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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.

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Business Travel Travel Industry

How is the new Delta SkyMiles Program different?

As a frequent Delta Air Lines traveler, I wanted to learn more about the new 2015 SkyMiles Program; I was pleased to find out that their already great program will soon become even better.

How is Delta’s new SkyMiles Program different?

Beginning January 1, 2015, miles will be earned based on ticket price to better reward customers who spend more with Delta. In the past, the airline issued points based on miles. Delta has also created more redemption options and increased the number of Award Seats at the lower price points. Just like before, your existing miles and any earned going forward will not expire. Delta SkyMiles credit card members will also continue to earn up to an additional two miles per dollar on Delta purchases with the card.

The best part about the new program? You can redeem award tickets for any Delta flight with NO blackout dates!

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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

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Business Travelers Achieve Delta Silver Medallion with SkyBonus

Looking to achieve a Delta Silver Medallion for 2013?

First, check to see if your company is enrolled in the Delta SkyBonus program, which provides small to medium-sized companies with a way to earn points based on your company’s travel spend with Delta. SkyBonus points can then be redeemed for more than 45 different rewards like tickets, upgrades, Sky Club lounge access, and even a Delta Silver Medallion. It’s the only way to be appointed a Delta Silver Medallion without having to achieve 30 qualification segments or flying 25,000 Medallion Qualification Miles during a calendar year.

And while your company continues to earn Delta SkyBonus points, you, as the traveler, will continue to earn miles with your Delta SkyMiles program. It’s a complete win/win solution!

For more information in enrolling in this Delta Rewards program, please contact an Account Manager at Christopherson Businesss Travel today!

 

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Travel Management Travel News Travel Tips

Delta’s SkyMiles Medallion Status Match Challenge

Are you a top-tier frequent flier?
Have you heard about Delta’s SkyMiles Medallion® Status Match Challenge?
If not, we’d like to share some valuable information about how to leverage your current elite status (on American, United, or Continental) to receive comparable benefits on Delta.
Until June 30, 2012, if frequent fliers meet the outlined criteria, they will receive Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion status from Delta for 90 days, based on their current elite level with another airline. To then maintain those matched Medallion rewards through the remainder of 2012, the flier would then simply need to earn a specific number of qualification miles. The required number of qualification miles is based on the matched Medallion level.
But what are the benefits of doing this?
Well, depending on the Medallion level, members enjoy exclusive privileges such as:

  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades for paid tickets
  • Access to preferred seats and economy comfort seats
  • Priority wait list status
  • Fee waivers for baggage and ticketing charges
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Premium benefits on in-flight food and beverage
  • Lounge access

Plus participating in challenges like this means you don’t have to start at square one in accruing points and miles if you want to switch airlines.
To be considered for this Status Match Challenge, visit Delta.com and submit your information. You can also find more general information on airline status matches here.
 
 

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Travel News

Frequent Flier Buzz – News Under the Radar

In the midst of volcanoes and strikes and demonstrations, you might have missed some interesting developments in the world of frequent flier news this week.
 
United Airlines says “keep your money..” – well, at least some of it.  The airline announced this week that its elite members in its Mileage Plus program will no longer have to suffer the indignity of paying a co-pay fee when using miles to upgrade flights in the continental U.S., Alaska or Canada.
 
Frontier Airlines announced that it will end its mileage program partnership with AirTran.  Due in no small part to the union of Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines under the Frontier name last month, the Frontier-AirTran partnership is scheduled to end on July 16, 2010.
 
Delta Airlines announced that beginning fall 2010 elite members of Delta’s SkyMiles program will enjoy upgrade benefits on Alaska Airlines flights as part of the Delta/Alaska partnership extension.
For more information on each of these revelations, contact your Christopherson Travel Advisor.
 

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Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

SKYMILES to Feature New Diamond Level in 2010

Delta/Northwest is introducing its SkyMiles program that will go into effect in Spring 2010. Most notable changes include plans for one more level of Medallion traveler called Diamond Level bringing the program to a 4-level program for preferred members. Travelers can earn Diamond status by earning 125,000 medallion qualifying miles or by flying 140 qualifying segments within the year. Additional benefits for Diamond level status will include priority for complimentary upgrades, additional system upgrades ,additional Choice benefits and Sky Club membership.
A unique feature that Delta also plans to implement is a rollover program for Medallion miles to help travelers qualify for status in 2011. Currently this is the only frequent flyer program to make this available. Basically , once a traveler has reached a status level, any additional miles accrued during the year, will “rollover “ to the following year to begin the qualifications for the next years’ status.
A gift program called Choice Benefits is another perk proposed under the SkyMiles program. When a Platinum member reaches status, they receive a choice of a bonus gift that can be extra miles, gifting Medallion status to a friend, one day Sky Club passes or Systemwide upgrade certificates. Diamond members will receive 2 gifts once the program is initiated.
For additional information see http://www.delta.com/skymiles/about_skymiles/new_skymiles_program.jsp
Information provided by www.delta.com/skymiles

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Travel Management Travel News

Miles and miles and more miles.

As we are rapidly heading toward the end of the 3rd quarter, many frequent flyers are starting to look at their accounts and are wondering a couple of things about them.
First, on their main account, they are wondering if they will have sufficient mileage to achieve any status, followed by will they have enough to achieve the top tier status. If the answer is No to the first, then it’s a given that it is a No to the second. Why do travelers worry so much about their status? It is really simple, it impacts a wide variety of things that make the roadwarriors life a little easier. For example, most of the US airlines are now setting aside anywhere from 20% to 40% of all seats on a flight for those travelers who have status with that airline. That means that if you are a business traveler booking at the last minute and you don’t have status you either get a middle seat toward the back of the plane or you don’t have a seat assignment at all, which makes you the first person to be denied boarding when the flight is in an oversold mode. Other things that come from having status with an airline, complimentary upgrades on a space available basis and the ability to utilize faster lines at security screenings.
As the year starts winding down and travelers start looking for ways to get to that next tier, we, here at Christopherson Business Travel understand the importance of your status. It makes our job easier when you have status on an airline because then we can access the seats set aside for frequent flyers and it makes your life easier when you fly. Because of this, the agents will make a point of adding your primary carrier’s frequent flyer number to any flights you take on a partner carrier. For example if you generally fly Delta and you are on a Northwest flight, the agent will add your Delta number in the Northwest reservation. Likewise if you are a United frequent flyer and you are flying on US Airways, the agents will put your United number in the reservation.
If you find that you are short by a few miles of making that next level there are a number of options to consider.  One is that you may opt for connecting service instead of nonstop.  This strategy can add anywhere from a couple of hundred miles per trip to a thousand per trip depending on where you are traveling.  The downside is that connecting adds travel time to your trip.  Another strategy is the old standby, a mileage run.  This is where you take one or more low cost trips for the purpose of gaining enough qualifying miles so that you achieve the next tier of status.  I know that this strategy works however I would suggest that this should be the strategy of last resort.  Instead I would suggest checking your carrier’s website and seeing what promotions that they are running and see if any of those get you qualifying miles.  For example, right now Delta has a promotion in conjunction with Hilton Hotels where if you stay two nights, you get qualifying miles plus double miles. https://www.delta.com/skymiles/about_skymiles/skymiles_newsletter/general/index.jsp Or United has a promotion that helps you earn double elite qualifying miles between now and December 15th, 2009. http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1252,00.html?navSource=mppromotions&linkTitle=2air.  Most of these promotions require that you register prior to travel so be sure to read the fine print.
The other mileage related worry is keeping those relatively inactive accounts active.  You know the ones where you used to fly airline X all the time and you have a bunch of miles on them and now you aren’t flying them very often however you don’t want to lose those miles just because that airline has changed their policy to deleting accounts that have been inactive for 18 months or 24 months.  An easy way to keep an account active is to purchase something through one of the partners, be  it a car rental, a hotel stay or music from iTunes.  These all act to keep that account active.
Now is the time to start thinking about the end of the year and how many miles you need to achieve your desired status.