In a very interesting article by Bloomberg, Delta confirms and then says more blatantly what they sadly shared in December, miles should be used to “discount” flights, not give you a free ride. As far as upgrades to First, Business, or even Comfort+, you best be ready to pay for it…regardless of your status. Fun times ahead…
“We want people to be able to use those miles not to fly for free but to control your experience,” says Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s incoming president and architect of the airline’s revenue plans.
He said the traditional airline upgrade system amounts to “winning a prize” and leaves many customers displeased. “We were really making nobody happy except the person who won the lottery at the gate,” Hauenstein said. He said the changes have improved customer satisfaction scores among the top tiers of elite SkyMiles members. We want people to be able to use those miles not to fly for free but to control your experience,”
Delta intends to lower the prices of First and Business Class seats so that more are sold, they want the percentage to increase from the current 57% to 70% by 2018. The airline also intends to promote Comfort+ increases from the current 36% to 50% by 2018. Lower level elites will likely face trouble upgrading to Comfort+ in the future, but top tier elites who didn’t score First/Business will “still receive an upgraded experience with Comfort+”.
Check out the full scary read that UA and AA are likely to copy here.