In response to Delta’s recent offer (link to register) for Triple Miles and MQM (Medallion Qualifying Miles) between New York’s La Guardia airport (LGA) and Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD), United launched its own Triple Miles and EQM (Elite Qualifying Miles) yesterday (link to register). However United’s Triple EQM is a bit limited compared to Delta’s offer. United’s offer is only valid to residents from the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, New York, Connecticut or New Jersey. United’s Triple MQM offer is only valid for itineraries for travel solely between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and New York LaGuardia (LGA) so layovers on a coast to coast flight or somewhere in the Midwest does not count.
Delta’s Triple Miles and MQM offer is a lot sweeter. Basically all you have to do is hop on the Delta Shuttle from LGA to either ORD, DCA (Washington DC) or BOS (Boston). There are not residency restrictions. I also believe Delta has upgraded most of its Delta Shuttle flights to new Embraer planes. Both offers start in mid June and end on August 31, 2010.
Delta has been expanding its presences in the greater New York area for the past two years with non-stop flights from JFK to SFO, LAX and ORD. The coast to cost long haul flights used to be United and American’s bread and butter in the New York market since they don’t really have a strong presence in NYC (I have made 1K on United and Executive Platinum on AA on the same year doing these coast to coast trips). United and AA also dominated the LGA/ORD route as well - I have made United 1K just doing this route.
We glad to see Delta is in the mix and playing with the big boys! Now we have three options to go from JFK to the West coast, Midwest and even London Heathrow. The increased in competition should be great for NYC-based travelers as we do not have a hometown airline or airline using NYC as a hub. Sorry, JetBlue doesn’t have enough of a presence in the globe and Newark doesn’t really count as NYC. Now we will wait to see when the airlines look for their bailout (see previous post).