Last night, DeltaPoints posted that he had heard from a Delta representative on the issue of Delta.com producing higher prices for award travel when checking “I Am Traveling” on the website. Further, the company made an announcement on FlyerTalk too. The gist of the announcement: they identified the error that was causing awards to price higher and corrected it. According to the SkyMiles representative on FlyerTalk, “This was never an effort to generate higher pricing for Medallion members versus other customers. We are currently working to identify impacted bookings to refund the overcharge of miles. We apologize for any inconvenience or angst this issue may have caused.” While I know many disagree with me (and maybe you will all prove me wrong at some point), I never thought this was intentional. Further, it’s a good thing that Delta is refunding miles to members who were overcharged. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)
I’d say all’s well that ends well, but I don’t think this is the end. You already know that I am not necessarily opposed to “revenue-based” programs. What I am opposed to is a lack of transparency and communication when it comes to changes in loyalty programs that impact frequent fliers, be they big spenders, miles enthusiasts, or some combination of both. I know things like trust and goodwill are hard for an accountant to quantify, but I think it might be time for someone at Delta to give it the old college try.
Loyalty at a crossroads, indeed.
-MJ, February 26, 2015