Many comments have flooded in about the Save SkyMiles campaign. Some of them are listed below.
*Some comments have been edited for content and/or brevity.
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Michael Hudson - September 26, 2003
The response to the full-page ad this week by Delta was quite laughable. Sadly, I still don't think they get it.
I am bound by my company's travel policies to not purchase full-fare tickets. I suspect many other business (read: loyal and frequent) travelers face the same constraints.
I never could understand the business sense of alienating your most loyal (and revenue-providing) customer base--especially when you're losing 2-billion dollars a year. The Skymiles program as it was operated even a year ago could not have represented a significant expense for Delta--and yet it was often the sole reason I--and I suspect many other frequent fliers--chose Delta exclusively.
Essentially Delta has now removed the last remaining distinction between themselves and every other airline competing for my business. Until they demonstrate that they want my business's money, I'll be happy to accommodate their wishes and fly with other airlines who demonstrate that they actually want me.
PDM - September 26, 2003
You should be ashamed of yourselves. This is the problem, you all whine way to much. All carriers are adjusting there frequent flyer programs, and where else can you get free drinks in a airline lounge such as Delta's crown room. Even if you are not a Platinum Medallion and have to pay for a membership, most of you can drink the amount it cost for a years membership in 1 day. Respect and thankfulness, treat others as you want to be treated. Think about it people the next time you complain. Delta is trying and the employee's are an innocent bystander to all the changes, but get 99% of the abuse. You need to hug your local Delta agent the next time you see them and tell them you care, I am going to because they are people too, and have had to make many sacrifices the past few years just like the rest of us.
Bob Kelly - September 25, 2003
Everyone is so eloquent in their responses ot Delta. I am a 3.2 Million Miler. Had to flight my wife, son and myself to Detroit this summer. We planned on using FF Miles. No flights were available. The booking was being made four weeks in advance. I was told if I used 50K miles per ticket I could free up a revenue seats. Necessity made me do it. None of us got upgraded. It wouldn't matter much except since Delta added their Shuttle Bus from Atlanta to Savannah.
I have switched to United. I'm even thinking of going to USair which is starting to look good by Delta standards.
The employees at Delta over the years have been outstanding. Thanks to everyone of them.
Craig L. - September 25, 2003
Just yesterday, 9/24, I was refused to go on an earlier flight that had 53 seats available. They rather allow the plane to leave 1/3 empty, than to accomodate a LOYAL Delta customer. They claim they do not allow standby any longer and you must pay $25 for this ??? I guess they know the government bailout is there security umbrella. I will NOT vote for any political candidate that is for airline government bailouts.
Could not help but to notice how well the stocks of Jet Blue and AirTran are doing...hmmm ?
KWS - September 25, 2003
Having been a loyal traveler since 1998, Platinum for 5 years, I am furious over the lack of concern that Delta has for those who lined their pockets and even stuck by them while everyone else bailed for several months in 2001. While families stopped taking vacations, we, the business traveler endured the nightmare of air travel and continued to board that Delta plane, keeping them employed. What do we get in return - NOTHING. Our upgradable seats that we have earned now can be sold to a once-a-year traveler, while we cram into his center seat in row 37 with the screaming 3 year old next to us. This is our punishment for purchasing one of those deeply discounted fares. However, I buy enough of those cheaper two - three times a week and I am spending a hell of a lot more that the once a year vacationer. Yet, my loyalty means nothing. I am stuck in a market in which ASA (America's Sorriest Airline) services, so I have no choice but to put up with such poor treatment until I decide to sell my house and move to a market where smiling gate agents and flight staff greet you on the plane and truly appreciate your business. The first chance I get to jump off this Delta ship, I am gone! You may want to do this also. Having had the opportunity to fly a little SouthWest and Continental has opened my eyes up to what air travel should be like. Give them a try. They want your business and have bent over backwards to show it. Continental treated me better than Delta has - recognizing my Platinum status with Delta - offering me the same level with them - and honestly wanting to keep my business. Watch out Leo - while you and your executives sit back and collect your healthy bonuses, the rest of us are going to another airline. I suggest you start to recognize your loyal passengers - soon!
Scott Rosenthal - September 24, 2003
I got a nice laugh when I found the ad in USA Today. I thought I was alone out there ! I live next door to West Palm Beach (PBI) but drive to Ft Lauderdale to fly American ... because Delta does not appreciate my business and has displayed this many times in many ways !
Fred McGranahan - September 24, 2003
I have been Platinum Medallion for about five years. I currently have about 750k Skymiles to use and have earned about 500k toward Million Miler status. I am a regional flyer who relies on segments, not miles for earning Medallion status each year.
On my return flight from Raleigh today, as I often do without hesitation, I helped a couple of folks store luggage in the overhead bins. The flight attendant, whom I recognized from earlier travels, showed appreciation then accused me of being a flight attendant in a previous life. (Soon she asked me with just a hint of sarcasm to find space for the rest of the stragglers' bags) Yes, this type of exchange is what is important to me in this nonglamourous lifestyle as traveller on these modern day cattle cars. Additionally, I really didn't mind the coach class center seat today as I understand there must be balance in all we experience.
I have been royally ----- by these changes to the Skymile program, too. Being Platinum may seem glamourous to the novice traveller, but every Medallion flyer knows the truth. Yes, being Platinum allows for more frequent upgrades, but we all know that to attain any status within any program, we have to put up with seemingly endless hassles. The rudeness, disrespect, misinformation and the "mechanical problems" do come to mind first as does having to wait for the gate crew to arrive, as does landing early and getting to the gate late, as does the inevitable gate change, as does the obligatory late in the week "holding pattern", etc. Not all are the fault of anyone, most aren't. (Note: The courteous, well-trained, customer focused employees are always noticed and very much appreciated!!)
Being Platinum makes all this tolerable. The money we direct to the airline earns us this simple enhancement. (Sidebar: If memory serves me, it's been quite some time since I enjoyed the bagel, cereal, yogurt, under ripe banana breakfasts that were so very much appreciated.)
Anyway, the effect of these horribly abrasive and lifestyle altering changes to the Medallion program is this: I have flown 30-40 fewer Delta flights this year. That's quite a chunk of revenue Delta didn't realize this year, now isn't it?
How excited was I when my friendly flight attendant handed me the USA today with the well placed communication from this organization? Extremely! I hope the "Powers That Be" (and maybe shouldn't) take this sincere message to heart. Don't they understand just how long-reaching these Management 101 decisions are? They should by now!
Thank you for your efforts on our behalf! I will now spend time reviewing the contents of this site and will respond accordingly. And yes, thanks to all the employees who have been so helpful and thoughtful and professional for all the years I've "worked" with them.
In closing, I must repeat the message on a bumper sticker that helped shape my perspective such a long time ago..."Flight Attendant: Trained To Save Your Ass, Not Kiss It". We know you weren't trained to serve Cokes and pretzels. Thanks again!
Maybe this will all work out.
S. Suggs - September 23, 2003
What a breath of fresh air! Love the website.
Dont't you just love the the all the marketing nonsense...."So, go ahead, use your miles, we'll give you more"...oh please!...sure, we are all going to need as many miles as we can get our hands on anyway, particularly with Delta's dandy little "smoke in mirrors" program. It's perfectly plain to me they have been smoking their socks in ATL. This is the most convoluted pos I have seen in some time. May they reap what they sow -
Chris Schulze - September 13, 2003
Yet another slap to Delta's elite membership: I just got a letter from Delta/AmEx which "gives" complimentary Silver or Gold Medallion status to AmEx Membership Miles members who transfer a few hundred thousand points to Skymiles accounts. It's increasingly hard to earn elite membership at Delta, but you can buy your way in easily enough!
Luis E.Rodriguez - September 12, 2003
I have gone to Continental & United since they have both honored my Medallion Level in Delta. I can truly tell you that Continental really wants my business by the way they treat me with upgrades and the rest. I'm already qualified as a Gold Elite on Contenental for 2004. It feesl great when somebody appreciates your business.
Jump Ship its worth it.
Bill McGuire - September 11, 2003
Platinum Medallion here for what it will be worth in 2004....not much. Done some checking around and Continental is willing to comp Delta passengers with the same elite status on their airline. Only need 75,000 miles to reach platinum on Continental. Additionally, they have unlimited upgrades and platinum can upgrade 120 hours prior to the flight. I'm switching; you might think about doing it too.
Matt Asay - September 7, 2003
I was frustrated (and a bit annoyed) with Delta's new Medallion qualification procedures. It seemed fair enough to reward members for paying extraordinary fares, but not for dinging people simply because they happened to get a good fare.
I'm now furious, however. I recently flew to London, and paid over $850 for my ticket. This, however, was considered "deeply, deeply discounted." So, I stood to earn 50% mileage for the roundtrip.
I couldn't see myself enduring Coach for that long, so I called Special Member Services to find out what it would cost me to upgrade to a fare class that would get me 100% mileage. I was told that I'd need to pay $125 or so more (and, for just $800 more, I could actually upgrade using Skymiles! How generous of Delta!!). Reluctantly, I decided to do so.
Well, imagine my surprise (after having my seats wiped out after the fare upgrade, such that I had to spend 1.5 hours on the phone just trying to get a reasonably equivalent seat assignment) when I checked my Skymiles balance tonight, only to discover that I received 50% Skymiles credit, anyway. I sent an email to Customer Service, but I'm sure I'll get a polite answer in reply, "Sorry, but there's nothing we can (which means, "will") do for you. Delta has, in effect, extorted money from me, given me nothing in return, and seems to have no problem with such shoddy customer (dis)service.
I contacted United tonight, and expect to move over to them as my preferred carrier. I want someone that won't ding me for getting a good deal, and won't ding me even when I don't (since when is $1000 cheap for airfare bought a month in advance?).
S. Watts - August 27, 2003
I have been GM for several years reached only on segments. Airport closest to me only has Delta and connects in ATL, I am locked into using them for now. I keep hoping another airline will come in so I can tell them where to go. I would have reached GM by now but due to mileage and 1/2 points I will be lucky if I receive SM. Just like others I work hard and when I fly I want to relax and not feel like a sardine. I have been on American and United from Chicago and their coach seats are like First Class in Delta, even have leg room. Can anyone tell me why they give you plastic knives in First Class with a sharp pointed metal fork. Makes no sense to me.
E. Mann - August 26, 2003
I just got off the phone w/ Delta.
My husband was a GM through a program with his company. He had to fly a lot in the past but, due to the economy, his company cut back travel and he lost his GM status. In the past year travel has been reinstated by his company but he did not get his GM (or even medallion) status back.
He has traveled a lot this year. Just last week he flew TPA to SMF in U class. He is more interested in saving his company money (as we all are) than booking expensive tickets to keep his elite status. If he had received full credit, it would have given him the 25,000 qualifying miles he needs. However, it brought him to 23,000+ miles. This week he had to return to SMF and his current qualifying balance is 24,327 miles.
He's a big guy and he has a prosthetic arm. Middle seats are hell for him. He had to endure a middle seat last week and the woman next to him gave him a Coca Cola bath. This week I called to see if Delta would make an exception on his return (since the return will make him medallion) and they said no. He has to fly the miles first.
He has to fly to Sweden on the 9th...do you think he's going to fly Delta? Not if I can help it! I'm sure any number of carriers will be happy to give him a decent seat since he'll be paying a midweek fare (no Sat. night stay).
Terry Fischer - July 13, 2003
I agree with many of the comments that others have stated in this comments forum. I am working on my third year of being a Platinum Medallion member and dread the coming of January 1, 2004. As a proactive measure, I will be sending a letter to Continental Airlines with a copy of my Platinum Medallion credentials (most recent statement and card) around December 1, 2003 asking to be granted comparable status with them for six to twelve months to prove my worth to them as a customer. I have had very positive experiences with Continental in the past and do a lot of business in the Northeast US, so maybe this will work out okay. Good luck everyone!
Kerry Q. - July 12, 2003
I actually sent in my comments to this site a little over a year ago when I realized that the initial changes to the Skymiles program would basically make it impossible for me to enjoy perks associated with medallion status. At the time, I was a Gold Medallion member flying mostly out of LA for leisure travel - extremely loyal to Delta. I won't reiterate the standard complaints of other members (I share your disgust in L, T, U fares and .5 mileage) but I want to offer one bit of interesting information.
After having been a medallion member for three consecutive years, and having almost 400,000 lifetime miles with Delta, I didn't qualify at the end of 2002 for a medallion level. I only had about 12, 500 miles banked for the year. They snatched my 800 mile segment upgrades at midnight on 1/1/03 and set my counter to "0" faster than I could blink.
As of today, I have not received one piece of mail, not one email nor one phone call from Delta asking why I don't fly them anymore. They haven't contacted me at all with any incentive to return to them as a customer. Not that it really matters, but I feel as though Delta does not care if people like me stop flying them. And I really don't miss them. That's very sad, after a 15 year relationship.
B Traveler - July 11, 2003
Since Delta has taken such a hard line against us Platinums, I have taken the position with them that every flight must be perfect. If there is the slightest problem, I bitterly complain all the way up the food chain ( in a nice way). I have gotten miles/vouchers and other freebies using this tactic. If they persist in treating us as expendable, then I expect letter perfect service.
LawProf - July 9, 2003
United will match medallion status. I just flew United from Seattle to Anchorage and had a very positive experience. Of course, United is in bankruptcy and lacks a reorganization plan. So, it might be best to wait to January 04 to make the jump. This would also give Delta one last chance to dump their punitive (and worst in the industry) qualifying rules. No other carrier fails to credit segments or punishes discount economy flyers. (Some carriers reward those purchasing high end economy and first class seat with bonus qualification miles, but Delta is alone in its qualification rules -- something that is even more obvious with the new Northwest/Continental partnership.)
Assuming United is around in January 04, I plan to switch carriers without losing my elite status. Others should consider doing this too. United also has a parnter relationship with US Air, so if you can use either US Air or United, you can dump Delta as your airline of choice.
Final concern: it's much harder to get Delta award seats without resort to "Skychoice" award levels. For some routes, skychoice seats are *never* available. For mundane routes, getting a skychoice seat often means taking a double connection -- even when single connection routings have empty planes. It appears Delta has effectively doubled the number of miles one must use to get an award seat, unless you have a lot of spare time to get to/from your destination.
The people in Atlanta must think we are really stupid out here. I say, give Delta until December to fix this situation and then jump ship. Until the bean counters feel some pain, they will never admit error and move on.
James Wilson - July 7, 2003
I am new to this site and was actually steered here by a Delta employee who was aware of its existence. I have been PM for the past 4 years (would have been 5 but I started my new job in August that year and only reached Gold) and to say the least I'm quite disappointed in the changes to the SkyMiles Program. In reading a few pages of the comments I must say I agree with almost every complaint, especially the idea that we only get .5 miles on some fares and we will lose our upgrade upon purchase option under the new rules. I fly out of PHX and now Delta offers only Regional Jet service to SLC and DFW, which means that unless I pay the extra money to avoid the L,U,T fare class I will not only be getting only a half mile but there is absolutely no chance to upgrade on an RJ- seems like a double dose of punishment to me.
My second concern, and I have emailed Delta twice with this question and they have not responded, is when the 100 hour limit for upgrades kicks in next year will I have to call for each itinerary, each day, each segment; I can't seem to get an answer to this one. And if I am flying when I reach the 100 hour time limit, what then are my chances in the upgrade lottery.
Thanks for putting this site together, at least now I can complain about and to Delta. My philosophy has always been if I don't do something to correct the situation, I can't complain about it. Hopefully, Delta will see the light and not impose the new rules (punishments) to the program.
I am also mentioning this site to fellow travelers and receommending that they log on and become part of the voice.
And finally, I fly again in two days and my first question when I go to the Crown Room will be, "What have they taken away from us this week?" My final thought- Why do I have to work so hard to be one of their best customers?
Kerry I. Edwards - July 4, 2003
Thought I would share just one more travel story indicating how far down Delta has gone this past year. I have been a PM for 4 years now and fly mostly out of Gainesville, FL. Routinely head up to the NE US weekly on business.
Three weeks ago I was contacted at 10PM on a Sunday night to inform me that my 515AM Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA is a another story in of itself) had been canceled due to "mechanical" issues. Needed to be at my destination for a presentation by 11AM on Monday and was given the "choice" to fly out of Jacksonville on a 6AM flight with a connect in Atlanta.
If I had shown up at the airport at 415AM as originally planned and this had happened, I would have been put in a cab and sent to Jacksonville. This exact thing has happened to me on five occasions in the past couple of years.
I asked the Delta representative about paying for the cab ride and was informed that they would not pay for that or more specifically, "That is not part of our compensation".
I then asked about an upgrade from Jacksonville to Atlanta and was told that there were no upgrades available, (despite an upgradable ticket class), and the "best" she could do was a waitlist.
Totally frustrated at this point and having to get up in four hours to drive the hour and half to Jacksonville, I gave up. The funny thing is when I showed up at the airport for my 6am flight, there were 9, count them 9, unsold seats in First Class. I got my upgrade, but what a terrible experience. I even got a $150 voucher from a Customer Service Manager's Manager after one solid hour on the phone.
Have very limited service where I live, which is my choice. A trade off that I am willing to make to live in a great place.
The total lack of concern my the various DL personel is very disconcernting. There is no real "customer service" anymore.
The changes to the SkyMiles program have made me rethink my loyalty to Delta. I flew US Air exclsuively for a year that we lived in Philly and made it to Silver Preferred and still have that designation. So now I may be connecting through Charlotte, NC instead of Atlanta, GA if Delta doesn't wake up and reconsider these draconican changes to their "elite" flyers.
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