Delta Air Lines will become the first U.S. global carrier to transition its SkyMiles frequent flyer program to one based on ticket price starting Jan. 1, 2015.
The updates will also include a new mileage redemption structure that will improve award seat availability at the lowest mileage requirement levels, offer one-way awards at half the price of round-trip, provide additional Miles + Cash award options, as well as make significant improvements to delta.com and Delta reservations award shopping tools.
Delta is providing 10 months advance notice of the upcoming program changes so that customers have time to make travel plans, the carrier said.
Customers will be able to earn between five and 11 miles per dollar spent based on their SkyMiles status, and continue to earn up to an additional two miles per dollar when using their Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, for a total of up to 13 miles per dollar. The updated program will better reward the customers who spend more with Delta and give them improved mileage-earning opportunities.
“The introduction of a new model for earning miles will increase rewards for those who spend more as well as differentiate the SkyMiles frequent flyer program for our premium travelers,” said Jeff Robertson, Delta’s vice president – SkyMiles.
The updated mileage-earning plan is expected to better recognize frequent business travelers and those less frequent leisure customers who purchase premium fares. The move is consistent with a trend in the travel industry of rewarding customer behavior based on price, Delta said.