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What we should FEAR most from Delta in 2015! Richard Anderson speaks!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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Photo from deltajobs.net

I spent a great deal of time at the recent Chicago Seminars defending why I love Delta. The answer was really simple and I have already outlined that in a post. The airline itself treats frequent flyers really well. Sure, they are decimating the frequent flyer program next year and that is on top of a frequent flyer program that is right now one of the hardest to get value out of. I do, but it takes a bunch of work.

But on to other things. Delta has PROVEN they are ready to cut till it hurts. To cut till some get fed up and leave. To only care and change when flyers say THAT’S IT WE ARE DONE! Delta only cares about $$$. We know all this right? So what jumped out and put panic into my bones was this (from Seeking Alpha’s transcript of the recent quarterly profit report):

“Then just from an ancillary revenue standpoint, it’s been great performance here, a lot of it coming from Economy upsale and things like that. As we look into 2015, what kind of items can we think of as driving ancillary revenue growth?” – Savi Syth – Raymond James

“I think that we have a lot of new initiatives which we’ll be talking about in the marketplace over the next two to three months, probably give you an update at Investor Day. But we’re extremely excited about being able to allow customers to really customize their travel experience on Delta.” – Richard Anderson – CEO

Shudder! OM Gosh! Oh, you don’t see it? Allow me to turn CEO speak into Skymiles “enhancement” speak.

  • “But we’re extremely excited”  =  We, Delta flyers, are going to have to pay a ton MORE for what we are NOT paying for now. Just what will that be? My fellow BA blogger MJ on Travel speculates that they will kill complementary medallion upgrades. Talk about a NIGHTMARE for business flyers. Have fun telling your boss you need to spend not just a little more than other airlines for your ticket but 2x or 4x more to get out of the lowest fare class “bucket”. I am sure that will go over very well as you discuss your next expense report!
  • “being able to allow customers”   =  We, Delta flyers, will have even more of our perks as medallions cut from us. What else could they cut? Oh, and btw, don’t think I am “giving Delta ideas” here as they are clearly already out to decimate everywhere they can. How about no more EC seats for Silver. Or, how about no more HOOUs on lower fare class tickets like E-Class (My guess is we will not get HOOUs on E-Class since they are non-upgradeable next year).
  • “customize their travel experience on Delta”  =  This is simple and works perfect with the first bit of the statement. Customize mean PAY MORE and for the travel experience means for what we now get for free. What could this be? You name it. I don’t think it will be silly things like “using the bathroom” but it could very well be things like carry on bag changes or boarding or even, yikes, earning MQMs or MQSs on cheap fare classes. This would really hurt so many business flyers but could be on the way.

How long are we going to have to wait to find out about these “new initiatives“? We were told “next two to three months” should be the first hammer to fall (keep in mind, he always has our back). After all, so much is on the way before the end of the year like the Delta Skyteam and partner award earnings charts and on and on.

Be VERY afraid my friends and unfortunately I do think we are going to see Delta “Keep Descending” until more flyers push back and say enough is enough! Happy Monday everyone? 🙁  – René
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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

9 Comments

  1. As long as people keep flying them and they keep turning a huge profit, they’re going to keep nickle and diming their customers while disguising it as slick market-speak because they think we’re too stupid to realize they’re messing us over. No amount of complaining will help. Money talks and Delta doesn’t speak any other language. They have the world’s busiest airport on lockdown and have somehow managed to be ridiculously profitable despite how big of a joke their international premium cabin service is compared to other airlines that fly the same routes (Lufthansa, Qantas, Air New Zealand, British Airways, etc). But I think that’s on-par with all US carriers. They force us to pay top dollar for mediocre service and hard products that lack innovation while stripping their “loyalty” programs bare

  2. Well thanks for that post and same for MJ. Are you two trying to freak me out today? Sheesh and on a MR today. Let the dust clear and let’s see what the new round of devaluations might be. End of comp upgrades and I’ll simply shop lowest paid first to destination and stop playing this game. Delta can explain why all my spend will go on CSP and Ink Plus. And Club Carlson.

  3. Nina deltagoldlasd Reply

    Sigh after being made fun of at Chicago seminars for being a loyal delta consumer, this interpretation of the CEO’s statement – if it comes to pass may be the proverbial dropped shoe.
    I love to MR for the sheer delight! Plenty of other competition out there! I remember flying on VA to LHR long ago and loving it…..
    Hmmmmm
    I really hope DELTA makes the right choices on behalf of the many people who placed them in a position to potentially be brutal.
    We are not masochists and I’ve worked SO hard for my status and so close to MM status
    I beseech Delta to find balance
    Between their loyal customers and
    Money hungry orifices

  4. Sounds like Delta is going the way of Spirit Airlines…and anyone who has flown them knows what a trip to hell that is!

  5. I’ve said it before but it may be worth it to repeat: I believe the airlines are ultimately hoping to get rid of the frequent flyer programs completely except for their top level business folks who fly on top dollar tickets, i.e., those who they have already identified by who they will pick up in their premium cars, etc. If you can’t redeem your points for award tickets (as they keep devaluing them) then why bother collecting them? If I can’t (occasionally) get a medallion upgrade then why bother being “loyal”? As you so aptly point out, many a business traveler is already walking a fine line between wanting to fly a particular airline and justifying the added expense of doing so. Hmm? Lose my job or stay loyal to an airline who forgot what price my company paid for that loyalty? A no brainer!

  6. I read your blog off-line when I have time. Why can’t you go back to emailing the entire blog. If we are off-line we can’t go to the website.

    • @Rob – Part of the upgrade to the blog. There are apps that can pull the full posts if you like. Email will only be snipets from now on.

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