The Freddie awards and all the buzz surrounding it has got me thinking today. That is not always a good thing! I fear for where we are going when it comes to ALL airline loyalty programs, not just our beloved Delta’s.
I think many will say I am waxing poetic over something that has been dead for a long time and I have just not opened my eyes enough to see it. You may be completely right.
The change to a revenue based rewards program is an airlines way of saying we are no longer loyal to you. What you have done in the past does not matter (just ask million milers). Loyalty from an airlines perspective is what you have spent this year. Really, to call it loyalty is an insult as you are simply buying favors not being rewarded for your years of brand choice.
So it begs the question, is it over? I still love being a Delta Diamond Medallion. I have already secured my status for 2015 and will end the year with enough rollover MQMs to be Diamond again for 2016 as soon as I meet either the MQD spend requirement or AMEX waiver in 2015. I guess I am still clinging to the past and like the “feeling” of being valued by Delta.
And that is what I think is the worst part of what is next and the path the airlines are now on. That “feeling” is something very special to airlines and air travel. This does NOT carry over to other areas of life. Take gas; you buy it often for your car. You may like one gas station over another for some program or points, but you do not have a “feeling” about the gasoline company. You buy what is cheapest and gets you where you want to go. Soon the special feeling we have for airlines may be the same way. Who cares as long as I get to where I want to go with as little pain as I can endure along the way.
What a dramatic shift and the airlines are to blame. To have something so amazing that it moves you to be brand loyal in your buying choices is something marketing experts can only dream to achieve and have fixed in a consumer’s heart. For a company to intentionally destroy that boggles the mind.
Tell me what you think. Am I living in the past or is there still any point to loyalty to Delta Air Lines in 2015 and onward? – Rene
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