Oh, Delta. Dearest Delta. You really are too funny. After so many years of getting away with gutting loyalty, it finally caught up with you this time. Your arrogance in being able to do anything you want and we will take it has hit its limit and you had to backtrack (just a little bit).
So, let’s take a snarky view of these latest changes and even some speculation as to why in the world Delta has decided to do what they did.
- Let’s begin with the spending numbers for status.
Yes, I practically nailed them in my estimates from last week and the only thing I was really wrong about was the timing (by a few days). They are still ridiculously and nauseatingly high for Platinum and Diamond and as we know you can not trust Delta ever again and these (puke) “lower” numbers are just for now and will go up year after year after year. Bank on that (they are)!
- Next up we have Amex.
They must have simply peed their pants when they saw the onslaught of folks dumping cards. They, too late, realized that the 9/14 program would result in not just tons of folks dumping cards but it also eliminated any rational reason to hold more than ONE SINGLE Delta card EVER! Clearly, that is not OK with Amex thus the reason you can now practically “buy” Delta Gold Medallion status for $1600 in card fees per year without ever flying. While, for now, $10,000 in Delta MQD credit sounds amazing for holding 4 cards – remember the paragraph above and your “joy” will be short-lived.
- Then we have Sky Club access (also closely tied to Amex).
Delta, once it had it explained to them by me on the radio in Atlanta, got the fact that with the non-Delta Amex Platinum cards you could burn up 67% of your yearly lounge visits in ONE ROUND TRIP. Once again I am sure Amex got sick of folks dumping $695 fee per year cards when users told them it was not worth holding the card to enter the clubs just once or twice per trip per year. Also, for those fools who over drink when traveling, the new 24 Sky Pub clock rule lets the “pub crawl” live another day (please don’t do this btw)!
- Mileage runs are “back baby”!
I find it hilarious that Delta is giving us, by holding 4 Delta credit cards, 6:1 MQD ratio. Heck as a past runner I was thrilled with 3:1 finds. I mean think on this, you can in 2024 (for 2025) hold 4 cards and fly Delta partners like AeroMexico, Air France, KLM and more in business class and likely only need to spend well under $9000 all-in (including the card fees) to be Diamond for all of 2024 and all of 2025 (yes we will help you do this if you want or you can reach out to our Point.me team for help). Crazy right?
- No backtracking on SkyPennies.
While everyone was YELLING about the 9/14 changes Delta did what Delta does and massively devalued one of the last good values redeeming Delta points (other than for cruise auctions that is). They did not walk this back nor have they ever walked back any of the years of the total obliteration of the award program. Clearly Delta is happy, for now, that their points are worth 1 cent!
- They gave us something we did not ask for and it now motivates many to fly other airlines.
I get why Delta made the changes to the million miler program (to all but match United) because long term travelers clearly were lifetime better off with United’s program for status. They have fixed this now but also removed the reason for many to even try to be 100% loyal to Delta (the old gang not the new kids just getting started). I mean if you are already Diamond as a 3 million miler why push it to always fly Delta when you don’t have to to keep your status?
- The honest question we all need to ask ourselves is ARE THE LEFT OVER CRUMBS WORTH IT?!
I mean seriously? Are you getting upgraded as a Diamond or Platinum (yo yo – C+ does not count)! Are you ever clearing your GUC or RUCs? Do you have to school the Diamond or Platinum reps how to do their jobs? Are you getting PFBs or are the Delta SkyStews hiding up front on most of your flights? Are these same reps following FEBO or how many times do you get “this is what is left over – want it“? How many flights do you get a SAD BOX for your meal? How long are you waiting in line for the Sky Pub to see standing room only and picked over snacks (at least they dumped the canned wine in First — but still serve it in C+ and coach)?! I think you see my point.
- Bottom line is this roll out was a hot mess.
The changes are a hot mess and will not accomplish any of the things they have told us they want for many many years. We can still sport the system and be rewarded for doing so and the chagrin of over spenders with the airline that were going to be “kings” under the 9/14 program. Personally, I am still done chasing Delta elite status and as a 1.5 Million Miler will enjoy my Skyteam Elite Plus status and may, by the time I no longer care about flying, reach 2 million, and have Platinum status for “life” for what that is worth. – René
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