I am glad they have air sickness bags on Delta jets as the latest ad will make me need one!

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They say if you just repeat something enough times, even if it is NOT TRUE, people will start to believe it. I guess that is the way Delta is going to try to push Skymiles2015 as you can see from twitter follower Clay. I am feeling ill just seeing this. Now if it were true, that would be one thing. We know it is not.

talking max mqms as a DM

But you be the judge on this. I have taken, as a Diamond Medallion who gets the MOST POINTS under Skymiles 2015, some tests booking for the lowest cost seats, that most business travelers are forced to choose by their employers, for what would be common business flights. I picked a one way Atlanta to Los Angeles. Then New York to San Francisco & lastly Detroit to London England both round trip. First in December this year and then in January next year keeping the price as close as possible for each trip. Look at the results:

atl-lax 31dec2014

atl-lax 1jan2015

jfk-sfo last week dec2014

jfk-sfo first week jan2015

dtw-lhr first week dec2014

dtw-lhr first week jan2015

As you can see, with each of these, other than the last one, it was NOT more rewarding as the ad claims. Even the last one, it was slightly better ONLY due to my being a Diamond Medallion. ALL other medallions or standard Skymiles members would earn MUCH less on all of these common business flights under Skymiles2015!

delta-com home page talking about skymiles2015

Delta is also promising us “more award seats for fewer miles” in 2015 on the home page at Delta.com. I hope we can trust those ads are correct as the ones about Skymiles2015 sure are not for most of us! – René
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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  1. Renee, what will be more rewarding for me will be flights like yesterday.

    1000 PLUS 150% DM bonus plus Delta AmEx bonus MYR-ATL
    $591 (lowest fare) X13 = 7,683 RM

    Most of my short hops from MYR to Florida or just flying out of my expensive home base would make me tons more miles.

  2. @Dr. John – Maybe they need to add this at the end of the ad:
    * For those of you who do short hops or over pay for tickets, the 96% of the rest of you business travelers will loose big time! 😉

  3. Probably true…

    But, Delta has got me by the %&#$ here.

    Like the saying goes here: I don’t know if I’m going to heaven or hell. But, I do know the connection is in Atlanta.

  4. Oh fiddlesticks, our internal memo made it out to the IFE screens! Now our passengers will know their business trips just became more rewarding to us 🙁

  5. Rene, Honesty and integrity are not delta’s long suit these days. (Mr. Woolman wants his desk back.) The DM bonus over general members is even reduced in 2015. Today it is 125% of what a general member earns and in 2015 we will only get 11 miles per dollar while the general member will gets five miles per dollar. That is a worse ratio for the DMs. Also even at companies that require taking the lowest cost flight (as long as you are flying economy, many companies leave flight selection at almost the total discretion of the traveler) there is some wiggle room as to what is the lowest cost since cost depends on how far in advance the ticket is booked, the dates of travel, as well as the time of day of the flight as airlines charge vastly different prices for flights on the same day between the same cities. Delta may be hoping that this wiggle room and the natural tendency of employees to think about their miles accumulation as well as business requirements will at times lead to business travelers selecting higher fares than they would have under skymiles 2014 rules.

  6. Rene, Is that a real comment from Skymiles folks? Are they that sarcastic? Have you asked for a comment from Delta on your findings? It’s one thing to (edit) your paying customers, it’s another to blatantly falsify ads. Oh, wait. I am sure Delta’s legal department (maybe even Richard himself) has vetted the claims. There must be an out somewhere. Speaking of outs – I bet there will be folks getting out next year.

  7. Rene I think you’re missing a huge part of the puzzle here. Most business guys I know (and I’m one of them) don’t find out about, or finalize, travel plans until very close to departure and thus pay 2x-3x the prices you show above. Great example, last week I had to be in New York and had a little over a day’s notice. The transcon flight (in restricted Y) was over $1000 RT. in that case I come out way ahead, just like I would on a $400 LAX-SFO RT. Now I admit this will hurt my personal travel, but I’m making up way more on the business side.

  8. @Rene, when you say “I hope we can trust those ads are correct as the ones about Skymiles2015 sure are not for most of us!” — aren’t you forgetting that their new slogan is going to be: “Delta, the World’s Most Trusted Airline.” Repeat that enough times and most people will think that that’s true too.

  9. But, then, doesn’t this make EXISTING miles more valuable by virtue of the ability to use a one way, and fewer miles being earned by actual flyers ?
    Do the airlines not understand there is a trade off between earning credit card miles and actual flying miles?
    They seem to think the two are completely separate revenue streams.
    For example , are we just in a really small minority of people who can/ will manufacture their way to the same ticket, or are there actually so many people who MUST take a certain flight and are stuck with what Delta gives them in mileage and upgrades? If so, I have to just repeat what I said for the 35 years I worked for a living: THIS Stinks.

  10. Come on, we have to compare apples to apples and frankly this comparison isn’t that. Why didn’t you pick a $125 fare from ATL – FLL and use that to illustrate your clear biased opinion on the topic.

    Yes, the traveler that books 3 weeks in advance and flies on the cheapest ticket will lose out in 2015 and frankly they should. Delta’s a “for profit” business not a charity organization. They should and are rewarding fliers that buy the high fare tickets, those are the ones that keep them profitable and able to invest in the product.

    I’ll do 250,000 miles this year and on international routes, I’ll come out worse than this year while domestically I’ll come out way ahead so the net – net will be the same or a bit better. I love the fact that when I buy a $1,000 ticket from ATL – ICT I’ll get a ton more miles than today and since I tend to book most tickets last minute I like the new plan.

    It all just depends on your situation and perspective.

  11. “Delta, the World’s Most Trusted Airline” makes sense only if they have Bernie Madoff as their new spokesperson.

  12. Filip is right. Currently, if you fly a lot of miles (e.g.long haul flights) with cheaper tickets you still get rewarded. Moving forward, you get rewarded by spending more money. It’s that simple. This is great for businesses with deep pockets and large travel budgets and hard for the ones scrapping by, or non-profits who squeeze the most out of donations. Delta just needs to stop talking the changes up as good for everyone – a better program, more flights for lesser miles, etc. Travelers are going to get less miles, scaled down benefits (e.g. travel lounge privilages), and maybe a few more redeemable seats on selected flights. 2015 & 2016 will be interesting. Maybe a repeat of the “New Coke” rollout for another Altanta based company?

  13. My youngest brother is a PM on Delta and I am a GM. He is a sound engineer and is contracted for different events. He took his steady gigs, compared next year to this year and determined that he will probably earn 20 to 30k miles less on Skymiles 2015 when compared to current skymiles.

    Since I dont have steady trips, I go where my company sends me and when they need to, I could not tell what the difference would be. I know on flights to Quebec City, I could potentially make more under sky miles 2015, as I cant get a FLL – quebec city flight for under $1200. I have been actually flying in and out of montreal to save $700 a ticket and then driving three hours. those round trips as a GM are worth almost 10k in miles per trip.

    I guess if you are ATL or DW based, where tickets are more expensive, as you are at a main hub, skymiles 2015 may be beneficial.


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