The above was waiting for me on a recent flight from Minneapolis to Seattle on my EAT run. They also had, at many of the gates in MSP, a rather large bowl of candy where anyone could help themselves to a few (btw, my hometown South Bend airport has had that for a LONG time).
Was I impressed? Sure, this was a nice touch and was appreciated. But “Mardi Gras” trinkets and beads are only fun for so long before they become what they are – cheap and disposable and not really lasting.
The same goes for what myself and other Diamonds got just before landing. The FA’s gave to each one a personal thank you card. Again, a very nice touch. Even Delta reached out and responded to my tweet about it and said:
“DeltaPoints Anything for you! We want to always make your experience amazing, but we cannot thank you enough for your loyalty to Delta.”
It was so nice to see Delta CORP tweet back to me. This again was impressive and nice as they tend to be very conservative in social media interactions. But I am after all a loyal Delta flyer (just less so of a fan of the current frequent flyer program).
And that last bit gets to my point. Things like these are nice and make a small difference. They are the special touches that make you appreciate the airline as a top elite. After all, these kinds of things are the icing on the cake, but how good would it be if Delta took away the cake? For most of us what matters is:
Upgrades that do not clear
If a flight is late or canceled
GoGo Wifi that does not work
Catering did not show up
And so on. Next, after the flight is all over and I get my hard earned points, when we go to REALLY be rewarded for our loyalty to an airline, and go to spend our $kyRubles, just how appreciated do we feel at the end of the day? Really not so much if we have to spend 2x or 3x what it should cost in points to fly from A-B!
At some point, and I think we are seeing this this already, enough is enough. Those folks Delta is “most” targeting to “feel special” and spend the most with the airline are going to wise up and be furious just HOW MUCH it costs to spend their loyalty points. Also they will be upset about how many MORE restrictions and changes have come to the program in 2014/2015 that they just have not yet taken the time to find out about. Then, all the kind gestures by Delta people are out the window as well as the warm fuzzies they created.
My friend MJ had an amazing post yesterday I hope you will please read. Then, you must next read the comments below the post. I think we are at a tipping point everyone and Delta just DOES NOT SEE IT!
I see it. I no longer collect $kyRubles for redemption. Sure, I do earn some here and there as well as earning them alongside my MQMs via my Delta AMEX Reserve card. I may have to top off points earned with other cards say via nearly instant Membership Rewards transfers if I need.
But there are SO many other choices now that are clearly VASTLY superior to the $kyRubles program like Alaska or American’s program. For coach awards, that Delta brags so many are redeeming points for, just about ANY non-airline card is a better choice. For example FlexPerks points or Barclay’s Arrival points simply CRUSH $kyRubles for coach travel as there are ZERO restrictions and you even earn points when you spend them with Delta and others!
All this comes from someone who REALLY knows the program and how to extract value from a Delta award. If I am telling you value is just about gone – you should listen. Loyalty is after all a two way street as Delta themselves say for all to hear.
So what do you think. Can Delta just not care at all about the award program and just provide a good product and service and that is enough for everyone (or at least those who Delta cares about)? – René
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