Delta's Premium Economy Coming in 2017

Delta has recently announced that coming in 2017, they too will begin to offer a Premium Economy product on their flights. This move seems to be one of the rare times that Delta follows where American Airlines leads, since American already announced the addition of a premium economy to start around the same time frame. American airlines is actually already flying their premium economy seats, but right now is selling them under economy class seats until they officially go on sale next year.

Delta will be calling this new product "Delta Premium." Premium economy for Delta will be similar to many other airlines, the seat will feature something more like a first class seat we in the US are used to seeing on a domestic flight. The seat will recline with a leg rest. It will also be wider, have more leg room and better recline.

Along with the seat comes an amenity kit, likely to be a slightly paired down version of what we see in business class. An In Flight Entertainment (IFE) system with a larger screen. Ground beverage service prior to departure. Meals will also be slightly upgraded from Economy meals and probably land somewhere along the lines of what we see in domestic first class as well. Lastly is the priority boarding on the plane.

Pricing will likely be somewhere between economy and business class, I my eyes favoring slightly on the lower side toward the economy class side of the spectrum. This will completely be up in the air until we see these seats actually go on sale.

Overall this is a good change to see from Delta and other American carriers. If I need to pay flat out, I'd rather pay a little extra money for more leg room than economy is offering. Of course the lie flat bed of business class will always be my preference, premium economy is a great alternative for a paid economy seat.

Delta Partners with Airbnb

Delta has some pretty awesome partnerships. On the hotel side, if you are a elite member on Delta and at Starwood Hotels, you will earn Delta miles on Starwood Stays and Starwood points on Delta flights. Earning these rewards give you an awesome chance to sort of double dip, getting miles and points this way is an important perk to take advantage of where you can.

This week Delta announced another partnership, this time with Airbnb.

If you are unfamiliar with Airbnb, the idea is that regular people who may not be using a home, apartment or some other dwelling, can post it for a short time or permanently on Airbnb for people to stay in for short vacation periods. 

Airbnb representatives had the following to say:

“We are excited to partner with Delta and offer their travelers the opportunity to earn Delta miles when staying and hosting n Airbnb, while creating memorable moments with friends and family,” said Lex Bayer, Head of Business Development, Airbnb. “SkyMiles members can now enjoy the additional benefits of living like a local with authentic travel experiences on Airbnb in all global destinations that Delta services.”

So it appears that staying with Airbnb will now be able to earn you Delta Skymiles.

It looks like Airbnb bookings need to be made through the Delta Airbnb partner site, which will request your Delta Skymiles account before redirecting you to the booking site. 

There are a few additional perks running with this promotion that may be worth a try. First, if you have never created an Airbnb account, as a new guest you are given $25 off your first booking, 1000 bonus Skymiles on your first booking and the standard 1 Skymile per $1 spent at Airbnb.

Second, if you want to host through Airbnb and have never done so, this partnership allows you to get a bonus 25,000 Skymiles. These are some pretty awesome one time perks, but in my mind not really worth going out of my way for. If I try Airbnb, it'll certainly be something I take advantage of, but the earning rates are not good enough to make me switch away from Starwood Hotels.

I will say this though, if you stay at Airbnb already, this is great. Personally I tend to stay at Starwood hotels instead. Earning a few Delta Skymiles is certainly not a good reason to switch from Starwood to Airbnb. Starwood points are just too valuable. Also, keep in mind that if you take advantage of the existing Delta and Starwood partnership, you already earn 1 Skymile per dollar spent at Starwood hotels, on top of getting Starwood points as well and that's a far better way to earn miles/points.

Qantas' New 787 Seating

Along with having just announced their new livery, Qantas also came out with the new seating designs for their Boeing 787 fleet. Both business class and economy seating looks to be a nice improvement. 

Business class seating looks to be a nice step up from what is offered on many of their aircraft. Current seating on many Qantas aircraft is a sub-par 2-2-2 configuration, meaning that even in business class, you have to deal with a seat mate. When competitors are offering aisle access to all seats, many in a reverse herringbone design, the 2-2-2 design feels antiquated and something I surely wouldn't want to pay business class prices for.

The new design is more private. I'd still prefer a reverse herringbone over what their new offering is, but this is a major improvement over their previous seating.

As for the economy seating.

The design is sleek and good looking. While economy seating often leaves alot to be desired, there are some nice features that I would appreciate seeing on other airlines. The addition of a place to put your tablet is a nice. This means that I'm not juggling a tablet, and my in-flight meal all on the same extremely small tray. Any improvement here is a good one.

Looking over the changes, they all seem for the better. I've been a big fan of Qantas since I flew with them to Australia and New Zealand. I'm glad they are improving their business class on one of my favorite aircraft in the skies. 

Qantas Updates Their Livery

Qantas has just announced their new livery and I think that while it's not a huge update, I do like the changes. 

The kangaroo logo that has long been a staple of Qantas has not changed much in the history of the airline. New tail paint has a few added accent colors, mainly gray to give the logo and paint a little added depth. The logo has been modified slightly as well, removing the front arms of the kangaroo in favor of a more fluid, and slightly abstract looking shape.

I'm very happy with logo and overall paint updates. More airlines should take a page out of Qantas' book, where they have long had the same logo, but added minor updates over time to keep it current. Qantas excels at that, as you can see below in the historic livery picture.

Aside from the minor logo changes, Qantas has made a pretty large change to the font used for their name on the sides of the plane. It is certainly more modern, and I really like the font choice here.

At the end of the day, this is a great update even if it isn't a huge one. Qantas shows us that a livery update doesn't need to be massive to be effective.

Delta Skymiles and Private Jets

Delta has just announced the ability to use Skymiles to get on board one of their private jets. Let me warn you up front, do not do this!!!

Let me explain. Delta has been driving down the worth of their Skymiles, ultimately it appears they are shooting to make each Skymile worth only 1 cent. Now this is a slow, but definitely steady process. Yet again this week, Delta has devalued their program for the 9 millionth time... alright that may be a small exaggeration, but more on that later

As Skymiles customers, our goal should always be to get the most worth out of miles as we possibly can. 

Delta has now released the ability for those of us with millions of miles, to spend them on private jets. First things first, Skymiles are being devalued so fast and frequently, no one in the right mind should be sitting on multiple millions of Skymiles, just don't do that. If you do happen to have that many Skymiles, the private jet may sound tempting.

Keep in mind that Delta is driving toward 1 cent per mile, and that is exactly what is being offered here from Delta. Starting at 2.5 million Skymiles, you will be able to pick up a Delta $25,000 Jet Card that acts like a private jet prepaid card. Using their private jet service will deduct off this prepaid card as you use the service.

If you are flush with miles and don't care about maxing out your usage, then by all means go for the card if that is what you want. I don't recommend it, since your miles are worth far more if applied correctly. At the end of the day, each person may want to use their miles for different things, so it is entirely up to you. Personally I'd much rather fly all over the world in business class than get a few rides in a private jet.

This just seems to be the latest way for Delta to try to reduce your mileage count at a rate that is very favorable to them. Devaluations are flying free and wild now with Delta, once again making me take a hard look at going free agent on the loyalty front. For now, I'd stay away from this private jet perk and focus on spending the miles you have in a way that gets you to amazing locations, in comfortable seating, at fantastic prices.