Experience ‘buying’ drinks for 600 Delta guests in just 24 hours

If you browse through my 1.1 terabyte iPhone photo library, you’ll find lots of pictures of my travels, my family and friends… and Delta drink vouchers .

It all started Sunday morning when I logged into my Delta Air Lines SkyMiles account and noticed that I had 12 free drink vouchers that expire on January 31st. Although I consider myself a pro. When it comes to maximizing travel perks, I’ve never had a chance to redeem these drink vouchers.

Instead of simply letting these coupons go to waste — or booking a last-minute flight to test my alcohol tolerance — I turned to Instagram and Twitter channels to see if some followers can use them.


Within minutes of posting an Instagram story, I had tons of followers sharing their upcoming Delta travel plans and asking for a voucher for a free drink.

I quickly burned the vouchers in my account and thought my job was over.

But a few hours later, I went to Instagram and found hundreds of direct messages from frequent Delta travelers sharing their unused drink vouchers.

“I love the idea, here are 16 more coupons,” one message read.

Another asked, “wait, how do I find these coupons?” After giving step-by-step instructions on how to find coupons (in the My Wallet section of your SkyMiles profile), this flyer shared their 25 unexpired coupons with me.

Within an hour, I felt like Delta’s unofficial bartender. I have over 600 drink vouchers in a new album on my phone, all waiting to be delivered to Delta flyers over the next few days.

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At this point, supply has exceeded demand. There were only so many visitors that I could find.

I have arrived Twitter, hopefully the community there will help find more tourists. I’ve already raised about 100 other coupons through Twitter, but I still have 300 on my phone — and more votes coming in every minute.

I need to spark creativity. (Unfortunately, I don’t have a personal assistant like the famous DJ Diplo, who to post about sending his assistant to the airport to hand out expired coupons to passengers.)

As it turns out, I was scheduled to fly from Chicago to New York on Monday. Although I originally booked a United ticket, at the last minute I decided to switch it up and fly Delta. This way, I can give away as many drink vouchers as possible to the people on my flight.

As it turned out, I chose one of the quietest flights of the day because there were only 16 economy class passengers on my 132-seat flight and none of them wanted a drink at 10:30 a.m. Monday.


So I went back to my seat, resigned that I would waste nearly 300 coupons — until I met my neighbors.

They are a group of Delta flight attendants arriving in New York. They are set to begin a multi-day trip before Tuesday.

I thought this was the perfect opportunity, so I turned around and greeted them. After a few minutes of chatting, I asked if they were willing to surprise and delight passengers for the next two days with free drinks.

Not only were they happy to join the fun, but they also shared some of my remaining vouchers with other flight attendants working over the next few days.


While my time as Delta’s unofficial bartender was coming to an end, my handing out over 600 drink coupons in just a few hours shows that thousands of coupons in circulation are about to expire.

Delta distributes four of these coupons each time you achieve Gold, Platinum, or Diamond status. However, these elite elite members are often upgraded to Comfort+ and first class — both of which include complimentary alcoholic beverages.

That means the only time Medallion members can use the drink voucher is when sitting in the main cabin or when sharing the voucher with a friend or family member.

Those cases appear to be few and far between, leading to what appears to be a significant number of corrupted vouchers.


Perhaps Delta will use this experience to reimagine how drink vouchers are handled. Perhaps it will join American and United in guaranteeing top elite members free drinks and snacks while they’re in the economy. That would be one less reason to issue these drink vouchers.

Until then, you could find yourself late January on a Delta flight with a free drink. You can thank the Generous Medals members for giving away what is possibly one of the most underutilized perks of SkyMiles status.


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