Where loyalty programs are going

Discussion created by profchiara on Feb 19, 2015
Latest reply on Feb 21, 2015 by profchiara

Even as I type this something bizarre is going on as there are three black rectangles on the right hand side of my screen under section, title and message, so this may or may not post.


I am speaking about loyalty in general.  As most of you know I gave up my Marriott loyalty a few years back (except for occasional stays) because of reduced benefits, few hotels where I was staying etc.  And now I have given up Delta, which is not even bordering on the outrageous but way beyond it, even according to Diamond Medallion members (just check out FlyerTalk), in its arrogance towards loyalty members at the highest levels.  As a Platinum Elite Plus for the next 12 months I have used up all my FF miles but 16,000 on three FF business class flights to Europe through next December and have not booked any new flights -- nor have I used my Amex Reserve Skymiles Card, which I will cancel next November (I have already paid through then and I doubt they give back part of the huge fee).


Marriott's problems are dwarfed by what Delta has done, including changing things without notice to any members (check award levels in FlyerTalk, among other topics).


And then today I read this:

Delta's CEO Blaming All Gulf Countries For The 9/11 Attacks & US Bankruptcies On CNN's Quest Means Business. | LoyaltyLobby


All of this -- to me -- means that loyalty programs are DEAD.  Delta seems to be overtly trying to kill its Skymiles program in death by a thousand cuts, while other programs are doing it less obviously.  But as I have done in the past I will now continue more overtly. I will no longer be anything to Delta after February 2016 despite 40 years of high level loyalty, and I will lose all my benefits unless I fly enough of their flights (about 3 revenue to Europe needed) to make Million Miler.  But you know what? I'm not even going to try, because there won't be anything to get from it.  Instead, I will book everything through consolidators and travel sites.


I give one thing to Marriott -- today I got a Silver Lifetime Status card.  I think I earned it in terms of stays, though I realize it means almost nothing considering I stay 1-2 times a year at Marriotts, never get to use my MR Chase Rewards or other certs because they are not of the level required in Europe, etc.  But I appreciate the level of recognition.


But I am so, so gone from loyalty programs.  We all once believed in them and bought in.  As a Delta 100,000+ miles a year flyer who will be nothing next year, I have learned my lesson.