Delta Air Lines announced major changes to its frequent-flyer loyalty program, becoming the first U.S. global carrier to make a transition to a spend-based model that awards frequent-flyer miles based on the fare paid rather than the distance of flights.
Under the terms of its reconfigured SkyMiles program, effective Jan. 1, 2015, Delta’s approximately 91 million frequent flyers will earn between five and 11 miles per dollar of their base ticket price as well as an additional two miles per dollar when using a Delta SkyMiles credit card. Currently, members of its SkyMiles program earn miles based on how far they fly.
According to Delta, the new mileage-earning model is designed to benefit high-status frequent business travelers and less frequent leisure customers who purchase premium fares. Travelers with no status will receive five miles per dollar spent while Delta’s elite Diamond Medallion members — those who travel at least 125,000 miles per year — will earn 11 miles per dollar spent.
“The introduction of a new model for earning miles will increase rewards for those who spend more as well as differentiate the SkyMiles frequent-flyer program for our premium travelers,” said Jeff Robertson, vice president of SkyMiles, Delta Air Lines.
Virgin America became the first U.S. airline to link miles earned to ticket prices instead of distance in 2007. JetBlue’s TrueBlue frequent-flyer loyalty program and Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards program also switched to a spend-based model that awards miles based on money spent.
For more information, visit www.delta.com