Delta moves, again, to devalue its Skymiles program

Delta moved Friday to further devalue its frequent flier program, Skymiles

Delta moved Friday to further devalue its frequent flier program, Skymiles

More bad news Friday for frequent fliers.

Delta moved to further devalue its Skymiles program, which means you will soon need more miles to redeem most “free” award tickets. It’s a bit of an unusual move, as Delta had already announced it would devalue its program starting on June 1. That led many people to try to book award tickets before then, so they could take advantage of current rates.

But on Friday, Delta announced something of an interim increase in mileage rates. Between Feb. 1 and May 31, Delta has introduced a new award chart, with — you guessed it — higher rates than the current ones for many routes.

Mile charts are pretty complicated — the number of miles required depends on many, many factors — so it’s probably best to go to Delta’s site to see the changes for yourself.

Delta has been getting a reputation as being especially stingy with its frequent flier program, which some people have nicknamed “skypesos.” The airline has been moving steadily in recent years to devalue miles.

The Delta move comes on the heels of one another one last week by United, which considerably de-valued parts of its Mileage Plus program. While passengers who redeem tickets on United will only see modest increases, travelers who  use their miles on partner airlines like Lufthansa will see great increases in the number of miles required.

The United changes, detailed on the View From The Wing blog, have not gone over well with frequent travelers. 

My advice is to use your miles as quickly as you earn them. The longer you keep them, usually, the less they end up being worth.

After I first published this blog post, Delta sent over a statement. It reads:

“To balance continued investments in products and services, we regularly evaluate Award pricing and adjust it periodically. Select redemption levels have been updated for Award Tickets booked on or after November 8, 2013, for travel on or after February 1, 2014. Customers can continue to book Award Tickets for travel before February 1, 2014, at the current Award redemption levels.”

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