Delta Introduces 2015 SkyMiles Program with New Mileage Earning Structure and More Redemption Options

Delta news for travel professionals

Delta Introduces 2015 SkyMiles Program with New Mileage Earning Structure and More Redemption Options

Move continues Delta’s innovative business approach: becomes first U.S. global carrier to transition its frequent flyer program to one based on ticket price starting Jan. 1, 2015                                            

New redemption structure will create more flexibility and expand on ways to use miles

SkyMiles members will benefit from more tickets requiring fewer miles, new One-Way Awards, the introduction of additional Miles + Cash Award options and improvements to delta.com Award shopping tools

Information included in this communication:

Delta Continuing to Improve the Travel Experience

(February 26, 2014) - Delta Air Lines has taken another step in its ongoing commitment to improve the travel experience by unveiling changes to the SkyMiles program. The 2015 SkyMiles program will introduce a shift from today’s current model in which customers earn redeemable mileage based on distance traveled to one based on ticket price. The program updates will be effective Jan. 1, 2015 and 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 Miles + Cash Award options, as well as make significant improvements to delta.com and Delta reservations Award shopping tools.

Today’s announcement is the latest innovation in Delta’s continued effort to rethink and reshape the airline business. During the past five years it has made strategic investments in Virgin Atlantic Airways, AeroMexico and GOL;  invested in the newly opened $1.4 billion Terminal 4 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta; built a hub at New York-LaGuardia; made facility improvements at Los Angeles International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; created Monroe Energy to provide 80 percent of its annual domestic fuel needs; transformed its fleet strategy including significant reduction in 50-seat aircraft; and invested millions of dollars to improve the customer experience.

A New Mileage Earning Model

Today’s method of earning redeemable miles based on the distance a customer flies will change to a model of earning redeemable miles based on the price of the ticket purchased. Delta is providing 10 months advance notice of the upcoming program changes so that customers have ample time to make travel plans.

Under the new 2015 SkyMiles Program, customers will earn between 5 and 11 miles per U.S. dollar* spent on Delta flights 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, for travel beginning Jan. 1, 2015, will 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 spending. Customers will continue to earn additional miles for purchases with a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card+.

Mileage Earning Chart

SkyMiles program status

Miles per dollar*

Miles earned with Credit Card*+

Total miles per dollar*

General SkyMiles member

5

Up to 2

Up to 7

Silver Medallion

7

Up to 2

Up to 9

Gold Medallion

8

Up to 2

Up to 10

Platinum Medallion

9

Up to 2

Up to 11

Diamond Medallion

11

Up to 2

Up to 13

+ on Delta spend

For travel marketed and ticketed by Delta’s partner airlines, members will earn a percentage of miles flown as determined by the fare class purchased and will also earn Medallion mileage bonuses on eligible fares.

Mileage Accrual for Exception Fares

Tickets where the fare is not disclosed are those that are issued with a BT, NT or IT indicator (discount fare type code). These tickets (including those issued in international regions) will earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown and the fare class paid as published at delta.com/exceptionfares at the time of travel.

New Redemption Options

Up to a Five-Tier Structure for Wider Variety of Awards

SkyMiles members will gain even more redemption options with the introduction of up to a five-tier structure to give them a wider variety of Awards and improve overall availability at the lowest price points. The lowest level for SkyMiles Saver Awards will remain at 25,000 miles plus government-imposed taxes and fees for an Economy Class Award Ticket for travel within the U. S. and Canada excluding Hawaii.  All of Delta’s worldwide redemption charts will be updated to reflect the new options in the last quarter of 2014 and will be effective for new Award bookings beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

New One-Way Awards, Additional Miles + Cash Award Options and New Award Shopping

In addition to offering multiple new redemption levels, the SkyMiles program will also introduce One-Way Award Tickets starting as low as 12,500 miles plus government-imposed taxes and fees within the U. S. and Canada excluding Hawaii and will offer customers the ability to redeem Miles + Cash to provide more Award booking options for tickets purchased at delta.com or through Delta reservations.

Access to Every Flight with No Blackout Dates

Customers will continue to have access to every Delta flight for Award travel with no blackout dates. In 2013, frequent flyers redeemed more than 271 billion miles in the SkyMiles program for more than 11 million Award redemptions.

Medallion Status Qualification Requirements Remain Unchanged

The way members qualify for Medallion status is not changing. The redeemable miles earned toward Award Travel differ from Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). MQMs are used to calculate Medallion status and will continue to be based on distance flown.

Medallion members will continue to enjoy the same benefits they do now, like Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades, waived baggage fees and Priority Check-In.

Members with Million Miler™ complimentary Medallion annual status and Choice Benefits gifted Medallion status will earn the Medallion mileage bonus for their respective complimentary tier. Members with any other complimentary Medallion status will  not earn a Medallion mileage bonus, so they will earn 5 miles per dollar spent on Delta-marketed or -ticketed flights. 

Additional Information

Click here to view the complete news release with additional details.

To view a list of FAQs available on delta.com, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions for Travel Professionals

Delta would like to provide travel professionals with answers to the following frequently asked questions about the 2015 SkyMiles program including corporate, group, meeting and incentive, SkyBonus and leisure bookings.

Corporate

Q. A customer booked flights through a company’s Corporate Sales Agreement (CSA), which was ticketed by a travel agency. Will the customer earn miles based on ticket price?

A. If the ticket is marketed or ticketed by Delta, the customer will receive mileage based on ticket price* unless the fare is not disclosed (bulk, inclusive tour or net fare) and the ticket is issued with a BT, NT or IT indicator (discount fare type code). These tickets will earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid as published at delta.com/exceptionfares at the time of travel.

Q. A customer booked flights that apply to a company’s SkyBonus account, which was ticketed by a travel agency. Will the customer earn miles based on ticket price?

A. If the ticket is marketed or ticketed by Delta, the customer will receive mileage based on ticket price* unless the fare is not disclosed (bulk, inclusive tour or net fare) and the ticket is issued with a BT, NT or IT indicator (discount fare type code). These tickets will earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid as published at delta.com/exceptionfares at the time of travel.

Leisure

Q. A customer booked a leisure trip through a travel agency. Will the customer earn miles based on ticket price?

A. If the ticket is marketed or ticketed by Delta, the customer will receive mileage based on ticket price* unless the fare is not disclosed (bulk, inclusive tour or net fare) and the ticket is issued with a BT, NT or IT indicator (discount fare type code). These tickets will earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid as published at delta.com/exceptionfares at the time of travel.

Groups

Q. If an agency or customer has an existing group contract with a ticketing deadline that is after January 1, 2015, under which program will they earn miles?

Mileage earned is based on the travel date.  All flights flown on or after January 1, 2015 will earn miles under the 2015 program rules, regardless of ticket purchase date.

Q. How will a group ticket purchased through Delta Vacations earn miles?

A. If the ticket is marketed or ticketed by Delta, the customer will receive mileage based on ticket price* unless the fare is not disclosed (bulk, inclusive tour or net fare) and the ticket is issued with a BT, NT or IT indicator (discount fare type code). These tickets will earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid as published at delta.com/exceptionfares at the time of travel. This includes groups booked through Delta Vacations.

Q. If a customer has contracted a group with Delta that is based on a published fare with no discount (0%) will the passenger earn miles based on ticket price?

A. If the ticket is marketed or ticketed by Delta, the customer will receive mileage based on ticket price* unless the fare is not disclosed (bulk, inclusive tour or net fare) and the ticket is issued with a BT, NT or IT indicator (discount fare type code). These tickets will earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid as published at delta.com/exceptionfares at the time of travel.

Meetings and Incentives

Q. Do Meetings and Incentives bookings earn miles based on ticket price?

A. Meetings and Incentives programs booked with Delta Meeting Network will earn miles based on ticket price*.

Tour

Q. A customer booked a tour package through Delta Vacations. Will the customer earn miles based on ticket price?

A. If the ticket is marketed or ticketed by Delta, the customer will receive mileage based on ticket price* unless the fare is not disclosed (bulk, inclusive tour or net fare) and the ticket is issued with a BT, NT or IT indicator (discount fare type code). These tickets will earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid as published at delta.com/exceptionfares at the time of travel. This includes tour packages booked through Delta Vacations.

Q. If a tour or cruise company issues a ticket using a published fare, will the customer earn miles based on ticket price?

A. If the ticket is marketed or ticketed by Delta, the customer will receive mileage based on ticket price* unless the fare is not disclosed (bulk, inclusive tour or net fare) and the ticket is issued with a BT, NT or IT indicator (discount fare type code). These tickets will earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid as published at delta.com/exceptionfares at the time of travel. This includes tour packages booked through Delta Vacations.

About Delta and its SkyMiles Program

Delta is the only major airline that offers elite perks such as no mileage expiration, no Award redemption fees, a published Diamond Medallion tier and Rollover Medallion Qualification Miles.

Now in its 33rd year, SkyMiles is one of the longest-running and most successful loyalty programs in the travel industry. Delta offers many ways to redeem frequent flyer miles, including airline tickets on Delta and 28 partner airlines, mileage upgrades, car rentals, hotel stays and Delta Sky Club® memberships, and is the only major airline with miles that don't expire. For more information on the SkyMiles program, Medallion status and mileage redemption options, visit delta.com/skymiles.

Terms and Conditions

For full terms and conditions, please visit delta.com/skymiles2015. All SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/skymiles. Other restrictions may apply. Offers, prices, rules and benefits subject to change without notice.

* Ticket price eligible for mileage accrual includes base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges, but excludes government-imposed taxes and fees. Additional miles earned for purchases with a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express will be based on the total ticket price, including base fare, carrier-imposed surcharges and government-imposed taxes and fees.

Miles on Delta Purchases with U.S. Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards from American Express:

This offer applies to qualifying Delta, Delta Connection® carrier and Delta Shuttle® flights taken with the purchase of a fare that is eligible for SkyMiles mileage credit. Offer applies to any Delta-branded purchase where Delta is the merchant of record via delta.com or in flight such as upgrades, miles, seat selection, Delta Sky Club membership or passes, pre-purchased meals, food, beverages and in-flight entertainment. Offer applies to Delta Vacations® packages but not other all-inclusive packages. The chart reproduced here is not valid for Delta SkyMiles Options Credit Card Members who only earn a maximum of one additional mile per dollar spent on Delta purchases with their Card. The additional miles offer is subject to change without notice. Bonus miles will be posted to your Delta SkyMiles account 8 to 12 weeks after the end of each month.

 
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