Delta’s Baggage Guarantee Seems To Be Working (Unfortunately)

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Earlier this year, Delta rolled out its Baggage Guarantee promotion where SkyMiles members can earn 2,500 bonus miles if their bags don’t arrive within 20 minutes of arriving at the gate.



Prior to this, I hadn’t really been checking bags as I would just bring a rollaboard on the plane with me but I decided to accept their challenge and started checking bags more frequently.

I thought this would be easy that there would be no way that the bags would make it within 20 minutes, however in the several times I’ve checked bags in the last few months, every single time it’s been within 20 minutes. The airports include Atlanta, New York- LGA, New York-JFK, Los Angeles, Dallas (DFW) and Columbus (CMH) and not one place had it been longer than 20 minutes.

As a Medallion member I do get priority bag tags so that doesn’t help when trying to hope to earn the 2,500 miles, so I would recommend if you’re a general SkyMiles member you may have more luck getting the miles.

As a reminder, here are the terms of the Baggage Guarantee:

Eligibility: 20-minute Bag-to-Claim Guarantee bonus-mile offer valid on all domestic flights within the U.S. 50 and Puerto Rico, marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection® carriers. Itineraries that include codeshare flights are eligible as long as the final leg is marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines or a Delta Connection carrier. Customers must be a SkyMiles member in good standing at the time of travel and award of bonus miles to be eligible. SkyMiles number must be included on the reservation to be eligible. A request must be submitted via within three days of completion of the flight on which the baggage delay was experienced. 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 Delta’s baggage tracking system, where available. The time to baggage claim will be defined as time elapsed between aircraft door open and delivery of the bag to the baggage claim belt. Oversize and overweight baggage and special items are not eligible.

I’m interested to hear what you guys think, have you been successful in getting the 2,500 bonus miles for having your bags take longer than 20 minutes? Feel free to share below!

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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  1. I recently waited 45 minutes to get my bag at SFO and submitted my info in the Delta Bags on Time form and I did get the promised 2500 skymiles! My bags were late again a few days ago (again at SFO) and I just submitted the form so we will see what happens this time.

  2. Wow! I thought hte 20 min guarantee was the time when aircraft door opens and the time the first bag is delivered to baggage claim belt.
    However, from rereading the T&C, it seems to me the 20 min guarantee is the time when aircraft door opens and the time your luggage is delivered to baggage claim belt.
    You’re right that a skymiles member with no status may have better luck at getting the 2500 skymiles.

  3. It’s always good to remember that people waiting for something tend to overestimate their wait time by between 1.3 and 2 times (Transit Capacity & Quality of Service Manual). When you’re actually forced to measure the time spent – because you have an incentive for it to be longer – it probably negates part of that psychological effect. Call it the “reverse watched kettle effect” or something, but it was brilliant for DL to take advantage of it and change the perception of its baggage handling time.

  4. Next time I fly to a tiny Louisiana regional airport, I expect to get the bonus. I’ve waited 45 minutes before for bags.

  5. I dare AA to make the same deal–especially in Dallas. seems the bags get sucked into a temporary black hole on their way to the carousel

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