Is 2,500 SkyMiles Enough to Get You to Check Your Bags?

laiming the commitment “to providing you with reliable and on-time baggage service every time you fly”, a guarantee has been created — courtesy of Delta Air Lines — for a limited time: “if your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less after any domestic flight through March 31, 2015, you are eligible to receive 2,500 bonus miles. Just complete the below form within three days of your flight’s arrival.”

Assuming that you will benefit from this guarantee, this may be a good offer for you if you have earned Medallion elite level status and check your bags anyway whenever you travel; but what about if you are like me and rarely check any luggage? Would this guarantee convince you to check your bags for a chance at scoring a quick 2,500 SkyMiles?

What if you are a general member of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program who must pay a minimum of $25.00 in baggage fees? Assuming that you will definitely benefit from the guarantee, is it worth a penny per SkyMile to check your luggage? Could this offer actually be a form of marketing in a test to attempt to influence passengers to check their bags and thus increase revenue for Delta Air Lines in the form of baggage fees?

The convenience of traveling light in terms of baggage far outweighs 2,500 SkyMiles, in my opinion. I do not have to wait for my belongings at the conclusion of a flight; I do not have to be concerned about how my belongings are handled; and I can bypass the crowds of passengers awaiting their luggage at the baggage claim area.

Besides, 2,500 SkyMiles does not go very far these days; and with the disappearance of the award calendar altogether, their value is nebulous at best.

In other words, I have no intention of attempting to benefit from this guarantee — which is not to say that it is not worth any effort on your part. If you plan to check your baggage anyway even without the guarantee — especially on flights where baggage has been known to be delayed — then this offer may be beneficial to you. Ten times of invoking the guarantee could possibly mean an award flight within — oh, who knows where or when anymore.

You must be a member of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program in good standing at the time of travel and award of bonus miles to be eligible; and requests for multiple flights must be submitted separately. This offer is valid on all domestic flights marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines within the 50 United States and Puerto Rico. You are asked to please allow up to two weeks after submitting your request for your bonus SkyMiles to appear in your account.

Itineraries which include Delta Connection and codeshare flights are eligible as long as the final leg is marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines. I suppose you are out of luck if the final leg of your itinerary is not marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines and your baggage does not arrive at the carousel within 20 minutes.

Requests must be submitted here within three days of the arrival of the flight. All claims must be submitted by April 3, 2015. Limit one request per passenger per outbound or return travel regardless of number of checked bags; requests for multiple trips must be submitted separately. Time to baggage claim will be as measured by the baggage tracking system of Delta Air Lines, where available; lost, mishandled, and damaged bags are excluded. Oversize and overweight baggage and special items are not eligible. Other terms and conditions apply.

Do you intend to check your luggage on domestic flights operated by Delta Air Lines through Tuesday, March 31, 2015 mainly to attempt to take advantage of this guarantee?

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

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