Thursday, June 03, 2010

Delta Eliminates Fees for Redeeming Miles

Delta Air Lines says it's eliminating award ticket redemption fees for SkyMiles frequent flier members of up to $150 for award tickets redeemed within 20 days of departure.

Before this change, the fee to book an award ticket for travel within three days was $150 per ticket; for travel within four to seven days the fee was $100; and for travel within eight to 20 days the fee was $75. Award tickets booked 21 days or more before departure continue to have no redemption fee.

The move comes amid growing concern in the airline industry, and in the banking industry, about what I believe is a frequent-flier bubble that will inevitably burst as public faith in frequent-flier programs dissipates. The banking industry has paid literally billions to airlines to purchase miles that are then used as inducements for credit card marketing, creating a monster supply of miles as airlines cut back on the number of seats available for award travel. Way too many miles are chasing way too few seats.

Said Jeff Robertson, Delta's vice president for SkyMiles, "We are actively listening to customers' concerns about the SkyMiles program and are responding."


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