My fellow BA blogger from “The Gate” Brian Cohen had a post yesterday, that entertainingly, talked about the fact that many FlyerTalkers did not see Skymiles2015 was “the bloodbath” they were expecting. Now this in itself is a HUGE comment about the new Delta program – members are happy it was NOT as bad as they expected. I ask you, when you buy a new car, TV or anything you value, do you always first say – “Gosh, this does not stink ½ as bad as I thought it would?” Oy!
For me, who is full “game-on” for 2015, in many ways I could not be more happy so far with Skymiles2015. I have worked my two Skymiles redemptions both down to 25k awards. One had horrid times but thanks to schedule change (see E8) got the perfect flights and the other due to space opening up on the days I wanted for my ski trip. I even have booked another mileage run at a great price that lets me visit two Centurion Lounges in a day (don’t see people booking trips to visit $kyPubs).
But what really got my full attention today, and the point of today’s piece, is what should be the most disturbing (to some) results from the FTer in Brian’s post. Did you see what I saw? No? Look again at the chart in Brian’s post. What you will see is, with the routes tested, a BIG jumps in award space for business class award spaces at LEVEL ONE awards. That is good news for those redeeming miles but bad news for paying customers who would like to score a complimentary medallion upgrade.
Now if you couple more low level award space, more elites using upgrade certs (that do work very well) and then as the final icing on the cake Delta’s full court press with FCM or First Class Monetization or selling of upgrades on the app, online sales, upgrade with points, and more and I fully expect that for most flyers 2015 will end up being MUCH lower in yield for complimentary upgrades from Delta.
What this means is every little bit, as I talked about in this rookie post, can mean the difference between scoring that coveted upgrade we all want and sitting in a C+ seat. If you are a Diamond and don’t hold the Delta Reserve card as you don’t think it is worth it – enjoy coach as I sit up front and enjoy the big seat. Oh, and while you are at it, please don’t do things on your own that could sabotage your upgrades! 😉
Don’t think any of this is not exactly how Delta has planned it and played this out beforehand. Tell me, why would Delta offer all these new “perks” of 1st class in C+ seats if they did not expect the bulk of medallions, even Diamonds, to end up in this “cabin” of the aircraft on a regular basis this year. The psychology of being able to say – you got a 1st class “lite” seat and service is a great fall back for the company and should placate most of the herd of medallions.
I look forward to seeing how my upgrade percentage plays out over the next few months of flying as I have some mid-fare class tickets, some low class and some awards – all of them hoping for good upgrade success – it will be interesting to see what happens! – René
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