Rene penned a piece this morning on using Skiplagged to maximize the value of your SkyMiles. In fairness, he was quite clear that this is NOT the thing to do if you intend to remain a member of the program. In fact, the title of the post was “Can SkipLagged & hidden city ticketing help with Delta awards? YES (but don’t do it)!” (emphasis mine) Having worked for another airline, I can’t count the number of messages I received from corporate security telling me to greet customer X on flight XXX to let them know that they’d been caught using “back to back” or “hidden city” ticketing. And by the way, the one-way walk up fare you’ll need to buy to get home is $800. Deja vu.
That’s neither here nor there. Frankly, today is the first time I’ve ever looked at the SkipLagged website, and an essay on the concept of hidden city or back to back ticketing is not what I’m here for. The thing that really struck me about Rene’s post was how Delta has implemented a revenue-based redemption program without actually saying so. Of course, I’ve long maintained that SkyMiles went revenue-based the day the 3-tier award chart appeared, and only became more so with the 5-tier award chart. Now, there’s no official public award chart, and “the price is the price.”
I did not do the research, but I’d bet an expensive cup of Starbucks that if you priced some flights in the markets researched in Rene’s post, you’d find a rough correlation between the $ fares filed and the price in miles. Just one more thing to think about for a minute on this Tuesday morning. And I don’t think we’re anywhere near the end of change when it comes to SkyMiles or airline loyalty in general.
-MJ, June 16, 2015