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“The point of points is I don’t have to pay!” NOT with Delta Skymiles 2015 – you pay twice!

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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.


pay twice for that reward ticket

Today American Air has released their next year’s frequent flyer program. Much like Alaska’s program they are NOT going revenue based and even BRAGGING on twitter about that fact, that a mile is a mile and you have earned it by flying (in your face Delta and SkyDollars)!

I have a BUNCH of AA points (like over 1 million) and plan to buy some 1st class tickets next year to fly and it will NOT be on Delta. With Delta I plan to only buy the cheapest tickets I can as they have not earned my loyalty dollars with the CRUSHING changes to Skymiles the worst of which is the end to free stopovers and open jaws on award tickets.

But perhaps, and the point of this post, even WORSE than this is having the audacity to charge you for a “free ticket”. My friend and fellow BA Blogger Chris Elliott is somewhat hard on frequent flyer programs because he says a free ticket is never, ever free. I agree, but a points ticket can be a massive savings. Under Skymiles2015 however, many times, it will be just as Chris says and make Skymiles a scam. For Delta to offer for you to PAY any price, especially WELL OVER $100 AS THEY SHOW ON DELTA.COM as a CO-pay to get an award ticket, at ANY redemption level, is bordering on criminal to me!

Delta is so “drunk” on earnings they think they can do anything they want to the program and flyers will take it. The question is – will you? Or will you let them know what you think? – 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.

16 Comments

  1. Kinda like Aeroplan’s fuel surcharges on Air Canada, no? $150 is pretty common for a domestic roundtrip on Aeroplan if flying AC

  2. nowhere man Reply

    Am I missing something? It just looks like they’re offering a miles and cash option (just like hotels do points and cash)?

    Save 10K miles and pay $154, or just pay $5 taxes.

  3. I am missing your point. How are we paying twice? If you pay partially in cash, you use fewer miles, right?
    While I may not do so, I know a lot of people who will be able to take advantage of the Miles + Cash option. Most travelers on Delta don’t have a millions miles accrued. The Miles + Cash option is similar to the Points & Money option that Hilton offers – and I sometimes take advantage of that. It certainly isn’t criminal since many passengers have asked that the old NW Cash & Miles be resurrected. However, I am sad that stopovers and open jaws are gone.

    • @Denise – Delta is not a hotel. Show me if AA or Alaska offer to rip you off for cash and points for a ticket that should be free low level! Point made!

  4. Delta (like United) does not charge fuel surcharges — compared to the AA program, which passes on the fuel surcharges of BA, making AA miles quite hard to use for travel to Europe. And compared to most of the Skyteam partners, especially Flying Blue and Alitalia, which charge outrageous fuel surcharges (they reach BA levels of outrageousness at times). Now THOSE miles programs are a real ripoff!
    points+cash are almost always a bad deal (Hilton does this too), but helpful to people who have pretty low balances. Isn’t flexibility good?

  5. nowhereman Reply

    “Point made!”. I guess if you say so.

    So when will you switch from DELTA POINTS to AA POINTS or ALASKA POINTS?

  6. In the example, you are paying $159 for 10,000 miles. In the new SkyDollars program, you earn miles based on money spent on tickets multiplied by your status multiplier. For Diamonds, I think the multiplier is 11X. I used to be good at math, so let’s see if I can compute this correctly.

    10,000 miles divided by 11 means I’d have to spend $909 on tickets to earn the same 10,000 miles being sold for $159. Suddenly $159 looks like a pretty good deal.

    For the Delta infrequent fliers, the multiplier is 5X (from memory, could be wrong). So 10,000 miles divided by 5 means someone without status would have to spend $2,000 on tickets to earn the same miles.

    So, miles + cash is a scheme beneficial to everyone although it benefits the infrequent fliers more.

    I think each time a FF ticket is procured, customers are going to need to look at the +cash price and make a determination if the offer is a good deal or not.

    I’m 60K miles short of 2M lifetime miles and have been a Diamond ever since the Diamond level was started. I, like others, am concerned about all the changes and will be evaluating my options more carefully in 2015. A status match on American Airlines is looking really attractive right now. Regretfully, or thankfully, I won’t be flying much in Q1 2015. My travel takes off in Q2 and accelerates through the calendar year.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Scott

  7. Perhaps these type of b log entries are why you’re seeing less upgrades on your Delta flights? 😉

  8. You say that Delta is taking away open jaws. That is not true. They are not only keeping open jaws, but giving us the chance to have double open jaws!

  9. Double open jaws? I’m slack jawed now. I suppose stopovers will soon become Stop Delta, it’s over. Thanks for reducing my favorite airline loyalty program to nothing.

  10. Deltaflyer Reply

    With the miles + cash, do we earn MQM? Or is that only when booking with miles in first?

  11. Both aa and Alaska pass on BA fuel surcharges, and you can use Alaska miles at 1 penny per mile to get up to a 200 buck discount on their cash plus miles tickets

  12. Pingback: Welcome to Skymiles2015 - how are one-way awards working & the new site? - Delta PointsDelta Points

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