Everything begins January 1, 2015 on Delta marketed flights with DL code and 006 tickets.
Medallion Qualification - Same as 2014.
MQM or MQS stays at the qualification criteria for all members except US based where MQD is added.
Rollover MQMs to stay.
Current benefits to stay...? Remains unclear until the benefits are published for the following year.
Miles don't expire
Credit Card miles earning remains unchanged. Depending on the card you hold you may earn up to 2 miles/$1. Until the new award rates are out it remains as mystery on whether using a Delta credit card is better or worse.
Partner flights will earn on a percentage of distance flown and fare class paid...? Remains unclear until more information is out.
All fares paid by other currency will be converted to USD based on IATA 5-day currency exchange rate at the time of ticketing. Then apply the same rate listed above.
Existing miles to stay with no changes.
Miles + Cash are AWARD tickets. Medallions can get free upgrades.
No blackout dates on Delta flights...? No blackout dates on DL-operated flights as per the FAQ.
More award seat availability...?
Five award levels
Miles + Cash offer available
One-way awards at half of round trip rate
New award calendar
Delta Becomes the Industry’s Canary in a Coal Mine
It’s been three years since rumors first began leaking out of Atlanta that Delta was considering modifying their popular SkyMiles frequent flyer program from a “mileage-based” program to a “revenue-based” program. (“Popular?” you might ask, but what else would you call a program with 90 million members?) Over the three years, the topic leaked from internal communications and front-end employees and was blogged about from countless points of view. Although the topic was news for many, for Delta, this was not a new development.
It was in December 2002 that Delta sent its SkyMiles Medallion members a letter outlining the program’s revised qualifications for earning elite status. The letter stated that beginning January 2003, the program would “… better align loyalty benefits and rewards with the fares customers pay.” Again, this missive was sent to members in 2002. So it has been a long journey for SkyMiles that will culminate on Jan. 1, 2015, when the recently announced changes to the program will begin.
Last edited by Randy Petersen; Feb 26, 14 at 12:08 am.
Programs: DYKWIA Extraordinaire. TrollSlayer Mega Diamond. [insert esoteric sounding status level(s) here]
Originally Posted by Randy Petersen
Adds one-way awards, miles + cash and a whole new award chart with up to five tiers.
DL appears to have convinced some in the media that the narrative is about "fixing" the overrewarding problem... but it's really reducing overall miles provided. Wonder why reporters given the pre-embargo scoop didn't think about this.
Let's think about it this way, you now reward at a fixed rate, dis-incentivizing Mileage Runs and rewarding your business travelers *more* than before (theoretically). That should be a win for all, right?
What DL is doing increases the miles earned for short haul and dramatically reduces for long haul travel in Y (and J, in some markets I would assume).
ATL -> LHR
4,210 miles each way
DM @ 125% bonus earns 9,472 miles each way.
To earn that many miles in the new program, base fare + YQ must be at least $861 to net the same number of miles (@ 11 miles / dollar)... factoring in taxes you are looking at a ~$2,000 RT fare.
ATL -> MCO 500 miles each way
DM @ 125% bonus earns 1,125 miles each way.
To earn that many miles in the new program, base fare + YQ must be at least $102 to net the same number of miles (@ 11 miles / dollar)... factoring in taxes you are looking at a ~$250 RT fare.
ATL -> DXB
7,599 miles each way
DM @ 125% bonus earns 17,098 miles each way.
To earn that many miles in the new program, base fare + YQ must be at least $1,555 to net the same number of miles (@ 11 miles / dollar)... factoring in taxes you are looking at a $3,500+ RT fare.
My bigger question is whether Medallion qualification will also be based on the spend points system rather than mileage. It's not really addressed in the articles. Personally, as someone who only redeems coach award tickets, I don't have a big problem with the new award system as it will likely be simpler and more transparent. Yeah, I understand you BE award redeemers are probably not going to like it.
Programs: AA EXP, AS MVPG, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat
The InsideFlyer article is surprisingly short on detail. I'm halfway through and still wondering what, exactly, has changed. We'll see if it improves. I'm going to switch to WSJ coverage and come back to finish.