Surprises from Work Travel (March 2018)

For years I have been an American Airlines and SPG loyalist. A couple years of consulting had pushed me down the path of pursuing creature comforts and I went out of my way to stick with the carriers and chains that kept me upgraded and well rested. But I went on a work trip to Utah last week and due to routing limitations and meeting locations, I had to take a Delta flight home and stay at Hyatt Place. Both decisions surprised me with a few important reminders and facts:

  1. Lyft and Delta have an alliance.
    • Because I don’t fly Delta often, I never sign into my Delta account. The last time I signed in, I had 11,366 Skymiles to my name. To my surprise, I found that number had skyrocketed to 16,833 due to 93 rides I had taken with Lyft. Especially given that Uber and SPG ended their partnership last fall, this completely changes my preference of Uber vs. Lyft!
  2. Delta and SPG’s partnership means there’s a very real possibility of an upgrade.
    • I pulled up my Delta app and noticed I was on the upgrade list for first class. That was a pleasant surprise!

2018-03-16 13.07.02

    • Confused by this, I went to the Delta website and was thrilled to see that as a current SPG Platinum member, my status earned me a spot on the upgrade list. Although I didn’t stand a chance of getting one of the first class seats, I did manage to swing a Comfort+ seat…which leads me to my next point.
  1. Delta’s Comfort+ product is fantastic.
    • Spacious seats. Plenty of beneath-the-seat storage. Free cocktails. There was more space than I get in American Airlines’ Main Cabin Extra. And I don’t get free drinks on AA either! Why am I so loyal again? Lol.
  2. Delta Skymiles don’t expire.
    • It’s a refreshing feeling to know that even if you haven’t flown Delta in two years (as I hadn’t) that your miles are still there. And given the impressively comfortable Comfort+ product, I imagine this will change my viewpoint on flying Delta in the future.
  3. And finally, the Hyatt Place Park City is a perfectly comfortable hotel.
    • I’m guilty of having only had SPG and Marriott lenses for the last few years, but staying at a Hyatt Place reminded me that you should consider all brands. This place won’t be representative of all Hyatt Places, and the morning breakfast was clearly mass produced in a factory. But the evening beer and wine service created a lovely, relaxing experience.
    • You’re not always going to find a hotel aligned to your loyalty brands and potentially adding Hyatt to the roster certainly expands my options. And check out that view from the back of the hotel…pretty gorgeous right?
2018-03-16 07.54.13-1

Stunning morning in Park City, UT

The point of all of this should be obvious. I have maintained loyalty to my airline and hotel for years, and while I will likely continue to stay and fly at both chains the majority of the time, I’m now much more open to Delta and Hyatt than I used to be!

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