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Delta Air Lines Announces Changes to SkyMiles Medallion Program

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by MJF, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. MJF

    MJF Amphibious Member

    If you are a Delta traveler visit Delta's website. Major changes to the frequent flier program:

    Delta Air Lines Announces Changes to SkyMiles Medallion Program

    Modifications Involve Elite Status Qualification, Domestic Upgrades, Customer Recognition

    ATLANTA, Dec. 11, 2002 -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is reshaping its SkyMiles Medallion program to better align loyalty benefits and rewards with customer revenue. Under new Medallion qualification guidelines, the program now will award elite status based on a combination of miles flown and fares purchased, instead of on miles, segments or transoceanic segments flown.

    The modifications do not affect customers status earned in 2002 for the 2003 membership year; rather, they affect the way in which customers may earn elite status starting Jan. 1, 2003.

    "In todays competitive marketplace, no prize is greater than customer loyalty," said Vicki Escarra, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Delta. "To earn this honor, we are committed to creating a stronger partnership with SkyMiles members and enhancing their overall travel experience. These changes are designed to reward those members contributing the largest share of revenue to Delta with a faster path to Medallion status. The new Medallion qualification guidelines will allow Delta to not only show its appreciation for how often our members fly, but also for the fares these customers choose to purchase."

    Medallion Qualification Changes

    Customers now will earn elite status based on "Medallion Qualification Miles" a multiple of the distance traveled and fare class purchased on Delta, Delta Connection carriers, Delta Shuttle, Delta Express and its SkyTeam partners. The number of Medallion Qualification Miles earned in a calendar year will be the sole criterion to determine Medallion status, replacing qualification by segments, transoceanic segments or base miles. Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion and Platinum Medallion qualification levels will remain unchanged at 25,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Medallion Qualification Miles, respectively.

    The following chart outlines the new formula for earning Medallion Qualification Miles on Delta based on the minimum 500-mile flight. Miles used to calculate the Medallion Qualification formula will continue to be based on a 500 mile minimum or actual miles flown, whichever is greater:

    Class of Service Fare Class Medallion Qualification Miles Formula
    Medallion Qualification Miles Earned on the Minimum 500-mile Flight

    First, BusinessElite and Business P, F, A, J, D, C, I Flown miles x 2 1,000

    Coach Y, B, M, Flown miles x 1.5 750

    Discounted Coach H, Q, K, S Flown miles x 1 500

    Deeply-discounted Coach L, U, T Flown miles x .5 250

    SkyMiles Award/Special Fares R, O, N, E Flown miles x 0 0

    Note: Please visit delta.com/skymileschanges for specific information about earning Medallion Qualification Miles with SkyTeam partner activity.

    While the qualification revisions will impact Medallion members in different ways, Delta expects the total number of Medallion members to remain about the same, with slightly more members moving up in status. The airline plans to transition into the new qualification system by giving special consideration to current Medallion members. For example, members who would have earned a higher status under the new Medallion Qualification Miles guidelines, based on their 2002 travel activity, will be awarded that higher status in early January 2003. Also, members who have earned Platinum Medallion status over the past three consecutive years and continue to qualify under the previous guidelines will maintain their Platinum Medallion status through 2004. In addition, members who earned 2003 Platinum and Gold Medallion status will not decrease status by more than one level in 2004.

    "These special considerations for our long-term, loyal customers are designed to show our commitment and gratitude for their business," said Escarra.

    The ability to earn and accumulate SkyMiles for Award Travel through eligible flights or partnership activity has not changed. On all eligible fares, members will continue to earn a minimum of 500 miles per flight that may be applied toward Award Travel and upgrade awards. Class-of-Service, elite-level and other bonus miles earned through travel, promotional offers and partner activity will still apply toward Award Travel and upgrade awards.

    Upcoming Domestic Upgrade Changes

    Domestic upgrades are another aspect of the SkyMiles Medallion program that will evolve under the new guidelines. Recent analysis and customer feedback revealed opportunities to enhance upgrade benefits by controlling the number issued, aligning the price of an upgrade to reflect the value of limited premium cabin seats, adding flexibility in how upgrades are used, and streamlining the upgrade process.

    The following upgrade changes will phase in gradually over three different dates Jan. 1, 2003, May 1, 2003, and Jan. 1, 2004. The changes only apply to upgrades within or between the 50 United States, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico; other International upgrades are not impacted by changes outlined below:

    Reduced earn rate for upgrades: To better match the supply and demand for upgrades, members will receive fewer complimentary upgrades and the distance one can travel on an individual upgrade point will change from 800 miles to 500 miles. This will ensure that far fewer upgrades go unused and will improve members chances of achieving an upgrade when requested.
    Increased pricing for purchased upgrades: To more appropriately value a premium cabin seat, the price of purchased upgrades will increase (both the dollar price as well as the price in miles).
    More opportunities to use upgrades: The new guidelines will allow for upgrades to be used by Medallion members when traveling on deeply-discounted fare classes (L, U or T), subject to availability on the day of departure, or to upgrade a traveling companion.
    Increasing choice of upgrade benefits: Some customers have been unable to use all of their upgrades for varying reasons. The new program offers the choice to earn additional SkyMiles instead of upgrades.
    Simplified guidelines: One upgrade certificate type (North American Medallion Upgrades) will be eliminated and the guidelines for use of upgrades will be clear and consistent across all types of upgrades.
    All Platinum Medallion upgrade benefits and guidelines including unlimited domestic upgrades that members may confirm at time of booking, subject to availability, as well as six complimentary Platinum Medallion upgrades for use on most Delta flights worldwide - remain unchanged for 2003.

    Specific details of the upgrade changes can be found at delta.com/skymileschanges.

    More Ways to Recognize and Reward Customers

    Delta will be implementing the following new program guidelines to recognize and reward its customers:

    Passengers purchasing Delta BusinessElite or Business Class fares will earn a 50 percent Class-of-Service SkyMiles bonus, up from the previous 25 percent bonus, effective Jan. 1, 2003.
    Members reaching 75,000, 125,000 and 150,000 Medallion Qualification Miles at the end of each calendar year (as of Dec. 31, 2003) will have the ability to select from a menu-based option of additional benefits.
    There will be two new long-term recognition levels, effective May 1, 2003, for members who reach 2 million Medallion Qualification Miles (complimentary annual Gold Medallion status) and those with more than 4 million Medallion Qualification Miles (complimentary annual Platinum Medallion status).
    Platinum Medallion members will continue to enjoy complimentary access to Deltas more than 40 Crown Room Clubs worldwide and SkyTeam partner lounges, a unique program benefit when compared to other major U.S. airlines. Other elite benefits, such as designated check-in lines, priority boarding and preferred seating, and higher priority on waitlists will not change.

    "We believe these changes represent a more balanced and attractive program for our Medallion members and for Delta," said Escarra. "Our goal is to improve our ability to recognize and reward those customers for whom elite status benefits are important."

    Additional information regarding these changes will be communicated to SkyMiles members via email, regular mail and the SkyMiles newsletter. For specific information on these changes and the SkyMiles program, please visit delta.com/skymileschanges.

    Delta SkyMiles members earn mileage by flying Delta, Delta Connection carriers, Delta Express, Delta Shuttle and Delta's airline partners, including Delta's SkyTeam partners. The Delta SkyMiles program offers many other mileage-building opportunities, including the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, AT&T telecommunication services, EarthLink Internet services, participating hotels, car rental companies, restaurants, home buying and selling, cruise line and flower purchases.

    Delta Air Lines, the worlds second largest airline in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S. carrier across the Atlantic, offers 5,910 flights each day to 437 destinations in 78 countries on Delta, Delta Express, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection and Deltas worldwide partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. For more information, please go to delta.com.
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Thanks for the heads up on this, MjF. You fly a lot, btw?
  3. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Bah! Delta! MANPADS practice, if I had my way!

  4. MJF

    MJF Amphibious Member

    Million Miler, Gold Medallion and Lifetime Crown Room Member. Will hit the 2 million mile level in 2 years.

    No. I don't travel much; why do you ask?rofl

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