Follow Up On The Big Delta Promo


I just received the following question from a reader in regards to the “Big Delta Promo” that I mentioned yesterday when describing my credit card churning experience.

Re, Delta 150% promo. I signed up and transferred starwood miles BEFORE it was taken off. Subsequent phone calls to Delta I was told that I will get the 150% bonus, however i do not have anything in writing from Delta.
Have you received your bonus miles yet? If not when do you expect to get it.
Would it be possible for you to let me know when you receive it?
I think that Delta will honor this for someone like you with a Blog to let the world know but not for someone small like me.

Thank you.

A Little History

The Big Delta Promo that I described here and here was offered last November. I also wrote about it here, here, and here in my personal blog, Steele Street. Delta posted a starting web page for the promotion, called a “landing site” describing in detail how all SkyMiles partner activity until the end of 2008 will be eligible for a 150% bonus. The terms of the promotion very clearly included points transferred from Starwood and other hotel programs, but it did omit transfers from the American Express Membership Rewards program. The “landing page” even included a registration link. My wife and I promptly registered for this promotion using the link. We even did it twice, just to be sure, only to see the confirmation page saying that we had already been registered.

When Promos Goes Bad

Within a few days, the “landing page” changed to offer a rather down message, “We’re sorry, this campaign is currently not active.” A few days later, the landing page displayed this message:

The More Miles You Earn, the Bigger the Bonus

The SkyMiles® multi-partner threshold promotion was in the development phase and not yet formally announced or launched when it was inadvertently published online. The landing page should not have been live and the content was subsequently removed.

However, Delta Air Lines will honor the bonus miles promotion for SkyMiles members who have already enrolled.”

This explanation remains visible today at the landing page.

Most observers found this explanation a little odd. Why would such a big company develop a promotion and publish it, along with an apparently functional registration link, when they never intended to? It seemed more likely that Delta simply changed their mind when they realized how many SkyMiles would be given away.

Regardless of the details, I and others applauded Delta for standing by their offer, regardless of if it was “intended to be published”.

When Will I Get My Miles?

That is the big question. The details of the promotion specified that miles will be awarded “8-10 weeks following the conclusion of the promotion.” Since the promotion ended on December 31st, you should expect your miles by mid-March at the latest. The best explanation for this delay is that the promotion includes all miles accrued during the promotional period, and that some miles might take a while to actually post to your account. You will notice when you look at your SkyMiles statement online that each line lists two dates, one for when the miles were earned, and another for when they were posted.

Further complicating this matter is the nature of Delta’s promotional registration systems. All of the people that I know of who have attempted to verify their registration were told that Delta is unable to do so. Between now and md-March, we will just have to have faith in Delta’s systems and hope that they execute the promotion according to their terms and in good faith to all of us who have registered.

As for myself, I would love to believe that writing in this and other travel blogs has given me the clout to strongarm Delta into complying with the terms of it’s own promotion. In my dreams, Delta upper management reads this blog every day and is terrified that I might write a negative post about them. Yes, it is Peter Greenberg, Chris Elliot, and me, Jason Steele, who are the big wigs of the travel industry.

All kidding aside, I do have an electronic paper trail of writing about this promotion and my registration in it while it was active. I would hope Delta would not attempt to deny me and my wife’s timely registration. About a dozen or so other small travel blogs wrote about this promotion, and I know that there will be many people like you and I who will be closely monitoring their SkyMiles balance in about a month.

I will be happy to notify my readers when my bonus SkyMiles come through. The only thing that I can guarrantee is that Delta will be in a world of negative internet publicity from myself and others if they do not.

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