Delta Air Lines one of the world’s largest airlines, flying to 319 destinations in 59 countries on six continents, is a founding member of the SkyTeam Alliance. Yet now, the founding member is pulling back from the alliance and in some aspects, further breaking up the unity of the alliance by making it harder for their members to fly partner airlines and still earn Elite Status. This means Delta is trying harder than ever to insist that Delta fliers fly Delta Metal. It goes from Bad to Worse for Skyteam and Delta fliers as of March 1st.
What do I mean? Delta announced that they changed the way you earn SkyMiles Status and sent an email to their frequent flyers. Not only did they announce the spending requirements for Elite Status, they also briefly mentioned a change to MQM accrual rates.
The email said:
In addition, beginning March 1, 2013, we will adjust the Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) you earn on select fares when flying Delta and our partner airlines. To learn more about earning MQMs, visit delta.com.
These modifications will ensure that our most valued flyers have an even more exclusive and enjoyable travel experience.
There wasn’t a lot of details of the changes other than the fact that MQM accrual rates would change. I first noticed the change on Delta flights, really only affecting high class fares (those that most people don’t’ fly). Yet then I status to explore delta.com more and I’ve notice a lot of changes for the bad on the Alliance partners. Changes that I think will truly piss off the typical person who flies both Delta and SkyTeam partners internationally, especially to places where Delta’s own footprint doesn’t reach.
Take a look at new earning rates after March 1st for SkyTeam Partners:
South America Travel Takes a True Beating!
Oh Look, These Two Charts Look Similar To Delta’s, Any Idea Why?
Nothing Good Happening In China…..
It goes from bad to worse…
OUCH! One of the only good airlines in Skyteam is being mutilated!
Back to the chopping block….
And We are done!
Notice any trends? Basically, Delta is punishing you for flying their partners when it comes to earning MQM. If you fly a Delta partner, DO NOT expect to earn MQMs like you use to, in fact you’ll be lucky if you even earn ½ as many miles as before! The only way to fly a Delta partner and earn full MQM is if Delta is heavily invested heavy in them. Delta should no longer be called a SkyTeam member, but instead a Joint Venture conglomerate! KLM, Air France, & Alitalia are all closely tied to Delta due to the Trans-Atlantic JV and there mileage accrual rates are being matched 1:1 to the Delta Chart. Aeromexico is in a similar situation where Delta now owns a 3.5% stake in the company. This means, it’s in Delta’s best interest to get you to fly on KLM,AF, AZ or AM, because when these airlines are making money so is Delta!
I find these changes to be ALL BAD changes to the SkyMiles program and just proves that Delta is NOT playing fair! If you’re a worldy flyer and this doesn’t get to you, I’m not sure what will!