Delta Air Lines – an email from a reader you need to see!

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I received this email the other day from a reader. It got my attention. I have permission to post as is! Take look and see what you think.

“Dear René,

This thing about Delta tightening up on sky milers tells me they have gone overboard on revenue enhancement straight into penny wise and pound foolish. They are tripping merrily down the primrose path of big data. I see it in the company I represent and many other companies.

Big data is a good thing but many companies are showing that they are “educated beyond their intelligence” and are trying to make decisions before they fully understand what they should do with said information.

That said, I am carefully watching what Delta does with the program. I’ve been a medallion flyer for at least ten years now but I can tell you my loyalty is going the way of the dodo along with my Delta gold Amex and my business Delta Reserve card which I use for about $70,000 in purchases per year for my business alone.

So, I am spending my miles down to 100k, I like to keep that many because we live in the east and have one child on the west coast and another in middle of the country and its just a safety cushion for emergencies.

Over the past two years I’ve begun to branch away from Delta. I am writing this from the Caribbean where my wife and I flew on 58,000 British air miles on American. Priority access boarding to boot. A month ago, I flew to Florida one way on United miles via us air (yuck) but the cabin crew was great!

I am fortunate to live within a one hour drive of three regional airports and can usually get a reasonable fare anywhere I want. I think delta is doing a great job but if they continue to squeeze every last drop of blood from us turnips, revenues eventually will fall and they will be in trouble again. There are many lessons delta can learn from JCPenneys and Sears. They better start paying attention and quick.

Cheers!” – KM

Thanks KM for this. Delta struck out at the Freddies this weekend. It was SO BAD in fact that Delta was not even in the top 4 in ANY of the categories! What has Delta done this year to make us proud of them? Crossover Rewards is a great new perk and is a brilliant idea. Delta DieMiles® and the SDC rule are not. The latter needs some time to see just how bad it really is.

I get e-mails like this one almost each day from readers. Delta flyers are fiercely loyal and have been treated well by the airline for many years. It takes a LOT to push someone with that kind of loyalty away. Unless Delta is careful, they will push that hard. Please don’t Delta – please! – René

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  1. Agreed. I’ve found it increasingly difficult to make the switch, especially living in an AA hub city and being married to my AMEX Delta card. However, when I hear of the way that the new AA is treating their FF, and the ease of traveling using miles on EVERY other airline BUT delta. I wonder. Does Richard Anderson, who is always telling me how glad he is that we chose delta on those really cool safety videos, really listen to his FF’s? Because it seems like there is a big disconnect from the Ivory Tower on down.

  2. Watching many businesses I see this is a “usual” cycle. Take, take, take until the customer walks away. Then the executives will look at each other and wonder where they went wrong. Finally there will be an attempt to try and get back to loyal flyers who could not take it anymore. Losing the majority who feed the corporate coffers and concentrating on the very few who can pay full or business class fares is always a major mistake.

  3. [edit]..

    As for Delta needing to read it, well, only if they are looking to reinforce their decisions that there’s nothing wrong with their approach to the business.

  4. I’m new to the travel blogs, and I totally agree with what you say about Delta. I go through SLC to visit family frequently and have watched the points go from 25K to 40K in the past 15 months! Thankfully I was able to get 40K to go to Fairbanks AK. Go figure.

    How do I go about finding “low level awards” on, I put in for a route using the “mileage award” option. Is there a better way?

  5. we are stuck somewhat with delta as our city is not a hub to anywhere but Atlanta –the home of the big D very sad how things are going i will probably never get status again leaving me in group2 or higher and no ability to have a carry on bag(my one & only usually) as we never check luggage and so many idiots insist on putting everything in the overhead bin

  6. Sadly, have switched most of my travel to AA. One big reason is Delta’s continued ‘fantasyland’ low level awards. Why advertise that it’s possible to get them when, realistically, it’s not. I feel deceived and decided to vote with my feet (well, my butt in AA’s seats)

  7. I have been loyal to Delta for years and live near one of those airports that only has two airlines, hence destinations….ATL or CLT…..since I have 95% of my status on DL I always go through ATL>..

    Trying to pinpoint Delta’s new rules and regulations is like trying to shoot jello…..not only are they hard for the customer to understand they are also impossible for the DM res desk too. I had to explain the points thing to a lady there and she thanked me for telling her about it as she was looking up the new information.

  8. I too am spending down my miles as:
    1. I don’t want to die and have them expire and
    2. I don’t trust Delta anymore not to devaluate skymiles program even further.

  9. Even though you may gripe, Delta just hit a new 52-week high. So while frequent customers (including me) disagree with some of Delta’s moves, they are being rewarded by the markets.

  10. The planes are still mostly full or overbooked.

    The service is way better than UA and somewhat better than AA/US.

    I too have stopped chasing status on DL.

    For my habits, I think it’s good to diversify:

    -Accrue UR pts for UA redemption
    -Accrue companion passes via Citi, and DL amex
    -Accrue Citi TY pts for domestic redemption
    -Accrue cheep avios for domestic redemption
    -Spend DL miles when possible at the low level using OJ/SO to max value even domestically

  11. I’ve been Medallion for a while. Last year I flew other airlines, even achieved status on one of them. With the exception of United, I enjoyed flying the other airlines.
    I’m seriously considering a status match with AA and parting ways…

  12. I would like the name of the CEO in charge of Delta Air Lines, and the address that I can send him a letter.
    Thank You Christopher Milano

  13. @Christopher M – it is in the links and tips folder top of the blog but only write when you have attempted all else please.

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