Delta’s mileage-earning details page for the new Skymiles program going into effect January 1 detail how miles will be earned based on fare paid, instead of miles flown. And it has some interesting details about why customers buying the most expensive tickets won’t do so well, after all.
I outlined Delta’s changes last week. The talking point from Delta is that their most valuable customers will be rewarded, while people paying the lowest fares will get reliable transportation (and, cough, very few miles).
They’re changing the redemption side of things too. They haven’t told us how yet. That makes many flyers even more nervous than the changes in mileage-earning from flying.
But I’ve already shown that many business travelers flying expensive tickets won’t earn more miles than they currently do — it’s flyers only on the most expensive tickets, and flyers who normally buy expensive tickets on short routes, that come out ahead.
And I’ve also shown that it will take more spending for Gold and Platinum elite members to come out ahead of the old program than it will for General Members to come out ahead.
But it turns out that Delta is going to impose a cap on the amount of mileage earned, no matter how expensive a ticket.
Here’s the section:
Delta is going to award a maximum of 75,000 miles per ticket, no matter how expensive it is.
And here’s the fine print, that say the cap is inclusive of bonus points earned for elite status:
Miles earned for base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges, excluding government-imposed taxes and fees. Miles earned per USD spent includes Medallion mileage bonus. Subject to a maximum of 75,000 miles per ticket.
So the higher your elite tier, the lower the ticket price is where you’ll hit that cap.
Delta’s 125,000 mile a year Diamond members will not earn a single additional mile for business class tickets over $6818.18 (in base fare plus fuel surcharges).
A Diamond who flies $11,000 tickets regularly might get excited thinking they’re going to receive 132,000 miles (although we still do not know how much those miles will be worth, and Delta says they won’t tell us until the 4th quarter). But the new Delta system is going to claw back 58,000 miles from this high value customer.
(HT: Commenter David G.)