It is hard to say how much worse the changes are going to be to not just for Delta’s frequent flyer program, but to ALL airlines frequent flyer programs. I talked about what I see on the way in a post HERE and my fellow blogger Gary Leff had his thoughts about our beloved airline.
But what really “burns” me up is people who email me or comment (whatever) and then say, I have 400,000 or 700,000 or over a million Skymiles. What – ARE YOU CRAZY? I always try to have almost ZERO Skymiles. As soon as I earn them I try to book with them. Now I do have a leg up over many Delta flyers as Platinum & Diamond Medallion flyers can book Skymiles awards and change them all they want up to 72 hrs before flight. I get that. But if you are NOT a medallion and if you KNOW the dates for next winter’s or spring’s trips, please think about booking them ASAP. Why? The below is not my travel plan for next year but it gives you the idea of what a business class ticket would cost to buy.
No way in this lifetime or any other am I going to spend almost $7000 to fly in business class to Sweden. I would and do many times a year burn 100,000 Skymiles each for Lisa & I to go, plus under $100 in taxes each.
But just think if tomorrow, or next month, Delta announces a change to each Skymile only being worth 1 cent across the board, but you can book any flight any day as a result of this change. Then, the above ticket would cost me 677,360 Skymiles compared to 200,000! Oh my is right. There is no way they will be able to go back and ask for MORE miles once you have booked so you see the logic of burning as fast as you can and lock in what you can sooner than later.
The 64 million dollar (or should I say 600 million powerball) question is will this happen tomorrow or next month? I doubt it and I do think it will be a disastrously stupid and financially destructive choice for Delta. That does not mean they will not do it, but if I only have under 100,000 Skymiles then if and when it happens I will be a happy camper and enjoy my last 3 or 4 trips in Delta’s international business class seats!
I hope you also see the logic of having other points that are NOT tied to an airline like Chase Ultimate Rewards from cards links INK & Freedom or the AMEX Membership Rewards points from Gold & Platinum cards (i.e. NON-Delta ones). Even those you must be careful not to allow to build TOO large a balance.
I fight to bring my point balance down to not come across as a hypocrite in saying all this. I do a great job with Delta Skymiles & with Chase but have well over ½ million AA/USAIR points now and need to burn up my last ¼ million United. I think Hotels are done for a little while causing mayhem so I am risking letting them grow just a little. Either way, I hope this makes you think and to by all means BURN BABY BURN those points! – René
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