“Keep Descending” a new Delta award – A yearly / monthly / daily prize!

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Keep Descending award

Delta has a “Chairman’s Award” that recognizes the “Best of the Best” of Delta. The people that go beyond the job and show unparalleled dedication to the airline. They exemplify the Delta slogan “Keep Climbing“!

Well, there are many choices made by Delta people each day that deserve another award. Maybe the “busted chair” award? Either way, the choices on this list are all worthy of the slogan “Keep Descending” that is, the lower the better!

I am going to revisit this award from time to time as I have no problem calling Delta out when they do things busted chair worthy. Let’s take a look back at this year starting with the most recent “Keep Descending” moment!

1) The end of RTW (Round the World) Award tickets – One of the great values of Skymiles! I know many readers have had Adam book RTW tickets for them. It does take a long time to get done, but there is real value to redeeming your Skymiles this way – not much longer!

2) JFK-SFO/LAX/SEA medallion upgrade mess – Please keep in mind, officially, the upgrades don’t exist and have been eliminated by Delta. Yes, we do know that when they feel like it, Diamond and Platinums can maybe get an upgrade or on the upgrade list. Just don’t look for any of this in black and white on Delta.com

3) Playing with prices – One would think that a company as big as Delta could fix the simple things like pricing. They after all PUSH us to book ONLY at Delta.com. OK, make it work and we will. Maybe asking for too much.

4) $29+1 for  $kyGrub – The choice to dump your +1 for meager bits of “food”! This took everyone, even AMEX with free +1 with the Delta Reserve card, by TOTAL surprise. I have been told by Delta folks that ALL choices from now on must be revenue net=neutral that is upgrades need to either not cost the company any money or make the company money. I am sure the Skyclub changes are making the company a TON of money!

5) HOOU devaluation – no more snacks! This one just makes me so mad as well as those who do not drink alcohol. Once again, I am sure giving away a few snacks was just costing the company too much money.

6) Mostly eliminating meal vouchers – I just don’t get this one; it is not like Delta was handing out tons of “money” with these. Many times they were only for a few bucks but enough to let you grab something from the food court. Now you have to go beg a redcoat and remind them that they DO have the power to print them if they want to.

7) No medallion upgrades for E-Class fares – Yep starting next year be careful you don’t end up with a fare that will result in you 100% guarantied to be sitting in coach. Txs Delta!

8) Higher MQD spend to earn your status – As we saw from yesterday, you will have to spend much more money with Delta to keep or earn your status. Give us more-more-more!

9) Skymiles2015 – destruction of loyalty! Gosh it is going to get ugly next year. I think the outrage will be huge. We will see. Just know Delta is not done cutting yet and without real push back from flyers much more decimation will be on the way!

And that is just for this year, so far. We could go back and look at other award worthy moves like the T-72 rule, Delta Diemiles(r), SDC 1,2,3&4, Skymiles devaluations, Consolidator fares and on and on.

broken trophey

Each time Atlanta’s hometown airline descends again I will be sure to tweet or post and add to the list. I just wish we could give out an actual trophy for those responsible at Delta to keep on their desk for others to appreciate and recognize the  hard work  it takes each day to “Keep Descending” and “Strive-ing for ZERO” (rather than Strive for Five)! – René
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. 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 American Express.

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  1. I have said it before, René — and I will say it again:

    As long as Delta Air Lines either profits or saves money with these changes and does not hurt their bottom line with them, they will continue to implement additional changes which may be considered not friendly.

  2. @Brian – could not have said it better myself. As long as planes are full, or they can just park them and still fly full, expect nothing but devaluations, cuts and more hurt for flyers. There is NO reason for them to do anything else. At least at this point.

  3. Sadly Mr. Anderson and Delta have shown that their only moral compass as a business is their bank account. As long as they can milk more dollars from customers without seeing a mass exodus to another carrier, then they’re going to keep at it. The reality is though, what choices do flyers have? United is a joke. American is too much of a wildcard. Yes there is Alaska, Virgin America and Southwest, but they’re not seriously carriers for consideration if you’re a business traveler with inconsistent flight patterns. Customer loyalty has been replaced by dollar loyalty.

  4. #iflyalaska … I’m doing a mileage run to get to 119,000 miles on Delta, have that rollover to next year, ang flying Alaska. I’ll have 20k MQM with the credit card, 44k rollover, and then a couple cross country flights credited to Delta, I’ll hit my 75k again. Then everything else goes to Alaska 🙂 It’s been a fun ride since 2004, but no more. Adios.

  5. > As long as planes are full, or they can just park them and still fly full,
    > expect nothing but devaluations, cuts and more hurt for flyers.

    René, if you KNOW this, and you UNDERSTAND this, why are you so whiny? Delta management has a legal fiduciary obligation to maximize shareholder value, not mileage runner bennies, and they’re doing it very well, obviously.

    Seriously, I used to read nearly every post of yours for interesting content. Now I’m skipping over more than half, since it’s the same kvetching over and over…

  6. @JEM – as John just commented about hurting business flyers, and Delta seems to have missed, all it will take is some slight change, or MAJOR change, and then what will they do. At some point they have to stop and change direction. I am not leaving Delta as so many have for AA or Alaska or others. I don’t want to see Delta decline before they get enough is enough and it cost Delta folks their jobs!

  7. We’ve been delta frequent flyers almost since inception of the program because we were a captive Atlanta flyer and my husband had to fly anyway so why not “earn” the miles and he has the almost two million miles to prove it (not a single mile earned internationally either). I’m only frustrated because delta keeps changing the rules and making me jump through more hoops that I didn’t have to in the past. Because I read your travel blog, Rene, I’ve learned that I’ve missed out on so many miles that that sometimes makes me mad but I can only be mad at myself. And, I absolutely refuse to fly without my husband because I like being treated as special. I can’t fault delta or any other business for making money – that is why they are in business.

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