In recent news, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has addressed the controversy surrounding the carrier’s upcoming SkyMiles program changes. Last month, Delta announced a series of changes to its loyalty program that have received heavy backlash from frequent flyers.
Bastian said that the airline “went too far” in its SkyMiles overhaul and that it will be making modifications to address customers’ concerns. He said Delta was “listening to our customers, and we heard them” and that they “recognize we should have done a better job of communicating any changes to our best customers first.”
The controversial Delta SkyMiles changes include a switch to a dynamic pricing model for award flights, the elimination of mileage expiration, and more restrictive rules for reward seat availability. Delta also announced that its SkyMiles program will be moving from a mileage-based earning system to one that is revenue-based, meaning that customers will earn fewer points per dollar spent.
These changes have been met with strong criticism from customers who have accused Delta of devaluing its SkyMiles program. Delta has since issued a statement saying that it “recognizes and respects the feedback” of its customers and “will work to ensure that [it] delivers a program that is worthy of their loyalty.”
While it is unclear what modifications Delta will make to its SkyMiles program, Bastian has said that the airline is “committed to delivering outstanding value in our loyalty program no matter how [customers] choose to fly.” He went on to add that Delta’s SkyMiles program will remain “one of the most generous and rewarding loyalty programs in the industry.”
Given the strong customer backlash, it remains to be seen how Delta will address the controversy over its SkyMiles program changes. It is clear, however, that Delta is listening to its customers and is willing to make modifications to ensure that they have a loyalty program worthy of their loyalty.