The big travel news this week is the fallout from Delta’s bombshell of an announcement last Wednesday that starting January 1, 2015, SkyMiles points will be earned based on the actual cost of a ticket rather than number of miles flown. It’s great news for a small percentage of fliers that spend big money on tickets or fly short distances, but it’s terrible news for rest of us. There have been all kinds of stories written this week, and so I’ve compiled the best of them below. My two favorite so far are ThePointsGuy’s “Top 10 Reasons Why I Dumped Delta” and CrankyFlier’s “Delta Shakes Up SkyMiles but Fails to Give The Details Needed to Evaluate the Change Properly.”
I’m really bummed because I’ve started flying Delta a lot in the last few years and I’m now one of their elite frequent fliers. Since I normally don’t fly short distances or buy full-fare, expensive tickets, it would be wise of me to make a conscious effort not to fly them anymore. FYI: I’m actually not loyal to one particular airline or alliance as I fly close to 30 different airlines each year and have elite status on at least one airline from all three airlines alliances: oneworld (American), SkyTeam (Delta) and Star Alliance (United).
I already have a few trips booked on Delta and their SkyTeam partners coming up but once those are completed I won’t be paying extra to keep my elite status—though thanks to their generous rollover bonus and the miles I’ve already flown in 2014, I’ve achieved Silver Medallion through 2016.
I’m not mad at Delta as I think it could potentially be a smart move for them. According to Joe Brancatelli, “Delta executives have implied that 4 percent of their customers are responsible for as much as 25 percent of revenue.” But my problem (like others’) is they haven’t announced what it’s going to cost to redeem points going forward, as they haven’t released their new award charts and they won’t until the fall. Seems crazy and since Delta already has the worst redemption value out of all the carriers I have to guess the results are not going to be good.
I just hope American and United don’t follow Delta’s lead. But if they do, I tell you who the big winners will be here: JetBlue and Virgin America, because they already offer a superior product and better service. The only things that have been holding frequent fliers like me from flying them more regularly are the legacy carriers’ (American, United, Delta) mileage programs and the strength of their international networks. Obviously, the latter is still going to be a problem, but I know plenty of frequent fliers that don’t travel internationally.
- The Points Guy: Top 10 Reasons Why I Dumped Delta
- CrankyFlier: Delta Shakes Up SkyMiles but Fails to Give The Details Needed to Evaluate the Change Properly
- Consumer Traveler: Delta’s new frequent flier policy — a war on corporate travel departments and leisure travelers?
- Joe Brancatelli: Just how dreadful is Delta’s new SkyMiles policy? We only know the half of it