Rut Roh: Delta Goes To A Revenue-Based Frequent Flyer Program

I looked away from the Internet for a few hours this evening before making one quick glance at it just now.  When my gaze returned, I discovered that the sky is falling over in Atlanta.

Inside Flyer is reporting that Delta will be switching to a revenue-based frequent flier program in 2015, joining its illustrious peer group of Southwest, JetBlue, and Virgin America.

The key takeaways from the article are:

  • Tiered points earning (based on spend) depending on elite status
  • A new 5 tier fixed-price (rather than revenue) award chart:  The 25k mile domestic roundtrip third-rail of many US frequent flyer programs may live for the time being…if you can manage to find “low” availability.
  • Delta is making implausible claims that “these changes will improve overall availability at the lowest award levels, i.e. the 25,000 miles domestic roundtrip.”  Umm… No.  Credit card companies buying frequent flier miles by the supertanker and increased load factors have made these awards scarce.

As American and United might be quick to join this bloodbath, I’m thankful I just applied for an Avianca credit card last night…

Update: has convenient charts!

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