first class passengers!
- First Checked Bag – for up to four passengers on the same reservation. Save up to $200 per roundtrip flight! It does not include oversized bags or those exceeding the normal weight (50 lb).
- Unlimited Complementary First Class Upgrades – Day of departure upgrades typically reserved for Delta members with status! Although you are placed in queue behind actual Delta medallion members, you may have more success on upgrades for those smaller or less popular flights. I got promoted from normal main cabin, in a middle seat (which was all that was available), to a window Comfort Plus seat – with more legroom, free drinks, better food, and free premium entertainment. (and now I have to finish the remainder of Pitch Perfect 2…and start Liam Neeson’s Run All Night…and start Ray Donovan…)
Other Delta Considerations
Please note: I rarely fly Delta. I don’t have any status level (Medallion) at Delta. However, you can improve your flight experience and take advantage of rewards offered by Starwood partners. After this experience, I may lean towards Delta in the future, provided the fares are reasonably comparable.
Also, it normally takes ~7 days after achieving SPG platinum status for correctly reflect it on the Delta side. Spending 20 minutes with Delta customer service wasn’t ideal. But, they were very helpful in communicating my reservation information to the gate agent for upgrades. Make sure if you do choose to pursue an upgrade to speak with the gate agent – they would have the best power to know both availability and Medallion statuses of others, and thus your likelihood of such an upgrade or other rewards.
Both Starwood and Delta (as well as all other hotels and airlines) regularly send out emails of new promotions and rewards opportunities. Even if you don’t think they may be immediately useful (like this promotion), you should still sign up. You may unknowingly fulfill the qualifications, or it may come in handy down the line. It is as simple as signing up through the link in an email, or here to go directly to the Starwood site. The site also has both a FAQ and T&C to provide more detail and information.
For Starwood, they always send confirmation (below) of members signing up for various promotions and rewards. Keep that if necessary or to remind yourself if you’ve signed up for them previously.
All in all, this experience swayed me towards Delta in future flights – assuming other flights are not priced significantly lower. I am still working on identifying which airline to align with, but this is definitely a feather in Delta’s cap. I look forward to more and certainly hope to snag a first class seat at some point. However, because of my priority (below Delta Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion) it is unlikely. Regardless, it’s a free and additional perk of Starwood Platinum, making that tier ever more valuable in my travel experience.
Featured Image from Starwood Website.
Gotten flight upgrades before? Let me know what you got! Post below in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion