Travel Loyalty Programs

Delta responds to many of our comments about Skymiles2015 – Really Delta?

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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.


I really wish our comments and feedback will / does / have an impact on the choices Delta will make in 2015. We push our comments into the grinder that is the Delta mothership and we will just see what happens. I do hope we are having a real impact but I think the only real difference will come from folks wiling to do the following:

1) Status match another airline like Alaska or American
2) Fly that airline exclusivity
3) Send copies of tickets and the spend Delta has lost from you.

That is showing you not only changed your loyalty but also the amount of money that has gone to another airline could maybe have a tiny impact as it would show they have just gone too far.

It is time to look at some of the feedback that you and I have received (thanks for the comments and e-mails btw) from the company about our complaints about Skymiles2015 and specifically about the CRUSHING end to stopovers and open jaws next year.

The first one I received myself and it just floors me. I mean, we know that Delta is misleading everyone about Skymiles2015. We also know, since we can READ IT ON, that stopovers and open jaws will end a few weeks from now. Yet, the Medallion team has the AUDACITY to tell us they are not going away. Look what I, and others, were told:

“Award itineraries booked on/after January 1, 2015 will continue to allow Stopovers and Open Jaws, however with the new flexible, one-way pricing structure and additional award levels; the pricing of the itinerary will follow the new one-way award pricing rules.”

while says:

“Stopovers will no longer be permitted for Award Travel booked on or after January 1, 2015.”

In other words if we are willing to use 2 one way tickets next year we can get a stopover or an open jaw to our destination. Well I guess in some kind of warped and demented way this comment is correct, but only to a politician who would think so. I wanted to put my Diamond Medallion card into the shredder when I saw this. I am sickened and MAD about this – are you?

OK on to the next one. This one was very common to many readers (including me) and really got to the heart of the matter with Delta.

“We also understand the 2015 program updates will affect members in different ways, but they best balance the needs of our customers and our business. We’re confident the updates are the right moves for our customers and airline.”

Anyone other than me hear Richard Anderson’s voice about “having our backs” in our heads from the safety video when we read that one? Let me un-PR this one for you:

“We also understand the 2015 program updates will affect members in different ways ARE CRUSHING TO EVERYONE, but they best balance the needs WILL HELP DAL SHARE PRICE AND of our customers THE 2% WHO THINK THEY ARE GOING TO COME OUT AHEAD and our business. We’re confident HOPING WE CAN SNOWBALL ENOUGH FLIERS INTO BELIEVING the updates are the right moves for our customers and airline.”

Time for puke bag number two (I knew it was a good idea to save one from my last flight). I think my edits more correctly reflect the honest evaluation of this comment from Delta. We know who they care about and it is not most of us!

The next one is just so patronizing that it is beyond laughable. Notice this sad and condescending comment many of us got:

“Please allow me to explain that our policies are based on extensive research done by our marketing team. We have a dedicated team of analysts who analyze the features of the SkyMiles policy before they are implemented.”

Oh good grief. You got some focus groups and found out that these were the moves that Delta could make and it seemed like loyal Delta flyers would not jump ship to another airline and yet they were in fact wrong. Why? Because we are all freaking out because the end of stopovers and so many other perks have pushed us over the edge. Perhaps the crack marketing team did not toss ALL of this into the marketing grinder and watch the reaction to the test subjects. Let’s move on.

This next one, in some fashion, talked about the new 5 award levels. Many got something like:

“We’ve heard that it should be easier to use miles, so we’re adding more flexibility to the redemption process and more redemption options overall. In short, you should be able to enjoy more Award Seats for fewer miles.”


“The new pricing structure and rules will apply to bookings made on/after January 1, 2015.”

First off, we never ever, nor would anyone in their sane minds ask for 5 award levels. This is just crazy insane and ONLY an airline would think this was ever a good idea (well for anyone other than the airline that is). Now yes we want simpler redemption and more low level seats. The rest is just a joke. We do not want to say pay 25,000 miles and cash for a seat that should just cost low level points – PERIOD! The old NWA system was so simple – 12,500 miles one way and 50% of the cash price for the other way (at whatever fare class we wanted). THAT was simple math and good for flyers. The new thing Delta has created for us is sheer madness.

OK just one more before your head explodes from all this marketing spin and “road apples” so far. Take a look at this one:

“We take customer feedback seriously, and your comments will be forwarded to our SkyMiles Leadership Team for consideration.”

Well gosh I hope so as we are going to keep emailing  and even faxing and snail mailing you bits to remind you we have had it and your response to us is insulting, patronizing and we are not falling for it. Many will vote with their wallets and fly other airlines. I will keep letting Delta know over and over how un-rewarding Skymiles2015 is and that when it comes to booking 1st class tickets I will be looking at other airlines (yes I do that now and then)! – 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.


  1. @goldboxATL Reply

    Only time will tell…. I am not optimistic at all. I believe i will earn more miles as a DM that flies mainly for biz. BUT, am I not exactly sure we will see any difference on the award seats. I almost never find seats at the low level of miles. The Domestic Y 40K is the new 25K award seat.

    Seats in J to EU or Asia are getting out of hand too. However i was able to book a KE ticket in F for the love level miles… Got lucky and did it 331 days in advance.

  2. I’m so happy that last month when I volunteered to get bumped from a Delta flight, I choose the $1000 Hyatt Gift Card rather than the $1000 flight voucher. I really don’t plan on flying Delta much in 2015.

  3. AlohaDaveKennedy Reply

    What’s with the question about Richard Anderson “having our backs?” Looks to me like it was his hand who put those daggers in our shoulders…

  4. I am thrilled with this new program. I often fly on $5k paid J transcons. I’m now looking at 50k miles per trip! I emailed AA to tell them they’re losing my business because they offer so few miles!

    • @Billy – wait till you go to spend them and pay 2x as much plus a co-PAY. Oh wait, you like paying a ton. Never mind you will LOVE Skymiles2105 awards 😉

  5. Flying to Ireland tomorrow on Delta. After that, I’ll burn the last of my 90K SkyMiles and bid Delta a not-so-fond farewell. Taking a trip to New Zealand via an American ticket in a few months and I would love for Delta to see how much money they lost from me.

  6. I think on FT and blogs we should stop referring to SM as “miles.” You do not earn them by flying a certain distance, and they cannot be used to fly a certain distance. It would be like referring to dollar bills as “silver dollars” even if they have nothing to do with precious metal. Instead, with due deference, perhaps we should just use “Deltapoints” as the name for this new currency.

    • @Tom – HA! I agree. I have a post on the way tomorrow and call them SkyDollars!

  7. Seems to me that the owners of the company(stockholders) love this plan.
    Best way to get back is to buy the stock and watch it go up ’cause DAL ain’t listening to their customers. They would not have implemented these ridiculous “enhancements” without knowing full well they would stick.
    They run one of 3 or 4 companies in the country that offer a similar service.
    Why should they not try to gouge? Congress blessed it.

  8. The problem I have with changing over to another airline is that Delta by far has the best operations of the big 4. I will take a weaker miles program in exchange for more reliable service. Delta is well run and there is less competition…why wouldn’t they devalue the Skymiles program?

    • @Keith – Could not agree more. I think Delta feels most care more about that than the award program. This is true, but only to a point and I think we have reached that point now.

  9. Last minute “just for fun” trip DTW/HON. Good price and wanted to upgrade with points. Unable to do this unless I moved to a higher priced ticket and then upgrades not available on DTW/LAX leg, just on LAX/HON leg (same on return). Paid $200 more and am flying first class! Not sure how valuable points are if you have to stand on your head to use them (which is why I use most of them for my kids, who are much more flexible).

  10. Getting to be like the phone company: “We don’t care because we don’t have to” (Lily Tomlin).

    (Had to look up “road apples” – is that a Michigan thing?)

  11. Yes, grew up apparently under-educated in the middle class suburbs of Ohio.

  12. I’m looking forward to experiencing other airlines and letting Delta know that they’ve lost my business!

  13. Bravo!
    Well done
    I received the same garbage from them.
    They must really think we cant read. If we take the time to email them a complaint the least they could do is read it before they generate an auto robot reply

  14. Delta is more convenient for my travel needs, but from January I will have to take my business to American even if it involves taking non-direct flights. Until Delta actually “has my back” I can’t in good conscience continue to be their customer. I’m sure that American will enjoy the revenue that my 100K+ yearly miles brings them.

  15. Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so HOT! While people talk about moving to One World or Star Alliances, in the end, I’m afraid, many will not and Delta will smile all the way to the bank. As soon as there is the next large drop in the stock market I’m buying in.

  16. As a new and avid reader of your blog I was hoping that you could shed some light on 2015. I’m a past PM with Delta but after taking several years off from flying, I’m jumping back in the saddle and trying to look at my options..DL or AA??
    I still have over 500,000 miles with DL and plan on 2 family trips to PEK in 2015. Should I make the change to AA and start building my relationship or stick it out with DL as most of the destinations I will fly for business the miles will be greater in 2015??

  17. You know what would be an actual enhancement?

    MQD rollover. Why we’ll never see it, is something you should ask yourself. Then feel around your back for that dagger.

  18. My parents live in the UK and usually fly Delta to come and visit me every summer, however due to the recent devaluations it’s just not worth it for them to be loyal to Delta any more. They used to get a trial membership of the SkyClub so that they could use the Club on both there outward and return journeys to make the trip more comfortable. Now that Delta have taken away trial club memberships that removed a perk of flying Delta as far as they were concerned. Also due to the devaluations of SkyMiles2015 it’ll take them much longer to earn enough miles for an award trip. As such they have just booked their flight this summer with Aer Lingus. I’ve told them to make sure to email Delta and tell them why they aren’t going to be flying with Delta any more. They aren’t frequent flyers but all complaints will help.

  19. So, Rene, when are you setting up

    I’m thinking I’ll status match to AA in July, when I can get 18 months for it. A nice AA mileage run to cement it would be delightful.

    DM after my flight tonight. Just booked my first 2015 flight. Ticket was cheap, so I’m getting 1/4 the SkyPesos I would have made this year, but I’m still getting all the MQMs, which is what really matters. 🙂

    • @Greg D – I am not switching to AA. If anything, down the road, I may do more with Alaska. I will by the end of January have my Delta DM status until 1FEB17 so have lots of choices to make!

        • @Keith – I currently have over 250,000 MQMs so with rollover and $25k AMEX spend in January I am done.

  20. Pingback: Rookie Wednesday: How I will earn Skymiles next year (since flying Delta under #Skymiles2015 is the worst choice)! - Delta PointsDelta Points

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