A friend sent me a link to a really interesting LA Times article. The headline – “Most fliers are unaware of changes to loyalty rewards program – survey says.” The survey, sponsored by Milecards.com found that 67 percent of United fliers and 69 percent of Delta fliers were unaware of any changes to their respective loyalty programs.

“According to the survey, 26% of United fliers who know about the changes said they were less likely to book with the carrier, while 11% said they were more likely and 63% said the changes to the program made no difference.

For Delta fliers, 23% said they were less likely to book on the carrier because of the changes, 16% said they were more likely to book, and the rest said it made no difference, according to the survey.”

Initially, I thought to myself, “you’ve got to be kidding me?! How can anyone not be aware?” Then I snapped back to reality, and the reality is that most people really aren’t as dedicated to their miles as those of us who hang around BoardingArea, Milepoint, and FlyerTalk. I think the airlines are counting on this as they make changes to their programs. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)


That doesn’t mean you have to just take whatever an airline thinks you deserve. There are options, albeit fewer in number than in years past. There are programs out there generally considered to be more rewarding than others – American AAdvantage and Alaska MileagePlan. Domestically, MileagePlan has both American and Delta as a partner. Depending on your needs, you might be better off crediting Delta flights to MileagePlan, even with the reduced earning rates that began on January 1. Do what’s best for you, and sometimes that means breaking up with prior notions of loyalty.

-MJ, March 4, 2015