Now please understand I am in no way saying or implying that ANY of the Delta MGT people use illicit substances. However, when you look at the past week’s public statements you just have to wonder what the color of the sky is in the world they live in? #TRUTH
I mean, without going into it I am still totally in shock from the geopolitical insanity of Richard Anderson’s public blunder and his NON- apology (like saying sorry that I offended you but not for what I said). My fellow BoardingArea bloggers have covered this better than I ever could and have shared what I feel about this topic very well.
But I was quoted this week in Bloomberg News as well as in Yahoo Finance and the PR manager of Delta SkyMiles responded to questions about #AwardChartGate in a manner that just about made me fall off my chair.
First from Bloomberg we have:
“Delta believes the move gives customers a more accurate view of prices, said Anthony Black, a spokesman.”
No, Mr. Black, it does not at all show an accurate view of prices, as I showed the other day, that you can end up paying MORE for a ticket with points than cash. Let’s move on to the Yahoo Finance one as it is even more shocking:
“There is a segment of people who rely on award charts, but the overwhelming majority doesn’t look at the charts,” – Anthony Black
Oy. So, because most people don’t use it, that is one reason to hide the award charts that Delta still uses, but no longer publishes. Does that sound remotely sane to you? Let me give you a comparison. Have you ever read all 73,994 pages (as of 2013) of the U.S. federal tax code? Me neither, but I pay taxes each year and I am sure you do to. Would you be OK if they did not publish the tax code and said “just trust us” and we will tell you what to pay?
Yeah, I think the same way as you.
So, I can use a number of ways to access the part of the award charts, sorry, tax code that applies to ME or, worst case, I can hire ADAM for award booking, sorry again, a tax person to consult the tax code to help me not OVER PAY MY TAXES!
Now let’s look at the recent quotes and comments and justifications of the changes and hollow justifications for dumping the award charts:
“Black also pointed to recent positive changes in the SkyMiles frequent flier program. For example, Delta is now making more award space available at the lowest mileage level and allows one-way award seats. Delta’s removal of the award chart hasn’t impacted customers using their rewards for travel, according to Black — there were roughly twice as many award tickets issued in January 2015 than there were during the same period in 2014. In addition, Delta finds that about 90% its of award travelers are looking for domestic, economy class award tickets for 25,000 miles, and it contends that only a small number of its 94 million SkyMiles members were interested in viewing the award chart.” – Yahoo Finance
I will agree, for about a week or two, at the first part of the year, there was slightly better access to LEVEL 1 awards – that seems to have dried up now. I am also not shocked about the higher redemption in 2015 because everyone is terrified about what the next devaluation will be and this is one of the reasons I have worked HARD to book almost 1 million SkyMiles worth of award tickets this year.
As to the last one, I am sure most ARE searching for 25,000 point award tickets, but they can be VERY hard to find. Now if 90% of SkyMiles members are spending their SkyMiles this way then they are doing it wrong. They are MUCH better off not collecting SkyMiles but either Chase Ultimate Rewards® or Barclay’s Arrival Plus or the old Northwest travel card from US Bank FlexPerks points to spend as they will have much better access to domestic awards without frustration.
I could go on and on, but it really is pointless. Delta has just lost it. They are beyond out of touch with reality and what flyers want. Something has to change or I think the departure from Delta will soon be a flood of loyal flyers.
I hope you have a great weekend and be sure to tune in to the Rudy Maxa’s World national radio show just before lunch today (ie 11:45AM) as I continue this discussion with Rudy! – René
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