What a week this has been all starting with the joy that non-revs feel (Delta people who are flying basically for free but only where there is an open seat) just hoping for anything to be open flying stand-by. I was on a confirmed SkyMiles award ticket down, but wanted to try to get into town early and made it on the direct flight SBN to ATL.
Just as a background, most of the folks I interact with on a regular basis are the “Corp Com” people or the corporate communications people that deal with the media and people like me. So to have a few private hours with the SkyMiles team people was really a treat.
I can say I enjoyed talking to all of them. They are very interested in SkyMiles and are really wanting to continue to innovate with SkyMiles and it will be interesting to see what new partnerships and ideas pan out. I like some of the things I was told and will share as I can on the blog.
The only concerning part of the evening was something we unfortunately already know and that Delta seems all happy about, that it costs more SkyMiles to get award tickets. The changes that have been made sure are accomplishing those goals. Clearly, Delta is allowed to charge whatever they want for an award ticket, but the advertisements that they are rewarding those who spend most just fall flat to me as you are rewarding no one when it costs so much more for everyone to redeem.
I was also VERY impressed with a new person working on the Skyclubs. I have been very critical of the fact that the changes to the clubs back in September did not go far enough considering how much it now costs to enter or bring in a guest with you. I think we are going to slowly see real improvements in the Skyclubs this year. Stay tuned for more. I am excited to see what happens.
The people who are going to be running the show for us in loyalty, and all that surrounds it, are for the most part “new” in their positions and some are coming with airline background, but some are not but have years in the travel industry and I think they will bring some fresh ideas with them. I am generally a very positive person when it comes to Delta. They do SO much SO right. I just wish a tiny bit of this energy could be focused in a positive way towards SkyMiles awards! – René