clear
Monday May 30th, 2016 8:35AM

Big changes ahead for frequent fliers on Delta

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) Delta Air Lines is making fundamental changes to its frequent flier program and will reward those who buy its priciest tickets, as opposed to those who fly the most miles.

It will be the first major carrier to make such a change and other airlines will certainly be watching to see how travelers react to the change.

The Atlanta-based airline said Wednesday that the 2015 SkyMiles program will better recognize frequent business travelers and leisure customers who buy premium fares.

It's a bid to lure the much-sought-after business traveler, but it will affect everyone who flies with the carrier and uses the program.

Delta had been moving in the direction of a revenue-based program. In January 2013 the company said that its 2014 frequent fliers would need to spend at least $2,500 to qualify for the lowest level of elite status. Previously, they could qualify on miles alone.

A revenue-based program generally rewards business travelers. Those fliers are critical to airlines because they book flights on short notice and buy more expensive tickets, versus the typical leisure traveler that plans a trip well in advance and hunts for the cheapest fares.

JetBlue Airways Corp.'s ``True Blue'' frequent flier program already awards points based on dollars spent, not on miles. And in 2011 Southwest Airlines Co. changed its frequent flier program to reward more-expensive tickets.

But the change by a carrier that has the reach of Delta could signal a more definitive shift in catering more to those sitting in the front of the plane, rather than the back-seaters.

Delta Air Lines Inc., based in Atlanta, says it's making the announcement about changes to its SkyMiles program 10 months in advance so customers have ample time to make travel plans. The new program goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

Delta said that other program updates will include a new mileage redemption structure that will improve Award seat availability at the lowest mileage requirement levels; offering One-Way Awards at half the price of round-trip and providing additional Miles + Cash Award options.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 1 year ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 1 year ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
PHOTO GALLERY: Gainesville, Hall County remember fallen military during Memorial Day
In public parks and at church services, Hall County residents took time Sunday to remember U.S. military members who offered the ultimate sacrifice in battle.
By B.J. Williams
7:00PM ( 1 day from now )
Forsyth County authorities searching for shooting suspect
Atlanta television media are reporting that two people were shot and wounded at a home near Cumming early Monday morning.
7:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
Gainesville area leads Georgia for most Memorial Day weekend BUIs
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has released statistics on boating incidents for the Memorial Day Weekend and the Gainesville area has seen the most Boating Under the Influence incidents of any major waterway in the state.
10:00PM ( 10 hours ago )
Alexander Rossi pulls off stunning upset in 100th Indy 500
Alexander Rossi outlasted his faster rivals _ and his fuel tank _ for a stunning victory Sunday in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500
5:50PM ( 14 hours ago )
Braselton hospital first in state for StormReady certification
The Braselton campus of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center has been designated with the StormReady certification from the National Weather Service.
1:30PM ( 19 hours ago )