Is Delta’s New SkyMiles Select Worth It?

After years of hopping on any airline that would have me, the last few years have found my travels mostly consolidating to one carrier: Delta. Aside from the few times I’ve taken advantage of Allegiant’s convenient direct routes, my wife and I have happily turned to Delta for our increasingly numerous flights domestically and abroad. Given this relative loyally, I’ve also taken an interest in keeping up with what’s new with the company — which is why I was very intrigued last week when an e-mail from Delta informed about their new SkyMiles Select program.

By buying into the SkyMiles Select program for $59 a year, members will earn a couple of key perks. First, they’ll be able to board with the Main Cabin 1 group whenever they fly (during the duration of their membership, that is). Second, Select members will receive eight vouchers good for free alcoholic beverages while onboard. Finally, you can currently also score a limited-edition SkyMiles Select luggage tag. Delta values these perks at $100, amounting to a savings” or $41 — although it’s that first benefit that really caught my attention.

Just recently, my wife and I reached Delta Silver Medallion status for 2020. While this level of “elite” does technically come with the opportunity for complimentary upgrades, what I’ve always looked most forward to (aside from claiming “preferred” seats for free) is the ability to board early and claim that coveted overhead bin space. In fact, as someone who rarely checks a bag, ensuring that my luggage is located in a bin that I can access easily is way more important than the “free first checked bag” perk.

Given this preference, I have to say that I was definitely intrigued by Delta’s new offer. In fact, if I weren’t already a Silver, I’d strongly consider purchasing this new option. And, keep in mind, I say this as someone who doesn’t even drink and would get no use out of the provided beverage tickets!

Something else of note is that, according to reports on Reddit and elsewhere, it seems that your purchase of Delta SkyMiles Select membership triggers an Amex Platinum reimbursement as part of that card’s $200 travel credit. Of course, you will need to have Delta selected as your carrier of choice for that to happen — and this current arrangement could always change. Truth be told, with the end of the calendar year just around the corner and my full $200 still intact, I might just try on a Delta SkyMiles Select membership for size just because.

Overall, it’s hard to say for sure if Delta’s new SkyMiles Select program is “worth it” because that answer will depend on a number of factors such as how much you fly Delta, whether you carry on instead of check bags, and more. That said, for those who travel enough on the airline to benefit from free drinks and priority boarding but not enough to earn elite status, I think this $59 could be a good investment in travel stress reduction. At the same time, part of me does worry that, if this program were to become too popular, its benefits (and those of Silver status, for that matter) might be diminished. Until that happens, I think it’s worth at least considering SkyMiles Select for yourself.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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