I’m tempted to do a case study on Delta.
After some thought, I have to say I actually support Delta’s switch to a revenue-based award system. Note my careful wording..
Currently, members in Delta’s SkyMiles program accrue mileage based on in-seat miles flown. These miles count toward Medallion status (read: shiny elite status cards) and award flights.
Under the new 2015 system, members will receive award flight credits based on price per mile flown. Members will continue to achieve Medallion status through in-seat miles flown.
Why do I support Delta’s move, then? The simple answer is that it makes them a financially stronger airline, and it doesn’t affect my Medallion status nor does it affect my ability to redeem miles towards earned flights (more on this later).
The long answer..
Under the old program, all members of the SkyMiles program earned award/elite status miles equally irregardless of price paid. Such a system is very favorable to non-business travelers who plan their travels ahead of time. The new program captures last-minute business travelers who will be more than willing to pay, say, $2,500 for a next-day departure from JFK-LHR. How? Because.. before, the traveller would receive about 3,500 SkyMiles (not accounting for Elite status bonuses). With the new program, the same person (again, assuming no elite status) would receive 3,500 status miles and nearly 12,500 award miles ($2,500 x 5)!
Last-minute business travellers—the mainstay of the airline business—will be more inclined to fly with an airline who awards flights based off of money spent.. simply because they spend more. This move will definitely help Delta entice high-value customers.. but it could also encourage low-level loyalty. To what extent will be determined once Delta releases their new award charts.
I feel like I’m a lone aviation blogger now tbh
Basically my plan for spring break is to be wasted on that little beach in front of Princess Juliana Airport and watch planes land.
Just saw an E-3 Sentry pulling out of Puget Sound. So happy to say I’ve now seen a 707 derivative in flight! Beautiful smoke trail..