How to game Delta credits, subpar MGM status match is live again and an Air Canada chatbot goes rogue (Saturday Selection)


A couple ideas for hacking those pesky Delta credits, MGM is again offering a status match and an Air Canada chatbot goes rogue. All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting tidbits from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).

How to “game” Delta credits

Delta Credit Cards

I suppose it goes with saying that, here at Frequent Miler, we enjoy digging around for ways to maximize our benefits. Amex is always a particularly invigorating partner, with its seeming never-ending desire to charge substantial annual fees that are supposedly offset by a small library of annual, quarterly and even monthly  coupons credits. To those of you looking for something to buy at Saks or Dell right now, you know exactly what I mean. Amex’s newest foray into the exciting world of coupon-booking is the recent overhaul of its suite of Delta business and personal credit cards. It showed off the finger that it holds to the pulse of its customers by raising each card’s annual fee while providing exciting, new “value” with credits for Resy, Delta Hotels stays and rideshares…exactly what everyone was clamoring for. But, with new coupons come new discoveries. Greg the Frequent Miler just published his first attempts at getting value from the Delta cards’ monthly rideshare credits, while Grant over at Travel with Grant takes aim at the $10 Resy credits. To finish it off, Rene at Eye of the Flyer describes his method for using the Delta companion certificates to create his own “European Business Class,” otherwise known as an empty middle seat. Game on, baby.

MGM Rewards offering (yucky) status matches again

a group of tall buildings with a blue sky with Aria Resort and Casino in the background
Aria Las Vegas

Ah, casino status matches. We certainly do like them. Nick Reyes, our resident Master of Matching (or MOM), has used casino-matching to take what seems like dozens of free cruises with his family, including a recent multi-day jaunt in the Caribbean. MGM is sort of the “OG” of widespread status-matching, due to its unfortunately deceased long-term relationship with Hyatt, a golden oldie that gave us the original “status merry-go-round.” MGM has since Bonvoyed its hotel partnership via an extremely unrewarding alliance with Marriott but, after a long pause, it’s finally back to status matching as well. Unfortunately, they kind of Bonvoyed that too, by shortening the matched status you receive from one year to three months and making it quite confusing as to which casinos’ statuses it actually allows to you to match from. Dave Grossman breaks down MGM’s most recent underwhelming announcement.

Air Canada argues chatbot that gave incorrect information is “responsible for its own actions.”

Air Canada’s new Head of Terms and Conditions

Many people who’ve been around points and miles for a bit quickly learn a basic truth – customer service reps often don’t know what they’re talking about. We’ve received all sorts of “alternative facts” over the years from phone and chat agents who work for airlines, hotels and banks. We know to take what they say with a baseball-sized grain of salt, but most people understandably assume that the front-line person working for a company is actually well-versed in the products and terms that it offers. Imagine that!

Now, there’s a whole new wrinkle, as AI is now powering many, if not most, online chat functions. You’d think that this would improve the accuracy of information, but what happens when the chatbot is wrong? Air Canada has been dealing with just such a situation when its chatbot gave incorrect info to a customer regarding credits for last minute bereavement fares. After purchasing the ticket, the man was told that he was ineligible to receive the credits because he applied too late (which he did because of what the chatbot had told him). Air Canada defended its decision to not refund him any money by saying that the chatbot was a “separate legal entity” that was “responsible for its own actions.” Understandably irked, the man took Air Canada to court…and won. The BBC discusses the implications of the case on AI-based customer service moving forward.

Capital One now allows you to get on the lounge waitlist in-app

a person sitting in a lounge area with chairs and tables
Capital One Lounge, DFW

A couple of years ago, I had a chance to visit the first Capital One Lounge in DFW, boldly stating that it set “a new standard for domestic airlines lounges in the US.” And it wasn’t hyperbole. I was completely smitten with the lounge’s high quality food and beverage, spacious confines and, most of all, lack of crowds. Well, all that’s changed. I haven’t been back to the DFW C1 lounge since then, but I hear reports saying that it no longer exists as a blissful respite from airport chaos. Instead, it’s moved towards a SkyClub/Centurion Lounge-like mass of humanity, with lengthy waitlists and long lines. In response, Capital One has come out with a new feature on its app that allows folks to view real-time capacity and join the lounge’s waitlist, if there is one (you must have a Venture X or Venture X Business card to join the waitlist). While this little improvement doesn’t make the lounges any less busy, it does help you suss out the situation before huffing it over. Perhaps even better, it also allows Venture X cardholders to get on the waitlist before they arrive, potentially providing enough time to actually enjoy the lounge pre- or post-travel.

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Hello. I can’t get to the link for the How to Game Delta article. The others work , but not hat one.