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Will all this “unwanted” nonparty line attention have ANY impact on Delta SkyMiles? Or does this validate what has been accomplished?

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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.


skyrubles

It really is GREATLY overvaluing a SkyMile to compare it to the Mexican SkyPesos as coined by my fellow blogger, Gary Leff because there is NO WAY a SkyMile (if you compare it to the dollar) is worth 6 – 7 cents each. That is why I much more like to use Russian $kyRuble as the valuation at 1.5 – 3 cents each is a more accurate representation – or at least it has been in the past. Now, with potentially 1 MILLION mile awards possible, value is just about out the window.

Everyone on the planet seems to understand Delta is just crushing the life out of the SkyMiles program. In the past it was VERY hard to use, but there was great value to be had. Now it is just slowly gasping for breath as the color drains from its face. Again, everyone sees this other than everyone at the Delta mothership.

But is there anything that can be done to change this? Is there any way to revive the patient or is it all over? I mean just look at the national media attention about the program as of late from papers living in the heart of Delta HUB fortress:

  • The New York Times blistering piece – HERE
  • The Minneapolis Star Tribune piece – HERE
  • The American City Business Journal piece – HERE

But will any of this have any impact on the company and the direction of the program? I mean when you compare the Delta cuts vs the Delta improvements you clearly see what direction they want to go and it sure is not “Keep Climbing” but more in the spirit of “Keep Descending”!

At the Freddie’s Delta was HAPPY not to win anything and reps told my fellow blogger Brian Cohanif Delta Air Lines did win an award at the 2015 Freddie Awards, then they were not doing their job correctly” that is, regarding Delta’s Frequent Flyer program (how is that for admitting you hate the program and want to make it bad for loyal flyers).

So clearly they are happy now and do not care that “others” a.k.a. normal people are finally seeing what they have been up to. This is a validation that they have succeeded and done their jobs. I am sure they are OVERJOYED over all this coverage and want more. All this negativity and realization just validates those in the current positions have done their jobs and done them well.

And here is why. They want you to give up. And I think most people have.

Before SkyMiles2015 most just saved their SkyMiles for something, some time when they could find a trip and a half decent price. Now readers of this blog have for a long time known how to find (see E7 posts) what was LOW LEVEL awards (now Level 1) and even more with stopovers and open jaws at the front or back end of a trip. But now, most people, see the SkyMiles program as worthless and are spending them on hotel rooms or car rentals or magazine subscriptions. When you are convinced there is no value left you spend a beat up valued travel currency even in a more worthless manner. See my point, “they” are winning. They have psychologically broken the traveling public. Well done, Delta.

You now are asking what can be done to change this? Sorry to be defeatist, but they have no incentive to change. The ONLY thing that will change things is for people to stop flying them and I just don’t see that happening. And even if there was a ground swell of anger and people chose to fly other carriers, I doubt Delta would attribute this change to SkyMiles devaluations.

But there is something YOU and I can do for now. First off, don’t waste your $kyRubles. Get value from them when you do spend them. Delta has been kind enough to make the miles never expire so there is no rush to burn them (other than the fact that they continue to lose value, that is). But be selective. Book ONLY Level 1 flights and what I do is only book business class internationally (on partners mostly) to get max benefit for what I am spending. Also if I can get 2 cents or better out of the 10,000 Skymile awards I would consider those. Use PWM if elite points matter to you because one of the final perks is elite status and upgrades. Lastly, collect points that have value over time rather than $kyRubles!  – 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.

5 Comments

  1. I burned pretty much my remaining balance this month for (2) rt ORD-JFK-FCO-JFK-ORD tickets for next year in Business on DL/AZ. I originally had non-stop ORD-FCO in AA first class on the old 777-200 but cancelled that when the Delta options came up for 62,500 each way. I have a lot more confidence i’ll be able to use the AA miles in the future than i do in the Delta miles. Using them for partner to Europe or Australia are pretty much the only ways to get real value these days. And as many bloggers have remarked, anything of value in skymiles is probably in the crosshairs.

    I’m keeping 60,000 just as an emergency stash but i’m making zero effort to accumulate skyrubles.

  2. Don in ATL Reply

    Good post, Rene. Call me a naive optimist, but I continue to believe that all this adverse national publicity WILL have an effect on DL. I mean it did on the state of Indiana and gay rights as well as SC and the Confederate flag flying at the capital. So keep blogging, keep telling the truth, and encourage your fellow bloggers to do so too. Thanks.

  3. Captain Kirk Reply

    Perhaps you should call them SkyDongs. Not only is the Vietnamese Dong the least valuable currency, the term SkyDongs will almost certainly be misunderstood but sounds so funny how can one not laugh at it?!

  4. Rene, Jed Clampett, the patriarch of the Beverly Hillbillies, had a saying that seems apropos to how I feel about delta gutting the skymiles, aka skypesos, aka skyrubles program while raking in record profits: “Pitiful. Just pitiful.”

    A really valuable enhancement that delta could add to its program is to offer therapy and counseling sessions as one of the choice benefits for formerly loyal delta flyers who are now struggling with bouts of depression. Not holding my breath on that one.

    I’m looking forward to your presentation at the Chicago Seminars. Good luck.

  5. A good article. When things turn south -as they inevitably do from time to time in all industries- for Delta, it’ll be interesting to see if they change their tune. Delta induced me to blow my last big chunk of Skymiles for a trip to Bali next month with my wife.
    Your article got me thinking: what would it take to bring me back to them? I have a short list, but given your knowledge, I’d like to see what you think.
    1. Return of award charts
    2. Distance flown earnings reinstated
    3. 3 award levels
    4. Stopovers permitted
    5. Truly good consistent low level availability to gateway cities
    6. Some additional sizeable bonus for using a Skymiles AMEX
    Anyway, that’s pretty much my absolute minimum that I’d consider to come back to Skymiles. Anyone else?

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