Delta Does It Again
One Mile at a Time is reporting that Delta has removed the SkyMiles award charts from their website. Yeah, that is right. They simply don’t think we as customers need access to that type of information. I am almost speechless.
Ok lets get past the obvious first. This is about as customer unfriendly as you can get as a company. Oh and it was intentional. They have confirmed that they meant to do this. Delta simply doesn’t care.
Skymiles are a currency. As a customer you used to be promised a specific number of Skymiles based on the distance flown. Then they raised the number of SkyMiles needed for free flights and even changed the basic way that the currency is earned.
While those moves really gutted the program, they were mostly transparent. They (sometimes) gave notice and all of the new program rules were always publicly available for everyone to see. Until the changes they made today.
Regulation to Come?
Besides being a disgusting move, I think Delta may find themselves in regulatory trouble. When companies blindly make moves like this it often draws government attention. The last thing we want as miles and points enthusiasts is government attention to our hobby.
I am not saying what Delta has done is illegal. (I am not a legal expert.) What I am saying is that a company that huge cannot continue to screw over consumers without someone looking into it. The value proposition that they made when you earned SkyMiles in past years has changed so drastically that I have no doubt someone will think it is illegal.
What Is Their Intention?
Now we are supposed to simply rely on Delta’s computer to price an award out correctly. The way it is now, if someone at Delta HQ decides that an award should cost more, they simply have to change the computer and never tell the customers.
I just don’t think that lack of transparency holds up to scrutiny. Not in that industry. Someone will sue or some Congressman who flies Delta on a regular basis will get pissed off. The government will then start looking at mileage currencies and regulation will ensue. That could be really bad for us.
What Do You Think?
I am putting this out there to get your opinion tonight. If you work for a certain company in Atlanta and want to say this is a good move, then don’t comment. There simply is no justification for this in my opinion. They can do whatever they want to SkyMiles, but this is one move too many. I can’t see any reason to do this other than to quietly raise the price of awards.
Do you think actions like this are going to lead to more government regulation of awards programs? If you do, how will that effect us? Let me know in the comments.