Many of us believe some airlines act as if being a ‘better’ airline qualifies them to offer a lousy FF program. Guess what – Delta admits to this. According to the airline company, it is better than its competitors, and that is why the SkyMiles plan has fallen in terms of what it offers customers.
It is gotten to a point where many business travelers have started calling their rewards SkyPesos. Delta just raised the bar on how many Delta miles you need to claim prime international business class awards. This is almost an announcement that they are phasing out complimentary upgrades to first class, even for the most loyal customers it has got in the tier. What Delta is saying goes against what the travel industry believes – that being better means you will be giving out more rewards to the most loyal customers.
- Operational reliability
- Favorable schedules
- Fair pricing
- A rewarding frequency program
- Better in-flight product
This is something most FF customers would back, although there would be understandable differences in prioritizing these points. The mileage changes with the amount of reconsidering someone does, and all that figures into choosing the carrier they wish to fly with.
If you gauge them impartially, Delta is still somewhere in the middle. Just the quality of its in-flight product is enough to set it back the behind the best airline in the world. What is most repulsive about them right now though, is the frequency program. Of course, Delta miles doesn’t agree with that.
Management has more than once mentioned how the airline is far ahead of other domestic carriers where key operational metrics are concerned. And apparently, they are awesome when it comes to time efficiency. Moreover, they are better at handling checked bags, and preventing cases of denied boarding.
To stay fair, you have to say Delta works. If you book a flight, the assumption that it will run on time is a sensible one at this point in time. In addition, your baggage will arrive with you, as the airline claims. Objectively, it has passed the competition in these areas. But in others, it still has a long way to go.
The fares are not much better than what competition offers, and a bit of planning would get you far better deals with the latter. Last weekend the company launched a domestic price hike despite simultaneous boasts about record profits.