I have never met Richard Anderson. Years ago, if I had, I would have told him that, despite all the naysayers, Delta is amazing and irrespective of the haters Delta is the best airline in the world. Today, well, really not so much due to the destruction of the frequent flyer program this year and last year (not just earnings but redemption as well).
I hope at the Freddie awards in Atlanta, a little over a month away, I will, either at the event itself or the many other events surrounding it, have the chance to speak with him one on one for a bit. What will be the first thing I ask after introducing myself?
“Why do you want to destroy SkyMiles?”
Now I am sure he will give me the stock answer and say something like we had to make a industry leading change and or our research shows most elites like these changes. Also he will explain how the two fold redemption’s this year also show that the new program is working as planned. I will answer:
Your data is wrong and the reason for the high redemption of awards this year is because folks are terrified to their bones over what is coming next after the constant waves of devaluations to the program! I myself burned 1 MILLION SkyMiles this year alone.
If I can I will also share how upsetting it is to see REAL VALUE stripped away from SkyMiles like stopovers disappearing. Next, Delta breaking the website to be able to use it to put together an award that clearly shows LEVEL 1 space leg by leg. It is so frustrating that we can no longer do what we could before on Delta.com and now it over charges you for two tickets. Oh and clearly I will mention the shameless move to remove the award charts from Delta.com.
Those three would be the ones I would desperately like to talk about with him if I have the chance. Will he listen? I have no idea. I have been told he never reads a letter twice, that is, he acts on something once to be efficient. Perhaps, if anything I share has an impact, he can act on it as the lower suits have not told him the truth of the matter and just how upset flyers are.
I am under no illusion that Delta will win anything this year at the Freddie’s (be sure to vote for someone btw). Delta had NO shot last year. Delta was barely mentioned the year before that. This year it will be embarrassing for the hosts in Atlanta (not that they will not be outstanding hosts for the event itself). Next year I hope Delta just decides not to even send reps to attend the 2016 event unless they start making some positive changes to SkyMiles.
I guess that brings this down to you this weekend. What do you think my first question to Richard Anderson should be? Am I asking the right one? What questions would you ask if you had the chance to sit down with him one on one?- René