How do we turn this spin cycle off?
Picture your favorite vending machine. For years you’ve put the dollar in the slot, and out has popped your favorite treat. Now imagine walking up again tomorrow, and watching the machine take your dollar, and then hand you a crumb, rather than the treat you’ve long enjoyed. No one warned you, no one emailed you about it, and all you get is a crumb. That’s basically the value proposition of the Delta Skymiles loyalty program. Delta is an extremely well oiled and funded machine, with an incredible knack for exchanging customer dollars for Skymiles they choose to devalue unilaterally at will. Here’s the story on the latest edition…
Not long ago, like within the last six years business class from U.S. cities to Europe was 100,000 miles round trip. With the emergence of generous bonuses for Delta Skymiles American Express Credit Card’s, Delta raised the prices for business class to 125,000 miles. Then it was 140,000. Then it was 150,000 for partners, and (maybe) still 140,000 for some Delta flights. The kicker? They never told you if they were changing the rates, when they were going to do so, or in fact that they actually had. They just did it, and now – they continue to do it. And as of yesterday, they’ve done it again. Delta now charges 164,000 miles round trip for business class, and if you were about to cash in today at the 140,000 rate of yesterday, you’re SOL. We’ll let you Google that acronym.
At least for the time being, (far superior) Virgin Atlantic flights to London are bookable for 150,000 Skymiles round trip on select dates. If you’re flying on Delta metal to another city, you’ll be faced with the new 164,000 round trip pricing. But why bother using Delta’s loyalty program at all? As referenced by Gary Leff, Delta flights are still bookable for as few as 113,000 FlyingBlue miles round trip in business, or just 58,500 one way. Flying Blue is the loyalty program of Air France and KLM, and Delta flights are easily bookable online at far better rates, plus – you can convert Amex, Citi, Chase or SPG Points, which makes them easier to earn.