I enjoyed reading Delta Points‘ and View From the Wing’s differing takes on SkyMiles this morning. Delta Points likes Delta and is willing to do the things one needs to do to make SkyMiles work for him and I’ve learned a lot from his blog. Gary doesn’t much care for SkyMiles, and I understand his differing take as well. The list of reasons why I fly Delta has been reviewed here before, but for discussion’s sake, let’s take a look at a few of those reasons.

  • I live in Atlanta
  • Delta runs a very good airline
  • The overwhelming majority of my work flights are contractually obligated to Delta
  • When I add work and personal travel together, along with MQM earning card products, I am able to attain and maintain a comfortable level of elite status that works for me
  • I like flying Delta, really

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any specifically positive notions about SkyMiles on the redeemable miles side. The program is what it is — it is not as lucrative as just about every other loyalty program on the planet. I’ve accepted it and stopped worrying about it. I’m a happier person now. The Medallion elite part of the program is pretty good to me, but that’s because I’m primarily a domestic flyer. If the day comes that I fly a lot less than I do, there is no way in heck I would not credit my Delta flights to MileagePlan. Until then, I’ll keep doing what I do, because overall it works for me. I have a healthy cache of other mileage currencies that will meet my foreseeable needs, and let’s not forget that I burned 245,000 SkyMiles this year too.

I posted yesterday that I did not find Delta’s recent mileage increases all that out of line, and upon further look, I continue to believe that. Of course, I say that making a big assumption that one can actually find a saver inventory seat from time to time. (I did yesterday, by the way, but it is a short haul flight for my mother. 🙂 ) What I found particularly distasteful about yesterday’s announcement was that it was effective immediately. Apparently some lawyer at Delta has made a legal connection that no other airline in America has – that a little notice of an award price increase is tantamount to signaling pricing changes. I’m not an attorney and do everything I possibly can to avoid ever speaking to one (I’m kidding a tiny bit), but all I can say is… that’s an interesting theory. I’d love to actually hear it explained by that attorney.

From my perspective, I think it says a lot about how Delta views the future of SkyMiles. Whether paying your fare with cash or with points……it’s all revenue, and a revenue-based SkyMiles program, already partially in place since the advent of 3-tier awards, is coming soon to an airline near you. I say just do it already.

-MJ, November 9, 2013