UPDATE: Don’t DIE with any Skymiles in your account (or they are GONE)!

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Last January I had a post on the fact of what would happen upon the death of  a loyal Delta flyer who spent their life flying Delta, their next of kin would at least get to enjoy their Skymiles and think of them.

Well the new Skymiles guide is out and “DwayneSkyMiles Company Representative – Delta Airlines” rep posted on FlyerTalk that things have changed.

If you die,
so does your
Skymiles account!


Delta has been doing a lot of customer unfriendly kind of moves as of late; I don’t know about you but this one is just reprehensible and turns my stomach and is a HUGE insult to a grieving family.

Delta went from one of the BEST IN CLASS polices in this area to the worst now! They could have changed to a policy to charge a fee like others do, but to just close the account? Really Delta?

What do you think about this? Are you outraged by this? Delta asks us to comment on Delta.com if we don’t like something – this may be a good time to do just that! – René

EDIT: You can also LIKE and ReTweet THIS post from AA who just charges $50!


Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
Click here for more information




  1. Couldn’t agree more with you. This is ridiculous. I guess they just go by “the miles are ours not yours, so when you die, tough @#&#$”

  2. Pointing out the importance of someone in the family knowing the PIN.

    When dad died, we not only got the miles, but “bonused up” using the 100% transfer bonus going on at the time. And the orphan miles remaining? A sibling got a free WSJ subscription. A light moment in an otherwise dark time…

  3. Thank you – SENT!
    “Hey – saw online (http://www.delta.com/content/dam/delta-www/pdfs/skymiles/SM_MemGuide.pdf) that Delta won’t allow the transfer of miles upon death. I think that we (meaning people who work at Delta and the consumer) can all agree that, as human beings, that’s just a little cold. While I think it’s generous that you could allow the miles to be transferred at no charge, i believe it’s reasonable to require a small fee to do so. I believe it’s unacceptable, and poorly received, that the miles would simply evaporate.”

  4. I’ve actually told my husband he better book a lot of trips before he tells anyone I’m dead!

  5. Yeah, I’ve instructed my family (and they have to me) that if any of them dies, immediately book for ourselves as much as possible pretending to be them. !@#$ ridiculous that they try to claim that they expire when you expire. Miles/Points are essentially a currency and it should be illegal to do that. Pure and simple theft.

  6. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this isn’t a huge deal as long as the PIN is shared. But it the person is a Scrooge and doesn’t share that info, then I can see the issue

  7. I don’t like this at all. I think that Delta should honor the amount of Skymiles and either transfer them for free to another skymiles account (that is, anyone in the immediate family) or that they should convert them to an ETV or something of that nature. Hopefully Delta will change this policy soon!

  8. better make sure you have account passwords written down and instructions then you can transfer them when something happens

  9. So if you have a relative put a beneficiary of the SkyMiles account in their will, and their will was established prior to this change, could they have possible legal recourse against Delta [if they’re still living] ?

    Being completely serious here.

  10. I agree. Share your PIN with your loved ones. How can Delta stop someone else from logging on and buying tickets for your family? How are they going to prove you are dead? Just curious.

  11. @Max M – – – I doubt there is any recourse since the miles technically belong to Delta (always have and always will) and NOT the “owner” of the SkyMiles account. So the deceased would have no right to the miles even if alive since they never belonged to him/her.

  12. This is why it is critical that for all online accounts, not just Skymiles (think email, Facebook, etc.), that you have written down, continually updated, and locked up (but where a loved one or estate executor knows) all your account IDs and passwords. This has become a new field/subsection of estate planning.

  13. a close friend of ours had this issue they had her crying on the phone before it was over.. along with sending in her husband’s death certificate… sad

  14. I hope everyone will comment to Delta. This is ridiculous. Some people have been saving up miles for years and then for no one to be able to use them?

  15. My mother always warned me that when she passes ( she did in 1979,) to go straight to the safe deposit with a big bag and empty the box and march out
    Having previously made a visit to establish credibility
    It avoided probate
    I have instructed my kids to book a family trip immediately upon my demise
    So is this able to be accomplished,, or not?
    Some ambiguity here

  16. Send feedback to Delta. The more people that complain the more likely they are to at least reconsider. I doubt they will change, but when they get a bunch of their FF complaining they might reconsider. I sent feedback and got the stock “but we fell Skymiles is of great value because miles never expire”. Big deal, I fly Delta constantly, I’d rather see the miles expire after 18-24 months of no activity than for them to expire and my family to not be able to use them in the event that I’m killing in some accident or have an unexpected heart attck or something like that.

  17. I agree with David R. in that I would rather see miles expire after 18 months of no activity in account vs. expire because I am dead. I would like to have my family come to my funeral on my miles when I’m dead and gone.
    I have been flying Delta exclusively for 15 years now from MLB and so disgusted with this turn of events I may start flying USAir/AA which now also flies in and out of MLB.

  18. I concur with all of the negative sentiment expressed here and have signed the petition. There’s one more point of context which may help, though.

    The Delta senior leadership is staring at the possibility of seeing all of their recent profit margins vanish as the encroachment in Atlanta and New York by Southwest continues through its absorption of AirTran.

    This is a big deal and we should expect that Delta will attempt additional blood-from-a-stone methods in the coming months.

    I’m no fan of Southwest, believe me, but overall, low fares benefit us all.

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