SWAG Saturday: Will Skymiles 2015 change how you fly? $40 in GC s & more!

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60 days to go! We only have 60 days until Skymiles2015 is here. As I have talked about before, it really will not affect me personally all that much as I can make SO many more points from Delta AMEX cards than from flying but I know for others it will have an impact.

Before I get on to that, the rules that I need to disclose each week are HERE and by commenting on the blog you are agreeing that you have reviewed them and agree.

gift cards and delta points polo shirt

Up for grabs this week we have a $25 Olive Garden gift card, a $15 Subway gift car and most valuable of all a custom Delta Points Polo shirt in your choice of size (and some other swag I may just include on top of all of this)! 🙂

So this week I want your input on if the changes will affect your flying. Will you still look always to Delta to fly or will you, especially due to Skymiles2015, consider other carriers. If you want feel free to share anything else about how your travel patterns will either change, stay the same or is it still too soon to make that final call until you see how it all works out in the first few months of 2015. Tell me, and Delta, if your spending and booking plans will change? – René
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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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116 comments

  1. I won’t fly Delta, regardless what changes they make to their program (but I’ll continue to read you write about em!)

  2. I will probably be flying more in 2015 for employment reasons, and will try to focus on Delta. Hopefully the price point will allow that.

  3. Will still fly Delta primarily because they are best on routes/prices for my international travel because of skyteam/elite status. But I will be looking harder for other options now. #keepdescending

  4. i travel the SE region for work. Delta does good for me. The 20k MQM with delta plat Amex keeps me at gold with some rollover each year. No changes for me in 2015.

  5. As an ATL based flyer, Delta will be my go to choice just for ease. Perhaps I’ll begin looking at AA a bit more, but don’t think the changes will make a huge dent in my current habits.

  6. I’m still occassionally collecting Delta miles through promotions, from the credit card, dining program etc. but it’s not my main focus. I’ll just collect until I have enough for a one-way redemption come January. I fly mostly United and concentrate my credit card spend and other mileage earning on American miles for now as they’re very valuable right now. That may all change as these other programs keep devaluing.

  7. Mine will increase. Have some VDB to use and going to get a couple of DL Amex’s to get some cheap MQM’s!

  8. I will continue to fly Delta since they have the best service and routes for me. Most of my miles come from credit cards.

  9. I will go for 60k spend on the delta reserve card instead of 30k
    And I will not do the 25k spend on the platnim card

  10. Long time GM (with some silver years earlier and even one year as a Platinum). Currently GM for 2015 thanks to the Reserve Business card I got this year and 30 K spend bonus of 15K MQM. I fly 5 or six TATL or maybe TPAC) leisure trips per year and up until this year, one or two of the summer time trips were award tickets outbound in coach and return in BE. Year after year. SO yes, I crave Sky Pesos and have made excellent use of them over the years.
    This year I’ve been saving up my Sky Pesos to spend when and if I lose status.
    2015 Goal is to maintain Skyteam Elite Plus status for 2016- GM – and to attain MQD waiver with at least 25 K spend- 30 K spend for 15 K MQM will definately be needed and for me is a stretch without Vanilla Reload cards (sob). I’ve 300K skypesos currently and may use them to pay down sale BE fares to Europe if I find any. I won’t do one for more than 2K US.
    But for the first time- I’ve gotten both a Barclay’s Arrival card and Chase Ink Bold- whether I’ll use the 90-100K points I’ve amassed on each to pay down Delta cheap BE fares or fly another carrier remains to be seen. I’m a Delta junkie and am inclined to stay with them. I guess the only way now to accrue Skymiles at the rate I used to will be to hope the IFE is down and I get my 15K Skymiles compensation LOL.

  11. I will fly Delta less because of the changes to the Delta frequent flyer program. I will, instead, fly more on the new American. Ouch….! I used to love flying mostly on Delta.

  12. I wouldn’t rule it out, but I tend to go on the most affordable flight I can whether it’s delta, AA, or united, or whomever else!

  13. My thoughts were to use carry over miles for 2015 and regain status for 2016. After that I look to my friend at Delta Points to give me direction on what I want to do when I grow up

  14. With 3 daughters in calif (me in fl) i have to fly no matter what as i would not drive there ..so no choice and DL is my preferred to calif

  15. My spending will increase, have both Reserve and Plat delta cards, will exceed limits on both, will also fly as much if not more in 2015, love Delta….

  16. @TexasYankee – LOL at least we will take the journey together! In 1st (I hear long coach rides are great but I don’t buy it) 😉

  17. I will increase manufactured spend on credit cards, and reduce mileage runs and turn them into mileage run mini vacations instead

  18. No significant changes – still spend $30K on my Reserve and mostly fly Delta because of my DTW location.

  19. I have been a loyal delta flyer for my entire life however I’m focused more on spending now and flying on other airlines.

  20. Probably spend on amex and fly anerican/us air. They are always lease expensive have always been a delta person but delta always awards charging.

  21. I have flown lots this year, so will be able to carry over 60,000 miles toward my status next year. I intend to continue to fly mileage runs to meet MQMs to maintain my status for 2016. As long as complimentary upgrades continue, I will continue to fly Delta.

  22. My flying patterns probably won’t change much — I fly enough to be Plat with about 30k rollover each year. May try to go for diamond next year. Knowing that I’ll accumulate fewer RDMs means that I’ll focus more spending on my AMEX Skymiles CC.

  23. Too early to tell. I’ll still check DL first for my flight needs because of my PL status, but we’ll see how bad the damage is milewise before making a change.

  24. It’s still too early. But, I’ve noticed that UA has lower prices to the places I want to go. We’ll see.

  25. I will fly Delta for business when feasible and for personal. Maybe need more mileage runs, though.

  26. I will continue to fly delta most likely. Although if they continue descending I may have to jump ship.

  27. Will continue Delta for now. Rollover & spend plus a few trips will get me gold for 2016. Saved prior miles to use on the hopefully lower award trips.

  28. sadly i am a point hoarder though compared to most i dont have that many but intend to spend them all in 2015 and after that for other travel only fly delta if no other better choice. I have been loyal to delta only for 40 years. but they are not all that loyal to me. sooo

  29. Will definitely fly Delta a lot less on paid tickets as I will spend 2015 using all my SkyMiles on award travel.

  30. I always buy whichever flight that is the most affordable for my family of 5, but I do try to fly AA or Delta and avoid United. Strangely for the two big trips we have planned for next year, the long flights are all on Delta. I started reading your blog since I picked up both the personal and biz Gold Amex 50K offer this year. I am planning to get the reserve card in January, it will help me achieve at least gold status. Now if I can add a few quick trips without the husband complaining….

  31. Probably not, as I’m moving into a travel heavy job and Delta flies where I’ll have to go.

  32. Like you , I will retain status mostly with the AMEX cards. For flights I will look to Delta first, but will most likely shop for value/schedule advantages elsewhere. Short sighted on Delta’s part, as I have had status on other airlines in the past, and may again, sooner than I had hoped.

  33. Unfortunately, I will be leaving the Delta crib……..they have nickled and dimed me to death. I can no longer look forward to increased enjoyment. Every few months, I just wait for another hammer to fall.

    I will take their Diamond perks that I earned for the 2015 year, and will make no attempt at renewal. The AA/USA merger I feel will provide me with a better bargain eventually.

    Between my 160 segments, $ 42,000 spend, and that of the other 22 associates I arrange for travel for and with, Delta has just provided it’s last “enhancement” to us………

  34. Most likely I will stay with Delta; but it may be less attractive to keep my business travel with Delta

  35. Been Diamond since the beginning and close to my 3MM plus Silver on United but going to switch to American in 2015. We will see what happens to my “Lifetime” Gold Status – I think we all know what will happen to that…. It won’t be a surprise!

  36. Been Diamond since the beginning and close to my 3MM plus Silver on United but going to switch to American in 2015. We will see what happens to my “Lifetime” Gold Status – I think we all know what will happen to that…. It won’t be a surprise!

  37. i am looking at other options. The change in global certificates for PM was a low blow for all PM. We were loyal to Delta and Delta really do not care about us.

  38. Will not go out of my way to fly Delta–for instance, to fly Delta with a connection when I can fly another airline (Southwest) on short flights nonstop. No more mileage runs as the payoff will not be great, even with Diamond status. Probably will never be Diamond again–maybe that’s their goal? All around negative development with my loyalty to Delta.

  39. No brainer. Look over any period of time and Delta almost always leads the pack in not canceling flights. So for those of us who care about getting where we want to go the choice is clear.

    Plus with CC and PWM is has become much easier to get and maintain status with out having to fly over 140 segements!

  40. I will continue to be a Delta Points reader, but will be a free agent and possibly concentrate my spending on American.

  41. Will not affect how I travel. Delta serves my needs well. As a MM and DM, I can’t imagine starting from scratch with another airline.

  42. I’m definitely looking to burn my 100k delta miles before the end of the year, and probably won’t accrue many after that.

  43. I got caught out by the MQD requirement this year and didn’t get a Delta AMEX Plat until the fourth quarter of 2014. Now it looks like I will just barely make the $12,500 MQD on tickets, so I am no longer charging everything I can this year on the Delta AMEX. From mid-night on Jan 1, I’ll put everything on Delta AMEX, including some substantial reimbursable business expenses to get to the Card wavier as early as possible. What I won’t do, is what I was forced to do this year-actually buy a first class ticket for that extra $200 I needed to make the DM MQD. I know I probably could have gamed the $25k card spend, but it was just more trouble than it was worth. As the count-down clock tells us, with 60 days to go, I was a little nervous that some merchant would post a charge late or some charge would be dis-allowed as qualifying. With the DM MQD being raised to $15k foe 2015, I doubt very many people will really qualify with ticket purchases.

  44. My loyalty to Delta will be diminished, but I will consider them for every flight, just not feel I “have” to use them.

  45. Still on DL til sir Richard brings domestic life to another airport here. Opened AS acct at end 2013 to collect in until that trial separation started. So maybe time for Virgin Atlantic points bucket

  46. I am a hub captive, so I likely won’t ditch them all together, but I will be checking out other options whenever possible!

  47. I will keep flying Delta hoping Diamond benefits work out. FYI Rene – do you actually eat at Subway and Olive Graden I don’t 🙂

  48. Price is generally “king” for me; however, I prefer to fly our beloved airline whenever possible, so if the cost is negligible I will fly Delta. I can earn plenty through my Delta Amex so the SkyMiles 2015 changes won’t affect my decisions as to whether to fly Delta or not.

  49. I will be traveling Delta a lot less. I will not fly to maintain my status, and I will focus on collecting more flexible MR and UR points.

  50. I will still continue to primarily fly with Delta, however I will not rule out other carriers if the price/schedule work well.

  51. With award miles being dollar based. I’m going to switch to aa for the majority of my flights. They are rewarding their fliers better and that’s what I want in a loyalty program, better rewards.

  52. I switched all of my air travel from AA to Delta in 2014 after disastrous experiences with AA, even as an Executive Plat. While I completely understand how Skymiles 2015 is devastating to loyal leisure travelers, it won’t have much impact on my travel, since so much of mine is very last minute at high fares. My travel on delta in 2015 will be the same, if not slightly more. The only airline that may see more travel from me is Southwest, and that’s simply because of the routes they will service.

  53. Less on Delta and all other carriers. Planning to cut back on work travel and re-connect with my family ( after 200 k mqms and 120+ segments in 2014).

  54. The changes will absolutely change my flying habits. I will continue to go to the cheap airfare websites and will choose whichever is cheapest instead of choosing delta if its within $50 like I used to do. It may also impact my credit card spend. I love getting cash back on my discover card and may go to that exclusively and not worry about trying to collect miles instead of cash.

  55. I was going to try to switch to AA in order to get Executive Platinum with my 100 segments per year, but since they ruined their program by requiring 120 segments I decided against that. I will get more miles with Delta than with AA in 2015, and even though I’ll only earn Platinum status on Delta I have a 99% upgrade rate as a Chicago based Platinum who flies to Atlanta each week. Therefore, I’ll continue to fly Delta

  56. I will likely continue to focus on Delta, but price will play more of a role in future travel.

  57. I will continue to use DL, but I will keep my eyes open. I have lifetime Gold status with UA (having gotten it through CO), so it would be easy to jump to them. Things that would make me consider the jump are: an increase in the SkyMiles needed for a low level BE ticket to EU, discontinue of free changes on an award ticket for DM and PM, or pricing that is so out of line with other airlines.

  58. I will be looking around and not focus on Delta. My money will go to whoever has to most direct route (which often is NOT Delta).

  59. I imagine I’m going to be more focused on getting miles through my Amex card, and other cards, rather than flying.

  60. I have lots of choices out of LAX but plan to continue to fly Delta as long as prices are in the same range as AA/UA and complimentary upgrades for medallions remain.

    I don’t think I’d switch to UA but AA is a possibility.

  61. I have already started looking elsewhere and checking out my different options. I will no longer be loyal to Delta.

  62. We have already cut back on flying Delta and will try to fly other wirlines, but will continue to read your blog!

  63. The last time I flew to Europe and tried to use points, Delta told me, “No Availability,” even when I called and asked. I was not happy when I flew them using cash and found the flight to be half empty. I will probably not use them again.

  64. I will probably be continuing to make Delta a main carrier…mostly because of limited options in my home airport. Not looking forward to all the “enhancements” though!

  65. For me, my travel and trips will remain the same (not increase or decrease for the most part) as where I want to and will go. However, I am not set on which main airline I will concentrate my flying yet. I truly need to see how Delta’s new plan all works out in the first few months of 2015. I think this year might be the ‘year of the cheapest price wins’ as I am not seeing enough payback on my frequent flier plans.

  66. Delta isn’t Delta anymore. Northwest bought Delta and kept the Delta name. You can tell when you’re on a flight with former Northwest flight attendants – they do the minimum service requirements then make themselves scarce. They are pi$$ed they didn’t get their union and thus passive aggressive mediocre service prevails. I’ve tried to focus my travel via original Delta hubs like ATL (because original Delta people still do their best to provide great service), but more and more I’m forced to fly via NW hubs of MSP & MKE. ATL seems to be turning into a hub for less desirable international destinations (like Africa or S. America). If you want Europe, the NW folks have shifted those destinations via DTW & MSP. So with degrading service and a “keep descending” (degrading) loyalty program, my previous levels of relentless, obsessive, loyalty are in jeopardy. Remarkably, and you’ll like this, in my current job role I negotiated that I could fly Delta exclusively regardless of costs or routes.

    I’ve been a DM since the inaugural year. I’m a few flights short of 2MM lifetime. I have both personal and biz Platinum DL AMEX cards that typically get about 300K annual spend (total btwn 2) – providing 40k MQMs plus MQD waiver, plus miles of course. My actual MQD for 2014 is about 12,500. Still, I re qualified for DM 2015 this past spring and should re qualify for DM 2016 by next April 2015.

    I’m really sad to see these changes and worried my love affair with the Delta brand may end before I retire. The kicker is AA offers better flights out of my base airport, and just 1 phone call to AA is all it takes for them to do a status match – then, boom, Delta has lost a rabidly loyal customer. So, I’m going to fly Delta as usual in Q1 2015 and see how the miles add up, then place a call to AA if unhappy with mileage accrual.

    There are some sacred cows or deal breakers that will cause an instant switch to AA:
    1) end of complimentary upgrades
    2) end of AMEX MQD waiver
    3) end of free drinks & food in 1st/business
    4) end of free checked bags (though I don’t check often)
    5) increasing scarcity of upgrades (my prior 3 segments (in a row!) were not upgraded)

    Thank you for your articles!

  67. Won’t change my travel plans in 2015, had enough bad experiences with teo the major airlines that I’m sticking with Delta….

  68. I will continue to fly Delta and its SkyTeam partners; however, having Star Alliance Gold status means I will continue to take a close look at United, Lufthansa, Air Canada, etc. options.

  69. I will fly delta if the price is close but i used to fly delta even if the price wasn’t that close but when I pay $1500 to Barcelona today and get 20K miles this year and only probably about 10K next year (remember miles are based on price – taxes) – even with PM. I will go after the several hunder $ cheaper other airline flights. Very frustrated.

    Now if their mileage chart really does improve and improve a lot, I will reconsider.

  70. Flying out of MSP, Delta is my best choice. With the AMEX cards I am able to keep my Status.

  71. as much as i dont want it to, these changes aklready have changed my flying and im dropping from a GM to nothing!!!

  72. I recently got Delta Amex, so I will be flying more with Delta and find more ways to maximize. Generally speaking, I think the program got more complicated

  73. Perhaps it’s because I have close relatives in New Zealand and Qatar and international travel is more important to me, but I’m definitely kicking Delta to the curb. I flew Delta to Sydney and it was the worst international flight I’ve ever been on. Their service sucks for long haul flights, their food is abysmal, the seats are painfully uncomfortable and I had a malfunction on my entertainment system going and coming back. It was like being in a Greyhound bus for 15 hours. Since I’ll be regularly flying (all the way from Atlanta) to New Zealand, I’d rather focus my domestic travel on an airline with better partners and a better loyalty program that can get me into premium cabins on better airlines for my frequent international trips (i.e. Qantas to New Zealand, Etihad or Qatar Airways to Qatar). The miles I earn with AA through my domestic travel will help me end up in Qantas first class rather than Delta’s subpar business elite, which is less luxurious than most foreign airlines premium economy even though the pricing is the same and AAdvantage award mileage redemptions are often cheaper than SkyPesos. I’m going to burn the last of my SkyMiles (if I can – since all of their partner awards have magically disappeared from their site and their reps are inept), cancel my AMEX, and invest in American. The fact that I’m in Atlanta and going through the trouble of flying anyone but them speaks volumes about my opinion of them…and about a dozen of my close friends and family work for them…so that says even more.

  74. I will fly whoever is cheapest. I don’t have status and I probably won’t fly enough to get status any time soon.

  75. Was highest tier at NWA, then Diamond w/DL since then. Almost a 2 million miler. But I also have MVP Gold w/Alaska. Will be flying more w/Alaska to get their highest status and “maybe” retain Plat status w/DL. That still gives me the flexibility for award tickets and I do have a lot of mileage in the acct – WAY too much for comfort with all these changes.

  76. All depends on the award charts since it so much easier to earn skymiles by NOT flying that it is to earn them by flying Delta. Kinda perverse.

  77. Based on checking two trips to see how the mileage will affect me, it was huge! I am Platinum, and both trips were approx 45% less in mileage accrual. I will be Platinum again for 2015, thanks to the Amex card, but going forward, I will move down to Gold or even Silver. For me, the sweet spot is Silver in regard to mileage accrual. upgrades are not important to me, just sitting near the front of the plane. I just booked three flight for Dec and Jan – one with Delta and the rest with other carriers. I found savings over 35% by flying Sun Country and Southwest. Just got their credit cards ordered too. Furthermore – will drop the Sky Club since the rate jumped over 200 bux. I am not the customer they want as I need to pay attention to what I pay for a ticket. I will change from flying 98% Delta to about 40% Delta next year at best. Frankly, I don’t think they will even care of notice…..

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