Don’t get me wrong, I am no fan of Delta’s E BASIC fare class and have stated that over and over here on the blog. I have, as of this date, never ever purchased one and do not plan to if I can avoid it. But that is not to say I would not if the flight is short enough and the reason I would even consider buying one is simple – Delta pays FULL ELITE POINTS on basic fares!
United, who for some reason always makes the worst loyalty choices they could ever make, is utterly punishing those elites who happen to get stuck with or buy a BASIC fare. Now American is out with theirs and take a look:
AAdvantage – Full AAdvantage miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars may be earned when purchasing these fares; however, only one-half Elite Qualifying Mile will be earned per mile flown, and one-half Elite Qualifying Segment per segment flown. – Bold red mine.
So AA is stinking 50% less than UA but is 50% worse that Delta that yields 100% elite points. Err, well done for not being as horrid as UA but only be HALF as good as Delta? OK then!
Now Delta has been brilliant when it comes to making elites happy and I give them all the credit due. They understand that elites have VERY different needs that normal flyers. This is why, when you think about it, they have gotten away with the decimating of SkyMiles that elites really just don’t care about (I sure don’t). The “masses” will dump SkyMiles on silly things but they don’t care about elite points or even understand them. That is why Delta has not changed the elite game for the negative. They even allow MQD exempt via AMEX spent all the way up to Diamond unlike United that blocks you from 1K exemption via Chase spend.
AA has gone hybrid on the credit card spend with the ability to knock half of the MQD (EQM) spend out with your AAdvantage card. I can see the logic in this but at the same time it is clearly not as good as the Delta model.
Many around the web are suggesting that Delta will follow AA & UA down the gutter with these same changes. I ask you – why? I just don’t see it happening. Delta understands the difference between an elite and a normal flyer. They understand the current setup is making them a fortune in revenue and they are more profitable under the current system than the other airlines. Why in the world would they break this when they are trying to make MORE money not less. Delta innovates and sets standards, they don’t follow the others.
Personally I think those at Virginia Avenue a.k.a. the Delta motherhip home address in Atlanta are dancing in the streets with the stupidity of both AA and UA. I think you will see more and more elite (who happen to spend the most on tickets) status match to Delta to this year and I think they are very wise to do so!
Best “BASIC” fares. Best elite program. Best reliability. Best wifi. Best service. I could go on and on but Delta is just crushing it and even with the nasty BASIC fares, they win big time! – René