Archive for July, 2009

Delta and United Frequent Flyer Program Updates

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.

United Award ticket sale – 20% off

Between now and July 24, United is offering discounts for Mileage Plus awards for United Economy Saver Award travel of at least 20% off the normal cost of miles:

  • Ticketing period: July 15 – July 24, 2009
  • Travel period: August 18 – November 18, 2009
  • Saver Awards only, not Standard
  • Economy class only, no first or business
  • United or United Express only, no Star Alliance partners

Details on the exact discounts for which markets is on United.com.

Double miles until the end of the year on Delta

In what could be one of the largest frequent flyer promotions of the year, Delta has decided to offer double miles on all flights, in all classes, flown between now and December 31st.  The Delta promotion is available to Amex Delta SkyMiles card holders only however.  While many Delta frequent flyers already have the card, it may be a significant enough promotion to convert those that don’t.  Either way, enjoy it while it lasts.