Saturday, March 1, 2014

We don't need no stinkin' miles!

Apparently hot on the heels of my last entry regarding Elite Status, I get an email from Delta Air Lines regarding changes to their award winning SkyMiles program taking effect in 2015.  Needless to say, I flipped my lid over the changes, and from what I keep hearing from my Delta loyal clients, they did too.  Let me explain, these updates change the very fundamental core of the SkyMiles program, to the point where miles don't matter anymore, at least, no where near the importance they once had, although Delta claim the accrual for Elite members does not change.

As I said above, miles for all Delta flights will now be earned based on ticket price versus actual flown mileage as well as your current SkyMiles status.  So, if you end up paying more for your ticket, you shall be rewarded as such, with up to 75,000 per ticket.  Also, any existing miles, as well as new miles, will not expire.  What irks me is, folks who have the Delta SkyMiles American Express ea more miles per dollar through this,but at least now it only applies to SkyTeam purchases with the card.

Delta says all this came about because of feedback from their most frequent fliers. Upon reading further through the changes, I can believe this claim, what with no blackout dates, supposedly more award seats available, new one-way award possibilities, as well as something borrowed from the likes of Virgin America and jetBlue, the ability to pay with miles AND cash, and comparison shop the three options of payment, like you can with United or Alaska.

After goofing around with the new system for a while and sampling various city pairs, fares, and options, one neat feature is the new award calendar, which will bring up fares and mileage options in a matrix of dates.

As far as earning Medallion Elite status, the requirements stay the same.  So you still need 25,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM's) and $2,500 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD's) to hit Silver Medallion status, 50,000 EQM's and $5,000 for Gold Medallion, and so on and so forth.  For flights purchased in foreign currencies, the currency will be converted to U.S. Dollars based on IATA's 5-day currency exchange rate at time of ticketing.  Then, the same mileage earn rates per USD will occur.

What's not known is how travel on SkyTeam and partner airlines will be accrued.  More details are supposed to come out later on this year.

That is about all I have for now, more news on this as Delta releases it.  But as far as I'm concerned, the days of a cheap mileage run to hit the next level of Status is over.  I myself have already jumped ship and am now giving my loyalty in the sky to American and Virgin America.

No comments:

Post a Comment