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Delta Sends A Warning to Elites Who Abuse Their “Privileges”

Delta Air Lines wants flyers to know waivers and changes are there for flyers’ convenience – not to abuse. At least that’s what it says in a letter purportedly mailed to a Diamond Medallion member requesting that he stop using loopholes or risk revocation of his Medallion status and benefits. And it’s making plenty of frequent fliers plenty nervous.

A letter allegedly sent by Delta Air Lines is asking one flyer not to continually use loopholes in their system, or potentially face revocation of Medallion status and benefits. The letter was published in its complete form on the blog Rene’s Points, after circulating the internet from a private Facebook group.

A Habitual Loophole User?

“This letter is being issued to express our concerns regarding your ticketing practices in the past months” begins the letter that made its way onto the blog Rene’s Points after being posted on a private Facebook Delta Diamond group.

Yikes. His crimes according to Delta? “Trying to use the San Francisco construction waiver to change the length of your itinerary at no charge.” But also, “Quite honestly, your SkyMiles account is heavily documented with the many exceptions to our policies that you ask for and fare rules that you try to get around.”

It’s no secret that airlines and credit cards are attempting to cut down the number of passengers who try to use continued loopholes for their own good. In 2017, American Express formed a “RAT team” to reduce the number of people “gaming” the system for additional points or frequent flyer miles. And earlier this year, United announced additional actions against flyers who were “skiplagging,” or purchasing a ticket to a final destination with the intention of leaving at a connecting city. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Delta Air Lines wants to do the same with their own programs.

A High-Value Customer Desk Abuser?

“You repeatedly call our Reservations and High Value Customer desk to get what you want and if you don’t you hang up and repeatedly call until you get what you want,” continues the letter. “Your manipulative practices are unacceptable and we are sending you this warning letter to caution you that we will not allow it to continue.”

Sound familiar? The strategy of “Hang Up, Call Again” is well used, but there are clear-cut boundaries between convenience and overusing benefits. As the adage goes: “Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered.” So if you are concerned that you might be walking the fine line between taking advantage of benefits and abusing them, it’s always safe to err on the side of caution.

The Potential Consequences

Otherwise, you may receive a letter from Delta about your flying habits. “If you persist in engaging this type of business practice, we will be forced to review your current Medallion benefits as well as your current status,” the letter concludes. “Going forward, we strongly encourage you to conduct yourself in an honest and respectful manner and treat Delta with the respect that we give you [redacted].


What do you think about this letter from Delta? Are you concerned that you may get a letter like this one?


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Comments are Closed.
honest_abe December 2, 2019

Then there are those of us who nicely ask for a one-time accommodation in a frequent stayer program and get turned down flat.

Grog November 29, 2019

Delta stole my "Never in My Lifetime to Expire" miles. They have some real balls publishing letters like these.

MCSBTRAVEL November 27, 2019

Also to add that many people obtain status via credit card offers, etc and do not spend their own money obtaining the level so to say that "frequent flyers represent a huge proportion of their revenue, and that without them they wouldn’t have jobs?" is silly at best

MikeFromTokyo November 22, 2019

I applaud Delta for this letter. I have not been a fan of Delta in recent years, but did love it as a child. Honestly my opinion of the airline went up after reading their response to this person's abuse of the system. I have a contrarian view to some others expressed in this thread. A Frequent Flyer program membership and any status one may have is a privilege and not an entitlement. It is very clear that waivers and other customer friendly policies are intended to be used in good faith. When someone games the system, and manipulates call centre employees into circumventing fare rules, that is tantamount to stealing money from the airline. Furthermore, it is an unnecessary waste of resources to have the airline track down people who abuse the system. It is very clear in the FFP Terms and Conditions of airlines that the membership card, miles, and status technically remain "property" of the airline, and that they can be revoked if the airline determines that a customer is not behaving in good faith and is a repeat offender trying to game the system. We all know that airlines are generally lenient with occasional exceptions to rules. So, if someone is getting a strongly worded cease and desist letter from DL, frankly they must really be a serial abuser of the systems and good fait rules that are in place.

Irpworks November 21, 2019

A loophole is not an item to cheat, it is something not specifically covered. Someone is not cheating when using a loophole. The rule setting party can always change the rules to close the loophole.