As if the new high bar to qualify for Medallion status was not anti-loyalty enough, Delta continues to whittle away at what little value is left in the SkyMiles program, this time with a devaluation on trips originating or ending in Mexico.
Another Delta SkyMiles Devaluation From Mexico
As flagged by Eye of the Flyer, Delta has raised the price of redemption on a partner carrier between Mexico and Europe from 75,000 miles to 105,000 miles one-way, a 40% devaluation.
This comes after Delta massively raised the prices for its own flights from this region earlier in the year. Indeed, one of the best “open secrets” was that for years you could have started or ended your trip in Mexico for substantial savings on Delta-operated flights.
To give you an example, while Sydney – Los Angeles on Delta might run 495K SkyMiles one-way in business class, until recently you could book Sydney – Los Angeles – Mexico City (with the connecting segment on AeroMexico) for 95K miles in business class…the same longhaul flight.
Delta patched that up after a number of bloggers decided to publish that deal. I won’t publish such deals precisely for that reason…for years I booked Award Expert clients on these sorts of routes and knew that as soon as they became well-known Delta would pull the plug, which of course it did.
75K one-way fares between Mexico and Europe were a far better deal than 375K fares from the USA…one of the few premium cabin bright spots in the SkyMiles program.
But Delta has such disdain for its flyers that it is systematically eviscerating any value for SkyMiles on redemptions, now reaching beyond the United States. Oh, there are still good deals there…you just have to look. But the window is closing as the hubris at Delta grows.
You’re A Fool To Collect Delta SkyMiles
Folks, this is why I think you’d be a fool to chase loyalty on Delta next year. It would be one thing if you received 1.) complimentary upgrades and 2.) valuable redemption opportunities for your Delta miles, but neither is the case in practice. First, Delta now sells the majority of front cabin seats, leaving little opportunity for elite upgrades. Second, with redemption levels so high, it is just plain stupid to collect Delta miles because the opportunity cost (of collecting points in another currency) is just too high.
Sadly, Delta’s latest customer-unfriendly move is just another slight at loyalty and further proof that Delta has no regard for its members. Frankly, I’m surprised Delta did not just increase redemptions levels to US-levels.
If you are an unfortunate soul still stuck with Delta SkyMiles, it still makes sense to make your way to Mexico to start or end your journey. But today it costs 40% more than yesterday.
Delta continues to prove that loyalty is not a two-way street and that it is foolishness to collect SkyMiles when they lose value faster than the currency of a banana republic.
With actions like these, what serious traveler will continue to build SkyMiles?