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Delta Air Lines Reverses SkyMiles Program Changes Amid Customer Backlash

Delta Air Lines is adjusting its frequent-flyer program following customer feedback, but it still intends to prioritize big spenders over frequent flyers.

On Wednesday, CEO Ed Bastian outlined these changes in an email to SkyMiles members.

He wrote, “I have read hundreds of your emails, and what’s been most clear to me is how much you love Delta and the disappointment many of you felt by the significance of the changes.”

Customer objections to Delta’s recent changes primarily revolved around the challenges of attaining elite status and new lounge entry restrictions.

Initially, Delta had implemented these changes in mid-September to alleviate overcrowding at lounges and accommodate the growing number of elite-status customers, making it more challenging to secure upgrades.

The airlines aimed to switch to a spend-only criteria for achieving elite status, eliminating the consideration of flights and miles.  This simplification, however, came with significantly higher spending requirements for each SkyMiles level.

Bastian further stated that flights and miles won’t count for elite status, but the increased spending requirements will be less than originally planned in the September changes.

Since then, the spending requirements for elite status have been revised.  Silver now needs 5,000 “Medallion qualifying dollars” instead of 6,000, and Diamond requires 28,000 points instead of the initially proposed 35,000, though it’s more than the current 20,000 points with flight requirements.

Delta’s frequent-flyer program changes will begin next year, impacting elite status for 2025.  Premium credit card holders will also face some lounge visit restrictions, although less strict than the initial September proposal.

JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest Airlines responded to Delta’s changes by offering alternatives to attract elite customers.

About Iesha

Hi All, my name is I’esha and I’ve been a writer for baller alert for 1 year and 2 months. I’m also a student and entrepreneur .

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