If you have visited any miles and points blog in the last 24 hours, chances are very good you have by now seen the dismay and even outrage at Delta for pulling the award charts. There are several good reasons for those emotions and much of it probably has something to do with a piece of straw and it being put on a camel’s back. Delta has really hammered the majority of their flyers over the last year while endeavoring to reward their biggest spenders.
Without a doubt, the other airlines have been watching (and in some cases copying, ahem, looking at you, United). With Delta’s latest move of removing/hiding their award charts and leaving their travelers to rely on a sometimes fickle award calendar to plan how many miles they will need, this will certainly turn many travelers away from Delta Airlines. It is really a shame, too, because as an airline, they have a great operation. But the way they treat loyalty (whether it be in the form of flying or credit card usage) is really nasty.
Is Our Voice Loud Enough To Affect Change?
So, is the voice the frequent flyer community loud enough to affect some kind of change or a mea culpa? I know we mostly figure it is no use, but it has worked in the past with Delta! There were many changes that Delta made that they had to step back a bit on because of the outcry from their travelers (things like Same Day Confirmed, Medallion Upgrades on transcontinental routes, even the release of their new award charts). Of course we have references that will still help us in knowing what an award is supposed to cost, but with the removal of the charts themselves, this allows Delta to make even more dynamic award changes and to do it without any announcement.
Since they have said that the calendar will reveal the pricing, they can make changes as often as they desire and not have to deal with backlash on award chart changes. Imagine this – Delta looks at heavy routes, like anything to Florida in the winter, and increases the entire award calendar for that time of year to those destinations a total of 5,000 miles roundtrip (or even one way). Who knows if that is just lack of availability or if Delta just scrubbed the award pricing for that “region” in a way to get more of their miles back?
What To Do?
What can we do? First of all, Delta is tremendously responsive on Twitter, so that is one avenue to go with expressing your displeasure with the changes. But, I would not stop with Twitter. Send e-mails to Delta, snail mail – anything to help show Delta what a huge mistake this is. I am certain that Delta knew this move would create some backlash, which is why they did it on a Friday and did not make any announcement or notification – hey, everyone, we are going to start using the award calendar as the sole pricing instruments for awards! But, I am sure that Delta did not think it would cause this much of a backlash.
Even if Delta does not step back in some way, at least the airlines watching will see what is transpiring. They stand to gain many customers through this and and they will certainly not want to turn them all away by making changes of a similar nature.
Here are some of the details you should use:
- Twitter – @DeltaAssist, @Delta
- E-Mail – Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other E-Mails – For other executives’ e-mail addresses and addresses for correspondence, check out Chris Elliot’s corporate contact page for Delta – here
I would personally stay away from calling them to express displeasure since that will prevent many customers from getting their issues resolved (or at least increase the hold times for them), plus it is always better to have something written to get passed on. Be polite, professional, and courteous. This is a corporation that is making moves that they have determined are best for their business. Use this opportunity to help remind them where the business comes from and that it has a voice, but do it with politeness. It is highly doubtful that you will have a dialogue with anyone at Delta that actually has a voice on this issue. They are frontline representatives that are just doing their job and we don’t want to take it out on them. But, we want to make a noise and voice that may get something noticed.
What Would Even Come From This?
Already, Delta’s Twitter feed has been getting hit with flyers expressing their displeasure of this latest move. If this continues, it will be enough to at least make cause for conversation on Monday morning at Delta’s HQ. Would they put the charts back? Maybe. But, either way, hopefully it will serve as warning to them that their customers do not like things to constantly be changed on them while Delta still asks for our loyalty. Where as most cases in the past can be seen as having some good impacts for a select field of customers (like those who pay high prices for tickets), this move benefits absolutely no one outside of Delta. Even if they do not make a change because of the noise, at the very least the other airlines will be taking notice of this and will hopefully think twice before racing Delta down this road of disloyalty.