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.
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
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.