Lots of press like this around Delta’s decision to change its frequent flyer program starting in 2015 to reward dollars spent versus miles flown. Same thing happened with Southwest similar change couple of years ago. As I I approach the 3 million lifetime mile threshold with Delta, and with most of us in tech on the road so much, it should be a welcome change for business travelers.
The reality is as I wrote in 2012 and many readers commented most of us have learned the game. Those miles come with way too many strings attached and when you try to cash them – well, as I asked a Delta rep a few years ago “would you keep investing in a currency which keeps depreciating in value?”
In my opinion, the airlines have way too inflated a view of the importance of frequent flyer miles in our decisions. Non stops, newer equipment, comfortable seats, reliable wi-fi, on-time performance, not being greedy with fees are far more important considerations these days. One reason why after years of positive relationship with Southwest, several issues last year have taxed my loyalty to move half my budget with them away this year.
Now my daughter, as she ramps up her travel days, is much more into the mileage discussion. But she remembers the more generous times in the 90s when the family would go to Ireland each summer on Delta miles. Those days are long gone, as she is starting to find out.