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Business Travel Travel Industry

SkyMiles Won’t be Going as Far

Delta_Skymiles_membership_cardWith Delta’s recent changes to the SkyMiles program, it seems our miles won’t be worth as much as they used to be beginning next year. Though some smaller carriers have implemented similar programs, according to Fox News, Delta is the “first of the big three U.S. carriers to adopt a ‘supply and demand’ program over its current fixed miles system.”

As a frequent business and leisure traveler, I find this disappointing. My SkyMiles are usually used for my husband’s annual fishing trip to Alaska and I hope this routing will not be affected by the change. Because the major carriers seem to follow trends, if you have plans to redeem SkyMiles, or any miles earned on other airlines, you may want to do so soon.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Delta and United Change Loyalty Programs: What does that mean for the business traveler?

Screen-Shot-2014-02-26-at-8_13_48-AMWhen Delta and United announced their 2015 loyalty program changes, I don’t think anyone was surprised. But if, like me, you travel just enough to feel like a frequent flyer but not enough to actually gain status with any one airline, you might be interested to learn that travelers with loyalty status actually pay 15% to 20% more than those without status, according to data collected over a two-year period by CWT Solutions.

Traveling, it seems, is not as fun or as glamorous as it was 30 years ago, so it makes perfect sense that travelers prefer to stick with one carrier because of the benefits offered to make travel more tolerable and productive—especially if you are a road-warrior type business traveler. Those complimentary upgrades, priority boarding, and waived baggage fees definitely improve a traveler’s experience and state of mind!

Travel managers should be aware, however, and educate themselves on the 2015 changes in store. These two loyalty programs (Delta’s and United’s) are switching from miles traveled to ticket price paid. This may cause some travelers to consider other ways to ensure continuance of benefits they have become accustom.

These following articles explain in detail (including comments from travelers) how these 2015 loyalty program changes will affect travel managers, travelers, and eventually a company’s bottom line:

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Delta Airlines Announces Changes to Elite Frequent Flyer Program

skymiles_loyalty_headerDelta Airlines is adding a spend requirement to its SkyMiles Medallion Program for U.S. resident frequent flyers. The newly announced Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) Program will take effect in 2014. Travelers will be required to meet both the mileage or segment requirement and spend a minimum dollar amount on tickets during the year in order to attain elite status for 2015.

The new plan requires Medallion status to be earned in the following way:

MEDALLION QUALIFICATION

  • 25,000 MQMs* or 30 MQSs** achieves Silver Medallion status.
  • 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs achieves Gold Medallion status.
  • 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs achieves Platinum Medallion status.
  • 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs achieves Diamond Medallion status.

Travelers with a U.S. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express will have the new MQDs requirement waived each year they make $25,000 in eligible purchases using their card.

Although the program has been received with mixed reviews, Delta is the only airline that offers program benefits such as unlimited complimentary domestic upgrades, including award tickets and no mileage expiration.

Click here for additional details about Delta SkyMiles Medallion program.

*MQM: Medallion Qualification Miles

**MQS: Medallion Qualification Segments