Yesterday, I wrote about the latest change at Delta SkyMiles – removal of all award charts from Delta.com. I entitled that post “It’s Time for SkyMiles to Figure Out What It Wants to Be When it Grows Up.” Another way of saying that might be – “rip the Band-Aid® off” already!!! What do I mean? The evolution of SkyMiles as a loyalty program has been a years long process. Admittedly, the biggest change to date just hit with full force on January 1, but let’s face it, change has been coming to SkyMiles for a while now. A nip here, a tuck there, a big cut over there.
Personally, I believe all of this has been part of a plan to take SkyMiles to a purely revenue-based program, something more like Rapid Rewards than the traditional airline mileage program. I’m not one who religiously believes that one mile flown = one mile earned is the way to reward, and I think the words I’ve shared here on the topic support me on that. At the same time, I think it is incumbent upon any organization, whether they be an airline or a lawn service, to be upfront with its customers. There are legitimate reasons to change business models, business practices, and yes, even loyalty programs. What I don’t understand is why Delta continues to put off what it must see as the inevitable end state of SkyMiles. Every little cut just re-hashes the same bruised feelings and anger among fliers. I really think yesterday was a major event, and many of us are at a crossroads when it comes to loyalty. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)
To Delta, I would say this. If you’ve decided that SkyMiles needs to be purely revenue based, just do it! Get it over with. Rip the bandage off, and let’s all move on. You’re starting to look a little goofy, even to me. Maybe it will work for me, maybe it won’t, but get it over with! Or are you not as convinced as you think you are that you’re doing the right thing?
-MJ, February 7, 2015