Preparing for the #DestructionOfSkymiles #DOS now only months away!

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countdown to the destruction of skymiles

I have added a countdown clock on the right side of the blog both here and on the Delta Mileage Run blog so we can all be alert to the destruction that will befall 98% of us (you 2% who will be overpaying for tickets and are happy can come back tomorrow). It is time to prepare for what is to come. There are also a great many things that we are soon to find out. Let’s knock them out one by one.

First, flying will be the worst way to earn Skymiles. Other than consolidator fares that will shockingly do better under Skymiles2015 the rest of us will need to look at spending as little as we can each time we fly Delta and yet still picking the longest flights for MAX MQMs. The idea of earning more for spending more is a mistake and there are so many better ways to earn points that do not include setting your hard earned cash on fire with Delta.

The next big shoe to drop before Skymiles 2015 begins will be earnings on partners. Delta.com says:

“Flights marketed and ticketed by Delta’s partner airlines will earn mileage based on a percentage of distance flown and fare class paid. More details will be announced later in 2014.”

Just how bad will things be? Well considering the Destruction of Skymiles so far, expect nothing good. When you look at what KLM awards for cheap tickets – it ain’t much. This could be the face of partner awards for 2015. Also expect less points unless flights are code share flights. After all, unless Delta gets a cut there is no reason to award us full points!

Also be aware our Delta is not done yet “enhancing” the program as we should expect Skymiles will get worse next year again. I will not be shocked for MQMs to be the next part to be decimated. Sure, doing this will be the height of foolishness as it will drive even more business flyers away from Delta, but I expect they will try it until they see the negative results that ensue.

skymiles 2015 upcharge

We still have no idea what the new award page / engine will be like, but I expect we will mostly see level 2 awards with up-charges and some greater level 1 awards. I think we will still have the same fight we have now leg by leg to find most level 1 awards. Unfortunately most of the “sheeple” will be thrilled to spend 25,000 miles and blow a few hundred bucks for tickets not knowing they are overpaying for their awards.

Another big question is will one way awards include both stopovers and open jaw? Right now one of the best values for Delta hub flyers is the 3 for the price of 2 award tickets. Will this and the other great perks become even better under Skymiles 2015? If it does it will be a true shocker and big win for the program.

Alaska is maybe the biggest question we still have yet to answer. I will have enough rollover MQMs to become Diamond for all of 2016 as soon as I meet my MQD exempt spending next year. I am seriously considering crediting my Delta flights to Alaska. Then again, will there even be a Delta – Alaska partnership to credit to in 2015 and just how few points will a Delta flyer get crediting to Alaska?

So many questions we will soon have answer to and will drive our choices for the next year. At least we should not have to wait too much longer to find out. – René
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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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22 comments

  1. Yes, fly a ton of MRs through year end to pile up as many skymiles and mqms as possible. As you point out assuming rollover mqms and card spend waivers continue, that can guarantee delta elite status for a year or two and a bunch of free flying on delta while exploring the best options for paid flying on other airlines. I’m down with that.

  2. Thanks for the clock and the apocalyptic warning. Right now I am sitting at 81,000 MQMs, but just $6,600 MQDs. I have 2 trips to the Far East this year plus plenty of miscellaneous domestic travel. With my Seattle 2X MQM bonus I should make 125,000 MQMs- but I am going to come up short on the MQDs, probably at least $2000. It is time to break down and get the Delta AMEX, but even if I charged everything I could on it, I won’t get close to $25,000. So fellow road warriors, I need some advice. What can I buy FROM Delta that counts as MQDs? Can I buy miles? Anything else?

    Alternately, what can I buy with the AMEX that is readily convertible? It is too bad the dollar coin scam has come to an end. I have looked into buying gold coins or something, any advice on that sort of purchase? I am willing to take up to a $1000 loss-being up graded on 50+ flights a years is worth it to me.

  3. Rene, you’re going to end the year w/ 250K MQMs, and you’re worried about making your spend on your Delta Reserve card?

  4. I will get more miles in the new program and I don’t buy expensive tickets…I just fly less than 600 miles each way. The current system is extremely unfair and nonsensical (why reward based on miles flown instead of $ spent unless cost of tickets correlates to distance flown)?

  5. To be honest, I don’t think anyone can really say that their experiences with any type of mileage has been easy or convenient. It certainly is disconcerting to admit that it may become even more frustrating in the future. I do like the addition of the clock though. Nothing like a visual representation of our impending doom.

  6. @SGL, your question is valid; however consumers do not set the price of tickets, the airlines do. So I do not see lower cpm tickets for longer flights as unfair to the airlines. Perhaps it is somewhat unfair to you. But delta is now admitting that it is not in business to be fair to you or any other customer. It just wants to maximize its revenue and minimize cost, including ff mileage accrual. As delta continues to raises its prices, you can look at it as a mileage-accrual enhancement. 🙂 When the next shoes drop, what are you, or anybody else, going to do about it?

  7. @Rene – hahaha! Southwest doesn’t fly outside of North America though!

    @John – Oh, I’ll definitely either fly a different airline or perhaps stop flying so often if I no longer like the airline(s) I fly!

  8. Silly and off topic question here, but here goes: if I hit the minimum $30k spend on the Delta Reserve by Dec 31, does that count towards my 2014 MQMs? My statement for December will close on January 16 or something, so not sure if those would push forward to 2015 or be credited back to 2014. I guess the question is, do I have to meet the spend in November, so it has time to post (and be paid) by December 31?

  9. I have been relegated to a rookie wednesday post…how sad :((( haha…it perfectly answered my question though–thanks a bunch!

  10. @Garrett – Rene 😉 – I often think the next day I need to do is a PRO day but the rookie posts are often not so rookie-ish

  11. If they decimate MQM next year or modify the MQD exemption from $25K CC spend then I am sunk! In line to spend $180K across three Reserve cards (1 business, 1 personal and 1 wife personal) so I can roll over well past DM for 2016. I would no doubt stop flying Delta, stop the Delta AMEX spend and be saddled with earning status the old fashioned way on a new airline. Or give up on loyalty and just buy cheapest business class seat to destination and be done. Not fun.

    So thanks for the doomsday clock Rene. Nice freak out start to September.

  12. I can tell you this the percentage is higher than 2% for actual seat in plan DM members.

    Yes the change is not good for Mileage runners or transc on cheap flights. For almost all the other flyers flying out of my airport on Monday Morning this is a good change.

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