Delta CEO: Airline Will Scale Back SkyMiles Changes

Delta CEO: Airline Will Scale Back SkyMiles Changes

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Delta recently announced some major changes for loyal flyers, including a complete overhaul of the SkyMiles program, plus new Sky Club access restrictions. Many SkyMiles members aren’t happy about these changes, and it sounds like the airline will act on that frustration.

Delta CEO says airline went too far with SkyMiles changes

Earlier this week, Delta CEO Ed Bastian was interviewed at the Rotary Club of Atlanta. Unsurprisingly (given what a hub Delta has in Atlanta), the topic of SkyMiles changes was brought up. I was expecting that Bastian would just have some canned response about how the changes are good for frequent flyers, but that’s not what he did.

Instead, he gave a surprisingly (mostly) candid answer. Among other things, Bastian stated:

  • “We’re still assessing what we do, but there will be modifications that we will make, and you’ll hear about it sometime over the next few weeks.”
  • “We need to make certain that we can serve our higher tiers with a level of premium experience that you deserve. And it’s gotten to the point, honestly, where we have so much demand for our premium products and services that are far in excess of our ability to serve it effectively.”
  • “In terms of our assets — whether it’s Delta One, whether it’s the Sky Clubs, whether it’s the upgrade certificate, whatever it is — we have grown that population. COVID almost doubled the amount of Diamonds.”
  • “No question, we probably went too far in doing that. Our team wanted to kind of rip the band-aid off, and didn’t want to have to go through this every year. I think we moved too fast. We’re looking at it now.”

You can watch the interview for yourself below, and the topic of Delta’s loyalty changes comes up about 29 minutes in.

I think Delta learned an important lesson here

Sometimes being a consumer in the airline industry is a helpless experience, especially when you feel a sense of loyalty to a company.

So I think it’s refreshing to see an airline acknowledge when it went too far, and overplayed its hand. I’m impressed that Bastian states that “no question, we probably went too far in doing that,” since that’s more acknowledgement than you’ll get from a vast majority of executives.

What I’m curious about is if Delta can fully keep its loyal customer base, or if the damage has already been done here, at least on some level:

  • No matter how you slice it, I think Delta lost a lot of trust with frequent flyer programs with how it announced these changes; the airline wasn’t at all transparent about the reasons for these changes, and tried to frame them as a positive development
  • Even if Delta backtracks on these changes for now, keep in mind that this is eventually the direction that things are headed; Bastian is saying the airline wanted to rip the band-aid off rather than making changes every year
  • I think the reason a lot of frequent flyers are frustrated is because the changes aren’t actually intended to reward loyal customers, but rather are intended to pad Delta’s bottom line (which is fair enough); for example, the new limits of Sky Club access 6-10 times per year impact frequent flyers a lot more than they impact the occasional Delta flyer
  • While I can appreciate the need to manage expectations of customers and deliver on promises, I think it’s clear what the motivation for these changes is, which (understandably) isn’t mentioned by Bastian — it’s to encourage people to spend more on co-branded cards, since the airline is hoping to grow that business to $10 billion in revenue per year

As I’ve said before, I think airline loyalty just isn’t worth it like it used to be. On top of that, I also think Delta overplays how premium of an airline it is, and how much of a competitive advantage it has.

Bottom line

Delta CEO Ed Bastian has made it clear that the airline plans modifications to its SkyMiles changes, and that the company went too far. It’s nice to see an airline backtracking for once, and it clearly reflects just how unpopular these changes were with Delta flyers.

Even if Delta makes modifications, I’d encourage people to still really consider whether loyalty is worth it, since we know which direction things are headed sooner or later.

What do you make about Bastian’s comments on modifications to SkyMiles changes?

Conversations (194)
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  1. iamhere Guest

    Everyone knows that the airlines and hotels are for their bottom line and not really to reward their members. The members just have to get as good of a deal as they can.

  2. E dbl Guest

    I am disappointed and disgusted with the whole approach the amount of miles flown OET customer should weigh highest and be awarded in stead of maxing out credit cards which really does not give loyalty status
    People like me what we do we fly most weekends a year also internationally
    We really should be treated accordingly

  3. Madam Doane Guest

    They full of it. What I heard from a Delta employee is that they wanted to avoid the club house traffic. They claim that the club house traffic was getting ghetto and they made restrictions to reduce traffic. And the worse part of all this changes are how we accumulate points, now you earn points based on how much you spend. That’s stupid greedy to me. Bring back the point system and how to accumulate miles

  4. lumpco1 Guest

    I fly for work. I can pick my carrier for the most part, new system would be easier for me, but harder to atain,
    this year I have had the MDQ for awhile but am struggling with Miles portion this year,. I have had Diamond for a couple of years,
    I really dont want to be in competeition whith AMEX holders, I fly Delta because it has fewer delays, and Great service, but...

    I fly for work. I can pick my carrier for the most part, new system would be easier for me, but harder to atain,
    this year I have had the MDQ for awhile but am struggling with Miles portion this year,. I have had Diamond for a couple of years,
    I really dont want to be in competeition whith AMEX holders, I fly Delta because it has fewer delays, and Great service, but like I say my company pays for my flights,
    I like the Club, this is another reason I choose delta,now i need to use 4 picks for Executive Skyclub membership, I mostly fly alone, so I do not need Executive level.
    You would think I am the guy they would want to keep happy instead of stepping on my buisness. My company prefers a different airlines. so I am going on a limb to fly delta to begin with.
    I will fly delta as long as it diamond level is atainable with out pricing me out

  5. Lee Guest

    The Amex Delta Reserve Card needs a refresh. In the card's current form, it is impotent. Its reward structure needs to catch up to what AA did with its Executive Card. 4X on flights. 10X on hotels booked via its hotel portal. 10X on car rentals booked via its portal.

  6. Raymond Embry Guest

    Makes clear???? You’re being a damn fool. He gave these comments at a random social club meeting. It wasn’t on a major news network. It’s not in an apology letter.

    One set of comments at a lunch in a week is not a clear statement.

  7. RF Diamond

    Oh no, we turned the temperature up too quickly and now too many frogs are jumping out of the pot! Quick, let’s lower the temperature by… 2 degrees. That should fix it.
    – Ed Bastian

  8. Joe Guest

    Every fortune 1000 companies in this position is just telling you the same thing. These changes are going to happen but later and in phases when there are fewer vocal critics.

    1. Lee Guest

      This is true. A friend who is a consultant to Fortune 100 companies says that customer service is dead. Not that he's advocating it. It's what he's seeing. Many customers simply want the cheapest (fill in the blank) and companies are responding with "You want cheap? We'll give you cheap."

  9. Kiwi Guest

    I can't wait for them to tell us its raining when they're actually peeing on us. It'll all be framed as "They're listening to our Feedback" when this was probably the plan all along as ripping off the band aid

  10. Sean S. Guest

    Truthfully I hope that more people get off the status bandwagon and spread out their travel between more companies because competition in the airline industry has been in the doldrums for years now, with loyalty/status being a large culprit of people being willing to tolerate prices/routings/schedules that never made much logical sense. Already Alaska is expanding flights to MSP from Seattle, which is an indicator that there is appetite for competition even to fortress hubs....

    Truthfully I hope that more people get off the status bandwagon and spread out their travel between more companies because competition in the airline industry has been in the doldrums for years now, with loyalty/status being a large culprit of people being willing to tolerate prices/routings/schedules that never made much logical sense. Already Alaska is expanding flights to MSP from Seattle, which is an indicator that there is appetite for competition even to fortress hubs. And again that is something all of us as fliers should want as competition is what keeps flight prices in check and companies working to actually earn our travel dollars.

  11. Ralph4878 Guest

    I wonder if the same people here and on other posts who are b****ing and moaning about how much a giant corporation like Delta doesn't care about them as an individual are the same ones who balk in the comments when @Lucky posts an article about a carrier trying to reduce its carbon footprint? A carrier trying to be kinder to families traveling together? A carrier trying to work with their unions? It's all bs...

    I wonder if the same people here and on other posts who are b****ing and moaning about how much a giant corporation like Delta doesn't care about them as an individual are the same ones who balk in the comments when @Lucky posts an article about a carrier trying to reduce its carbon footprint? A carrier trying to be kinder to families traveling together? A carrier trying to work with their unions? It's all bs when an airline is trying to do something that benefits others, but the second it impacts their individual, precious (and probably paid for by their company or written off as a business expense) perks, suddenly the giant corporation is greedy.

  12. Dave Guest

    I am glad they are acknowledging they went too far but it's a little too late for me. I've been a loyal Delta customer and flown around a million miles since they merged with Northwest in I believe 2008. Since I retired and do not fly as much as I used to, I've stayed up in the frequent flyer program by putting as much spending as possible, usually around 60k, on the Delta AMX Reserve...

    I am glad they are acknowledging they went too far but it's a little too late for me. I've been a loyal Delta customer and flown around a million miles since they merged with Northwest in I believe 2008. Since I retired and do not fly as much as I used to, I've stayed up in the frequent flyer program by putting as much spending as possible, usually around 60k, on the Delta AMX Reserve card. That ended yesterday when I canceled the card. I'll will still largely fly Delta because DTW is my hub and it only makes sense, but not exclusively and using Chase Reserve card and their portal for my travel needs. I know lots of people who are also ditching Delta's cards and Delta as an exclusive carrier. I don't begrudge Delta, they made a business decision and did what they thought was best for them, but so did I and I expect a lot of other people as well.

  13. Lois Banta Guest

    I feel the changes Delta made will NEGATIVELY impact the small business traveler. I have been a LOYAL Delta member since 2000…with over 1.5 million miles flown. MY bottom line isn’t the same as Delta’s or “big business”. I feel it’s time to CONSIDER the impact these changes will have on small business. With the “new model” I would most likely NEVER qualify for Diamond Medallion Status.

    1. Ralph4878 Guest

      At least you get to write off your travel expenses...

    2. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      How "small" of a business are You talking about? I know PLENTY of my small business owner peers that are LOVING some of these changes. They just slap purchase orders on a card and get the highest status and more perks without having to fly. I agree that it's VERY hard if Your not a 500k+ business a year though, those of us "sole proprietors" that basically just earn a middle class living and eeks...

      How "small" of a business are You talking about? I know PLENTY of my small business owner peers that are LOVING some of these changes. They just slap purchase orders on a card and get the highest status and more perks without having to fly. I agree that it's VERY hard if Your not a 500k+ business a year though, those of us "sole proprietors" that basically just earn a middle class living and eeks it out, these DO harm us. I think that Airlines need to have 2 ways to earn status. That way just 1 "class" of people can't game the system. I hope some of the airlines figure this out sooner than later and bi-furcate the earning process.

  14. TehL33tCP Guest

    Agree w the general consensus: it IS nice to hear him honestly say “we messed up;” it is also right there in his words that he/they feel the “mistake” was in being too obvious and quick about it! These changes are still coming, just more slowly. They still value only their bottom line, not your loyalty. They still value big spenders over frequent flyers. Still bailing.

  15. George Romey Guest

    DL took the leap both AA and UA want to do. Push up elite requirements and skew benefits massively in favor of very high cc spend. It didn't work out but don't think this won't eventually happen.

  16. Joe Guest

    The damage is done. Delta has shown their hand: They are ultimately more interested in being a bank than an airline. And, perhaps, you can't blame them for that. But they lost a lot of goodwill by laying that strategy so bare.

  17. Tim Dunn Diamond

    I have to smile if not laugh at the fixation that some have on me.
    What can't be denied is that Delta is an extraordinarily well-run company that is first and foremost a for-profit company. Ben recognizes that.

    Well-run for-profit companies do not give away more of their product than is necessary. Airline loyalty programs have been the most successful of their type but teeter on being too unsuccessful.

    Delta did not invent the...

    I have to smile if not laugh at the fixation that some have on me.
    What can't be denied is that Delta is an extraordinarily well-run company that is first and foremost a for-profit company. Ben recognizes that.

    Well-run for-profit companies do not give away more of their product than is necessary. Airline loyalty programs have been the most successful of their type but teeter on being too unsuccessful.

    Delta did not invent the airline loyalty program or credit card partnerships but has perfect it FOR ITS BENEFIT as evidenced by Skymiles' and Amex' industry-leading revenue contribution to Delta's bottom line.

    Delta is simply not going to risk stopping the growth of those sources of revenue.
    Delta's moves to pull up elite qualification levels are far from the first move and other airlines have done the same.
    Delta is not immune to public backlash and there has been no shortage of that since Delta announced its SM changes two weeks ago.
    Like their position on offering discounts to the NRA, Delta backtracked. Not because Delta execs changed its mind but because they wanted to reduce the heat and light associated w/ their comments.

    Delta is not backing off of its intent to make elite qualification tougher and they can afford to lead the industry in doing so because their network is stronger in the largest premium travel markets than it has ever been. And Delta's product, including its reliability is heads and shoulders better than its competitors. Every traveler, but esp. business travelers, are willing to pay for premium services and Delta gets those premiums better than any other company.

    People on other sites get it far better than many of the commenters here:
    Delta is a for-profit company
    They use their loyalty program to supplement their ability to gain and retain premium business revenues.
    Delta is not going to fundamentally change its march toward higher elite standards and, with it, a more premium product for which some passengers are willing to pay a premium.

    Buy the product from the providers you want.
    Don't chase loyalty programs or status but view it as icing on the cake of a relationship with a company you enjoy doing business with.
    Don't be surprised when other airlines copy the moves that Delta initiated even if they take longer to get to where Delta tried to go in its latest announcement.
    Delta is not immune from negative feedback but it is not going to do anything that doesn't benefit its bottom line.

    1. Mark Guest

      Believe it or not, I agree with these points.

      You lose me when all of the irrelevant data is thrown in, but I’m here for this one.

    2. ZTravel Gold

      Not to state the obvious but we have a choice when it comes to flying. Delta simply told us, we don’t care if you fly us, just spend on our CC. Removing MQM is the biggest problem here (let alone useless skypesos).

      You can be a profitable business without being too arrogant. Delta just screwed up an addicted customer base. I think many will be over this addiction and will fly much cheaper and better...

      Not to state the obvious but we have a choice when it comes to flying. Delta simply told us, we don’t care if you fly us, just spend on our CC. Removing MQM is the biggest problem here (let alone useless skypesos).

      You can be a profitable business without being too arrogant. Delta just screwed up an addicted customer base. I think many will be over this addiction and will fly much cheaper and better premium products (internationally).

      Being a Diamond ever since they introduced the tier, with 2MM and about $50k a yr, I’m never going back to Delta unless they bring leadership that has a proven track of delivering excellent customer service. If I’m going to continue to spend $ on delta, I want Emirates/Singapore like experience. Otherwise with constant ongoing devaluation - we are done!

    3. Lara S. Guest

      I agree with 90% of this except the part where you say Delta has a premium product aka the best one- they don't. They used to, now they don't. If they did they'd lead the way in better, newer, innovative business class seats, or, better, newer, posher lounges or anything that benefits business class travelers aka the big spenders they love. Even their customer service has had issues even at the top tiers.

  18. ExDeltaLoyalist Guest

    In my eyes the damage is done. Delta cheated on us but they are sorry and want us back but in an open relationship. They may roll back the changes to some degree but that doesn't mean it won't eventually get to the original change points. In my mind Delta need to vastly improve their hard and soft products if they want to command the higher spending requirements. Only then can it be justified. Unless...

    In my eyes the damage is done. Delta cheated on us but they are sorry and want us back but in an open relationship. They may roll back the changes to some degree but that doesn't mean it won't eventually get to the original change points. In my mind Delta need to vastly improve their hard and soft products if they want to command the higher spending requirements. Only then can it be justified. Unless they drastically change their plans I'm still weighing up a new Credit Card and whether or not to be Airline agnostic. Regardless, I don't see myself continuing with my investment into Delta at this point as the trust is gone.

  19. Leigh Guest

    Tim Dunn is no Warren Buffet or Charlie Munger.

    Just ignore him and his childish ego.

    1. Leigh Guest

      And yes, I have been lucky to know Charlie…Warren’s investment partner. They would not give him a second of time.

  20. D3kingg Guest

    If you want something you pay for
    It.

    What I really don’t get since the early 2000’s is the upgrade lists of 35 people on every flight with 1 seat available in First class on a 737. What is the point ?

  21. Loyalty Works Both Ways Guest

    I can just imagine the announcements on the future Delta flights I won’t be on. “We appreciate your loyalty.” No, you don’t. “You are the best part of Delta.” Not anymore. “We look forward to seeing you on a future Delta flight.” You won’t. “We know you have a choice in air travel..” Exactly.

  22. Mike Guest

    Yeah… I’d say 99% of you missed the only critical part of that interview: “we made the changes TOO QUICKLY”. And they got caught. The adjustment he is talking about are to make all the same changes, but slow enough that people don’t freak out.

    1. TheBestBlackBrent Diamond

      Spot on.
      They won't be scaling back anything, the blog post is way too gullible and I would not believe a thing Sneaker Ed says.

    2. Joe Guest

      Read: "we should have been more surreptitious about these changes and our intentions."

  23. TheBestBlackBrent Diamond

    Good to see Tim Dunn, eehm Ed Bastian, had a public change of heart after the comments on here!

  24. Brianair Guest

    Ah yes. More material for Tim Dunn to feast on. I have to say it's given me a good laugh reading the comment section of any thread about Delta.

    1. Sara Smith Guest

      I think it's frankly unbelievable anyone would let someone forum slide like that.

      I'd like to hear from other people than Delta PR shills. I'm highly confident the people talking about the forum sliding account are, in fact, that same forum slider drawing attention to itself.

  25. jdink Member

    “Went too far” says it all! Time to look for a new home!

  26. CK Guest

    I have been a loyal Delta flyer since moving to the USA 34 years ago! Although retired now, I have been at the Platinum FF level for several years prior. I have maintained a Platinum Amex card (with its high annual fee) for many years - reaching the $25K bonus recently. NOW - it is not worth it and I immediately started using a 2% back alternate card. Disappointed and Disillusioned with Delta!

  27. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The US DOT just issued its August Air Travel Consumer Report which contains a number of data items through the month of June 2023.

    Those who argued that I was off base for saying that Delta was in the best position in the largest corporate travel markets. Here are just a few items that highlight how strong Delta is relative to its competitors:
    1. Delta is 20% larger than United in the NYC market...

    The US DOT just issued its August Air Travel Consumer Report which contains a number of data items through the month of June 2023.

    Those who argued that I was off base for saying that Delta was in the best position in the largest corporate travel markets. Here are just a few items that highlight how strong Delta is relative to its competitors:
    1. Delta is 20% larger than United in the NYC market based on the number of flights operated by mainline and their regional partners. Given that United attempted to operate a schedule that reduced its on-time percentage at Newark to less than 60% - more than 10% less than Delta recorded for its hubs at LGA and JFK combined - United has had to cut its capacity in New York even further.
    2. Delta's system on-time percentage on a system basis is still the best in the country on a year to date basis. Delta's on-time percentage in its hubs was 10 points OR MORE better than most other large airlines in their hubs.
    3. Denver was one of the most surprisingly poor performers at less than 60% on-time even as United and Southwest are committed to growing even further. Delta's SLC hub a few hundred miles away had an on-time percentage 15 points higher. All of the talk from UA about building its network to connect more passengers is meaningless when UA comes in last place among the big 4.
    4. In major city after major city, Delta's on-time was better than every other carrier. DL outperformed Alaska in AS' hometown hub of SEA.
    5. Delta operated more flights in Boston than JetBlue, perhaps for the first time since B6 built its hub there.

    In baggage handling, cancelled flights and involuntary denied boarding, Delta performed at the top of its largest peers and often the entire industry.

    As much as some people want to argue otherwise, Delta is in the best position ever not just from a product standpoint - which most certainly highlights why they were able to aggressively increase requirements for elite status. Premium passengers pay for high quality service and Delta delivers it.

    Delta's network and product quality is bringing new premium revenue onto Delta's network.

    As much as some people think that they can take their business to other airlines, they will pay a price for doing so.

    There will be further cuts by other airlines but premium travel still flies Delta more than on any other airline.

    1. Chris- Member

      Far out that's a lot of words to say literally nothing related to the topic of DL promising to walk back changes announced just a week ago.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      well, yes it is.

      Delta raised the threshold for elite benefits because it is delivering a much higher quality product across a much larger network in the highest corporate travel markets in the US and world.

      When a company is in that position, they can reduce the amount of product they give away to retain customers because they are attracting many more premium fare paying passengers who are willing to pay more for what they sell.

    3. Chris- Member

      Neat. That's still not relevant to walking back the decision "to reduce the amount of product they give away."

      If the CEO's comments are sincere, it's an about-face from DL that was clearly prompted by something. As you like to point out, it's a for-profit business, not a charity, so the about-face is driven by money. I guess Delta couldn't be as brazen and unapologetic as you said they could. Or are you just planning...

      Neat. That's still not relevant to walking back the decision "to reduce the amount of product they give away."

      If the CEO's comments are sincere, it's an about-face from DL that was clearly prompted by something. As you like to point out, it's a for-profit business, not a charity, so the about-face is driven by money. I guess Delta couldn't be as brazen and unapologetic as you said they could. Or are you just planning to ignore that just a week ago you were defending tooth and nail the extent of the changes you also now admit as having gone "too far"?

      If it's insincere, then the CEO was literally just talking sh*t, so let's assume it's not that.

    4. AD Diamond

      @Tim, DL raised their thresholds because, according to Delta, they have too many elites and, according to Delta, they want to drive their credit card spending, not because, according delta, they have a superior product.

      And, while I agree that they have a marginally better product than AA and UA, it's not better when as an AA Exec Platinum, my upgrade percentage is nearly 100% and my upgrade percentage as a DL Diamond is...

      @Tim, DL raised their thresholds because, according to Delta, they have too many elites and, according to Delta, they want to drive their credit card spending, not because, according delta, they have a superior product.

      And, while I agree that they have a marginally better product than AA and UA, it's not better when as an AA Exec Platinum, my upgrade percentage is nearly 100% and my upgrade percentage as a DL Diamond is nearly zero. I think it's clear that DL has many elites because they have lots of hub captive and corporate contract captive travelers, not because of their marginally better service. Most travelers will take an upgrade over better service any day.

    5. BenjaminKohl Diamond

      Alright, back to the mental hospital for you, Tim. That’s enough internet time today

    6. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Timmy. YOUR INSUFFERABLE.

    7. Mark Guest

      And yet, in spite of your arbitrary goal posts and “stunning” performance, DL couldn’t make their changes stick. Maybe people didn’t cancel credit cards, but there must have been a significant drop in card usage over the last few weeks for such a quick about face. I guess being a couple of percentage points better in on time performance isn’t as great as you think it is.

      Regarding DEN vs SLC, DEN was among...

      And yet, in spite of your arbitrary goal posts and “stunning” performance, DL couldn’t make their changes stick. Maybe people didn’t cancel credit cards, but there must have been a significant drop in card usage over the last few weeks for such a quick about face. I guess being a couple of percentage points better in on time performance isn’t as great as you think it is.

      Regarding DEN vs SLC, DEN was among the hardest hit this summer by storms, so o wouldn’t make big assumptions. In spite of your claims of SLC, DEN supports significantly more traffic than SLC and is much stronger financially. If SLC is so strong, where are the flights to HND (not even applied for) and ICN (in spite of a JV)?

      And your claims about NYC size don’t prove what you think it does. Saying they have more flight operations thanks to their regional operations? They must have a huge regional presence to still be smaller in local passengers and total passengers, thanks to UA’s superior mainline, domestic, and international presence in EWR. UA flight counts are down slightly but passenger counts way up. I think UA would call that a win on all counts.

    8. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Neither you or I know how many actually cancelled credit cards vs. what Delta predicted.
      Feel free to post the data about card usage over the past two weeks. Honestly.

      SLC is not as large of a hub as DEN but MSP and DTW are smaller than UA or WN's operation in DEN but run far more reliably.
      If you are going just to DEN, then you are subject to the same ATC...

      Neither you or I know how many actually cancelled credit cards vs. what Delta predicted.
      Feel free to post the data about card usage over the past two weeks. Honestly.

      SLC is not as large of a hub as DEN but MSP and DTW are smaller than UA or WN's operation in DEN but run far more reliably.
      If you are going just to DEN, then you are subject to the same ATC delays.
      but if you are connecting, the last place you want to be is in a hub that operates well below average.

      And for people that argue how rough DEN had it this summer, we heard the same thing in the winter.
      Is it possible that the weather really isn't much different but the massive growth of by both WN and UA in DEN is beyond what the airport can handle

      As much as some people want to argue otherwise, product DOES matter where people buy services.

      Delta simply delivers a much more reliable product and has grown its network in markets where other airlines are shrinking

      They do not need to give away as much free product given that people are willing to pay more for their services.

      Delta is in as strong of a position to raise the bar in gaining elite status as they were the day they announced it.

      They aren't immune to public comment and are simply SLOWING the rollout of tougher requirements.

      For the people that expect me to provide personal information, I use my real name. You and every one else that uses a single name or a pseudonym would do more to help your credibility to use your real name than any credibility I could provide with my personal financial information.

      In summary, I fly multiple airlines and have elite status on one or more of them and also have airline-issued credit cards.

    9. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Tim. Several of "us commentors" use our real names. So stop cherry picking like You do with data all the time. And what are You talking about "personal financial information"?

      WHAT STATUS LEVEL ARE YOU WITH DELTA (IN PARTICULAR!) and any other Airline too that You want to share.

      Most of us have said MUCH MORE about ourselves than You EVER HAVE. The airline/hotel/rental company we use the most, what status level we...

      Tim. Several of "us commentors" use our real names. So stop cherry picking like You do with data all the time. And what are You talking about "personal financial information"?

      WHAT STATUS LEVEL ARE YOU WITH DELTA (IN PARTICULAR!) and any other Airline too that You want to share.

      Most of us have said MUCH MORE about ourselves than You EVER HAVE. The airline/hotel/rental company we use the most, what status level we currently are and sometimes even how long we've had it, our home base/hub, the industry we work in, if we're self employed or not, some of the credit cards we have/enjoy. You don't want to/feel like sharing "all" of that info: FINE. But understand that many of us are GENUINELY asking what level of status with who You have it with because IT MATTERS and it goes to how much we trust what You spout off and how big of a grain of salt to take You with. Letting some of us know if Your a DL SM Silver or a B6 Mosaic means You say what You preach, or Your a keyboard captain and don't really grasp what many of us loyal frequent flyers are going through weekly/monthly (some of us daily). With how many ways there are to want status these days; especially with all of the extensions and roll overs, saying what your currently at and with who is HARDLY sharing "personal finances" with us. You could have got it from your job, been a lifetime something, got status gifted, etcetera. We're not asking how You got it or Your annual income or Your credit score your address or your spending power on Amex. Just lay it out there man. Your a Delta "blank" medallion and a Frontier "blank" whatever their status is called.

      I'm a Bonvoy Titanium (Lifetime Gold), AA Executive Platinum, DL Silver, Hyatt Discoverist, AVIS President's Club, Enterprise Plus Silver, and I have membership with IHG amd a few others but not as active with them. All of these are earned and not status matched or rolled over.

    10. Jim Lovejoy Guest

      The logical number of cancelled credit cards would be near zero. The only change that should effect change is the ending rollover. Other changes don't go into effect until 2024, or in the case of lounge access until 2025.
      That there is any change now should worry Delta. They should be worrying about what the change in credit card spending will be in 2024 and how many cancelations they will have in 2024.
      ...

      The logical number of cancelled credit cards would be near zero. The only change that should effect change is the ending rollover. Other changes don't go into effect until 2024, or in the case of lounge access until 2025.
      That there is any change now should worry Delta. They should be worrying about what the change in credit card spending will be in 2024 and how many cancelations they will have in 2024.
      It will still make sense to keep the cheapest card for the free bag. It won't make sense to put any spending on that card. It will make sense to keep the Reserve for Lounge access until late 2024 again it won't make sense to put any spend on that card. If I were a Delta executive that is what I would be worrying about.

    11. Mark Guest

      And Tim, in spite of multiple requests, you still haven’t given the full context other posters have.

      What is your elite status level with DL, how did last week’s announcement affect you, and how were you planning to adjust your travel and credit card spend?

      Others have shared to give color to their perspective, why can’t you?

    12. 305 Guest

      TLDR Timmy. Your own CEO admitted he messed up. Go the way of The Rock and shut up ****

    13. Tim Dunn Diamond

      we get it.
      You can't admit that Delta is offering the best airline product in the industry and that is PRECISELY why they made the move they did and also why anyone that thinks they are going to roll it all back are simply foolish.

    14. Mark Guest

      Which move? Rolling out changes or walking them back so quickly?

      And I don’t think people canceled credit cards when they could still use benefits next year. What almost definitely happened is a sharp drop off in credit card usage and spending.

    15. Jim Lovejoy Guest

      I agree in general. But before the changes didn't it make some sense to have multiple Delta credit cards? And after the changes doesn't it no longer make sense to have more than one? I could see people cancelling all but one credit card, keeping either the Gold or the Reserve and planning to downgrade the Reserve late in 2024.
      Even a small number of canceled cards should worry them.

    16. DC Guest

      Ummm... best in the industry? In the world or US?

      Oh, Tim- The arguable claim that Delta is "best" in the US airline industry is a little like saying someone was the best actress on "The Love Boat." C'mon- as the best, they're the "least bad."

      You don't get a prize in my book for sucking slightly less than Southwest

    17. digital_notmad Diamond

      at least Delta had the gusto to try something new, they're always #innovating and will adjust to this, just watch! right mr. dunn?

    18. Mark Guest

      Tim, a serious and simple question for you:

      Why do you think DL walked back the changes so quickly?

      In spite of their operational performance that you say will keep customers loyal, something happened in the last week. It’s not the outcry since they expected that. Money drives decisions and the changes were driven by a desire to shift consumer behavior.

      So what happened?

    19. Watson Diamond

      DL's on-time performance in 2022 was only 3% higher than UA/AS. You'd need to fly over 30 times to even notice a single flight's difference. What percentage of people fly that many times a year? Hell, what percentage of travelers have even an inkling of on-time performance? The idea that people will continue to fly DL due to on-time performance is delusional.

    20. Tim Dunn Diamond

      this isn't 2022. Did you bother to look at the ATCR that includes June 2023 data?

      And you still miss the point that shows how much larger DL is than its competitors in the largest corporate markerts.

      When you actually look at the report and see how much larger DL is NYC and LAX than its competitors as well as having now passed B6 in BOS on top of DL's position in its core interior...

      this isn't 2022. Did you bother to look at the ATCR that includes June 2023 data?

      And you still miss the point that shows how much larger DL is than its competitors in the largest corporate markerts.

      When you actually look at the report and see how much larger DL is NYC and LAX than its competitors as well as having now passed B6 in BOS on top of DL's position in its core interior US hubs, it isn't hard to see why DL made the first move it did. and the basics of that aren't changing.

      DL is in a position of strength in the industry and does not need to give away as much in loyalty as other smaller airlines.

    21. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Tim. You STILL haven't responded to my comments above, or several others genuine questions/points.

    22. Watson Diamond

      LOL Timmy you want to use a single month's data to back your claim.

    23. Henry Guest

      I do not think premium travelers was attracted to DL, they just do not have a choice. As far as the international travelling goes, oh my god, just forget about DL.

    24. shoodawg New Member

      I'm Dunn with the data. Who cares. Delta is not a premium experience, and they trashed the goodwill. If I were you, I'd be Dunn with them too.

  28. shoodawg New Member

    Dunn with Delta? Pretty much. Will fly from now on with the airline offering the best overall blend of schedule, price/cabin. FreeDunn is liberating.

    If they'd only Dunn 10-20% increase yearly. CouldDunn lived with that.

    DeltaDunn showed all the cards.

    1. 305 Guest

      Can we please get #DunnWithDelta trending? Maybe then he will come out of his corner office cave

  29. JosieEspo Guest

    Too little too late!!! I pulled the bandaid as well and now I am no longer feeling the need to remain loyal to delta.

  30. Paul Guest

    I am still impressed of the greed of big companies like Delta. They could leave old perks for loyal customer or/and pay more to its employees and make 8 billions profit but why would they? They need to make 9 or 10 billions….

    1. Brian Guest

      Greed? Delta's profit margin has been in the single digits for most of the last decade.

    2. Mantis Guest

      Exactly. Nothing to say about greed of Apple, Google, etc? Apple's net margin in 2022 was over 25%. Where are the calls for price controls and customer bill of rights for tech companies?

    3. hypertext Member

      Actually many tech enthusiasts are very vocal advocates for consumer bill of rights. Look into the right to repair movement.

  31. JV Guest

    There are too many Medallion status members. Drastic measures were likely required because natural attrition isn’t working fast enough at reducing the numbers of status travelers.

    1. The-Delta-is-Misperception Guest

      And whose fault is that? You like DunnwithDelta are blaming the customer for following Delta's rules and Delta's inabilty to follow through on their offerings? Shame on them. It least Ed recognizes it...

  32. Justin Guest

    When will corporations learn that you aren’t successful without a few key elements. 1. Your workforce. 2. How well you streamline your operations to attract customers and keep your products in demand and growing. 3. YOUR customers. Without customers, you have no business. Don’t forget, they ultimately keep you in business. A companies bottom line boils down to these key elements.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Executive pay structure disincentivizes them from giving a crap about any of that... because the leadership of most corporations (whether blatantly or subtly) pumps up the stock, leadership bails while the getting is good, and they cash out.

      Everyone else can pick up the pieces.

  33. Michael Guest

    This last set of changes was the final straw for my Reserve card. Switched it down to a no free blue card. I earned my seventh straight year of Platinum back in May. But that’ll be my last one.

    Have switched spend to an Air France card, as their miles take me a lot further on Delta metal than SkyPesos do. And I picked up a Venture X card for lounge access.

  34. LoyaltyScams Guest

    When Delta tells you who they are the first time, believe them.

  35. Kevin Reynolds Guest

    Delta did go too far, and he surprised if there was a lot of negative feedback which influenced the potential course change that Ed Bastian referred to.

    Still, all of this is talk, it will be interesting to see what the rollback if there is one will look like.

    Deltas thinking, maybe that they believe people will blink directly into auxiliary goods and services from the Delta website. This assumes that no one will shop the potential auxiliary goods & serices.

  36. Brian Guest

    For all the griping, the honest answer is Delta grew its status ranks too much. They need to be downsized to provide a premium product to those that remain.

    1. Delta Diamond Guest

      Please. They aren’t a premium product now…

    2. Brian Guest

      A premium experience is having a lounge that is not overcrowded, getting a Diamond agent on the phone during IRROPs without waiting, and being able to use an upgrade certificate. For the 50% of Diamonds that remain, it will be a much better experience for them.

    3. Mantis Guest

      This is true, nobody can deny that there are too many elites, and lounges are too crowded. However, both of these are of their own doing. They chose to let this happen.

    4. Kiwi Guest

      You know if that was the goal, the backlash will probably cause exactly what they wished for as loyal customers status match to other airlines

  37. TranceXplant Member

    "No question, we probably went too far."

    So did you or didn't you, Ed? "Probably" is a weasel word that puts the "question" right back into the sentence.

    1. Entitlement sucks Guest

      Good for you entitled one.
      How about: 1) Delta nerf its relationship with Amex that is bringing members to the lounge at the same time Delta profits frm their spend
      2) hire more agents; if Delta is as profitable as Mr Dunn claims, then they have $$ to provide better customer support. What prevents Delta from hiring more call agents to take more calls in giving a better customer experience?? Its the customer's...

      Good for you entitled one.
      How about: 1) Delta nerf its relationship with Amex that is bringing members to the lounge at the same time Delta profits frm their spend
      2) hire more agents; if Delta is as profitable as Mr Dunn claims, then they have $$ to provide better customer support. What prevents Delta from hiring more call agents to take more calls in giving a better customer experience?? Its the customer's fault for using the airline and needing support?
      3) you have an issue with other members taking advantage of the same opportunities for a better airline experience based on the Airline's rules? Your entitled and others arent, because...???

  38. Kevin Guest

    As said multiple times in the comments, Delta and Amex have lost what little loyalty I had left for them, whatever they try to backtrack on, it's too little, to late. Luckily I'm not a Delta hub captive anymore.

    1. Brian Guest

      I heard the same response last winter from Southwest customers after their winter meltdown. Southwest planes are still flying full. Delta paxs, espexially those able to maintain status, will have a better experience and arent going anywhere.

    2. Chris- Member

      The airline industry is notoriously fickle with a storied list of carriers who've gone from boom to bust with breathtaking speed, yet people continue to take today's numbers and trends for granted as if these companies are permanent monoliths.

      The industry is still flying high on the post-Covid boom and capacity remains constricted. Fuel costs are rising, demand is moderating if not softening, and a serious downturn is inevitable eventually whether it's next year or...

      The airline industry is notoriously fickle with a storied list of carriers who've gone from boom to bust with breathtaking speed, yet people continue to take today's numbers and trends for granted as if these companies are permanent monoliths.

      The industry is still flying high on the post-Covid boom and capacity remains constricted. Fuel costs are rising, demand is moderating if not softening, and a serious downturn is inevitable eventually whether it's next year or several thereafter.

      Beware the complacent fools in the boardrooms.

  39. tom Guest

    Key words - ".....I think we moved too fast"
    So basically all we are debating is the timing, end game is the same

  40. Bob Guest

    Too many diamonds because OPM spend is so easy. Every travelling salesman can easily get the $ required on OPM.

  41. eric chump Guest

    Delta has no one to blame but themselves thanks to there credit card where people could earn diamond just by shopping, time to base miles for flying not shopping, but something needs to be done the clubs are over crowded and poor seating areas by the gates because airports want to offer more shops and restaurant and don't figure in when a flights are delayed the amount of people standing around or they want you...

    Delta has no one to blame but themselves thanks to there credit card where people could earn diamond just by shopping, time to base miles for flying not shopping, but something needs to be done the clubs are over crowded and poor seating areas by the gates because airports want to offer more shops and restaurant and don't figure in when a flights are delayed the amount of people standing around or they want you to check in early means more people waiting around.
    thanks to all airlines greedy flying sucks

  42. Tim Dunn's Mother Guest

    No dog in the fight since I am not a medallion, but status is always going to cost more over time - just like gas, housing, food, etc. $10,000 ten years ago is not worth $10,000 today, so the requirements are going to increase over time. I have a friend that's a Diamond and they are almost never in the top 10 on the upgrade list. Seems that kind of makes Diamond pointless if everyone has it.

  43. derek Guest

    So Delta will not be like Hitler, just like Putin.

    I expect many of the changes to remain. They think the lounges are too crowded and they will think of ways to thin them out.

    They will still require half a million miles for international award seats and a bit under half a million for economy class unless it's a winter departure to Europe.

  44. Joseph Nemec Guest

    Yeah sure thing.

    This 8 years in a row DM, 1.75M miler has only two words: f*ck him.

  45. Chris- Member

    Everyone get their bingo cards out:
    - "financial statements:
    - "most profitable"
    - "pReMiUm"
    - "you do realize"
    - "FACTS"
    - "directionally correct"

    Free space for any comment more than 500 words / 5 paragraphs.

  46. Tim Dunn Diamond

    this is a fair and accurate accounting of what Bastian said (at least what is reported here parallels what the Wall Street Journal said) and the interpretation of it.

    Contrary to what a number people argued against which I said before and still say, Delta is a for-profit business, did what it did to maximize its profits, was not willing to risk its profit growth esp. from Skymiles, and isn't backing off from its plan...

    this is a fair and accurate accounting of what Bastian said (at least what is reported here parallels what the Wall Street Journal said) and the interpretation of it.

    Contrary to what a number people argued against which I said before and still say, Delta is a for-profit business, did what it did to maximize its profits, was not willing to risk its profit growth esp. from Skymiles, and isn't backing off from its plan -it just is "making modifications" which simply means that it will slow the rate of change.

    Bastian also said they ripped the bandaid off with these moves, which is almost identical to what I said.

    Delta execs know there will be further changes and anyone who thinks otherwise is beyond foolish.

    This is not a Bud Light moment - which was about values. If anything this was more like a New Coke moment, but Coca-Cola went back to its old product which Delta will not do with the Skymiles program.

    It will whitewash a few changes, some people will give up on their plans to cut their Delta flying, and Delta will continue to grow its revenue - which was its plan all along.

    And American has just announced a bunch of new cuts in New York City, along w/ what United is doing, making Delta in a stronger position in the largest corporate travel market.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Wow Timmy. Really? I'm not surprised, but yet I am. Bastian and Delta have their tails between their legs. So many people have already canceled their cards, and many have decided to move their business to others.

    2. FlyerDon Guest

      Too bad Delta didn’t change their mind about investing in Wheels Up.

    3. 305 Guest

      JonNYC v Tim Dunn UFC 350! Doha or Dubai? Heck, maybe mid-air on an ex-LATAM A350? Two of the most egotistical ppl in the airline game 1v1! I'd buy the PPV!

    4. Mark Guest

      Tim, I thought people will always fly DL due to their superior product?

      I guess this means DL saw much higher than expected number of people canceling their credit cards, and they saw it very quickly. Why else would they backtrack and say they’ll reverse changes.

      Sounds like their product isn’t that superior after all if it’s that easy to lose so many customers so quickly.

      We will all be sure to remind...

      Tim, I thought people will always fly DL due to their superior product?

      I guess this means DL saw much higher than expected number of people canceling their credit cards, and they saw it very quickly. Why else would they backtrack and say they’ll reverse changes.

      Sounds like their product isn’t that superior after all if it’s that easy to lose so many customers so quickly.

      We will all be sure to remind you of this when you say DL can do what they want without consequences due to their fantastic product. While also reminding you said DL is a domestic carrier not intended to compete with international carriers with superior service.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta and Amex weren't offering refunds of unused parts of any cards so it made no sense for anyone to cancel a card that wasn't at the end of its term and due for renewal.

      Delta is not isolated from the negative feedback but they aren't going back to where they were before they announced this all; they are just going to take longer to get there.

      And American and United now know where Delta...

      Delta and Amex weren't offering refunds of unused parts of any cards so it made no sense for anyone to cancel a card that wasn't at the end of its term and due for renewal.

      Delta is not isolated from the negative feedback but they aren't going back to where they were before they announced this all; they are just going to take longer to get there.

      And American and United now know where Delta is willing to go and will go to the same place even at a slower pace but the era of super elite benefits is over.

      Delta just pushed too far, too fast

    6. putout Guest

      @Tim, while it's true Amex does not refund an annual fee if you cancel a card long after the fee posts, they will issue a pro-rated fee refund if you product change the card to a downgraded version. So it can very much make sense to change a DL Reserve to the free Blue, just like guest Michael reported above in the comments.

    7. Eskimo Guest

      What the fluff Tim?

      Even Ed doesn't hide behind the BS "for-profit business" excuse of never being wrong.

      Pan-Am was for profit.
      Blockbuster was for profit.
      Enron was for profit.

      All of them if I recall correctly was among largest and most profitable in their industry.

      What the fluff Tim?

    8. Jason Guest

      Mr. Dunn ( ´•̥̥̥ω•̥̥̥` )
      So nice to see you again! I thought you would never return 。゚ヽ(゚´Д`)ノ゚。

    1. ZTravel Gold

      He’s tied up writing an email to Ed…

  47. ZTravel Gold

    Ed said when they made the announcement that they weren’t done with the changes. Up next, they were planning on introducing Basic D1 where you have to pay for seat assignments and no lounge access. Award D1s, no seat assignment until check in (and possibly no lounge).

    I don’t care what choice benefits they bring forth - this was an awesome and timely wake up call. Cancel cards, collect generic points and fly any airline that makes sense.

  48. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    Alaska has a great offer for West Coasters. And Jet Blue has a great offer for East Coasters! I say: TAKE IT WHILE YOU CAN. We have ZERO idea what DL will actually do. And even IF they say reduce the levels by 20%: Your still having to pay/spend MUCH more to requalify the next year. Remember just for SILVER is went from 6 RT's in Economy before to 6 RT's Economy PLUS a $8000...

    Alaska has a great offer for West Coasters. And Jet Blue has a great offer for East Coasters! I say: TAKE IT WHILE YOU CAN. We have ZERO idea what DL will actually do. And even IF they say reduce the levels by 20%: Your still having to pay/spend MUCH more to requalify the next year. Remember just for SILVER is went from 6 RT's in Economy before to 6 RT's Economy PLUS a $8000 Delta Vacation PLUS spending $32k on a CC with a AF....all for some lounge access, zero chance at an upgrade, and some more worthless Miles on earnings? No Thanks!

    1. Brian Guest

      Let me know when B6 can run an ontime operation. Status with JetBlue doesnt mean much if they get you to your destination 4 hours late. This summer only 48% of their flights operated ontime. Also, most routes dont have Mint serive. So the premium seat you can buy is a 3x3 economy seat with some extra leg room.

    2. AD Diamond

      Yeah, I tried to fly JetBlue this summer. Delay. Pilot says 'just a few minutes.' A few minutes later pilot says, 'mechanics have never seen this before. No idea how long this will take.' I got off the plane, bought a DL ticket (for a lot more money) and got to BOS less than an hour later than planned. My Jet Blue flight finally left eight hours later. DL may be only marginally better than AA and UA but JetBlue is a hot mess on their best day.

    3. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      KOOL Brian. But Your forgetting to mention any of the Positives. Way better WiFi, best IFE screens with Live TV at every seat, newer planes with generally a product You can expect and count on, great on board service, better food and snacks/drinks, competitive fares, lower fees, more legroom in coach than DL, etc. and for Alaska: better loyalty program, better partners, better alliance, better service, better alliance, and Alaska actually edged out DL for...

      KOOL Brian. But Your forgetting to mention any of the Positives. Way better WiFi, best IFE screens with Live TV at every seat, newer planes with generally a product You can expect and count on, great on board service, better food and snacks/drinks, competitive fares, lower fees, more legroom in coach than DL, etc. and for Alaska: better loyalty program, better partners, better alliance, better service, better alliance, and Alaska actually edged out DL for 2 months this summer as the #1 OTP N. AMERICAN Airline.

      Look, neither are going to "win" or be better in every flyers individual situation or for every route/flight. But they both are serious contenders to look at for replacement flights and for loyalty programs, even if that is as a backup.

      DL isn't as reliable as it once was, and the in-flight experience is FAR from standardized or anything to regularly expect. Oh, and their planes and seats are OLD AF.

  49. Donna Diamond

    Actions speak louder than words, so let’s see how big the bandaid is to stop the bleeding. I don’t have a dog in this fight but if I did, I’d be bailing DL as they have exposed their hand.

  50. Chris Guest

    The phrasing is telling: "we probably went too far."

    Merely an off-the-cuff comment, of course, but still one that reveals where the focus is. This is a strategy of, "we want to see how far we can push people before they jump," not, "we want to find ways to pull people in."

    Each strategy has pros and cons, each has costs and rewards, and the balance ultimately rests on how well each strategy is executed.

    ...

    The phrasing is telling: "we probably went too far."

    Merely an off-the-cuff comment, of course, but still one that reveals where the focus is. This is a strategy of, "we want to see how far we can push people before they jump," not, "we want to find ways to pull people in."

    Each strategy has pros and cons, each has costs and rewards, and the balance ultimately rests on how well each strategy is executed.

    Good luck to DL on this one, but my gut tells me that DL exec level leadership is reaching a level of hubris that breeds complacency, and it's often boring old complacency that gets even the best in the end.

  51. Andrew Lock Guest

    Seems like Ed is saying theyre just going to “boil the frogs more slowly” so they dont notice the changes as much. Its too little, too late. Delta has shown contempt for their most frequent flyers by dangling a carrot and then dramatically changing the goalposts!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      You do know that the whole slowly boiling the frog is all made up fluff, just like Tim Dunn.

      Don't be a TD, Frogs are much smarter than that.

  52. Santastico Diamond

    This is what pisses me off with Delta changes. I can probably spend $35k/year with Delta BUT that won't be $35k in tickets that were issued under my name. I will explain. Delta rewards what a passenger spends with them but they are ignoring that as a family of 4 where I am the one paying for all the tickets, I get no reward for that. I buy international business class for me, my wife...

    This is what pisses me off with Delta changes. I can probably spend $35k/year with Delta BUT that won't be $35k in tickets that were issued under my name. I will explain. Delta rewards what a passenger spends with them but they are ignoring that as a family of 4 where I am the one paying for all the tickets, I get no reward for that. I buy international business class for me, my wife and 2 kids on Delta. Sometimes one family trip is around $15k-$20k for 4 Delta One tickets. Well, only 25% of that is rewarded to me and the rest goes to my wife and kids that couldn't care less about status with Delta since they only fly twice per year when we go on vacation. Thus, even if I spend $35k on Delta as a family, I won't still get to Diamond. Delta already damaged their loyal passengers. I have no need to fly Delta international and connect to Atlanta, Amsterdam or Tokyo to then get to my final destination. I can fly domestically to a larger airport and fly non stop to my final destination on a nicer European, Asian or LATAM airline. Thus, Delta won't see me on international flights anymore. As for domestic, I live on a Delta hub so nonstop with Delta is a priority to save me time. Now, 6 visits per year to a Delta lounge? That is great for leisure passengers that fly once in a while but for someone like me that flies very other week, that is ridiculous. I am sorry Delta, you already screwed up a 18 year loyal relationship with someone that has been a Diamond and 360 for 12 years in a row.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      I hear what Your saying, and alot of it makes sense. But on the "crediting all of your passengers flight credits to 1 account" part, it doesn't make sense or seem fair. 1: Your wife is an adult. 2: You would have crazy numbers and would be a "high diamond" where the tie breaker for upgrades would always go to you. 3: Could businesses or traveling troops do the same? All 35 seats for traveling...

      I hear what Your saying, and alot of it makes sense. But on the "crediting all of your passengers flight credits to 1 account" part, it doesn't make sense or seem fair. 1: Your wife is an adult. 2: You would have crazy numbers and would be a "high diamond" where the tie breaker for upgrades would always go to you. 3: Could businesses or traveling troops do the same? All 35 seats for traveling soccer team go to the coach? Or all 5 members of the office team that's traveling go to the boss? Not sure that part makes sense to me, just being honest.

    2. Jaded Diamond Guest

      Well, from what I understand, if you are the logistics/travel manager for a large corporate account, you more than likely land D360 if you hit certain goals....

    3. Santastico Guest

      No, I am not talking about letting an agent get the credit for a soccer team booking. I am talking about household. You can transfer hotel points within your household. I think Hilton and Hyatt allows that. Delta got rid of miles, it is all about $ now. Thus, if I am the main spender in the household who travels a lot and my household brings $35k/year to Delta, I should be rewarded for that....

      No, I am not talking about letting an agent get the credit for a soccer team booking. I am talking about household. You can transfer hotel points within your household. I think Hilton and Hyatt allows that. Delta got rid of miles, it is all about $ now. Thus, if I am the main spender in the household who travels a lot and my household brings $35k/year to Delta, I should be rewarded for that. It is their loss. That money will go to another airline. My wife and kids don’t spend a penny on Delta. I do.

    4. AD Diamond

      Just to be clear MQMs/MQDs are not a published tie breaker anywhere on the list. Class of service, whether you have a credit card, whether you have a corporate contract, whether you are a MM... those are tie breakers. If it were MQDs, like on AA, I'd be way higher up the list every time.

    5. XPL Diamond

      I'm in the same position as you: I buy all the tickets in my family but don't get all the miles. As far as I can tell, and I've looked hard, all airlines credit the miles to the name on the ticket. I wish it were otherwise but this is nether unique to Delta nor new.

    6. Santastico Guest

      I already commented above. You said miles. Yes, miles are credited to the passenger. I get that. But that no longer cares for miles. If you find a $35k ticket from Boston to NY on Delta and only fly them once, you get Diamond status. Thus, since all they care is money, as a head of household I should be able to combine my household spend and get that status. I know it won’t happen...

      I already commented above. You said miles. Yes, miles are credited to the passenger. I get that. But that no longer cares for miles. If you find a $35k ticket from Boston to NY on Delta and only fly them once, you get Diamond status. Thus, since all they care is money, as a head of household I should be able to combine my household spend and get that status. I know it won’t happen but it is their loss. I will spend that money anyway in another airline since status is no longer attainable on Delta.

    7. Watson Diamond

      It could plausibly work if they allowed distributing points to people on the same PNR. Anything else (like "household") is easily gamed.

      But what's their incentive? It's just going to piss off their high-paying business travelers who now have to compete with mom and pop for upgrades.

    8. Santastico Guest

      Their incentive? Me spending $35k per year on Delta for my family to travel on vacation instead seeing that money going to Lufthansa, ITA, Air France, Singapore, etc…

  53. ZTravel Gold

    Feeling pressure much sooner than expected! Good! Someone should get fired for these theoretical ideas! #MBA

    If they are smart, they will do a 180 and reward those who fly with them. If you aren’t flying, frequently, you won’t get benefits. Hence the name: Loyalty program!

    Bring back MQMs or we’re out of here and goodbye Amex!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      LOL, you are so wrong on so many level.

      They are smart, they want brainwashed loyalist i.e. Tim Dunn.
      Hence the name: loyalty program. And not the name: frequent flyer program anymore.

      Can't really fire any one either.
      #MBA maybe but it's more likely #consultants

  54. doug Guest

    I am getting out of Delta program altogether but keep piling up my Amex Reward points to transfer to the program if I need to fly Delta.... Their program with so many terms and conditions will eventually drive away all the loyal customers. Their miles are one of the lowest value in the industry especially when you want to book any international business class....

  55. TravelinWilly Diamond

    One can only wonder how many cancellations Amex. has fielded since the announcement that Delta was making the SkyPiles program useless.

    That certainly didn't help Delta.

  56. ImmortalSynn Guest

    Somebody better check on you-know-who.

    It's been an hour, and he's still not here telling us why this was foreseeable all along, as part of a plan too great for our mortal minds to comprehend.

    1. Mari Guest

      "You do realize" that DL is so profitable and so brilliant that it could see beyond and dismiss all the mortal noise and backlash which is all meaningless because look-at-the-financial-statements, and sure, this has now happened, but it's OK, because actually, "you do realize" that DL secretly had planned to start walking this back all along and "you do realise" it has nothing to do with the noise and backlash because look-at-the-financial-statements? Delta doesn't need...

      "You do realize" that DL is so profitable and so brilliant that it could see beyond and dismiss all the mortal noise and backlash which is all meaningless because look-at-the-financial-statements, and sure, this has now happened, but it's OK, because actually, "you do realize" that DL secretly had planned to start walking this back all along and "you do realise" it has nothing to do with the noise and backlash because look-at-the-financial-statements? Delta doesn't need you, "you do realize"; they're just throwing you a bone. Psych!

      Rinse, recycle, repeat. If nothing else, Delta was "directionally correct" and always knows what it's doing, and it will always be on top.

      That's enough TD bingo for the day.

  57. MaxPower Diamond

    While Bastian’s comments are decent it’s worth noting that this wasn’t from the delta newsroom if they really wanted to assuage their P’ed customers. It was from an obscure rotary club video where Ed doesn’t promise anything, just a heartfelt “we did something wrong but you’ll probably forget about it in a few months by the time I said we’ll modify”. Just typical delta…

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      True, but I doubt they'd make an official communique until they're ready to talk details.

      This was probably strategically done to turn headlines from "Look at this bad thing Delta did," to "Look at how Delta is about to make amends," leading in to such an announcement.

    2. MaxPower Diamond

      A strategic move is Ed talking to CNBC or the AJC, not a rotary club ;)

    3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      An "obscure" video that just happened to get picked up. In PR, that's called a leak. It was almost certainly a planted question and then leaked by Delta PR people to show empathy and that Delta heard its customers. So many reporters and bloggers are mere stenographers for their source. Do you actually this was organic?

    4. MaxPower Diamond

      I don’t think it’s organic. I just think it’s a way to keep doing what they’re doing with an obscure comment made to a rotary club about “some” change “months from now” meaning they’re not going to do anything
      Perhaps we’re splitting hairs on the difference between a leak and “strategic”. I’m simply saying a real change that they heard their customers doesn’t come at the rotary club. It comes, from Ed, at a...

      I don’t think it’s organic. I just think it’s a way to keep doing what they’re doing with an obscure comment made to a rotary club about “some” change “months from now” meaning they’re not going to do anything
      Perhaps we’re splitting hairs on the difference between a leak and “strategic”. I’m simply saying a real change that they heard their customers doesn’t come at the rotary club. It comes, from Ed, at a cnbc or AJC interview. Or from the delta newsroom.
      This is just the normal delta nonsense. They aren’t going to do anything if even Ed is saying “months”

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      this was reported by the Wall Street Journal before OMAAT picked it up.
      All kinds of public leaders know who is in the audience and what will get reported.

      Delta is not ready to report what is changing but they let out just enough to slow the stem up public dissatisfaction.

      Some people will still not make the cut but the negative press will slow down.

      I guarantee it.

    6. JimATL Guest

      This loyal Platinum DL flyer and others who kept DL's lights on after 9/11, the bankruptcy, the Great Recession and during COVID will not forget how our loyalty was taken for granted. We don't need the press to forget on our behalf.

    7. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Tim Dunn Approved This Message. AND he "Guarantees It". WAAHHH-WAHHHHHHH

  58. Jason Guest

    Mr. Tim Dunn
    Fingers crossed for how he hold Ed’s new opinion in his mouth.

    1. Chris Guest

      Cognitive dissonance is a marvellous wonder.

  59. RF Diamond

    Ed Bastian is showing regret because of the Delta brand meltdown.

  60. Greener Pastures Guest

    Oh, I simply CANNOT WAIT to find out how Delta is going to slow down on changes it's telling us are inevitable. This Diamond Medallion has already terminated his SkyMiles Club membership and Delta co-branded Amex card. The Clubs were over-rated anyway, and there are better cards. And while Delta had people convinced that they were a premium airline, there's no such thing domestically and there are way better airlines internationally. When an airline tells...

    Oh, I simply CANNOT WAIT to find out how Delta is going to slow down on changes it's telling us are inevitable. This Diamond Medallion has already terminated his SkyMiles Club membership and Delta co-branded Amex card. The Clubs were over-rated anyway, and there are better cards. And while Delta had people convinced that they were a premium airline, there's no such thing domestically and there are way better airlines internationally. When an airline tells you it doesn't value your business, you oblige them. Henceforth, I'll only fly Delta when I have no other choice.

  61. Steve Guest

    Hoping one of the changes is the removal of Bastian as CEO.

  62. Paul Gold

    Delta already showed their cards. Backtracking now just means they are delaying the changes. It doesn't make sense to spend money with them anymore. Choose another airline & loyalty program going forward.

    1. ZTravel Gold

      100% This was a wake up call… unless their leadership and relationship with Amex changes, these things will be implemented over the next couple of years.

    2. jetiquette Guest

      You don't think other airlines will eventually raise the requirements? That's what inflation is.

    3. Delray Guest

      There is only one way to teach Delta a lesson and that is to hurt their bottom line. Try out new airlines and loyalty and you will regret not jumping ship sooner.

  63. tipsyinmadras Diamond

    The comment about "ripping the bandage off" still leads me to believe they'll make these changes regardless but do it slowly. The frog doesn't leap out of the water if heat is applied gradually

  64. digital_notmad Diamond

    Huh, I seem to remember a certain fanboy declaring that:

    "The simple fact is that Delta is in a position now to be able to change its loyalty program, because of its much stronger net work, especially in the largest premium travel markets in the country, as well as its higher penetration of premium contracted, corporate revenue."

    and

    "the sad thing is that people that incessantly say how dumb Delta has been w/ their SkyMiles...

    Huh, I seem to remember a certain fanboy declaring that:

    "The simple fact is that Delta is in a position now to be able to change its loyalty program, because of its much stronger net work, especially in the largest premium travel markets in the country, as well as its higher penetration of premium contracted, corporate revenue."

    and

    "the sad thing is that people that incessantly say how dumb Delta has been w/ their SkyMiles changes will never admit they were wrong when Delta's financial results continue to show increasing revenue including for Skymiles.

    If Delta blows it, it won't be a secret. But I can guarantee you that a whole lot of people, Ben and Gary included, will never admit they were wrong."

    Of course, I observed at the time that:

    "Friend, when Delta blows it, you'll be back here waxing poetic about how 'at least Delta had the gusto to try something new, they're always #innovating and will adjust to this, just watch!' etc. etc."

    Looking forward to hearing more about how Delta was right to do what it did, but also now right to walk it back! (Or is it going to be some hair-splitting about whether this is technically a walk-back?)

  65. 2 Moms Travel Guest

    I don’t have much faith they will do anything earth shattering to get customers back.. the trust is broken. However, something regarding the overcrowding in the lounges needs to be done. I do like the fact that basic economy can’t access the lounges. But with the credit cards have the Delta Platnium card get a max of 2 or 4 entries a year. The reserve card should be unlimited. Also, paid first (not upgraded due...

    I don’t have much faith they will do anything earth shattering to get customers back.. the trust is broken. However, something regarding the overcrowding in the lounges needs to be done. I do like the fact that basic economy can’t access the lounges. But with the credit cards have the Delta Platnium card get a max of 2 or 4 entries a year. The reserve card should be unlimited. Also, paid first (not upgraded due to status) should get lounge access. If someone brings a guest - that should be a premium cost - like $100.00. Finally, cut the ties with the Amex Platinum-it’s an expensive card and if delta doesn’t want to offer benefits (and 6 lounge entries is insulting) for what the card costs, Amex needs to figure out something else to balance benefits vs card cost.

  66. Anthony Joseph Guest

    Ed is a CEO of a major company and has been for many years. Any junior Marketing associate would have been able to point out the consequences and better manage the messaging to Delta's most important customers.
    What is he going to walk back. You lured people with Diamond status when the going was rough and now they want to "peel back" the band aid.
    What they have failed to do is expand...

    Ed is a CEO of a major company and has been for many years. Any junior Marketing associate would have been able to point out the consequences and better manage the messaging to Delta's most important customers.
    What is he going to walk back. You lured people with Diamond status when the going was rough and now they want to "peel back" the band aid.
    What they have failed to do is expand SkyClubs capacities...
    Also, the fact that they claim to sell 74% of premium seats is thru heavy volume discounts with big corporate customers.
    Are they maximizing revenue if they are not putting quotas on premium seats sold to big corporate customers.
    The main problem is that these executives put personal gain over customer experience and employee job satisfaction

  67. Frank Guest

    All status requirements aside, I'm always surprised how Delta flyers seem unbothered with the current status of Skypesos. That alone is enough to make me steer clear from Delta, as I have since 2017. I'd rather have 3 connections with AA or UA over flying Delta non-stop any day of the week.

    1. Greg Guest

      You are what's called the 'smart money' - those holding the bag today are 'retail'

    2. jedipenguin Guest

      Frontier is a better airline than Delta. Newer airplanes for starters.

    3. Brian Guest

      Good luck with your connections. Most people value their time more and will grab a non stop.

    4. Grandpa Steve Guest

      And yet here you are, commenting on a Delta article. For some odd reasons don’t believe you.

  68. Jacob Guest

    Delta had a Bud Light moment I see.

  69. Greg Guest

    Another Atlanta company with a "New Coke" moment

  70. Anthony Diamond

    However, even as Delta walks this back - it is undeniably true that Delta, as of today, has too many elites (really at all status levels) and too many people have SkyClub access. What do readers suggest they do?

    1. dx Guest

      It seems clear that they will still limit access on the Amex Platinum at minimum and hope that the higher status requirements (in MQDs) will cause a reduction in elite status holders at all levels.

      The fact that MQD spending based on cards isn't a favorable ratio (10:1 or 20:1 pending any changes) tells you that they think 1:1 like American does would create too many elites.

    2. HeathrowGuy Guest

      Eh, whether and how much Delta backtracks is irrelevant. The airline has done many people a favor by making them wise up to the foolishness of crazy stuff they do to hit $75K or whatever ungodly high number of CC spend for mostly illusory rewards. Yes, very wealthy people can swing that spending level in a disciplined way, but let's be honest, a lot of folks are putting themselves into debt or making very bad financial decisions in their lives to meet those numbers.

    3. Greg Guest

      Bastian eluded to the fact that the team was hestitant to 'nickel and dime' it over time - which sounds like where they're headed

      You're right they have too many elites and club users

      The rub is - the assumption some have that Delta is so strong it can fix this without hurting its profit is naive to the complexities of how the 'game' has led people to make otherwise irrational card spending and airline...

      Bastian eluded to the fact that the team was hestitant to 'nickel and dime' it over time - which sounds like where they're headed

      You're right they have too many elites and club users

      The rub is - the assumption some have that Delta is so strong it can fix this without hurting its profit is naive to the complexities of how the 'game' has led people to make otherwise irrational card spending and airline choice decisions.

      In some ways they may be 'over earning' from the middle profitable customers like low end Diamonds - and how will losing a chunk of that business, both card and flying, impact their profitability

    4. Lee Guest

      Let's be realistic. Readers will only offer self-serving suggestions. It's pointless to ask the question.

    5. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Let's be realistic. Readers will only offer self-serving suggestions. It's pointless to ask the question.

      And that's a problem why? Particularly when it's in direct response to an airline making draconian changes that only serve its bottom line, while pretending as though its patronage asked for this.

      What a strange comment.

    6. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      ANSWER: get off their @ss and build+innovate.

      Short term:
      (1) More grab&go locations. Many club patrons just want something to eat, without having to pay $25 for a burger or a cup o' noodles.

      (2) Use what they have. There are still some clubs that haven't come back through covid. LAX for example had two in Terminal 2, yet only one reopened (when at the same time they unveiled their newer larger club in...

      ANSWER: get off their @ss and build+innovate.

      Short term:
      (1) More grab&go locations. Many club patrons just want something to eat, without having to pay $25 for a burger or a cup o' noodles.

      (2) Use what they have. There are still some clubs that haven't come back through covid. LAX for example had two in Terminal 2, yet only one reopened (when at the same time they unveiled their newer larger club in the headhouse). Bring the other back. Make it a grab&go. DO something.

      (3) Get creative with spaces. Heck, the "SkyClub" at Anchorage (at least when I was last there) is a roped-off foyer with refrigerators, chairs facing the windows, and coffee. At least it's something.

      Medium term:
      Do something innovative. Hell, strike a deal with Priority Pass or someone, if you must.

      Long term:
      Build build build. You want billions more per annum in credit card spend? How about create the infrastructure that'd bring that.

    7. Anthony Diamond

      Great post. Agree 100%. For example - they had a nice SkyClub express at JFK that they closed once the A Gate Club closed. Why? Keep em all open.

    8. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      150,000 MQMs for diamond and $20,000 spend in MQD is more than reasonable. Require the MQMs to be actually flown MQMs and not credit card bonuses.

    9. Anthony Diamond

      It would be a huge reversal if they reintroduced MQM

    10. LK Guest

      At the least make the SkyClub access limit by counting days, not visits, so people can use it when connecting flights

  71. CecilO Guest

    So now that Ed has admitted it was a wrong move and backtracked how much you wanna bet Tim Dunn will stick to his narrative, or will he turn on a dime to fall in line. Either way makes him look like an utter fool.

  72. Joe C. Guest

    The numbers don't lie. Delta's yields continue to come in higher than competitors. And Delta One is sold out on nearly every flight. I'd hardly call that "overplaying".

    1. Greg Guest

      I posit that Delta in the process of enabling inflated elite ranks has 'over earned' from many of the elites it wants to move down the ranks - and that over earning component is at risk of heading to other airlinse and banks. Sure, they'll keep plenty of business, but profit growth is about what happens on the margin - and they were naive to the complexities of what people playing the status game would...

      I posit that Delta in the process of enabling inflated elite ranks has 'over earned' from many of the elites it wants to move down the ranks - and that over earning component is at risk of heading to other airlinse and banks. Sure, they'll keep plenty of business, but profit growth is about what happens on the margin - and they were naive to the complexities of what people playing the status game would entail.

      How much otherwise irrational spend were they earning because of the relatively easy requirements for status and club access?

    2. Mark Guest

      And yet Bastian is admitting they did.

    3. ClownDancer Guest

      And soon you can buy a Delta plus vacation to the moon. So cool. That will earn you 2 extra entries a year to their Delta Sky clubs!

  73. Anthony Diamond

    Two comments

    1) There was this narrative that the number of elites would fall as a result of Covid, business travel declining, etc. I was adamant all along that the amount of elites was actually growing. Bastain’s comments on Diamond confirmed that

    2) Sometimes we like to defend our airline choices, etc. I’ve said I would stick with Delta, but if those that were more critical end up resulting in better benefits for all, thanks!

  74. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    This wouldn't be the first time that the CEO has misspoke and confused things. He and other executives have previously referred to Delta One business-class as first-class and also called Premium Select a business-class product when it's premium-economy.

    I don't see how Delta can have double the diamonds now. Maybe in 2022 but not 2023. Those status extensions ended a while ago.

    That aside, the proof will be in the pudding. Delta can't just rollback...

    This wouldn't be the first time that the CEO has misspoke and confused things. He and other executives have previously referred to Delta One business-class as first-class and also called Premium Select a business-class product when it's premium-economy.

    I don't see how Delta can have double the diamonds now. Maybe in 2022 but not 2023. Those status extensions ended a while ago.

    That aside, the proof will be in the pudding. Delta can't just rollback some or all of the changes and then do it all over again next year.

    I don't think any diamond would object if the 125,000 MQM threshold was increased to 150,000 MQMs or restricted to actual flown MQMs and not credit card bonuses. But $35,000 MQD for diamond with no consideration of actual miles flown is absurd. Especially when Delta has not invested in its in-flight product to make it premium.

    Has anyone seen the wine list in United Polaris of late? They're better than international first-class on some airlines, including American. Meanwhile, Delta is serving gas station wine.

    1. Anthony Diamond

      FNT - there were tons of first time Diamonds in the program in 2022.

    2. PM1 Guest

      All my friends who fly Delta exclusively call Delta One First Class and PS Business Class. Even an FA I was chatting on a flight recently called Delta One First class. Very confused!

    3. AD Diamond

      @PM1. Totally! My partner who is hub captive in Atlanta and rolls her eyes when I make her fly better airlines, calls Delta One first class and I have to correct her. Constantly.

    4. AD Diamond

      @PM1. Totally! My partner who is hub captive in Atlanta and rolls her eyes when I make her fly better airlines, calls Delta One first class and I have to correct her. Constantly.

    5. AD Diamond

      @FTNDeltaDiamond, count me in as someone who would object to an increase in MQMs. Last year I had $60K MQDs and barely made the MQMs with my rollover from 2021 and two CC boosts -- that only happened because my CC spending included a $30K household move and all the rest of my spending. Those high revenue diamonds they want to do 100K seat miles (including the bonuses for class of service here) to get...

      @FTNDeltaDiamond, count me in as someone who would object to an increase in MQMs. Last year I had $60K MQDs and barely made the MQMs with my rollover from 2021 and two CC boosts -- that only happened because my CC spending included a $30K household move and all the rest of my spending. Those high revenue diamonds they want to do 100K seat miles (including the bonuses for class of service here) to get to Diamond. I especially don't want to because I don't get to pick my airline and half my travel is on AA, with a bit of UA thrown in.

      While $35K is a crazy increase, especially compared to AA, that as an Exec Plat, I renewed for $17K, I'm thankful to have MQMs go away and will shift my cc spending to a more lucrative card!

  75. ATX Jetsetter Guest

    Good on Delta for realizing that they overstepped. Totally agree that loyalty to an airline continues to mean less and less from all of the major carriers but Delta left me scratching my head when they decided to penalize instead of incentivize frequent flyers.

    My guess is they may soften the MQD requirements a bit and allow the Delta Reserve card to continue to have unlimited lounge visits. AmEx Plat will likely stay limited...

    Good on Delta for realizing that they overstepped. Totally agree that loyalty to an airline continues to mean less and less from all of the major carriers but Delta left me scratching my head when they decided to penalize instead of incentivize frequent flyers.

    My guess is they may soften the MQD requirements a bit and allow the Delta Reserve card to continue to have unlimited lounge visits. AmEx Plat will likely stay limited as it would be more in line with other carriers to have a co-branded card for lounge access.

    1. dx Guest

      I think this makes sense too- unlimited access for Delta Reserve so long as you don't buy a basic economy ticket, unlimited access on Amex Platinum requiring big spend (as with Centurion Lounge guest access). After all, you only get the Reserve because you do travel and use the lounges on a very frequent basis.

      Wouldn't expect the MQD requirements to change in number but maybe they improve the ratio on Delta Reserve and possibly...

      I think this makes sense too- unlimited access for Delta Reserve so long as you don't buy a basic economy ticket, unlimited access on Amex Platinum requiring big spend (as with Centurion Lounge guest access). After all, you only get the Reserve because you do travel and use the lounges on a very frequent basis.

      Wouldn't expect the MQD requirements to change in number but maybe they improve the ratio on Delta Reserve and possibly Delta Platinum to something like 5:1 and 10:1 respectively- it's clear they think 1:1 like American does is too generous.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Agreed. There's no point for anyone other than a small-biz owner to keep the Reserve card if they're going to put such limits.

      The card is also the thing most people have the most immediate and direct recourse on. Captive-market people still need to fly, but no one needs a useless card.

  76. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    Not surprising.

    Part of me wonders if this was part of the strategy all along:

    ....come out draconian, let people's hair burn, then roll back and announce the "newer more considerate" changes, once people have gotten out their ire.

    It's not unprecedented. They did this back during the "Save SkyMiles" (i.e. the Delta rat button, for those who remember!) period.

    1. Chris Guest

      Letting your customer base think you've nuking the field to make the few bombs you are detonating seem less awful by comparison seems a rather brash approach, but kind of on brand for both Delta and the US generally.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      True, but like I said, this wouldn't even be their first time (very publicly) doing just that.

      Not sure how long you've been in the FFP game, but you may remember the "Save Skymiles" campaign, which included flyers grouping together to create billboards, run commercials, and launch the (now defunct) SaveSkymiles.com website. Basically, all of that was in response to similar action.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Here's a pic, to illustrate

      https://i0.wp.com/i617.photobucket.com/albums/tt254/viewfromthewing/SSMBillBoard.jpg

  77. T. Magee Guest

    I find it amazing that they doubled their number of diamonds during COVID. Is this from card spend? Or all the status extensions they gave?

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      They let people's entire previous balance count toward the new year, so if you were Platinum or a higher-end Gold, making Diamond was relatively easy.

    2. Anthony Diamond

      It wasn’t status extensions per se. It was rollover, plus stuff like award travel counting for elite status. While Diamonds doubled I am guessing the number of Platinum, Gold etc went even more

    3. AD Diamond

      I get the platinums increasing with all the MDMs rolling over for multiple years and the relatively low $25k MQD waiver. But I was surprised that the Diamonds doubled. That means that a lot of those people who had lots of MQMs ALSO spent $15k on travel or over $250k on their cards. Given that corporate travel was just coming back, that amount spend is pretty surprising. I know that I'm lucking enough to have...

      I get the platinums increasing with all the MDMs rolling over for multiple years and the relatively low $25k MQD waiver. But I was surprised that the Diamonds doubled. That means that a lot of those people who had lots of MQMs ALSO spent $15k on travel or over $250k on their cards. Given that corporate travel was just coming back, that amount spend is pretty surprising. I know that I'm lucking enough to have an employer buy international business, but most of my friends have to fly economy internationally and if it's coming from vacations, that's at least a couple pricey DL One vacations.

    4. AD Diamond

      I get the platinums increasing with all the MDMs rolling over for multiple years and the relatively low $25k MQD waiver. But I was surprised that the Diamonds doubled. That means that a lot of those people who had lots of MQMs ALSO spent $15k on travel or over $250k on their cards. Given that corporate travel was just coming back, that amount spend is pretty surprising. I know that I'm lucking enough to have...

      I get the platinums increasing with all the MDMs rolling over for multiple years and the relatively low $25k MQD waiver. But I was surprised that the Diamonds doubled. That means that a lot of those people who had lots of MQMs ALSO spent $15k on travel or over $250k on their cards. Given that corporate travel was just coming back, that amount spend is pretty surprising. I know that I'm lucking enough to have an employer buy international business, but most of my friends have to fly economy internationally and if it's coming from vacations, that's at least a couple pricey DL One vacations.

  78. Ella Guest

    The Alaska offer is still out there. That may sink Delta in Seattle.

  79. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    Bahahahahahaha!!! Tim Dunn is a False Prophet! #Deltaggeddon

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

ImmortalSynn Guest

Somebody better check on you-know-who. It's been an hour, and he's still not here telling us why this was foreseeable all along, as part of a plan too great for our mortal minds to comprehend.

11
tipsyinmadras Diamond

The comment about "ripping the bandage off" still leads me to believe they'll make these changes regardless but do it slowly. The frog doesn't leap out of the water if heat is applied gradually

9
RF Diamond

Ed Bastian is showing regret because of the Delta brand meltdown.

8
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