Every year on my card anniversary (when my waived annual fee should have been charged), my AmEx Delta Reserve and Platinum card give me a companion pass each, which I can use for a free RT ticket when I buy a ticket (essentially fly for 50% off). These 2 tickets do not have to be for yourself, and you can buy a pair of tickets for any two people to fly anywhere CONUS that Delta has a route, connecting flights included.
The one added benefit from the Delta Reserve card is you can use the companion pass for a pair of first class tickets vice the Platinum SkyMiles card only does it for Main Cabin (bitch normie class). So if you fly a lot of delta, you should get every delta card in this order (note this will take up 4 of your 5 slots):
- Delta Reserve (40K Public Offer Currently) <– Use my link here if you want to support the site
- Delta Platinum (70K Public Offer Currently) <–Use these links if you want to support the site
- Delta Gold (60K Public Offer Currently) <– Davey’s Link
- Delta Blue (10K Public Offer Currently)<– your link here, just post it below if you want to me host
Then after one year you should upgrade each and every one that is not a Reserve card, to the reserve card, space it out by 3 months and get the SCRA waive to make an annual companion pass machine with 4 companion passes from 4 Reserve cards a year:
Booking is easy, the cert will show up in your Delta account wallet after one year of membership:
Select it and use the booking engine to select a flight:
Note that these prices are for two tickets, I can fly ORD to SEA RT for $144.20 Main, $188.20 Comfort+, or $348.20 First per person. You end up on the hook for tax for your companion:
And the strangest thing is you must use an AmEx card to pay for the flight, no Visa, no gift cards or credits. I chose my personal AmEx Platinum to get 5x points on the $724.80 for 3,624 MR points worth $45.30 as a Schwab brokerage deposit or $54.36 in airfare. This can be seen as 7.5% cash-back so we are looking at $669.64 for this flight.
Two tickets RT to Seattle from Chicago would run you about $724.80 which is $181.20 a segment. If we run the numbers for basic bitch economy we end up with a total of $316.80 for two round trip tickets costing $79.20 a segment. The $102 premium per segment over the 4 hour flight would mean you are paying about $25.50 an hour per person for this first class service.
Looking at it from a redemption standpoint, we could have used 88,000 skymiles and $22.40 for the same pair of tickets instead of $724.80 making these sky pesos worth 8/10th of a cent each in this case.
What exactly does Delta First Class buy you anyways? I used my companion pass from last year to fly ORD to SLC in Delta First, and I have to say the experience feels like what coach was in 1988; wider recliner sized seats, free booze, real food, and friendly service without a beverage cart.
The check in experience was meh at ORD because of the undermanned SkyPriority counter, and the TSA line was shorter but much slower than the Pre-check line. You already get the luggage and this priority line for military. I got into the lounge with just my boarding pass because it was linked to my SkyMiles number which had my Reserve card on file. A guest would have cost me $28, but my wife got in with her AmEx Platinum card. They had Chicago style hot dogs instead of mac and cheese. At the gate you get to board early, but military in and out of uniform get to board even earlier. There really is no benefit from check in to gate between first class and military members.
Once seated on the plane and while at the gate you get a drink served in plastic, and in the air you get one of those hot towels to freshen up as well as another drink with dinner, and an after dinner drink. The dinner was pretty decent on my flight:
Pesto Chicken salad
some sort of meat ball and salad.
However, the biggest benefit of first is the attentive staff that can make any drink that you want and not waiting to get off the damn plane when you get there. With the extra time not waiting in the back of the plane you can visit the SkyClub one more time on arrival so you wont have th face the indignity of waiting with normies at the baggage carousel. This trip I went to the Sky Club at SLC and they had Dom for 12,500 sky miles worth 2 cents a mile.
This price of $250 is consistent with the price you find at a restaurant, but Costco has bottles for about $133 and Binny’s we are looking at $160:
Naturally I had to order as a datapoint for the blog. I asked if I could take it out of th elounge and they siad they didnt care what I did with it, but it had to be open in the bar per their liquor license. They gave me an iPad and using my full name and Sky Miles number it deducted the 12,500 Skymiles from my account. I left a cash tip, but you can tip with points on the iPad. They sent a manager over and they had a big to do about opening it and asking what we were celebrating.
We had our two glasses and they were good, but not $250 good. I poured the rest into a water bottle. And we took the empty bottle with us. By the time we got to the bag claim our luggage was already there.
In summary if you want to have dinner in a flying restaurant at $25 an hour then fist class with the companion pass is perfect for you. I certainly can take it or leave it for myself, but first class is like Dom Perigion, it is there to impress someone else in my book. Probably going to use the companion pass to send my in-laws somewhere and I won’t tell them how i did it.