Over the past couple days both Delta and United have made some very positive moves to their frequent flyer programs:
Delta – As the WSJ reported this morning, Delta has announced the “roll over” of extra elite-qualifying miles and credits in excess of what is needed reach a status level one year, to the following year. We don’t have to tell you how great this is for the frequent flyer, now all that extra travel you do this year can help you if you have to cut back next year to maintain your elite status. Finally, a customer centric change in frequent flyer programs. Get the full list of all the upcoming changes to the SkyMiles program on Delta’s website.
United – According to United’s press release, booking fees for last-minute frequent flyer awards (within 21 days of departure) will be eliminated starting July 30th. A first in the industry. Currently the last minute award booking fee could be has high as $100.
Hopefully this represents a reversing of the recent trend in the industry to de-value the frequent flyer program, and by extension the airline’s best customers. If other airlines follow suit and add more of these benefits, reward programs could truly be a rewarding experience once again.