Delta is not being shy about the fact that loyalty means nothing in 2016. The promises of the past years about “more 1st class upgrades” is now just a joke and an insulting one at that. The top folks in leadership have told us they will sell 1st class cheap and that is just what is happening and it truly is a race to the bottom to ensure you, no matter what your elite class, will NOT score a “free” loyalty medallion upgrade.
Notice the tweet from RenésPoints Twitter follower Eric. Last night when he checked a round trip ticket that he has coming up from Atlanta to Los Angeles and back, booked in L & Q class (cheap coach fares) I am told, the price to upgrade to 1st class was $210. Yet when he logged in today the price had DROPPED by almost $100. He said, “AMAZING!!!” I say NAUSEATING as a Diamond and a loyal-ish Delta flyer.
For years elites a.k.a. business flyers mostly have tolerated and not really cared all that much about the destruction of the SkyMiles program because all they really cared about were upgrades flying each week. As you can see, soon those will be completely gone at these kinds of prices. Why do I say that? Notice the simple math with help from our friends at CWSI.net
The first screen shot shows the MQMs Eric would have earned in coach class and the next the upgraded 1st class MQMs earned for the trip (ignore the SkyMiles in the charts they are based on the OLD system). For $113 he is not only flying in 1st class with better drinks and food provided but also picking up almost 2,000 more elite MQM points to keep his status for the next year. That works out to just 5.8CPM or cents per mile to “buy” if you will the MQMs. That is an AMAZING price for elite points.
All this boils down to the simple question at what point is it just not worth it anymore, that is, loyalty and elite status. I have given up on hotel status this year and I know for a fact many have given up on Delta loyalty this year and are going “free agent” (see MJ on Travel for example). When you see numbers like this, I can see why. Delta is both making it hard to not pay for an upgrade and at the same time making it cheaper than ever to earn or keep your top elite status (confusing right). So are the other Medallion perks worth it when upgrades are gone and SkyMiles are all but worthless? You tell me! – René