comments

Many comments have flooded in about the Save SkyMiles campaign. Some of them are listed below. Do you have a comment about the changes to the SkyMiles program, or about this site? Submit your comments...

*Some comments have been edited for content and/or brevity.

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Richard Wilde - October 5, 2004

I would like to add an observation concerning the comment from Rich regarding SkyMiles holders. Delta reminds me of other large corporations such as IBM that have gotten in trouble financially because they were not tuned in to what was taking place in their marketplace. Free enterprise means there will always be companies making a better mousetrap, and the only way to survive and grow is to adapt your own business with the changing times. Delta sat back and rested on it's laurels way too long. There should have been incremental adjustments in salaries and operating expenses going on for many years so they could run lean and mean like their competitors coming into the market. Now it is perhaps too late. I am not whining now that I find the SkyMiles program is not what it was represented to me when I started saving miles many years ago. I have kept my end of the bargain, and I am just disappointed in Delta for not keeping theirs. I hope they survive, but the manner in which they treat their customers during these difficult times will determine for me whether I avoid them in my future travels.

justin shaw - September 30, 2004

hey, I have no no problem gettting tickets 8 months ahead of time... I just reedemed two free tickets on South African Airways for next year the route to South Africa is one of the popular routes and i got them 8 months ahead of time so no problems.....

Zubin - September 28, 2004

Hi Guys:

I know many are concerned about the fate of their skymiles, but Delta has so many code sharing partners (Continental a major One) dont you think you're being a little pesimistic? Also does anyone know if Delta is making it more difficult to redeem skymiles? Has anyone tried to book something say 9 or 10 months from now? Thanks!

Rich - September 24, 2004

I am chuckling a bit after reading some of the comments on the site about "Save Skymiles". Given the current state of the financial affairs of the airline industry--if Delta wants to survive--they would boot the entire program and all the whining members along with it.

Which airlines are profitable these days? It is not any of the so called legacy carriers with the frequent flier programs. One of the legacy carriers is at deaths door--another one is on the critical list and Delta is wheezing and ready to head to the hospital of chapter 11.

And all the Delta forums that I read are fifilled with the wailings from spoiled 'elite" flyers complaining about no upgrades avaliable, can't use miles for trips, boo hoo.

How many passengers in the first class cabin actually paid for a first class seat? The estimate that I read today was around 10%. So the other 90% of those seats are upgrades for the whiner medallion members who think that Delta "owes" them a freeby--usually everytime they step foot on a plane. And God forbid if Delta has decided to use a smaller fuel efficient regional jet instead of a 757 for a flight leg---then the whiner medallion class feels really shafted as there is no first class cabin.

USAIR, United and Delta will eventually go the way of the steel industry 20 years ago. Those companies had the same problems with a work force that was well paid and too many promises were made that were not given a reality check for ability to fulfill.

As soon as people started living until 85 years old instead of 60 and people that had heart attacks died most of the time instead of being saved as is now the case, the death knell of traditional pension plans was sounded.

Don't get me wrong--I think that medical care is a good thing. But as a country-of the total amount spent on health care--over 70% of that is spent in the last few months of life. So we have developed many technologies to prolong life a little--but for the most part, just better general knowledge about health and good preventative care has increased life expectancy a lot for relatitively little cost.

Either wqy--when the number of retirees of a company are 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 times the numer of active employees--the whole concept and under lying assumptions of traditional pension programs collapses. The legacy carriers have tried to support those pension plans--but under the weight of competition, higer fuel costs, etc--it just can't be done any more.

Delta will be making a stop through Chapter 11 fairly soon. If it can dump its pension plans and has the nerve to stand up to the whining medallion memebers--it might survive.

Delta cannot survive as it is structured now. It might survive re-structured as Song is set up minus the onerous Skymiles portion.

And for you Skymiles members who are stuck with a half million useless Skymiles--think of it like the Delta employees are about to find out when they take a haircut on their pensions. Promises were made in good faith--but the realities of the times make it impossible to honor those promises today.

Richard Wilde - September 10, 2004

I grew up in Atlanta, and always felt like Delta was THE way to fly. They had the best safety record and seemed to always be a cut above the rest in quality and service. I did not do a whole lot of flying, but prior to my retirement this year, I had accumulated over 100,000 SkyMiles and my wife had 38,000 miles. Our plan was to use these miles to go to Hawaii. Okay - quit laughing. I'm basically a novice at this and somehow thought we really could use 35,000 miles apiece and get a round trip to Hawaii, which we could tie in with a tour service so we could explore several islands. I have been trying to book a flight for us all summer, and have learned a few things. One of them is that the Delta computers can only see up to 331 days in advance. Secondly, even if you try booking a trip to Hawaii that far in advance, and even if you agree to fly first class for 75,000 SkyMiles, your chances of pulling this off are slim and none. So, after dealing with unsympathetic ticket agents in the reservations department, I sent a customer comment to the Customer Care center on the Delta website. They replied in an e-mail saying customer service is the foundation of Delta, and their success depends on how well they serve their customers. They then suggested I call the reservations department at the phone number on the back of my SkyMiles card and an agent would be glad to assist me! In the meantime, I have put my SkyMiles credit card in a drawer and have been charging my purchases on a Visa card that has no annual fee and gives me a 1% rebate on everything I purchase. I all ready have a credit of over $500, which can buy a plane ticket with any airline anytime I want to fly. No SkyMiles pie in the sky BS. I lived and learned...........

Ron G - September 9, 2004

As 'in good company' victim of Delta's miserable customer service and condescending attitudes towards us I must say that I am relieved that Song has been given a new lease on life. And this after typically stupid comments from the top of the airline by a Delta CEO who probably never flew on it in the first place.

I've flown Song several times in the past year and, in start contrast to Delta, it is really a pretty good airline. On my recent rt from Boston to Tampa everything was right on time, the flight crew was friendly and helpful, the purchased food just fine, the seating (I am quite tall) more than adequate, and the occasional humor, if a bit canned, welcome. And, there have been improvements to their website, which is now easy to operate with some user friendly features.

Scratch just below the surface with Song employees and when you get around to talking about the parent company you feel like you may be entering a sewer. Now, we're not just talking about the usual 'bad management' stuff, but details of stupid decisions about customer service, gate service, bloated bean counters and CEO's who just can't keep their mouths shut. Of course, all those Song trips aren't worth a hill of beans in terms of regaining the medallion status I once had, and now instead of flying Delta exclusively I am much more likely to use American or Jet Blue for long-distance flights (both have far better comfort.

The simple fact is that the CEO of Song should be running Delta and not vice-versa. Start with the customer and go from there.

carol B - August 21, 2004

DELTA ELIMINATES K FARES ON THE SHUTTLE ON WEEKENDS. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY THE ONLY KIND OF TICKET AVAILABLE ON THE SHUTTLE ON WEEKENDS IS M CLASS WHICH IS A Y FARE FOR WEEKENDS--ITS 188 ROUNDTRIP FROM LGA TO DCA AND BACK. THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS. NO MORE 7 DAY ADVANCE. THERE IS NO REASON TO FLY DELTA ON THE WEEKENDS WHEN USAIR AND AA ARE 136 ROUNDTRIP WITH A 7 DAY ADVANCE FOR THE SAME FLIGHT.

Carol B - August 14, 2004

DELTA has totally ignored the conflict of interest posed by Patricia Miles a major USAir stockholder. She is responsible for trashing the medallion program and destroying many of the features that made us platinum. As Delta is destroyed, USAir travel goes up and so does her stock. But for some reason she is protected and no one has the brains to fire her then sue her for deliberately trashing the competitor to USAir. She must be in bed with someone--think Ken Lay think Enron.

G. Agent - July 30, 2004

I am a gate agent for DL in ATL. I read this website and can only say this. I do not understand why our management team made these changes. The skymiles program was created after deregulation to attract loyal customers and retain them.
They have even cut us back to working a gate with only one person for narrowbody aircraft(737,MD-88, 757) and two for widebody (767-777). It is very hard to give good customer service when you are being tasked to perform the following items (greet inbound flight, accomodate seat changes, solicit volunteers when oversold{which is almost every flight these days},make sure the plane is being cleaned and catered,board the aircraft, and get it out on time....(which by the way if it does not, we have to explain to our boss what happened....)
Show a little patience, and courtesy to your gate agent....we are trying hard to make air travel easier but we cannot be hand-holders and babysitters to travelers who cannot think for themselves.....People can find their way around the mall of america, but cannot follow a sign in the airport to their next gate or baggage claim....Last time I checked, there are no electric carts in the mall either....I am not saying these things to be mean...but all these factor into my job and this is the reason we sometimes cannot give the attention to our loyal customers at the gate.
A lot more passengers are actually purchasing coach fares that if a first class seat is available at time of purchase, they get confirmed in first...This is an "A" class ticket...A lot of these fares are actually a Q fare that is upgraded at time of purchase. This is the reason that upgrades do not happen at the gate. I know that center seats are the pits....but sometimes that is all that is left on a oversold flight....Air traffic control delays and weather delays affect both sides of the podium...Please remember that the FAA tells us when and where we fly our planes....Our pilots cannot just take off and fly the route they want.....This goes for all airlines....For those of you in the northeast....This is a neverending problem....
In closing.....I agree that the 50 % mileage on L U T fares is totally unfair to you guys...Skymiles are a perk that cost the company literally nothing to give out.....Heck, I am just a peon gate agent and I can give up to 2500 skymiles to a passenger to resolve a legitimate disservice to him or her.....
Keep writing the letters and maybe eventually management will listen....Your peon gate and ticket agents are behind most of you...(there are a few especially Mr. Shobel....I have read his record....who give Medallions a bad rap....He has been very abusive, vulgar, rude, to a lot of frontline employees....There are a few Medallions I would personally like to tell them to "Go to hell and take their F******* business elsewhere.....but a majority of you guys and gals I try to go out of my way to help you when I can.....I know there are a few in my area that should be downstairs throwing bags and not dealing with our most valuable customers....but like I said before....I am just a peon gate agent trying to make a living in this crazy industry......This website is a good way for everyone to express their feelings and speak out....I tell all my counterparts on both sides of the podium to check out this website and take heed to what most of you people are saying........WE (the frontline gate and ticket agents) are trying our best.......give us a little attention and respect that we deserve(most of us)maybe we can weed the bad folks out on both sides........
p.s. Please give us the attention you expect from us when in front of us..(i.e. cellphone)
Thank You for your time..... :)

Harry Chambers - July 30, 2004

2 million miler;
To Sissy
Many of us have switched airlines, thats one of the reasons you are facing bankruptcy

Steve B. - July 29, 2004

I cannot believe what I am reading. All I see are comments from people that sound like spoilied little children when their parents tell them no. Do you people not remember 9/11? The airlines suffered a major blow from that event. You people still want concorde service, but want to pay greyhound prices. You are the people that I see in the airport screaming at a poor gate agent "who is one level above a cockroach in the airline industry" because you did not get something you think you deserve. Grow up, read the business section. ALL the "big" airlines are going through major changes. Instead of blaming DELTA, blame Southwest and the other "low cost" carriers for what has happened to Delta. Remember this, how much do you pay to be in the skymiles program? Answer, NOTHING....The perks are going away because people do not want to pay for them. Thank Southwest....Deregulation.....and leisure travelers.....Stop whining and get over it. By the way, the reason PM,GM,FO do not get the free upgrades as much....Regular joes, such as me...can buy a Q class ticket plus an extra $50-75 dollars and get confirmed first class. Providing you plan 7-14 days in advance....Amazing what you can learn by talking to a reservations agent for the airline....GET OVER IT CHILDREN......

Ann - July 15, 2004

I fly to Europe on business at least once a year, and at least once more for vacation, in addition to frequent US business trips -- always on Delta. That is, until this year. I'm so disgusted with the changes and the absolute inability to use Skymiles or to even be recognized for medallion status that, although I may have to continue flying Delta for business due to it being a contracted airline, I've just booked Lufthansa for ouur annual European vacation and will never again fly Delta for leisure travel. I'll also do my best to "wicker" my business travel to fly on a competitor airline if possible. Too sad. Used to love Delta and always told our European friends to fly it, as it was the U.S.'s best...

Amy - June 29, 2004

Has anyone had any problems with checked luggage? I haven't until now. I'm Platinum and usually I don't check my luggage, but I had to this trip. I flew out of LaGuardia with a layover in Dallas. When I got home, it looked like all my stuff had been dumped out and wadded up and put back in. There was no card/slip of paper/sticker from TSA, so it looks like it could have been airline workers. Has anyone else experienced anything like this, specifically from either LGA or ATL airports? Did you get any resolution when you complained to Delta? Delta has said that since my final flight leg was on ASA, that it's their problem and not Delta's, even though 1/2 the trip was on Delta.

Kiam - Gold Medallion - June 27, 2004

After reading over a lot of comments from other members, I am still one of the loyal medallion members. However, the Elite Plus Requirement really bothers me.

According to SkyTeam Alliance Elite Plus Requirements, I am wondering why Delta is the MOST DIFFICULT (besides Korean Air) one for a Medallion Member to achieve Elite Plus status??? Here is the summary of their partners' requirements on becoming an Elite Plus member.

Air France = 40K Elite Qualifying Miles
Delta = 100K Elite Qualifying Miles
Korean = 500K Miles (over membership lifetime but NO EXPIRATION once become Elite Plus)
Korean = Million Miler is also Elite Plus
Northwest = 75K Elite Qualifying Miles
Continental = 75K Elite Qualifying Miles
CSA = 50K Elite Qualifying Miles
AeroMexico = 50K Elite Qualifying Miles
Alitalia = 75K Elite Qualifying Miles

While their major competitor, StarAlliance, also only requires 50K Elite Qualifying Miles to become StarAlliance Gold which is considered an
Elite Plus status.

I really would like to Delta to reconsider such requirements for a member to be qualified as an Elite Plus member.

If major airlines even within SkyTeam Alliance only require 50-75K Miles to become an Elite Plus, why Delta still stands at 100K?

Why Korean Million Miler is considered an Elite Plus member while Delta Million Miler is only considered as Silver??? What a shame?

What a huge inconsistency among partners???

sissy - June 22, 2004

thank you for your comment Avek00!!! why don't you people quit whining? if you want first class, buy it! not everyone can be upgraded. there's only so many seats in 1st class on one airplane!! if you're not happy with Delta, switch air lines!!

MK - June 16, 2004

I have read through all the comments and couldn't agree more. I've been PM for many years and Royal Medallion before that. Upgrades are tough, even with Y fares and free tickets are a joke.

One thing I found (which won't apply to all because of location and destination) is that you can use your SkyMiles to fly Virgin to Europe. I called in January to book a ticket to Paris in Jun, and of course, nothing available unless I wanted to use SkyChoice (160K for Bus Elite). I was able to book upper class on Virgin (flat bed seat, etc) for 100K. While I know that's a lot of miles, still cheaper than 160K on Delta. It seems that Virgin has more than 2 seats allocated for FF tickets that Delta does. Better than letting the miles go down the drain.

Don - June 15, 2004

I am now retired and get my frequent flyer miles primarily through my credit card purchases. I tried to use my Delta Skymiles for trips to Mexico and the Bahamas. In both cases, I was told that there were no seats available to the programs quoted 30k mile level but there were seats if I wanted to use 60k miles. I was able to get seats on USAir at 30k for Mexico and bought USAir tickets for the Bahamas. My recommendation is to voice our complaints not just to Delta but to American Express that is affiliated with them. I have stopped using my AMEX card and using my USAir VISA for purchases. I recommend that more Skymiles members use another card and let AMEX know that you are doing so. Perhaps AMEX can pressure Delta to honor their program.

Marc - June 9, 2004

Delta decided that someone who flew 100-110 segments a year, mostly up and down eastern part of country was no longer valuable to them.

After 20 years at top of Delta programs have started flying AirTran and USAirways. Better fares, better chance for upgrades, more direct flights and better ability to earn top of programs. Unlike Delta, they want me to fly with them. Am already Elite and Chairman.

So far, Delta lost me on 36-48 flights this year.

David G - June 4, 2004

Seems a fundamental part of the conflict here is that we flyers view the program as a reward, and the airlines view it as an incentive. We've each made our deal with the devil. When they market the program to us, they use terms like "reward" and "loyalty." In truth, they are more in search of "upgrade addicts" who can be "bribed." I'll confess . . . since I have to travel anyway, I'll play that game. If you give me enough perks, I'll fly your airline, only as long as the perks outweigh the grief and degradation (I'm Platinum 2 million).

They've now decided they want the program revolving around higher-revenue passengers. In itself, that is not a bad concept. But it is way too simplistic to address the realities of businees travel. I would guess a rather high percentage of you are like me: I can "guide" my corporate travel department to put me on a given airline, but I cannot get them to pay for a higher fare than is required. Of course it is obvious that what the airline should do to achieve higher revenue AND loyal cuatomers is charge a higher, more reasonable fare for every ticket which might actually allow them to run a decent, profit-making business that develops true loyalty based on a quality product and solid customer service, rather than heavily bribed, while otherwise disgruntled pseudo-prisoners!

I wish us all well . . . I've sent my share of complaints to Delta . . . but I'm not particularly hopeful that they will ever get their act together.

Ron - May 31, 2004

I ma so glad to find this site. For the second time in ten years I have sworn off Delta. Bad service and no management. The complaints just go unnoticed.



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