New $59 Annual Delta SkyMiles Select Program

Filed Under: Delta, Reward Programs

Delta has just rolled out an interesting new program, called SkyMiles Select.

This is a $59 bundle of travel benefits for SkyMiles members that’s described as having a $100 value. The benefits are all valid for a year, and kick in within 24 hours of signing up for a membership.

So, what’s included with a $59 SkyMiles Select membership?

  • Main Cabin 1 boarding
  • 8 drink vouchers
  • Limited edition bag tag

Delta charges up to $9 per alcoholic drink, so those drink vouchers are potentially a $72 value, more than you pay for the membership.

The priority boarding will be worth it to some, and Delta claims that this is a $15 value per leg. I don’t personally think it’s worth that much, but perhaps others disagree.

As far as the “limited edition” bag tag goes, well… I’d say that’s not worth a whole lot.

Bottom Line

While I question how much demand there will be for this, it’s actually a smart concept. Those who do sign up are likely to be casual travelers who are more likely to choose Delta because of this membership, since they’d value the priority boarding and drinks they can get.

If you fly Delta economy somewhat frequently and drink, then this is a no brainer. You’ll score a discount on drinks, and will get Main Cabin 1 boarding plus a bag tag thrown in as well.

I don’t think anyone will come out significantly ahead here, but…

Personally I think the better value is still to pick up a co-branded Delta credit card, as that will get you priority boarding privileges and a lot more.

What do you make of this Delta SkyMiles Select bundle?

  1. Ben, the Delta Amex Gold card does offer Group 1 Priority Boarding.

    As for the concept itself, I like how it’s somewhat a novel idea. I’m interested to see if the other 2 legacies will follow suit or if Delta expands its benefits. Though the brag tag seems to be tacky considering that you’re really not earning this benefit.

  2. I wonder if the fee will be covered by the Amx airline credit?

    BTW – do u know if the Amx airline credit is reimbursed for the $50 gift card (still)?

    thank u!

  3. @Paul +1 @Jez +1

    Correct. Delta Gold SkyMiles Amex DOES offer Group 1 Priority Boarding. Hopefully, Ben (Lucky) will modify the this post.

  4. i saw this and considered it for my adult son who’s away at college in Kentucky. Only frontier and delta fly direct from cvg to lax and frontier sucks. However, he’s 6’4” so I always buy him comfort plus seating which makes this pretty worthless.

  5. This makes me glad I just got Gold Medallion status…the Main 1 boarding group was already big enough. Unless you were at the front of the Main1 group, it hardly qualified as “priority” boarding. This will just make it slightly bigger.

  6. @JB San Diego – from all accounts I have read, all gift card moves under the AMEX credit are dead.

    I have the same question with regard to this program — it sounds like it SHOULD fall under the AMEX annual credit, but does anyone have confirmation?

  7. I was wondering how long it would take Delta to sell memberships.

    Seeing many LCC sells membership, I thought DL was going to monetize this sooner (like 5 years back).

    Is this a good deal, only if you frequently drink alcohol and collect bag tags.

    This isn’t even DL thinking how can we sell memberships. This is DL thinking how do we sell more alcohol (given it’s sky high margins).

  8. Main 1 boarding is an anti-benefit. If you’re in standard Delta coach seats, anything that makes you spend more time in that seat than is absolutely necessary is a punishment. You’d ideally want to board last, not middle (Main 1 is the middle, not early, in DL boarding). Early boarding is for people in the nice seats.

    Drinks, if you order drinks on flights, go for retail value, so that’s an okay benefit.

    And DL, like all airlines, gives away luggage tags for free at the bag drop. They should have some pens around so you can actually fill them out and use them, but they don’t. Zero value.

  9. Trying to bundle a bunch of crap that costs them pennies and declaring it’s a treasure. Same thing Spirit Airlines has been doing since they opened.

  10. This appears to be another post where Ben blogs the latest promo from an airline and multiple responses refer to something in the post that needs to be corrected and there isn’t any response from Ben or a correction. Oh, well. I guess post volume over accuracy?

    That’s disappointing, since he used to make corrections to any errors quickly.

  11. Well, the main benefit of early boarding is that in MAIN1 you’re pretty unlikely to not find overhead bin space (ironic, when getting MAIN1 is the main incentive for gate-checking carryon items). I suppose an increased probability of not having someone already seated in the way of your window seat is useful too, but that’s reversed for aisle seats.

    As an Amex gold holder and non-drinker, I view this as pretty much a $59 suitcase tag.

  12. Maybe Ben is on a plane right now and perhaps that’s why he hasn’t been able to make an update/correction.

  13. Since this has been confirmed through Delta that it works on basic economy fares, it’s definitely worth it.

  14. “Limited edition Bag Tags.” LMAO. What is this, 1990? I always laugh at the people using their special bag tags on carry ons. As if it opens a door to special prizes and unique adoration.

  15. Delta really needs to have an e-commerce store section on their website for travel pillows, (Delta) airplane models, engraved pen/pencil sets, watches, quality headphones, etc. that Amex cardholders can use their annual airline fee credit(s) on.

  16. We always fly Delta One or First Class so free drinks (we only drink water and tomato juice) and priority boarding. Have AmEx Delta Platinum card and AmEx Platinum card – one of them provides some kind of early boarding. DW and I both have Platinum Medallion status. Delta isn’t doing this program for us.

  17. Another piece of the equation:

    Many Delta Credit cards give you 20% off in flight purchases.

    I thought wine was $7, not $9. But could be wrong.

    If $9…
    Then $9x8x0.8= $57.60

    If $7
    $7x8x0.8 = $44.80

    I live in MSP
    90% of the plan is Main Cabin 1 or earlier

    Thus… not much here for me

  18. Just to be sure, can I use this program, but have my mileage credited to another SkyTeam airline? Is this program a membership where I can show them my membership card or is it linked to my Skymiles account? Thank you.

  19. @Stanley
    If I have to guess, for drinks yes it’s a QR code in the app. For Main1 boarding and other status perks you probably get it with your FFP and other program would not recognize it.

  20. @Stanley

    I take that back, your FFP is required for the benefit but they probably will let you through with the “limited edition bag tag”.

    And if you don’t mind gate checking a bag, Main1 doesn’t really help that much since over half the flight probably have higher boarding group.

  21. Why would I pay extra for early boarding when I already get to pick my seat online when I make my reservations. I already use my Orbitz card…getting rewards on Orbitz and also getting Skymiles. It’s a win win.

  22. @Richard Sachs

    This program imho is for basic fare passengers who travel more than twice per year. They will be able to board with Main 1 and get access to overhead bins early. The drink vouchers are only worth it for folks who don’t have a delta credit card and can’t get 20% off.

  23. If you are out of ATL or DTW or MSP or maybe even SLC then I would guess that between 50 and 80 percent are boarded before main 1 is called. Well, or if you connect there.

  24. And soon everyone will have status. And when everyone has status then nobody has status. (But, golly gee, can’t wait to get me them baggage tags.)

  25. @Brian I am assuming you don’t travel with any carry-on luggage, because the main benefit of Main1 is securing that luggage space. I guess you can try your luck with BASIC boarding group.

  26. I have the Delta SkyMiles Amex Gold credit card so I already have Main Cabin 1 boarding. However, most of my flying is out of DTW where everyone and their mother has some form of a Delta Amex card so the priority boarding really doesn’t really even exist. I have to be waiting next to the podium right when Main Cabin 1 is called to make sure I get on the plane before all the overhead bin space is gone. I’ve also been flying out of FLL a lot lately and it’s the same situation there. I did not expect to be among so many Delta loyalists in South Florida. I’m a Silver Medallion and I rarely get a Comfort+ upgrade and I NEVER get a first class upgrade at both airports.

  27. Oops forgot to remove a “really” when I was editing my post before submitting. Lucky, have you considered changing the way readers comment? Maybe have them create an account, allow for editing after posting, etc? A set up like the forums on MacRumors would be nice.

  28. This might be interesting for Delta Eco Flyers from countries not offering any Delta Credit Card (like Germany), so they get the Main1 Boarding and some vouchers (not to mention the exclusivity of a bag tag 😉 ). As I credit mainly Skyteam flights to Skymiles and avoid flying to/transiting in the US at any costs, it´s no program for me.

  29. I signed up for this yesterday. The drink vouchers were deposited into my Delta wallet app. I already get pre-board status for work. I figure it would be a nice way to use up the rest of my Ritz Carlton annual travel credit.

  30. @Chilangoflyer

    FAQS says no to Germans. Verdammt!!!!

    “At this time, SkyMiles Select is only available to U.S. residents.”

  31. I travel Delta for Europe once a year and domestic one per year. The Europe trips include one domestic flight, usually DFW to ATL or JFK. I already get Priority boarding because of the Delta Platinum card, and I already get free beer in economy for the overseas flight. So, would this make sense to get?

  32. @ptahcha “I am assuming you don’t travel with any carry-on luggage”

    I carry soft sided luggage. I can squeeze it between two rolly-pollys overhead or under the seat in front of me easily.

  33. @ptahcha

    One falls for the airline scam of early boarding to secure overhead bins.
    One accepts the situation and deal with the airline.

    Both of you shouldn’t care, just gate check if the space is full. Your valuable and electronics should fit in your personal item. (If not, either you are relocating or you are carry way too much stuff)
    If you can’t wait few minutes to retrieve your bags, then any flight delay will screw up your entire life.
    If your beloved Rimowa carry on gets dented, well duhh it’s a travel bag not a precious artifact on display at the Louvre.

    Never in my life I ever heard the airline say because the space is full, they have to leave my carry on in ATL.

  34. As much as I don’t care for bloggers pumping credit cards, this is a case where the credit card makes a lot more sense. If you see this as getting 8 drinks for $60, then it’s a decent enough deal, but in every other way the Delta credit cards make far more sense.

  35. This program is a hoax, I tried to subscribe by clicking the link from my email, and after I complete the form and hit pay, it gives me a “decline” message. Called Delta customer service, and they don’t know anything about it, yet!

  36. @M

    I had contacted them too. Delta’s customer service representatives are not the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree. They never know anything, and always have to refer to a supervisor. The rep I contacted eventually found the information. It’s all a lack of training. When I do those surveys, they ask if you were the owner of a customer service company, would you hire the last person you spoke to, I always say NO! They’re worthless.

  37. This is actually good for people like me who fly Delta infrequently, travel basic economy to save money/points, and who doesn’t have their credit card. (I have a feeling that it is these people that Delta is trying to target with this new program.) Since with basic economy you aren’t assigned a seat until you board (and you board VERY LAST), this program would be worth it b/c I at least will get to board early and reduce the risk of sitting in a less-desirable seat (as compared to people boarding after me). I don’t drink…but I could start. Its a WIN-WIN for me; but not for everybody.

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