You gotta love corporate spin. This morning, I got an email from Delta Airlines explaining that they were changing their frequent flyer program so that people would be rewarded based on the amount they paid for their tickets rather than the number of miles they fly. Naturally, they made this sound *awesome*, even though it basically rewards business flyers because they tend to pay more for their tickets. Now you have to spend at least $2500 a year on tickets in order to reach the lowest tier of their medallion program.
For me, personally, this is not a huge deal. Although I usually try to fly Delta because their miles don’t expire, I know I’ll never have a lot of miles. I mostly joined the program so I might not have to board in zone four.
Of course other airlines are watching how people react to this news. Along with all the other hassles and indignities of flying, this is yet one more way to stick it to consumers. Flying is expensive and annoying, but it does shorten travel time and, in many cases, is the only practical way you can get somewhere. I’m surprised they offer any rewards, given how uncomfortable and unpleasant flying can be. Frequent flyer miles are really just a gimmick to make you think you’re getting something for your business. What the airlines really want you to do is sign up for credit cards so they can make more money.
Anyway, this is not good news for bargain hunters who like to fly. For me, it’s probably business as usual.