Talk about your contrasts! I mean one single Delta award ticket for 750,000 thousand SkyMiles and another for just 10,000 points round trip. I have to tell you I am still just in complete and utter SHOCK that my little contest to find the most expensive award ticket on Delta.com (still ongoing btw) has so far resulted in a ¾ million SkyMile award ticket for just one single round trip ticket.
Delta told us we are going to get a more realistic view of award prices and I guess that is just what we are seeing!
Really the same thing goes for the short lived plentiful 10,000 point awards as for a ticket that costs just over $100 round trip to buy it should not cost much more than 10k points when a SkyMile is just worth just one cent each.
I am also equally SHOCKED that all my fellow blogging “brethren” have not gone “ape” over this 750,000 point award find. I would think we would see posts blasting the web over this 750,000 SkyMile Delta award and how sick it is Delta has gone down this “rabbit hole”.
But you know what this fact tells me? That bloggers as a group are not shocked about it and know SkyMiles are truly now just about a completely worthless currency to collect and spend in 2015. I have to say I agree with them.
Here is what I just don’t get and why even the “brilliant minds” at Delta seem so confused to me. At a value of just one cent each Delta cannot compete with the banks and their reward credit cards. Just about all of them are offering a greater value and do not lock you into one single airline program. Many of them offer a “free bag” that is, they will rebate you in some way for a bag fee or at least offer to let you pay yourself back with points for the bag fee. Delta SkyMiles offers no such perk for an award ticket.
Think about this. With SkyMiles at 1 cent each you are locked in to an award calendar that may or may not give you seats you want at this 1 cent price (we are not talking Delta AMEX PWM here). You may end up getting even less than 1 cent value and unless you have the Delta AMEX card (any of them) you will end up paying for a bag fee on top of an award price in points. Why would anyone ever do this when there are so many other better choices? Plus, using the banks point currency you end up earning points when flying any airline including Delta!
No, as I said before, SkyMiles wins when Delta can offer a seat, that most likely will be filled by a non-rev, that is, a company employee for free, to a loyal Delta traveler spending their points on a dream vacation to somewhere exotic in business class. Also why, in the future, will a flyer again and again make the choice to fly Delta? Will they do so even when selecting Delta is not always the cheapest option? I doubt it under the current program.
The psychology and romance of award travel is so much more than just dollars and cents. Honestly we have to admit that many folks are just downright foolish and DO pay high interest fees on credit cards. “We” are never that dumb but those folks end up, when you run the numbers, paying more for that award trip than if they had just gone out and purchased it. But if these types are now no longer getting the “perceived value” at redemption that they did before, they might just think about the fact that they over paid to get the points and are now doing so again to spend them. That will be the proverbial final straw.
I wish I could see where this is all going next, I really do. Knowing Delta the way I do I fear for the future of the award program. “They” are dug in. I seriously doubt things will change until the “numbers” show something that is plainly obvious to ALL the rest of us.
As a blogger I can just as simply write about the bad as the good but it sure was much more fun standing up to others and shouting how great Delta was if you were just willing to take the time to find the true value and rewards with SkyMiles; I would love to have those days back again.
Maybe it is time to forget about the Delta “points” program and discount it to zero and just view Delta as a transportation company without a reward program and simply look to other programs for our award travel needs. Something to think about anyway! – René
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