Delta has not done enough to inform medallions of what is next!

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I have said before that Delta should not let me on their jets or in the Skyclub, but now as a Diamond Medallion and a Skyclub member that is just where I plan to be as much as possible.

The reason I say this is because I talk to my fellow medallions around me no matter where I go. I ask questions. I want to know what they think. About how much they fly. And the most important question I always want to know is if they are aware of what is coming in 2014 with MQD’s?

Almost 1000 of you have voted on my poll to the right on the blog, so by now you all are in the know. You are up to date as soon as a change is found (since Delta does not tell us ahead of time supposedly for “legal” reasons).

However, when I talk to flyers they really have no clue. They sorta remember some email talking about the changes, but they are not really sure what it means. They do not understand how it will impact them. Most times they just pick Delta when they fly for business whenever they can because they like Delta and the program. Also, their company allows them some wiggle room when it comes to picking who they fly with. That may all change when they fully understand what is already in place and once they fully comprehend all the changes that are sure to come. For one recent example, look at what twitter user Mike Buchholz tweeted recently to Delta, me and  ThePointsGuy  about the SDC that is same day change, new rule (you read timeline from bottom up).

The 2014 flying year will not be much different compared to 2013. After all, qualification for the 2014 medallion year that ends in FEB2014 is going on now under the current rules. However, the 2015 year will have all the new rules in place.

Not just that, all of us in the travel industry are dreading what could be on the way. So far, we have been the proverbial frog in a pot of water. You know the story right? They say if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will jump out. But, if you put it in cold water and slowly raise the temp, is will just sit there and boil to death. Sounds just about what Delta is doing to us with the rewards program over the past two years, does it not? But you know what, that old story is  FALSE  under most conditions. At some point, the frog WILL jump out to save itself (hey Delta, keep that in mind when you keep turning up the heat as flyers do have other choices HERE and HERE)!

Clearly I will continue to do my best to keep you up to date with all that is on the way and help you understand what has changed and what could possibly be next for us all. Please be sure to check back at 1:PM later today as I have a 1 day Skyclub pass for today’s SWAG Saturday up for grabs! – René

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  1. I think the interesting thing will be what happens when MQDs are a fact of life for the 2015 program year. The new American will be mostly one airline by then, and run by management thought to be heavily interested in moving towards a revenue based model.

    If no one else follows Delta, this could get interesting. Thing is, I think everyone else will follow.

  2. Rene–I wish it was miles or segments or dollars. Also, MQDs should have been taxes and fees included (all spend). Make the requirement higher, but make it easy for us to track!

    Miles – time spent with delta (weakest of 3 measures of loyalty, yet is currently most weighted)
    Segments – share of wallet/how important delta is to customer (especially since many business customers dont pick where they fly, only who they fly)
    Dollars – how important customer is to delta

  3. @Noah – i love the way you think. I just wish Delta thought the same. There is much more they could do along your line of thinking. (sigh)

  4. Has DL ever explained how a ticket’s components are broken down in order to track MQD ? Also, does ancillary spend count ?

    If not it’s a hugely dangerous slope. They could set fares to $0.01 for the LUTs and jack up ancillary fees to spirit air levels. That way nearly no one qualifies for medallion unless you’re in J or close to full fare Y – essentially, SQ pps

  5. From what I’ve read in what they sent me. Only the base ticket price counts. Excluded taxes, fuel charges, airport fees, landing and take off fees, no credit for EC and Etc.

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong please: seemingly my only option as a DM out of my own pocket – mostly flying International BIS on DL/KL/AF – and not able to get the DL Amex CC, I guess will be to change my address to one of my other legit overseas residences?

    TIA .. your expert opinion would help tremendously!

  7. Hmm… Delta flew over 100 million passengers last year and 300 medallion members said they will leave over current changes. I use delta to visit family in Atlanta as it has the most convenient and cheapest flights. I am not a medallion member. Sometimes I feel you should label your posts “for medallion members only”. For the rest of us, the basics are key and I am frustrated with the inability to use points to get direct flights with miles; have to make at least one stop. But as noted, will continue to use delta and am basically happy with service.

  8. Delta should stop calling it a loyalty program and start calling it a something like a revenue maximization program! I don’t know about others, but I feel a little bit insulted when the gate agents, FAs and phone reps say “thank you for your loyalty” or “thank you for being Diamond.”

  9. I’m not a DM and probably never will be. I just don’t fly enough to make it worthwhile to spend my way to that level. But if I were, I’d be shopping for a better deal. Why does DL want to alienate it’s best customers? I’ll keep flying DL becuase I live in ATL and they go where I need to go, but if I had a choice I’d be seriously weighing my options. (I keep waiting for Southwest to start some routes to Central America – I’d jump in a hearbeat.)

  10. I “woke up” in DL after the NWA merger and stayed out of momentum. I’ll make PM for first time this year based just on regular flights and feel like I’m the guy who shows up just as the party is getting busted. Fewer perks, worse SkyClubs, harder redemptions. I’ve had decent upgrade chances flying out of Denver, but might bite the bullet and status match to UA (have many 1k friends w/ Chase Club card who never get upgrades).

  11. It’s all about profitability. Fees have brought the airlines back to profitability, and it is clear that even the smallest changes can translate to millions in revenue. As has oft been discussed: what’s the tipping point? Keep tightening the program qualifications and people will use alternatives. Folks have choices…esp outside of hubs. Then what happens to revenue?

  12. Where can I learn more about the changes for 2014? I was under the impression that spending over $25k with a Delta AmEx would exclude a member from the MQD minimum requirement. Am I on the right track?

  13. @David – yes you are correct. They say much more info will be out soon and we will be able to compare how were are doing with this years spend both AMEX and on Delta to see how we would track if this year was a MQD year. We are still waiting!

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