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Delta frequent-flier program now tied to airfare

In what marks a fundamental shift to its frequent-flier program, Delta will become the first major network carrier in the U.S. to have passengers earn award miles based on the fare they pay, rather than how far they fly. ( More...

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Guy Cocoa 5
This sets up a conflict of interest for business travelers whose companies pay the bill. Previously the traveler did not have a vested interest in how much was spent on his ticket. He got the same rewards regardless of how much was spent, but his company benefited from a lower fare. With this change the traveler now gets greater rewards for his company spending more. The traveler's interests are now at odds with his company's interests.
preacher1 8
Bad as some may disagree, I'd say it's about time. Any freebie, for whatever industry, should be tied to revenue derived from a service, especially where there is different pricing between the same points such as these.
preacher1 4
Revenue is the measure of profit and loss for about any industry; in this particular case, all miles are not equal as far as $ go.
I agree completely with your logic, however it is unfortunate that those who are smart with their money are now getting less reward, while fools (ie people who purchase tickets the day before their flight, most corporations) are being rewarded for their stupidity.
If you were a business owner you would cater to and give more advantages to those who spent more money with your company. For instance, would you give a free flight to someone who was a one time customer who paid $250 for a ticket or a repeat customer who paid $6,000 for a fully flexible ticket. It only makes sense.
Tom Hawk 2
If you are paying 6 grand for a ticket, first you are an idiot , two you may want to think about a jet card for private service! And three screw the "elite" status money in the bank is much more important!
PhotoFinish 2
That competition that private aviation provides in the high end likely underlies the need to redirect loyalty programs to those passengers, whom it makes more sense to retain.

On the lowest end, most airlines likely find that pasengers looking for the lowest fare are the least loyal. They'll do best to retain these passengers by reducing costs (like rewards programs) and just offer them the lowest possible fares upfront.

That's besides all the economic reality of tying bonuses to the revenue that customers bring, like in every other industry.

There will e some complaining and noise making during the transition. But eventually the entire industry will move to tyin the rewards to revenue. All of Delta's smaller lower cost competitors already tie their loyalty programs to revenue. Delta is mererly adopting the innovation that is percolating from the bottom up. Lower costs for rewards programs and lower base fares.
preacher1 1
Well, you are correct in that there is nothing free and these will just be paid for by those that can afford it. The killing is made off short notice travel. The airlines know that is the nature of the beast in corporate travel. Now though, some of that is going away what with video conferencing and all. My bunch just set up a corporate office for a man in Northern AZ that had 12 plants. Beginning of the day is a video meeting with all of them tied in. Just like being across the table.
Kent Thompson 2
Frequent flyer miles aren't free.
zmidnite11z 1
What's free?? In order to get frequent miles - you must pay for a ticket!!
harold smith 4
No loyalty to the passenger also means no loyalty to the airline. Delta just changed the program a few years ago to charge 3 times the miles for a trip you could get for 25,000 miles anywhere in the U.S. To about 75,000 miles now. Now they are maling those 75,000 miles harder to get. That's ok, I will use other options such as southwest or drive when it is is less than 6-10 hour drive. Actually less stressful than flying.
The responses to this crack me up. You would think that Delta was trying to take away everyone's human rights. Everyone wants their cake and they want to eat it too. I was one of the biggest abusers of Delta's program back when I used to fly a lot more commercially. I'd make Medallion status with them and select my routes thereafter so as to be assured an upgrade to Business Class every time. As time went on, the amount of people doing the same thing was absolutely ridiculous, and made it prohibitive to continue to do this. Delta is absolutely doing what makes the best business sense for them. You want free upgrades, spend money with them, not expect it because you spent a buttload of time in the cattle section at $250.00 a pop. Have you even looked at the cost of a business fare recently?

Or just do what I did...quit crying, buy your own aircraft and fly yourself.
joel wiley 4
Sky Miles--->Dollar Miles... sounds fare to me.
It is and always has been a loyalty program to keep customers.
Delta is merely shifting its loyalty focus from passengers to shareholders.
Their goal is to have happy, satisfied, customers, with emphasis on the last. Happy & satisfied are expendable.
Matt West 2
I'm curious to know how this will affect miles earnt on their alliance partners. I can't see all the other SkyTeam airlines turning to this model somehow. If then, for example, a passenger wants to fly to Europe will they not be tempted to fly with Air France rather than Delta because they will earn more miles?
preacher1 3
I expect it will be governed by the airline that it is booked on and then up to the pax to decide what they want to do.
PhotoFinish 3
Eventually, most if not all airlines will move to a revenue-based loyalty program, just like every other industry.

The baker's dozen that goes back years ago was when the baker added an extra one or two pieces when you purchased a full dozen. They never promised customers a free wedding cake with every dozen cupcakes.

The airlines are also finally realizing that their loyalty programs gave been rewarding their best customers (those that spend a lot on fares) too little, while rewarding low-spending passengers too much in proportion to the value of their revenue to the operation of the airline.
I am a frequent traveler, not corporate. I hate that when I pay full fare in first class that I am not rewarded more. Full fare passengers should receive more than anyone who uses miles and fly for nothing! Why should you be rewarded if you are traveling free? They don't make revenue from you and you are already being rewarded. You cost them money! You are not paying even if you are in first class. If 50 % of the plane is flying for free, how do you think they are going to make money? Wake up! Rep everyone is griping! It's like being taxed twice for inheritance...give the airlines a break and maybe the fares will go down.
Mark Devoe 1
This is not new for Delta. They have been changing their program for years to minimize the rewards for low fare business travelers like myself. When I first started flying a lot I was easily able to get the highest level of frequent flyer at multiple airlines. Restrictions made it so that taking more than a couple of weeks off of flying keeps me from the highest level of a single airline. With Delta's new rule, I don't see that it will be possible even if I fly every week of the year.

At Delta, 1st class upgrades have been directly tied to the airfare for over 10 years. Several times I flew in the back while my gold level friend flew in the front because he had paid a higher fare. Also, the benefits of being the highest level have dropped dramatically. Who else remembers the red coat service that would help you in Atlanta if you had a tight connection?
preacher1 5
At one time, Redcoats were pretty much everywhere, not just ATL. Mine too started out good way back yonder but as times progressed and mergers came along, and I flew less as a pax, I saw mine dwindle to nothing. Last flight I made as a pax afew years ago, I took an upgrade to 1c and basically cashed them out. May have a few in there now that I'll probably never use but it don't amount to much.
If you aren't using air miles, donate them to a charity that can use them. Angel Flight Mid Atlantic is one.
PaulN2719 1
I think I'll drop Delta SkyMiles and switch to Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan instead. I like AS better anyway.
Sean Miller 1
Singapore Airlines are already doing this
We checked on the Delta site where they provide the comparison. On overseas round trip where we got 10k air miles but would only get 6k today based on the price we paid. But if we paid closer to full fair we'd actually get more than 10k air miles, so it works both ways.
Robert George 1
Wow, what a cluster farfanewgen. I plan travel in advance to save my company money on travel cost expenses and I am almost reaching the first reward level goal in Delta........ But no............ Now to reach goal, I need to spend more of the companies money to help Delta make an even more obsence amount of money. The rich get richer. Pay for an extra bag, pay for exit seat, pay for leg room and the list goes on. Wake up to the scamming of the frequent traveler trying to make a fair living and keeping their own company profitable. What a bunch of crap.
Luggage experiment? Airlines charge you for luggage because you have been flying for free!!!!
Tom Hawk 1
I am a business owner. I fly 30 times a year. I have never reached platinum with delta. I spend a lot of Money with delta. Now I will never earn any elite status whatsoever. On the other hand I will not try to spend more to get elite status! As a business owner I cater to my "little" small business guys! If I (likeDelta) is doing catered to just my big guys I would not be in business any longer. If all the sudden the big guys drop out you lose big time. My little guys have been paying my bills for over 35 years. They have been their consistently while the big guys come and go! Economy comfort works fine. Good luck with this Delta, I am sure we will see change after change on this one for years to come.
zmidnite11z 1
In my opinion, this totally screws the "loyal business traveler". I am an example of that - as a 30+ year business traveler. I am required to schedule and pay for my monthly traveling schedule by quarter. So, yes by "Planning Ahead" I am getting the cheaper tickets. BUT - I purchase on the same airline - always. And these are coast to coast tickets. So this airline is getting (has gotten) a ton of money from me over the last 30+ years. Apparently this kind of loyalty/spending means nothing. It's apparently all about that flyer who may travel a couple of times a month - but because it's last minute they pay a high price ticket. The airline I use in United - and I'm told that all the airlines are not watching Delta to see what happens...United uses this philosophy for their upgrades since the merger. If they use this philosophy for Frequent Miles - then what's the point of being loyal?
zmidnite11z 1
Sorry - I'm told that all the airlines are NOW watching Delta to see what happens.
PhotoFinish 1
You're already getting the benefit of getting the same product for a much lower price. Everyone on that plane arrives at the destination airport at the same time. That should be reward enough in itself, especially if you're paying for your fares out of your pocket.

In addition to that, the airline gives you FREE bonus points that you may use for FREE future travel.

If the sum total of what the airline provides (product - hard and soft, service, timing, convenience, lounges, upgrades and bonus points) to you is sufficient for you to always book with them, then do so. If not, then act accordingly.

But what the airline offers as a bonus to some other passenger is of no concern to you. The same way that you haven't been concerned that others must pay much more than you for their ticket. It didn't matter to you whether they had last minute business or a sick ir dying family member or were just less organized than you.

You already got your rewards. Don't begrudge your neighbor their rewards.
I got my notification yesterday. Just another brick in the wall.
CaptJohn1 1
It's about time someone realized this! Why should I get the same amount of points as someone that paid a third of what I paid, when have to pay through the nose for a last minute trip. If you want the business travelers business, then try taking better care of them!
John Althoff 1
I've enjoyed using Frequent Flier miles over the years but, in the end, each company has to choose the way in which they "reward" their Frequent Fliers. When you become used to a system, it's usually a little difficult to change....
So if I am going to try to understand this very correct my recent flight to Sochi which I earned 10k something air miles r/t and I paid only $1,100 for will only get me 1100 something miles if I was to take that trip again in the future and not 10k.
looks like Delta wants us to bend over an take it up that way. And spend more money on non essential things that I do not need.
preacher1 12
You get savings on the low far. You shouldn't expect to have it both ways. Besides, DAL can be lambasted now but before long it will be the industry standard. They do not operate on government subsidies. They are in business to make a profit, not perform public service.
Preach on Preacherman!!!
cebranz2 3
It depends on your level with DL.
General: 5 miles/dollar
Silver: 7
Gold: 8
Plat: 9
Diamond: 11
DL AMEX Cardholder: 2

A DM could earn up to 13 miles per dollar.

At worst, you'd earn 5,500 most, 14,300 miles...
Well guess it's going to take me a much longer time to finally reach 100k miles since I'm already at 80k+ and I only fly for leisure and that is about 1-2 times a year, And early in my post like I was saying I had earned 10k+ r/t miles by going to Sochi I did the new calculation and if I take same flight I would only earn 5k+ r/t sky miles yep looks like the screw the little people an look more giving more to the big man..

[This poster has been suspended.]

gmcmanus 0
You seem to have a really bad rash sir, might want to powder it.
I have sky miles that I can't use due to that I don't have the American Express delta card. What's the point in getting miles then?
joel wiley 0
Can you trade them for S&H Green Stamps?
matt jensen 1
That's about all they are worth!
Delta continues with their mantra, Screw the passengers, who needs em, anyhow.
Bob Plested 4
United is worse. I'd rather drive than fly United.
matt jensen 1
I gave away a million miles I had with Eastern-Continental when I had the opportunity. UAL is the pits - both as a carrier and their FF program.
You are not alone my friends. Have you seen this? ->
Paul Glick -3
They are blood sucking leaches. I am a loyal two million miler who does not travel much anymore, but why should I continue to fly Delta? Hello Southwest. They are making the new seats in airplanes smaller and before long everyone will be standing up on the plane to get more passenger on the plane. Every change Delta makes is detrimental to 95% of the passengers.
axz055 9
You do realize that Southwest uses a similar model for their miles program?
preacher1 6
They didn't say they were really reducing or making changes to the program itself. It's being changed, tied to revenue as it should be. I to, am in the DAL FF program and have been for years; not near as much as you but from a business standpoint it makes perfect sense.
cebranz2 2
Ha. Southwest is already revenue based. Have fun exchanging your miles for a B34 boarding position for your flight to Tulsa. I'll lie flat across the pond for whatever it costs.
David Barnes 2
Tulsa flights aren't full enough to get up to B34!

But all kidding aside, I agree with those pointing out that WN uses a revenue based model for their FF program.

A few years ago, most cruise lines went from a "cruise count" model to a "nights sailed" model. While not directly a measure of revenue, it certainly ties more closely to it, as a week-long cruise costs more and results in more on-board spending than a three night jaunt. (Most also offer bonus points/credits for sailing in upgraded cabins, too.) How is this all that different?

As others have noted, you, to a company (any company), are as valuable as the money you spend. My grocery store provides rewards points based on total purchase. If I buy on sale, I get a smaller reward. "But we both bought steaks" you say? But who benefited the grocer more?

The guy spending the cheapest possible fare doesn't bring the same value as one paying last-minute fares. Why, then, should the airline be obligated to return the same value back to each?
Dan Perry 0
For the person who may be lucky enough to snag a last minute deal, this is a slap in the face by awarding him/ her less miles for the flight. If the seat had gone unsold, then Delta would not have that revenue. I say boycott Delta and if enough people do that, the company will have no choice but to rescind this ridiculous ploy to again screw travelers so as to enhance the bottom line.
I don't like their idea of doing that. What if you have a +10,000 mile flight and only spent about $700 dollars booking your flight. I think it is better to do it by Miles
cebranz2 5
Why should Delta care how long your butt is in their seat? You shouldn't be rewarded for time spent on their planes. It makes much more business sense to be rewarded for the amount of money you spend.
I'd love to see a national boycott of Delta, by leisure (Vacationers, retirees, etc...) travelers in response to this move

You just know, that all the other airlines will be watching to see how this decision pans out for Delta. Lookout all of you leisure travelers.......your own airlines will be following suit..............

Remember the "luggage experiment" started this way.


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