While I can find my original post badly titled Sinkholes and Loyalty programs, I can't find the more aptly titled one about the 2015 Delta Skymiles program. (Some may say this is off topic, but I bet a lot of you fly Delta or Skyteam to get to your Marriott hotel.) I got InsideFlyer magazine today and was horrified to see the praise Randy Petersen gave to this Delta move; despite not knowing what the 5 tiers will be till late autumn or early winter; despite not being fully clear about how much we lose if we (as those of international travelers must) fly Skyteam partners to our ultimate destination; despite glossing over the fact that while miles simply counted, points will only be based on the actual revenue fare and NOT taxes. If anyone has looked at the tax structure lately on international fares, it is typically much more than the fare.
I am seriously disappointed, even to the point of considering cancelling my subscription since this was the main article ("Canary in the Coal Mine") and since I am mainly cutting my ties with loyalty programs so those little perks I always used to look for under Airlines and Hotels no longer matter.
This may not affect domestic flyers as much as it does international travelers, but I do not consider paying an average of about $1100-$1400 for a coach seat to Europe (with Plat Med Elite Plus Status) to be like a mileage runner. Again, I plugged in all of my international fares on Delta's calculator and I will now get a fraction of what I got before. KLM and Air France (we do know exactly by how much) will only count as partial points, and taxes (which are part of the total price and were calculated for miles) will not count at all, so those 11x base price matter very little to me (Plat +Amex) For everyone below Platinum, I think it's a complete loser.
So, unless the surprise part of Delta's package is really surprising in the 4Q (and do we really expect that?), I'm done after I use up my miles and my Platinum expires (because I am using my points rather than paying this year) -- oh, and BTW, it expires a month earlier than it did in the past -- end of January vs. end of February. And the SkyClub rates have gone up, you can bring fewer guests in (I never brought any, but for others this matters), etc.
I do not get where Randy Petersen is coming from unless he is excluding international travelers from the equation. But as all of you know by now, I may make idle threats about leaving Insiders once in a while, but come back. I don't make idle threats about leaving a loyalty program (or using it only when it's convenient rather than to rack up points).