airtran737
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Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:12 am

I have heard a rumor that this summer Delta will radically change the way Skymiles are earned. No longer will you be given miles based on distance flown, but they will be given based on the fare that you pay. Personally I hate the idea, but we'll see how it actually plays out. DL seems to be adopting the system of AF/KL, but will the frequent fliers just accept it or revolt?
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
atrude777
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:23 am

About time if so...

Southwest, Jetblue, Virgin America all already do this based on the fare you purchased.

The conversion ratio though I think might differ between carriers?

Delta if this is true will be the first Legacy to switch to a Revenue Based Mileage Award System.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
michman
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:24 am

No way would they make such a dramatic change in the middle of the Medallion program year (assuming Medallion qualifying points would also be revenue based). Sorry, but I give zero credence to this rumor.

[Edited 2012-03-18 17:26:10]
 
atrude777
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:25 am

Quoting michman (Reply 2):
No way would they make such a dramatic change in the middle of the Medallion program year. Sorry, but I give zero credence to this rumor.

Southwest changed theirs in the middle of the "earning year".

Al WN did was simply transfer and converted it into the new system. Delta, if again true, would do the same thing.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
IADLHR
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:28 am

Quoting michman (Reply 2):
No way would they make such a dramatic change in the middle of the Medallion program year. Sorry, but I give zero credence to this rumor.

Unless they announce it mid year to take effedt Jan. 1, 2013. I dont think it is likely but just my 2 cents worth.
 
michman
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:29 am

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 3):
Southwest changed theirs in the middle of the "earning year".

Al WN did was simply transfer and converted it into the new system. Delta, if again true, would do the same thing.

Alex

WN's "elite" program is dramatically different than the legacy program's. It's possible that DL could announce something this summer for the 2013 earnings year, but no way do I see them actually making a change effective this summer.
 
flyibaby
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:31 am

Quoting michman (Reply 2):
No way would they make such a dramatic change in the middle of the Medallion program year (assuming Medallion qualifying points would also be revenue based). Sorry, but I give zero credence to this rumor.

I agree - Delta would not do something this dramatic in the middle of the year. Second, although the LCC's do this, I would imagine that Delta is smart enough to wait and see what the survey's of their highest medallion membership say about this. You don't go pissing off the top 20% of your revenue.....(Since something like 5% of Delta's passengers provide over 20% of all revenue)
 
ghifty
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:39 am

From a business standpoint it's an obvious and clear choice.. it makes no sense to give someone who payed $200 the same amount of miles as someone who payed $500.

However, from a soon-to-be Gold Medallion, this is devastating. Most of my miles came from the lower-tier fares..

This is a little o/t but do you still get MQM's when you book through a 3rd party (expedi, travelo, etc..)?

[Edited 2012-03-18 17:40:30]
Fly Delta Jets
 
michman
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:41 am

I would add that there were a number of rumors last Fall that United was going to switch to a largely revenue based program for their elite status tiers. The rumors turned out to be completely unfounded.

[Edited 2012-03-18 17:42:50]
 
DLPMMM
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:42 am

Delta already has a fare based system....lower fares earn 100%, Y, B, and M fares and F/J class fares earn 150%

I don't think they would make it less attractive than it is now, since skymiles inflation is already so bad.
 
michman
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:44 am

Quoting ghifty (Reply 7):
This is a little o/t but do you still get MQM's when you book through a 3rd party (expedi, travelo, etc..)?

Yes, you still get MQM's when booking through 3rd parties (except for Priceline name your own price tickets).
 
n7371f
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:01 am

It's coming...or something very similar...the slimeball running SkyMiles is full of himself and his ego has been determined the past few years to eliminate elites who don't pay top dollar. All you have to do is look at how the program has been weakened against the selling-up of Delta's product.
 
scutfarcus
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:08 am

Scary idea. Considering United is offering status match for a pretty reasonable amount of flights this year, I will hedge my bets, earn Gold on United, and if Delta does this, then good bye Delta, hello United. Granted, if one does it, it's likely the other legacies will too... definitely not a fan of this concept!
 
AWACSooner
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:29 am

Whatever...SkyPesos are practically worthless anyways compared to the other legacies. No problems redeeming miles on UA/AA/WN, DL has NEVER let me redeem my miles for the base levels.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:29 am

It is something that DL has wanted to do, it is a question of if they will be the first to jump or if they will wait for somone else to make the shift.

As n7371f has said, it is something they have wanted to do, realizing there will be many reprocussions, but its a matter if the others will follow and/or head this way.

Whatever the change it won't be effective in the middle of a program year. So I think we are safe for the 2012 program year.

The question is whether they will cut-over all at once or if they will do it gradually to add some type of revenue qualifying promtion. They are many ways - good and bad, they could change this.

This rumor has been out there awhile, we'll see what happens when we get there.
 
n7371f
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:36 am

Quoting scutfarcus (Reply 12):
Scary idea. Considering United is offering status match for a pretty reasonable amount of flights this year, I will hedge my bets, earn Gold on United, and if Delta does this, then good bye Delta, hello United. Granted, if one does it, it's likely the other legacies will too... definitely not a fan of this concept!

True. But with all the mergers, how many choices do you have? It's only a few years now until all the programs resemble one another. Collusion? That's up to someone else to determine. But what we're seeing are the results of taking Northwest, Continental, AirTran, Midwest and America West out of the market. Competition only helps the customer.

[Edited 2012-03-18 18:38:42]
 
Alitalia744
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:38 am

As the Magic Eight Ball states - "All signs point to yes...." Rewarding customers based on the revenue earned from those customers is smart business sense and is most likely the way of the future for airlines.

Transparently Delta has worked to earn incremental revenue out of every passenger through unbundling of services, monetization of first-class, using captive audience to create a potential new media touchpoint for Agencies and other marketers to tap into.

I'm afraid The Carpenters had it right when they sang "We've only just begun...." The future of FF programs and the way consumers will earn rewards in them is potentially at a major cusp. All the airlines need is a few smart legacy carriers to jump the mountain and others will follow if it represents significant upside revenue.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
jr
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:47 am

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 13):
Whatever...SkyPesos are practically worthless anyways compared to the other legacies. No problems redeeming miles on UA/AA/WN, DL has NEVER let me redeem my miles for the base levels.

  

Didn't delta try this already once where they did not give full elite qualification credit for fares lower than K?

It is practically impossible to redeem miles for the lowest award tiers on DL. As someone noted, they already have a somewhat revenue based model based on their Y, B, M fare classes. I thought the whole point in giving full mileage credit for all fares was why they devalued the miles by making redeeming the lower tiers impossible. If they tack on more restrictions based on fare classes, its going to be worthless from a mileage earning standpoing.

I have been platinum for the last 4 years straight and platinum or gold for pretty much the last decade. I travel for work a decent amount, but we always get the non-refundable fares these days. So even from a business travel stanpoint it is not going to be easy to earn miles if the new restrictions on accrual come to be. Will have to wait and see if this is really true and how the other legacies follow.
I've flown on 9V-SPK.
 
nwafflyer
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:03 am

I have been a NW/DL platinum member for over 12 years now. In the next few flights I will be a million mile member - if I have to go back to 'ground zero' on this one, I'll start driving
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:03 am

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 9):

I don't think they would make it less attractive than it is now, since skymiles inflation is already so bad.
Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 13):
Whatever...SkyPesos are practically worthless anyways compared to the other legacies. No problems redeeming miles on UA/AA/WN, DL has NEVER let me redeem my miles for the base levels.

Exactly, I've written about this before too. DL awards are a joke. I looked at some potential trips this fall (not even peak summer time). Southeast Asia? 105,000 miles and that's not including the non-stop SEA-NRT flight. SJC-CMN? Same thing and nothing at all on SLC-CDG, but rather a 12 hour layover in ATL.

UIO? AA has First Class for 60,000. DL wants 80,000 for the same days for Coach.

DLH for the Grandma's Marathon? Forget it. MSP for 25,000? Surely you jest.

They can get away with it as long as the consumer keeps tolerating it. AA and AS aren't quite as good as they used to be either, but far better that DL still.

It's like baggage fees. As long as the consumers keep flying DL they couldn't care less whether you are happy with FF awards. As long as people keep flying all the legacies and paying first bag fees, rather than defecting to WN, they are going to keep doing it.

People need to start voting with their wallets. Fly AS and AA, rather than DL and see if they do something about the joke of an award program.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:06 am

Although it is a very very small amount of flyers this will prevent people from trying to book all types of connections just to gain miles by flying more. There is a very small amount of people who try to look for all types of weird routings and connections just to gain miles. I doubt that is really their motivation but more just giving out less miles overall and rewarding the people who are buying these expensive last minute tickets more and giving out less to the bargain hunters.

Delta miles are so impossibly hard to redeem i cant imagine anyone wanting to stay on a plane to get more. Personally i would never want to fly out of the way for miles as they are worth so little now days but i guess there are people out there with tons of free time or really have nothing better they need to be doing. Maybe im just jealous there are people out there with so much free time...
 
jetlanta
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:10 am

Quoting n7371f (Reply 11):
It's coming...or something very similar...the slimeball running SkyMiles is full of himself and his ego has been determined the past few years to eliminate elites who don't pay top dollar. All you have to do is look at how the program has been weakened against the selling-up of Delta's product.

Classy.

Let's be real. This refocusing of SkyMiles is being driven at the highest levels of the company. A great deal of care is being taken to ensure mistakes of the past are not repeated. But none of us know that the final program will look like. In the meantime, the personal attacks are pathetic.
 
BMI727
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:16 am

Quoting airtran737 (Thread starter):
Personally I hate the idea,

...because the ones you earn now are just soooo useful?

Either way, doing it by fare makes sense. Already the super-elite semi-secret tiers some airlines have (like GS) are based on fare rather than mileage.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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atcsundevil
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:34 am

Quoting michman (Reply 8):
I would add that there were a number of rumors last Fall that United was going to switch to a largely revenue based program for their elite status tiers. The rumors turned out to be completely unfounded.

Actually, my understanding is that it was seriously being considered as part of the new MileagePlus program, but when the discussion leaked and the subsequent upheaval took place, they relented and likely decided this was not the year to implement such a radical change. (Someone who knows better, please correct me if needed.)


Personally, I would be surprised if this is actually true. I think that this clearly is the way of the future for elite programs, but I'd be surprised if Delta is the one to make the first move. If it is true, I think the other legacies might hold back to see the results -- it could be a wise financial decision or it could end up being a disaster to their FF program. Although, I can't say I'd be surprised if the entire industry shifted to this at the same time; it isn't an opportunity for change that should be passed up because the backlash wouldn't be directed at them, but rather at the industry itself (e.g. baggage fees, elimination of free food in domestic Y, and so on).

Regardless of who does it, it needs to be done and it will be done. Elite programs are supposed to reward those who contribute the most financially to the airline. In the current situation, one could conceivably earn a first elite tier (25k) for less than $1,000. United elites can tell you (including this "Premier Gold") that the combined airline has created millions of elites which completely dilute the benefits. Premier Access may as well mean General Boarding. This is not a sustainable situation at United or for the airline industry in the US in general.

It needs to be done, but I wouldn't want to be the first airline to make such a big change...there are just too many variables.
 
n7371f
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:26 am

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 21):
Classy.

Let's be real. This refocusing of SkyMiles is being driven at the highest levels of the company. A great deal of care is being taken to ensure mistakes of the past are not repeated. But none of us know that the final program will look like. In the meantime, the personal attacks are pathetic.

I disagree. I've had interactions with Jeff. And I've had 3 years now of Delta's program and the condescending communication directly from him and others has left its mark.

If you work at Delta, you should be really concerned about the disconnect between the front-line and on-board service versus the prickly image of SkyMiles and the attitude many HVC's have toward the loyalty program. That's all on one guy.

[Edited 2012-03-18 20:59:04]
 
cloudboy
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:52 am

Problem is, you have to think about how your ticket sales work, and what motivates your sales. Elite programs are there to encourage people to fly your airline. People who have a choice aren't the ones who are paying premium fares. If you are stuck buying high-priced tickets, chances are either you don't make the final decision what ticket is purchased, or it doesn't really matter to you. Those are not the people Frequent flier programs really attract. Elite flyer programs attract the people who have to fly a lot but are stuck with business rules which limit how much they can spend. The company is not going to spend more on a ticket just to earn their employee upgrades. Thus you then loose that employees loyalty. conversely, those cheap fare flyers are not going to just up and purchase a twice as expensive ticket. You loose that sale entirely. The myth that an airline "looses" money on cheap fares is just an accounting charade. Expenses do not break down by flyer, they are just there, and the airline needs to get as many people paying money as they can. Those cheap fare flyers also do not take up more expensive seats, as they choose the cheapest flights and will conform to whatever the most "needed fill" flight is. in some ways it actually pays the airline to offer better bonuses to the low fare customers on flights that are undersold, just to draw in more revenue for that flight.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
SNCNtry32
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:43 am

I have heard that this will be how upgrades are earned, based on fare, but not miles.
Long Live Memphis!
 
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mayor
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:12 am

Quoting n7371f (Reply 24):
I disagree. I've had interactions with Jeff. And I've had 3 years now of Delta's program and the condescending communication directly from him and others has left its mark.

If your communications with him and DL are anything like the attitude displayed in your posts, I can understand why DL might feel that way towards you.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
TSS
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:37 am

Quoting SNCntry32 (Reply 26):
I have heard that this will be how upgrades are earned, based on fare, but not miles.

If the new program is to be based on fares paid rather than miles flown, is it safe to assume that it will no longer be called "Skymiles"? Will the new program be called "Skyfares", or will Delta bow to public pressure and officially name the new program what many travelers have been calling the current program for some time now- "Skypesos"?

[Edited 2012-03-18 22:39:00]
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Burj
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:15 am

Switching from a miles based system to a revenue based system could have un-intended consequences...

It will clearly make it much harder to get and maintain status. Once that is the case a large number of people who are loyal to Delta will now be switch to the pool of people who buy the cheapest ticket, period.

Here is a case to consider....

A person flies a bit for work and for leisure. They tend to buy cheaper tickets and currently they earn silver or gold status. Once they have that status they STILL tend to buy cheaper tickets, but will by the Delta "low fare" ticket even when it is $20-$50 more then USAirway's cheap ticket because they want to maintain that status AND flying on an airline that you have status with is easier (waived fees, better seats, etc)...

With the new system, despite flying a bit, the same person will probably NOT obtain status because they buy cheaper fares...once they loose Delta status they have NO incentive to buy a ticket from Delta that is a little more expensive...Thus thousands (tense of thousands) of people each year who WOULD have bought Delta tickets will now just buy whatever is cheapest.

This increases pressure on Delta to compete on PRICE.

Now Delta HAS tried to create more of a premium product with AVOD and wifi...but time and time again airlines have discovered that once people are shopping solely on price....those features DO not induce people to pay even $10 more per ticket....
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:13 am

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 25):
If you are stuck buying high-priced tickets, chances are either you don't make the final decision what ticket is purchased, or it doesn't really matter to you.

The exception to this are situations where business travelers are forced to buy their tickets at the last minute and have a choice of carrier through their online booking tool. In that case, they might choose DL because it has the best schedule, or is their preferred carrier as a frequent flyer. In that case, that person will benefit from a revenue-based scheme as they will end up getting elite before those buying cheaper tickets and will have an easier time with upgrades and preferred seating as a result. Still, the ones who might defect are those that really do buy their tickets in advance, and in that case, perhaps they're too cheap to reward in this day and age of reduced capacity. You just never know how things might play out.
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:03 pm

Maybe it's a redenomination, with 10 SkyMiles=1 new SkyMile. 
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
Av8rDAL
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:19 pm

I live in ATL and achieved Gold Medallion (the highest I ever got) and suppose I have some room for comment...

I achieved this by adhering to a company travel policy of "lowest fare" for a nonstop, if possible. I booked in advance and usually got deeply discounted tickets, and Delta was usually the lowest fare at that time unless Airtran undercut by a few dollars. I always enjoyed the perks of 100% of distance for SkyMiles plus the bonuses and kickbacks of being an elite.

If DL changes the policy, then they are making Skymiles a scarcer commodity. DL is already very liberal with allowing mileage accumulation with hotel, rental car, dining, credit card etc. partners. See a full list here:

http://skymilesoffers.delta.com/index.php

On top of that, they never expire. So the "supply" of lots of miles and a lot of Skymiles members is there, and the "demand" for limited seats is obviously high since availability is not as good as elsewhere.

I see a change to limit mileage accumulation as ultimately a good thing if you want to actually USE your miles some day. But DL would do better to limit the amount of partners by which miles can be accrued.

After all, does it help or hurt DL's core business to essentially de-value SkyMiles by allowing anyone to earn mileage credit from 1-800-Flowers.com, etc?
Maintain thine airspeed, lest the Earth rise up and smite thee.
 
theflcowboy
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:37 pm

This sounds like something that is going to hurt more than help. Example:

I live in Knoxville, which has (or seems like it has) some of the highest airfares in the country. I routinely pay over $600 for a T class fare to places like PIA, CLT, PHL, LGA, etc. This is the same class of fare that I used to pay $300 or less for when I lived in MCO.

So if I understand this correctly DL has classified my T fare class as the same, even though I pay 2x and 3x what other people pay and I am still going to have my MQM's devalued because I used a "low" fare class?
A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
 
nyc2theworld
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:39 pm

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 23):
Regardless of who does it, it needs to be done and it will be done. Elite programs are supposed to reward those who contribute the most financially to the airline. In the current situation, one could conceivably earn a first elite tier (25k) for less than $1,000. United elites can tell you (including this "Premier Gold") that the combined airline has created millions of elites which completely dilute the benefits. Premier Access may as well mean General Boarding. This is not a sustainable situation at United or for the airline industry in the US in general.

United didn't create new elites out of thin air. These elites were elites with the old MP already or OnePass. All MP did was give 75,000-99,999 their own tier level. It was a redistribution. The only other "elites" they created are the CC ones that just get free baggage and priority airport handling, but they do not earn premier qualifying miles on CC purchases. So how did UA create new elites?
Always wonderers if this "last and final boarding call" is in fact THE last and final boarding call.
 
IADLHR
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:54 pm

Quoting alitalia744 (Reply 16):
I'm afraid The Carpenters had it right when they sang "We've only just begun...." The future of FF programs and the way consumers will earn rewards in them is potentially at a major cusp. All the airlines need is a few smart legacy carriers to jump the mountain and others will follow if it represents significant upside revenue.

I am sure it will probably lead to revenue growth. On the other hand it it doesnt and there is a major revolt by the FF elite and pax flee to another carrier, than it will take a long time to recover from the fiasco.

Could it be that is why they might annou8nce change sometime in mid 2012 to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013. That way if the the second half on 2012 there is a pax revolt, they can back down and modify the changes that were to take effect.
 
Xkorpyoh
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:51 pm

Delta is my favorite U.S. legacy network carrier, but I gave up on them this year because they make it so hard to use the miles at the base levels. For several years, I was always able to use base levels on all my trips to Europe and Asia, and liked the fact that you could even book some of those at delta.com, even if it included airline partners. Now, I have to call and argue with the agents about routing, mileage levels, etc. Not a fun experience.

I stopped flying Delta, no longer have elite status (refuse to spend more on them) and no longer use the credit card that lets me earn miles with them. I am now flying AA, even when I used to hate them (reason I switched to DL 8 years ago), and even if I have to make connections and have less choices of flights (I live in DC and they keep reducing the number of flights from here). But, I recently used base level AA miles to go to Hawaii in February, China in May, Barcelona & Tirana (BA) in September, and the process of booking those was painless and fast, although I do need to make more connections and some long stopovers. I am AA Gold for life, so I hope the "new" AA improves as much as DL did after chapter 11, but that they keep it "frequent flyer friendly".

In other words, whether I spend a lot of $$$ on tickets or not, I won't be spending them on DL because they don't let me use the miles.....Unless, they give big elite spenders preferential treatment when using miles at base levels on most flights, including partners.
 
tockeyhockey
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RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:57 pm

can i just take a moment to complain? delta skymiles has lost me as a loyal member recently. i managed to deal with the radical inflation on mileage rewards (25k flights are almost non-existant... most are 37,500 or 40,000 or more) but recently got dinged for two change fees on one rewards ticket. that turned my "free" reward into a $300 ticket. add in baggage fees (for some reason they refused to give me my first bag free with my amex on either leg -- again, a penalty for using rewards) and upgrade fees for economy plus and i think my recent reward flight cost me close to $450.

that's not a reward. that's a penalty. i would have been better off buying a ticket outright on WN.

anyway, i have complained vociferously to customer service about this to no avail. and i won't be flying delta again or accumulating miles with them anymore. i had been gold medallion at one point and have flown over 100,000 miles in the past two years. no more.

just needed to vent.

if they change to a fee based rewards system, that's fine. what it really means is that with the already ridiculously restrictive rules they have in place, it will be even harder to earn free seats.

i guess this is just another result of consolidation. they can do it because they are so big and their legacy competition is weak right now, particularly AA.
 
georgiaame
Posts: 951
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:55 am

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:31 pm

My 2 MQMs: If you have a mileage program, you offer "miles". Fly 100, get 100. Now, if you want to be nice, you give a bonus, as in Delta's 50% boost for M class and higher bucket fares. Or double/triple/half rewards once medallion status is reached. That is their prerogative, and while I might be PO'd by it were it to be cut back, it is their program to induce my loyalty to their company. Personally, I've been Delta Gold for 15 years, Platinum for 4, including this current one. I have made multiple, totally needless end of year mileage runs in the past, filling an empty seat, and forking over my hard earned bucks to grab my FFMs. Delta has lost no revenue with my occupying the seat, only paper numbers of my "miles". And I have had minimal trouble getting "freebies" internationally and up front using those miles, on Delta, and usually AF, and now KLM. Were the situation to change radically, and my perks threatened, what loyalty would I have toward Delta in the future? True, they are convenient and I am married to them because I live in Atlanta. But if I have no benefit flying them rather than Southwest/AirTran, why stay loyal, especially if the level of onboard service is the same, and potentially better with the competition? Similarly, I have better and cheaper international connections via Star Alliance out of Atlanta.

They are free to do what their bean counters tell them to do. But in an age where transportation has a minimal profit margin, and competition is brutal, you really should think twice before you shoot yourself in the foot.
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
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TVNWZ
Posts: 1672
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:33 pm

They can do what they want. It's a company for profit. Either way you cut it I will be Diamond, so personally it will have no affect.

However, as has been pointed out, Delta has always had a miles/revenue reward scheme. Higher fares get you more miles and with the addition of the Diamond tier, the top flyers in miles and revenue are rewarded more than any other customer. Delta perpetuates Elite inflation by selling miles to AMEX and other companies to pass out to award their customers. These tie-ins are a big revenue stream for Delta with AMEX alone contributing over a Billion dollars to Delta coffers.

I personally think this is all rumor and will not happen. But, if it does, there will be lots of upheaval in the ranks. Be fun to watch.
 
staralliance85
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:29 am

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:06 pm

DL Sky Pesos is already on of the Worst FF programs!! If they do anymore changes then all e elites will flock to UA, AA and/or US. DL already has a tricky 3 level award system. For example to use Sky Pesos for Business Class to Bangkok can be 400,000 points. On UA, AA and US it is 120,000. DL should make their program like Mileage Plus.
brad Fitzpatrick
 
syncmaster
Posts: 1926
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 9:55 am

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:52 pm

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 25):
Elite flyer programs attract the people who have to fly a lot but are stuck with business rules which limit how much they can spend. The company is not going to spend more on a ticket just to earn their employee upgrades. Thus you then loose that employees loyalty.

Exactly, I'm technically committed to purchasing the cheapest fare possible (although I admit that in some cases I have chosen Delta over another carrier if it is not too much more, and sometimes paid the difference out of my pocket depending on how much it is, i.e. over $25 or so). As a Silver I have little to no benefits as it is, so reducing the number of miles I get would only force me to think twice about preferring Delta over another carrier. I often have to make two stops or go out of my way and connect in ATL to head west from SBN.

Quoting SNCntry32 (Reply 26):
I have heard that this will be how upgrades are earned, based on fare, but not miles.

I can understand on the upgrade list, I was recently on a 757 from DTW to SLC where there was 91 people on the upgrade list. For those counting, that's basically half of the seats on the plane listed for upgrades. At the end of the day I get upgraded so infrequently I don't even think about it any more, all I want is priority check-in, boarding and access to preferred seats in Y. Priority security line access would be nice as well.

Quoting georgiaame (Reply 38):
But in an age where transportation has a minimal profit margin, and competition is brutal, you really should think twice before you shoot yourself in the foot.

Exactly, I could just as easily fly American or United, and with a bit of a drive to ORD/MDW, VX, WN or AS.
 
diverdave
Posts: 453
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:00 am

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:04 pm

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 39):
I personally think this is all rumor and will not happen. But, if it does, there will be lots of upheaval in the ranks. Be fun to watch.

In my experience, most of the negative rumors about future SkyMiles changes come true. Makes for quite the tempest over on FlyerTalk.

SkyMiles is less of a loyalty program these days. With oil well over $100 per barrel, that's the future.

David
 
threeifbyair
Posts: 939
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:44 pm

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:19 pm

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 23):
In the current situation, one could conceivably earn a first elite tier (25k) for less than $1,000.

I live in the corner of the US (SEA), bought only "T" fares last year, and didn't even get 20k miles while spending quite a bit more than $1k. Unless you can load up on LAX-JFK "T" fares on off-peak days, I don't even think $1,500 is feasible now.

I wonder how AS would react to its largest Mileage Plan partner making such a drastic change.
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:20 pm

If this rumor has any validity to it, for flyers with former elite status (such as myself) it makes more and more sense to just get the Delta Skymiles CC from AMEX. You can pay with miles, board early and it's a $25 dollar fee to visit the club. Seems like a Silver who already has a low chance for an upgrade can forget about that slim chance if they book a lower fare class of ticket.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
usairways85
Posts: 3562
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 11:59 am

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:51 pm

Quoting michman (Reply 8):
I would add that there were a number of rumors last Fall that United was going to switch to a largely revenue based program for their elite status tiers. The rumors turned out to be completely unfounded.

Well this was "leaked". You never know if they wanted to see how people responded.

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 14):
It is something that DL has wanted to do, it is a question of if they will be the first to jump or if they will wait for somone else to make the shift.

As above UA may jump with them, though it may not be able to handle this type of change in the middle of a merger

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 35):
I am sure it will probably lead to revenue growth. On the other hand it it doesnt and there is a major revolt by the FF elite and pax flee to another carrier, than it will take a long time to recover from the fiasco.

I'm not so sure. It will certainly identify the high paying paxs and reward them but I think you could see elite ranks slashed and really all people do is pick the cheapest airline.

Quoting syncmaster (Reply 41):
Exactly, I'm technically committed to purchasing the cheapest fare possible (although I admit that in some cases I have chosen Delta over another carrier if it is not too much more, and sometimes paid the difference out of my pocket depending on how much it is, i.e. over $25 or so).

Exactly. Right now I even can justify spending a little more on UA due to schedules. I would expect corporate expense departments to watch spending patterns much more closely if the airlines shift in this direction.


All in all if the airlines want to go down this route, so be it, but it is essentially the end of loyalty programs as we know it. Sure I may not buy full fare tickets but I flew ~118k miles with UA last year that equated to about $20k. And most of that was travel for work. If I were to fly that much on personal trips I'd probably spend half that. If an airline doesn't think that my continual business is worth it then I will just pick whatever airline gets me to my destination the cheapest/quickest. Whether that is good or bad for the airlines, only time will tell.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 3278
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:56 pm

Personally Delta is my favorite airline but I agree skypesos are almost impossible to use compared to UA or AA miles. Delta constantly fails me for redemption and UA and AA both I have had almost incomparably better luck finding flights. The he only thing I hope is that if this happens and Delta is giving out less miles they at least make them possible to redeem.

I often have some flexibility its delta that has no flexibility. Being able to redeem for one way awards is something I think we should all comment to delta as something we need.
 
brilondon
Posts: 3018
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:56 am

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:25 pm

I think that it is fair. You should reward those who pay more for the same distance, not for just the distance flown. This system makes sense to me. Why should a yutz who went for the lowest possible fare get the same rewards as those of us who choose to pay for business class tickets and thus get to benefit from the perks of the FF plan.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 46):
Personally Delta is my favorite airline but I agree skypesos are almost impossible to use compared to UA or AA miles.

I like Delta a lot too. Their customer service beats out United's any day of the week. But overall MP is a better program than Sky Peco. I couldn't believe that it can cost over 100,000 sky pecos a night for a free hotel room -- what are they thinking?
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Delta Skymiles Revamp?

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:49 pm

  

I would strongly welcome such a change.

Airlines are finally albeit slowly coming to the realizing that revenue based system as utilized in many other business sectors including retail and travel (think hotels, car rental) is more applicable than simply frequency of use reward model.

Not all customers are created equal, and rewarding those that actually spend the most in your business is the true means to reward loyalty, and not those that simply keep you busy with frequent yet not profitable activity.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California

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