Delta Window Seat Shop JFK, New Way To Earn Status

Delta Window Seat Shop JFK, New Way To Earn Status

47

Delta Air Lines has opened a store, and I can’t decide if this creative, lame, desperate, or all three.

Basics of new Delta Window Seat Shop

Delta is now in the airport retail business, as the Window Seat Shop has opened its doors as of November 14, 2023. The retail store is located at New York Kennedy Airport (JFK) Terminal 4, near gate B20.

The Window Seat Shop JFK location

Delta is describing this concept as “a new way to grow your world,” as the shop offers everything “from French chocolate, to mochila bags from Colombia, to spices from Egypt.”

It’s not just possible to buy stuff in the store, but you’re also able to make purchases online:

  • Those who have a co-branded Delta Amex card can start making purchases as of November 14
  • Those who are Delta SkyMiles members without a co-branded card can start making purchases as of November 15
The Window Seat Shop JFK

I mean, I love how Delta is approaching an airport retail store as something that people can get exclusive, early access to. What a privilege to get… early access to French chocolate at a (presumably) inflated price? It’s as if you can’t buy those online anywhere else.

The Delta Window Seat Shop is now open

So, what’s the inventory like at the Delta Window Seat Shop? I mean, how do I say this politely… the selection seems to be about one garden gnome away from what we used to see in SkyMall. So much of the stuff in here feels like something you’d see in one of those airport duty free shops with touristy kitsch, when you promised your family you’d bring back a gift from where you visited, but forgot.

The Delta Window Seat Shop products
The Delta Window Seat Shop products
The Delta Window Seat Shop products
The Delta Window Seat Shop products
The Delta Window Seat Shop products

Earn MQDs for shopping at the Delta Window Seat Shop

Between November 14 and November 30, 2023, Delta is awarding Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) for all purchases at the Window Seat Shop, whether online or in-person. You’ll be rewarded at the rate of one MQD per dollar spent, so that’s the same rate at which you earn MQDs for flying.

The MQDs will be deposited after January 1, 2024, meaning that they’ll count toward 2025 Medallion status, which is when Delta’s new elite program kicks in. You’ll need to provide your SkyMiles number at the time of purchase, and you must credit the account of the person making the purchase.

Delta is talking out of both sides of its mouth

The whole premise for Delta making SkyMiles Medallion status much harder to earn was that there’s just so much demand for Delta’s premium products, that the airline had to do something to make it harder for people to earn status.

But now Delta is launching a retail store, and is encouraging people to buy French chocolates and Egyptian spices in order to keep up with the increased status requirements.

Which is it, Delta? Are you actually concerned about inflation to elite ranks, or are you just trying to squeeze SkyMiles members for as much revenue as possible? The answer is obvious — it’s the latter. Delta is trying to increase revenue associated with SkyMiles significantly in the coming years, and that’s not exactly an easy task, since Delta is basically maxed out with what it can offer people.

First class upgrades are rare, making elite status much less valuable. There are waits to get into many Sky Clubs, so Delta can’t even increase revenue from that much. So now the airline seems to be turning to retail purchases to generate more revenue from SkyMiles members.

C’mon, folks, SkyMiles status is worth pursuing! You just need to spend an extra $8K per year on chocolate to earn it! But think of all those Comfort+ upgrades you’re gonna score…

Delta is initially making this new shop about elite status

Bottom line

Delta has opened the Window Seat Shop at JFK, which is a store offering items from around the globe. It’s interesting to see an airline open a retail store at an airport, as that’s not something you often see. What’s most noteworthy here is that at least initially, it’s possible to earn MQDs for all your spending, at the same rate as you would on Delta flights (personally I’d be surprised if this isn’t made a permanent feature).

I’m just puzzled here, and I think Delta is grasping at straws. The airline has done a lot to innovate, but an airline running a store that’s largely selling touristy kitsch just seems… random?

What do you make of Delta getting into the airport retail business?

Conversations (47)
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  1. Smokie Guest

    On behalf of Tim Dunn, jokes on all of you.

    Delta is doing a great job selling all those overpriced garbage crap.
    Most stuff are sold out in a few hours, including the $700 Brazilian pot.

    Now I understand why Williams-Sonoma are doing so good but Bed Bath & Beyond is bankrupt.

  2. Omatravel Guest

    Ben, Delta silver can be worthwhile if you fly them occasionally and are banned from getting an Amex card. Just avoiding the shenagins around getting a preferred seat and early boarding are worth it.

  3. Dancer Guest

    This is a great idea. Now they should open gas stations and maybe some Delta 7-24 stores near airports. People can get evem more MQDs. Next ip is Duber. Delta’s own version of Uber! Grear idea Delta! Live Schlong and Prosper!

  4. AD Diamond

    I checked the site out this morning and all I can say is that it is worse than I could have imagined. Apparently, it's a random collection of crap that they got on clearance so they can mark it up and sell MQDs without selling them outright.

  5. tipsyinmadras Diamond

    Well that's supremely underwhelming

    Not just one, but three different $500+ soapstone sculptures - which you'd better really love because everything is final sale.

  6. Rich Guest

    Someone in marketing just achieved one of their bonus objectives!

  7. Julie Guest

    Still is amazing to me how it isn't talked about more that Comfort+ is considered an upgrade on DL. It's a standard for elites on AA and UA... Just boggles my mind why anyone would actively choose to keep their loyalty with Delta if you value any kind of perks associated with loyalty.

  8. Icarus Guest

    IATA should be involved with investigating this ! No relevance to the business of AVIATION !

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      ...so.

      Remind us what regulation requires sales to be "relevant to aviation," and what power do you think the IATA has to enforce any such notion? lol

  9. Chris W Guest

    I've never understood the concept of buying souvenir gifts when traveling for family and friends: "You didn't go to France, but here's an Eiffel Tower keyring as a daily reminder that I did"

  10. Lee Guest

    Delta's strategy regarding tier status seems to be in disarray. Now, after seeing the items for sale, I'm left scratching my head. As Delta already has an online shopping portal from which it receives revenue, its efforts would seem best spent promoting it . . . and giving MQD credit (via some formula) to purchases on it . . . as American Airlines does. AA's Loyalty Point scheme promotes all of AA's revenue channels and seems fair and balanced to the consumer.

  11. Frog Guest

    Great! More stuff that nobody needs at highly inflated prices.

  12. Ton Guest

    Looks like a bunch of made-in-china crap.

  13. Eoj Guest

    Mochila bag? Mochila bag?

    FFS, mochila is Spanish for bag. So they are selling “bag bags”.

    Do these morons not have a single Spanish speaker in their Marketing team?

    1. DC Guest

      Well, you might be a Debbie downer, but I love that mochilla bag!

      I'm going to put down my Chai Tea and naan bread at twelve noon and use my PIN number at the ATM machine, and buy this!

    2. JB Guest

      I was going to comment something like this, but DC beat me to it!

      And I am sipping on my Chai Tea while writing this.

    3. Calidude Guest

      I am literally laughing out loud reading your post. So funny

  14. Brianair Guest

    What a horrible name. It makes me think Delta will be selling upgrades to window seats there or something.

    1. Brianair Guest

      Continued…

      Or that they’ll be an onboard shop with windows kind of like the duty free shop Korean Air has on their A380s.

  15. Brian Guest

    A lot of hate on DL for opening a convenience store at JFK. How many purchases do you think are going to be over $100? I give DL credit for trying to get a few extra bucks in revenue with airline margins in the single digits for the industry.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I don't think anyone here hates DL for opening a convenience store at JFK.

      They hate how far DL bend over and treat their best customer, Amex.

  16. Fordamist LeDearn Guest

    Why is everybody up in arms over this? It's an alternative to Duty-Free, I'll stay out of both, so it's not an issue.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Why?
      Maybe it's because when someone who flies 300k miles on cheaper tickets get's recognized behind someone who flies 0 miles but spends $28k on chocolates.

    2. Brian Guest

      You got the service you paid for when you bought your ticket. The $28k CC spending brings in DL consistent revenues for this highly cyclical industry. How many people on DL are actually getting free upgrades these days anyway?

    3. TMagee New Member

      Uh, Delta would much rather reward $28k on chocolate spend. The margins are going to be astronomically higher than on coach tickets.

  17. Raj Guest

    This doesn’t seem like that big of contradiction. Delta yes definitely (at least stated) that they want to make Elite status more elite but also we know DL’s goals is also to expand and have customers buy and be a part of the full DL ecosystem of products (flights, branded CC’s, DL vacations, etc) so incentivizing customers with MQDs to buy into their new retail store product makes sense from their side and aligns with...

    This doesn’t seem like that big of contradiction. Delta yes definitely (at least stated) that they want to make Elite status more elite but also we know DL’s goals is also to expand and have customers buy and be a part of the full DL ecosystem of products (flights, branded CC’s, DL vacations, etc) so incentivizing customers with MQDs to buy into their new retail store product makes sense from their side and aligns with their corporate strategy and communications to date.

  18. Eskimo Guest

    What window seat?

    I do my shopping from my Aisle Seat.

  19. Never In Doubt Guest

    "I can’t decide if this creative, lame, desperate, or all three"

    Ben is just trolling me again!

    - Tim Dunn

    1. Darryl Stewart Guest

      Absurd. DL needs to spend more time focusing on aviation and less time on irrelevant garbage. Perhaps IATA will get involved??

    2. TMagee New Member

      And do what, issue a blanket prohibition against airlines being involved in retail?

    3. Darryl Stewart Guest

      Yes. In an industry like aviation there is no time for retail and money-making schemes and IATA should act accordingly!

  20. Lee Guest

    Don't be a smack addict. Forget about tier status and just pay for the upgraded seat.

  21. digital_notmad Diamond

    lol it's just endlessly hilarious what DL has done to itself, completely unprompted, over the past couple of months. Keep it up, Premium Eddie!

  22. Stuart_in_GA Member

    I'm doing a plane spotter day trip to JFK in early December. I'll check it and report back.

  23. DWT Guest

    My email did say that DL Amex holders who drop by the JFK store will get a personalized luggage tag. Depending on what it looks like, I might check it out when I’m at JFK later this month.

    1. Fred Guest

      Well - the silver lining is that instead of standing in the PREMIUM mile long sky club line, you can spend your time shopping for PREMIUM products.

  24. Caesonia Guest

    On my previous post, major typo.

    Codeshare went up 75$, leading to a jump from 1200$ to over 5k.

  25. Caesonia Guest

    Of course, if you are special person who uses JFK. If you never fly there, no luck for you!
    Pathetic.
    beyond which, my inital compaints were real. Delta makes it HARD to even upspend on trips. I mean, you hand out all the Premium Economy seats to GUCs, so you can't book there. And my biggest laugh was to see an economy seat costing 5k on delta - more than business - and...

    Of course, if you are special person who uses JFK. If you never fly there, no luck for you!
    Pathetic.
    beyond which, my inital compaints were real. Delta makes it HARD to even upspend on trips. I mean, you hand out all the Premium Economy seats to GUCs, so you can't book there. And my biggest laugh was to see an economy seat costing 5k on delta - more than business - and everyone else was still at like.... 1250? Two days before it had been really the best buy out there - maybe by 50 bucks - and the code share went up like....754? - and blam. 1250 to 5k.

    Just. Stupid.

    I am already starting changes in spending patterns and choices in prep for what is to come.

    1. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      You can order online, you don't have to go to the brick-and-mortar location at JFK

  26. Sel, D. Guest

    Can we admit AA is somehow best now? At least their status and mileage program are.

    1. Omatravel Guest

      Strangly after avoiding them for so long I've ended up flying AA a lot more this year. Their mileage prom is decent, redemtions are more reasonable, at least for me, but the moment CLT or DFW get a little weather I know they will devolve into a hot mess.

  27. DLPTATL Diamond

    I don't actually hate this idea; it's just unfortunate (terrible???) timing after ALL the devaluation and just-kidding that's gone on thus far. Messaging is a mess. Clearly marketing and revenue management haven't been communicating very well. Oh, and it's sort of BS that they're not doing the same thing at ATL and DFW at a minimum. Just one more message that we're captives and will be treated as such.

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      I don't hate it either. Rather, I don't care. I won't shop there because, well, buying stuff in the airport is a terrible financial decision unless there's a specific need for a specific item at that specific time. But DL aren't doing anything that every duty free conglomerate isn't already doing. It's likely to be the same souvenir-like garbage, you're just giving your money to someone else. If I ever had to buy something souvenir-like...

      I don't hate it either. Rather, I don't care. I won't shop there because, well, buying stuff in the airport is a terrible financial decision unless there's a specific need for a specific item at that specific time. But DL aren't doing anything that every duty free conglomerate isn't already doing. It's likely to be the same souvenir-like garbage, you're just giving your money to someone else. If I ever had to buy something souvenir-like in an airport (gods help me that I never do), I'm probably NOT going to a DL store anyway just out of spite. But hey, it's DL's money to burn.

    2. Santastico Diamond

      "buying stuff in the airport is a terrible financial decision unless there's a specific need for a specific item at that specific time." I would appreciate more details on your comment here. Does that include duty free shopping? I can give you several examples where sometimes buying at duty free makes total financial sense but....

    3. Omatravel Guest

      Believe it or not I bought my noise canceling headphones from a Best Buy kiosk at SFO 7 years ago right before a transcon. They were the same price if I had bought online.

  28. Scudder Diamond

    Well, we all know where Tim Dunn's doing his Christmas shopping!

    1. Jim Lovejoy Guest

      Jokes on you.
      Tim Dunn doesn’t make enough from his trolling to shop there.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Scudder Diamond

Well, we all know where Tim Dunn's doing his Christmas shopping!

12
Never In Doubt Guest

"I can’t decide if this creative, lame, desperate, or all three" Ben is just trolling me again! - Tim Dunn

3
digital_notmad Diamond

lol it's just endlessly hilarious what DL has done to itself, completely unprompted, over the past couple of months. Keep it up, Premium Eddie!

3
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