I’ve written a handful of posts about Delta SkyMiles in the days since the award charts disappeared. Most recently, I promised I was almost all talked out when it comes to SkyMiles and #AwardChartGate. So here we are at my last words on the topic of disappearing award charts and the path that Delta is taking SkyMiles until, of course, they actually say something about where the program is headed. I don’t wish to debate the merits of mileage- vs. revenue-based programs, though you’re of course welcome to do so in comments. What I really wish to do here is offer some unsolicited advice to Delta Air Lines. Yes, I know, they are just beside themselves waiting to hear from me.
First, I think it’s a safe bet that SkyMiles 2015 is here to stay. We’ve seen what earning looks like with the revenue model. As for burning, I think SkyMiles went revenue-based the day they went to a three-tier (later five-tier) award chart, but I digress. I know it’s not quite the same. Assuming Delta is about to foist a purely revenue-based burn model on us, my best advice to Delta Air Lines is this – be honest and upfront about it. I don’t get how anyone thinks it’s possible to keep secrets in airline pricing land anymore, so just say what you’re doing and stop the obfuscation. If you weren’t ready to go all the way, you should have left the award chart in place. Once you’ve settled on what you want the program to be, then tell everyone. Yes, communicate! Communication is something that seems sorely lacking from SkyMiles of late.
I suppose my “if I were Delta” moment could be summed in one simple phrase – tell the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts, some may not want to hear it. However, if Delta has decided to “go there” when it comes to SkyMiles, then telling the truth is the best advice I can give. All the half measures followed by the silent treatment are not working.
-MJ, February 16, 2015