Skymiles Program Changes Coming 9/14?

Old Sep 5, 2023, 12:45 pm
  #1  
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Skymiles Program Changes Coming 9/14?


Spotted this on r/Delta - who knows if there's any validity behind it, though it certainly wouldn't be surprising to see DL move to a more revenue based program ala AA's Loyalty Points. As someone who hits PM off of long, mostly inexpensive flights, and the MQD waiver, I can't think that any changes would be a good thing for me, but guess we'll just have to see what (if anything) is up.

FWIW, the equivalent of PM on AA (Platinum Pro) is ~$14k in ticket spend assuming you already have the status and spend no money elsewhere in their ecosystem, and UA is $12k and 36 segments or $15k. I hit PM with ~$6k in MQD last year plus the Amex waiver, which probably isn't internally worth 9k to DL.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 12:57 pm
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This matrix took affect this year for 2024

Id really be surprised if they raise beyond this for 2025, but then again, maybe nothing at DL surprises anymore.


Who thinks theyll increase two years consecutively?
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 1:13 pm
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Probably MQD waiver increasing above $25k for GM/PM.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 1:41 pm
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They would be stupid to raise elite levels (apart from perhaps the MQD waiver).

Business travel is still weak (and now that companies have tasted the cost savings combined with Zoom/WebEx/Google gaining broad business acceptance they aren't going to be rushing back to approve a lot of internal travel that was previously permitted.

Leisure demand was pent up but at some point the interest rates will bite and that demand is going to soften.

Plus their labor costs are soaring -- so it would be a boneheaded decision to try and cut down on their loyalty ranks even more than they've already done. That said Delta seems to be making decisions that are driven by the bean counters in contrast to their strong period from 2015 - 2020 when they were willing to spend money to make money and differentiate their brand
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Duke787
They would be stupid to raise elite levels (apart from perhaps the MQD waiver).

Business travel is still weak (and now that companies have tasted the cost savings combined with Zoom/WebEx/Google gaining broad business acceptance they aren't going to be rushing back to approve a lot of internal travel that was previously permitted.

Leisure demand was pent up but at some point the interest rates will bite and that demand is going to soften.

Plus their labor costs are soaring -- so it would be a boneheaded decision to try and cut down on their loyalty ranks even more than they've already done. That said Delta seems to be making decisions that are driven by the bean counters in contrast to their strong period from 2015 - 2020 when they were willing to spend money to make money and differentiate their brand
Everyone is still swimming in MQMs from covid rollover. So just spend $25k on a DL Amex and get PM indefinitely. Way too low a bar.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 1:51 pm
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I can see an increase in the Amex waiver.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by skislc
Spotted this on r/Delta - who knows if there's any validity behind it, though it certainly wouldn't be surprising to see DL move to a more revenue based program ala AA's Loyalty Points. As someone who hits PM off of long, mostly inexpensive flights, and the MQD waiver, I can't think that any changes would be a good thing for me, but guess we'll just have to see what (if anything) is up.
Looking at the Reddit thread, the person who posted the pic says he doesn't have any firsthand knowledge, but has heard the changes are moving to a revenue based elite qualification system. Truth is, with earnings already being revenue based (and DL having been the leader there), and with AA and UA having moved to revenue based elite qualification, it's only a matter of time before DL follows.

Unfortunately this further eliminates any sweet spots in the program, but I will say that in practice, what has been good with AA and UA's programs are that short haul flyers who pay an arm and a leg (and often on the worst equipment) no longer get penalized.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 2:46 pm
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The MQD AmEx waiver has to increase, maybe a sliding scale that FO remains at $25K, GM $35K and PM $50K. This will drive DL's goal of $10 billion annually from AmEx.

MQD thresholds increased for 2024 status and Choice Benefits changed for 2024. UA 1K is 54 PQF and 18,000 PQP or 24,000 PQP, as current DM is 20K MQD. AA is the original that issues credit cards and flys planes as a side hobby. AA's loyalty point program has many loopholes for bonus points to game the system.

Don't forget that student loans resumed this month, as the freewheeling pent up leisure travel has an other headwind, along with a record $1 trillion in credit card balances with 20 year high interest rates.

EDIT:
This is the Reddit link.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by dw
Looking at the Reddit thread, the person who posted the pic says he doesn't have any firsthand knowledge, but has heard the changes are moving to a revenue based elite qualification system. Truth is, with earnings already being revenue based (and DL having been the leader there), and with AA and UA having moved to revenue based elite qualification, it's only a matter of time before DL follows.

Unfortunately this further eliminates any sweet spots in the program, but I will say that in practice, what has been good with AA and UA's programs are that short haul flyers who pay an arm and a leg (and often on the worst equipment) no longer get penalized.
This is the r/Delta quote from the OP: "I dont know what the changes are but what Ive heard is MQM, MQD, and MQS will be consolidated into one metric, similar to how United just has PQP and AA has LPs."

Here we go with an r/ rumor.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by dw
Looking at the Reddit thread, the person who posted the pic says he doesn't have any firsthand knowledge, but has heard the changes are moving to a revenue based elite qualification system. Truth is, with earnings already being revenue based (and DL having been the leader there), and with AA and UA having moved to revenue based elite qualification, it's only a matter of time before DL follows.

Unfortunately this further eliminates any sweet spots in the program, but I will say that in practice, what has been good with AA and UA's programs are that short haul flyers who pay an arm and a leg (and often on the worst equipment) no longer get penalized.
I guess these customers may finally get what they've always wanted. Sucks if there will be no more sweet spots going forward.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 2:59 pm
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I wonder what theyll do to very heavy Amex spenders ($250k+) who dont fly that much. Currently someone can sit home all year and fly just 5,000 miles and earn DM if they have 2 Reserve cards (business and personal).
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle
I wonder what theyll do to very heavy Amex spenders ($250k+) who dont fly that much. Currently someone can sit home all year and fly just 5,000 miles and earn DM if they have 2 Reserve cards (business and personal).
DL probably loves these members. They provide DL a lot of revenue via the CC spend but consume almost no benefits despite their status. And this isnt that dissimilar to AA where you could spend your way to EXP without setting foot on a plane. And on UA you could hit 1K with enough spend on one ticket (perhaps a full J fare to Australia or something similar).
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 3:38 pm
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I can't imagine DL would be sending out that sort of dramatic communication (man the battlestations!) for a increase in the AMEX waiver. FT's concern about the AMEX waiver has always been outsized. There's this mythical DL customer who spends tons of money on the DL cards but doesn't fly DL and is somehow less of a DL medallion than people who fly all the time.

Moving to one spend-based metric is the logical move and a more significant change. I don't love it, but DL has pretty clearly defined what they want out of their customers.
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 4:00 pm
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Ok, lets think this thru.
in the last month weve heard rumors that:

1.) Plat and Reserve going to limited SC entry.
2.) MQMs going away
3.) Annual fee on Reserve going up
4.) MQD waiver going up to $75k.

can you honestly imagine delta doing all of these in one swoop?
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Old Sep 5, 2023, 4:01 pm
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Originally Posted by steveholt
I can't imagine DL would be sending out that sort of dramatic communication (man the battlestations!) for a increase in the AMEX waiver. FT's concern about the AMEX waiver has always been outsized. There's this mythical DL customer who spends tons of money on the DL cards but doesn't fly DL and is somehow less of a DL medallion than people who fly all the time.

Moving to one spend-based metric is the logical move and a more significant change. I don't love it, but DL has pretty clearly defined what they want out of their customers.
How exactly would this work between flight spend and Amex spend? I am not familiar with AA/UA. As an example, DM is $250k Amex or $20k on flights so any combination of $270k flight/Amex spend?
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