A frequent flyer program is equal parts earning and redemption.
Delta’s new revenue-based frequent flyer program has only shared details of how miles will be earned — based on the money you spend, rather than the miles you fly (time spent with an airline on their planes) — and not how miles will be spent.
As a result we really don’t know the impact of the changes. Delta had said they would release the award redemption half of the program during the last quarter. They’ve had their new redemption chart, but they had planned to keep it a secret. Their members would fly all year, saving points to redeem next year, but not knowing how much those points are worth.
Word today — three different people had shared with me by the end of the day — is that Delta had changed its mind and plans to release its award charts tomorrow.
They could still pull back, but it was definitely the word from inside Delta that they were looking at this.
I haven’t seen the charts yet. And the charts won’t tell the entire story — we will have to see what actual availability is like at each level once the new year comes. But if true it will be a step in the right direction.
Delta can structure their program any way they wish. That’s certainly what they told the Supreme Court. I just think they need to be honest with their customers about what the value proposition is. Then folks can decide whether or not it works for them.
Assuming the charts come out tomorrow (or Friday) it’ll be an interesting time evaluating what the changes mean. I’m most interested to see what changes if any there are to the partner airline award chart since that’s all based on the same inventory as before, not revenue-based, so charging more miles doesn’t get more availability.
We may know soon.