CAUSATION: The following is just a random guess and did not really happen. I have ZERO, NADA, NO facts to back any of this up. This is FICTION and just what is in my head and has a 1 in 10,000 chance of being right!
In a meeting at Virginia Avenue (Delta headquarter in ATL), the suits who work for Delta got together to talk about a major problem with the airline – Skymiles. It had to be stopped or fixed once and for all. The following is a “transcript” of that meeting. Names of those attending have been censored to protect the guilty.
Big Boss – We have a serious problem everyone. We know we can not remove the Skymiles program because we have sold too many Delta points to AMEX, Hertz and Skymiles Shopping. Oh sure we could just expire them like we did with Skymall but that would not look good to shareholders. I need some suggestions.
VP 1 – How about we devalue the award charts?
Big Boss – Nah, we did that twice last year. The blogs at BoardingArea will freak out if we do it again too soon. Especially that pesky DeltaPoints.com blogger René! We would have to be more sly about it.
VP 2 – What about adding expiration dates to the points?
Big Boss – No, we have too much invested in marketing that they don’t expire.
Legal VP 1 – There is another major problem
Big Boss – Oh, what’s that?
Big Boss – Really. Can IT fix the problem?
IT jr. VP – No, we have been trying for over 10 years now. The Northwest page worked great but you made us stick with the broken Delta page and we can not fix it.
Big Boss – I see. Well what else can we do?
Legal VP 3 – (yeah there were a bunch of them in the room) – The simplest choice would just be to delete the award charts from existence and then we can make up any numbers we want. We can raise the award price all day long and no one will know.
Big Boss – Really? Can we do that? Will the press not freak out if we do this? Is it legal?
Legal VP 1 – We can do anything we want – it’s a frequent flyer program.
REV MGT VP 1 – We have one more idea Big Boss.
Big Boss – About Skymiles? I am all ears.
REV MGT VP 2 – Well we really hate our Skyteam and other partners like Alaska and we’ve been thinking about how to really stick it to them this year. You see, their jets are not as full as ours.
Big Boss – I see, please go on.
REV MGT VP 3 – Well we have some agreements and can insert code on the award booking site so ONLY their flights pop up at LEVEL 1 awards if our Skymiles members are trying to book from ZERO to 3 weeks out.
Big Boss – So what will that accomplish?
REV MGT VP 4 – Well if we push off all our worthless members who have the audacity to actually try to redeem some of their Delta points then we will be filling up our partner’s jets with our riff-raff and at the same time filling up their jets, making them more full.
REV MGT VP 5 – Then, as a result of this, their jets are more full and they only have more expensive tickets to sell. We can then undercut them by pushing out first class up-sells to our flyers on the Fly Delta APP or 100 other ways!
Big Boss – But if we sell all the first class seats won’t all of the HVCs who expect upgrades as part of the program get upset and switch to another airline?
REV MT VP 6 – Not a chance (evil grin by #6). Most of them are fat and lazy and booking on company expense accounts. Plus where are they going to go? United? They can not keep any jets on time to save their lives. AA is in the middle of a merger and is sure to have issues. We are GOLDEN!
Big Boss – This all sounds great. Let’s do it! Oh, last thing, what about the 2016 Medallion program?
SMs jr. VP – Uh, what about it.
Big Boss – We need to cut that too. Some fool talked me into giving away international upgrade coupons last year and I will not stand for that this year. You know how much in stock options that cost me? We must cut those this year.
SMs jr. VP – We will have to gum up the software to prevent folks from redeeming their earned perks to get that done. It will not be popular.
Big Boss – I don’t care – I am NOT going to go into the next quarterly meeting and have to explain why our stock has fallen when gas is almost free now. Cut and cut till you can cut no more! Worst case, always know we can use the BP approach, post gulf destruction, and keep advertising how we care so much and how far your Delta points will take you because Delta loves all of its loyal members. Everything will turn out to be be roses and puppies!
ONCE AGAIN – The above is a work of fiction. But if Delta folks are sweating and any of this hit close to home – I’m sorry (well not really) – René
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