Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Flew Delta And All I Got Was A Lousy Magazine

When I was in college, I signed up for Delta Airlines frequent flyer loyalty program because of the all the flying I was doing to and from school. However, as the price of oil continued its climb, this college student was priced out of the market and forced to find a new method of transportation. Needless to say, I never amassed a staggering number of miles.

Now, several years later, I'm receiving letters from Delta Airlines warning me that my frequent flyer miles will expire at the end of the year. The letters read.

ATTENTION VALUED NEW YORK SKYMILES MEMBER

A records review of expiring mileage balances indicates that you currently have miles which are expiring soon.

As a New York resident, your last chance to redeem your miles for these magazine Awards is September 28, 2010. Remember failure to complete a qualifying activity in your account by December 31, 2010 will result in the expiration of your miles. For more information about qualifying mileage expiration extending activities visit delta.com/skymiles.

Be sure to redeem any of the miles you've earned by recording your selections on the back of your Awards Claim Certificate...

I think a letter like this one is a strong indication of just how broken airlines like Delta are.

First, the tone of the letter is completely wrong. This is a correspondence for its loyalty program reads more like an eviction notice or a subpoena. "Remember, failure to complete a qualifying activity in your account...will result in expiration of your miles."

That's certainly not the right tone if they want to win back customers that used to fly Delta with enough regularity to belong to their loyalty program.

Secondly, there is something quite ironic about Delta using the word "VALUED." I don't feel valued. All that flying and I only get a couple of magazine subscriptions. Also, I don't understand what being a resident of New York state has to do with it any of it.

Remember, I could certainly prevent expiration with a "qualifying activity," as the letter threatened. Such a qualifying activity is? Buy more miles and not fly anywhere or transfer miles to a friend, lose some of them, but stay active. Thanks. Obviously both solutions are quite counter productive for the consumer.

In the end, all this letter did was reminded me why so many airlines are bankrupt. And how I don't really care at all if my miles do expire.

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