What is the next worst “enhancement” you can dream of that Delta will impose on us? I mean, what one thing would make you yell, scream and question continuing loyalty to Delta? Maybe you are like me and have already had that moment (mine was the end of stopovers on awards).
Before you answer and get your brain matter going, please don’t say anything like:
“Rene, please don’t give the mothership any ideas – geezzzz”
Because, as I have said before, I am sure anything you or I could think about has already been discussed and considered and the numbers have been run. The current team, I am confident, will be making more cuts and more profits from SkyMiles for Delta. Everything must make them money including loyalty.
In case you missed it, my fellow blogger Brian learned at the Freddie awards that Delta people would have been disappointed to win anything as their goal is not to reward loyal flyers, but earn more from SkyMiles. In fact I had one Delta person all but deride me for not being happy to pay 2x for a ticket when it should cost just one (or that is at least what the hidden Delta award charts say). Really, I was so stunned I could not coherently respond.
What we all need to understand is these are crazy times. Things are what they are and we need to look out for no one but ourselves. To and from Europe, when things go wrong, we can reach out to folks like AIRHELP for assistance with delayed flights and more. Not so much here.
Also we need to know the new crop of SkyMiles people are trying to one-up those who were in their jobs before them and they come from “bean counter” backgrounds, NOT loyalty programs (that should fill you with fear – it does me). They care about showing they also, like the last group, can hack and slash perks and get max profits from us and give us “trinkets and beads” and hope we are happy with these “gifts” from the mothership. Yep, whenever you look at the $kyRubles program you need to think like they do, that is, how do we extract more and give away less. Think anything money that will add to the bottom line and boost profits and that could be next.
So now we know what to expect, that is, pain, cuts, fees and “enhancements” that we know are #KeepDescending events on deck next. What do I think could be next?
Rollover MQMs. I can see this ending. Please understand this, along with the rest we will be talking about, are really dumb and stupid ideas that will cause more to depart Delta for other airlines, but that is not what is important – what matters is more dollars and nothing else. So why end this very popular perk? There are too many Diamonds. If Delta goes all REV based for MQMs they will drop even more. But first cutting rollover will “thin the herd” and keep some big spenders happy.
Cheaper upgrade sales. Oh, you and I both know this is on the way. Why in the world would Delta “give away” a 1st class upgrade to a loyal medallion when they can sell an el’Cheap’O upgrade to a Silver for a few bucks. For now, this is not the norm, but it will happen. Trust me, there are only so many other things they can do to extract funds from flyers. I have see more and more seats going this way either at purchase or at check-in.
Restrictions on Global upgrade and Regional upgrade certs. I have been told there was a real FIGHT to get the perk at all (even though half as many as AA offers). For those of you new to $kyRubles, in the past, we had SWU or system wide upgrades. They were worthless for many. Why? You had to pay a HIGH fare class to use them (especially for international use). Unless you had an employer who was willing to pay for higher fare class coach seats, often as much as a discounted business class, but your company rules did not allow business class eats, then these SWU were nice. I fully expect cheap fare classes will soon NOT be allowed on GU and RU certs. Get ready to PAY MORE for the “privilege” of using your “choice benefit” you are given each year. Again, don’t hate the messenger, I think this “enhancement” is on the way. Think PAIN.
More restrictions on C+ seats. Again, facts are facts. This coach seat with all the perks is the new shiny toy Delta is selling to flyers who are buying it hook-line-and-dollar. They have, for the most part, successfully sold the same coach seat as something special and will be either restricting it more or charging more, even to elites, for this “privileged” seat. I will not pay for this “seat” & will be happy in an exit row and bring my own refreshment on-board thank you very much!
Fees for things that are now waived. Like what? SDC fees for everyone but Diamonds. I will not go through the entire long list, but just go to the medallion perks page and pick anything that has a waived fee and expect lower rank medallion to pay for things that were free and maybe even some fees for Diamonds. When you only have cuts to make you have to look somewhere after all.
Fees for partner redemptions. We know Delta does not get along that well with Skyteam or Delta partners. I mean try to find just ONE, yes just one, KLM business class seat on award points from Chicago to Amsterdam any day all year. Why not impose yet another fee if the seat is not on a Delta codeshare award or a Delta metal flight.
You know I could do this all day long but I think you have had enough for one day. Folks, please clearly understand nothing good is on the way. Having said that, later I will post a follow-up with what would be smart things that would be #KeepClimbing ideas! – René