Zeus Gazette

Delta Announces Big Change To Frequent Flier Program

Pantallas_Tactiles_DeltaDelta Air Lines is changing its frequent-flier program to lure higher-spending customers, including business travelers who often book flights on short notice and pay more than bargain-hunting leisure travels.

Rewards for ‘elites’

The move aims to favor customers who buy the priciest tickets instead of those who fly the most miles.

These so-called “elite” fliers account for only 2% of the company’s customers, but generate more than 20% of the revenues.

Starting 2015, Delta will base frequent-flier rewards on the fares its customers pay instead of the miles they travel. This will affect all classes of travelers.

A historic shift

Delta will become the largest U.S. airline to make such a change.

The strategy of distance to dollars signifies a huge benefit to the elites in the form of lots of free flights.

The bargain-hunting leisure travelers flying on cheap fares, on the other hand, will suffer.

Delta’s major rivals, American and United, are likely to watch to see how passengers respond.