I really enjoy reading blogs by different people on points/miles and travel. Over the past week or so, I’ve seen a lot of the same type of articles popping up. Talking about United’s mistake fare, Delta’s award chart (or lack of) and Southwest devaluation coming on April 17th. I felt today was a good day to give my opinion on those topics. Not like my opinion really matters to most, I mean, I think I have maybe12 followers (hi Patti, hope you’re enjoying Disney!).
A couple of weeks ago, United had a great “mistake fare” which, you had to book your flight in the Danish Kroner. United quickly blamed on a third party site after initially confirming tickets. I was lucky enough to get in on this deal. I booked 2 first class tickets from London back to Manchester, NH for the tune of $113 (retailed at $18,000). I hoped United would honor the fare, but knowing the odds were against me, I didn’t get my hopes too high. Knowing it wasn’t a sure thing, I held off making any other reservations.
What shocked me most wasn’t United canceling the tickets, it was people actually filing complaints with the DOT about how they felt United screwed them, when we were the ones who knowing changed our country to make it work. I actually applaud United for canceling the tickets quickly. Don’t worry, I changed my location too (as did many), but to actually cry poor me to the DOT. Get off your entitled high chair. You win some and you lose some in this game. Chalk this one up to the loss column, but don’t worry the next mistake fare is around the corner. If you find it, don’t tell anyone and keep it to yourself. It’s over, now move on.
Delta Skymiles have been called Skypesos for a while now and they keep making it harder for people to use their miles. In 2014, they made a promise to increase low saver award availability and kept that promise for about 30 days into 2015. At which point they remove their award chart and tell everyone “trust us, this will be best for you.” They remove the low level award redemption if you book within 21 days of your flight (Please let me know if that has changed for anyone). They have a “system glitch” where they charge their elite members more miles for the same flights for non-elite members. If Delta was given a handout to say this will make your frequent flyers happy, Delta looked at it, laughed and said well go the opposite way.
I have no interest in their program. For me, their lack of transparency and continual devaluation makes this a easy NO for me. Delta seems to have low cost flights, if I search through Orbitz or other sites. Maybe I’ll book a flight with them that way, but I won’t waste my time with their Skymiles Program. I do appreciate the constant emails offering me 35,000 miles and a $50 statement credit. That might get me a one way coach ticket, and if I am lucky (slim chance) a round trip ticket (highly unlikely).
In my best Shark Tank voice: “Delta, with your consistent crapping on customers, your continual devaluations, lack of transparency and deceitful behavior, I’m out”
I first read about these changed from Mommy Point’s blog. That link will take you to the article I initially read. The following day she posted a follow up after speaking to a Southwest Representative.
Since then, I have read many articles where people think Southwest is going to destroy their program, or they’re turning into Delta, or something else ridiculous. All I can say is “Stop it.” Until they come out with the changes you are speculating, as am I.
I think the biggest changes will be their international flights. I think we will see a devaluation on those flights. Currently, their point value charge is the same whether you want to fly to Montana or Montego Bay. Most other airlines charge you more miles to fly to Central America or the Caribbean. Southwest will follow along with this.
I could also see a change in the way you can earn the coveted Companion Pass. I’m sure more and more people are “earning” their Companion Pass now. It’s very easy, open 2 Southwest credit cards when they are 50,000 miles each, transfer some points over from Hyatt and BOOM you have a pass for a buy one get one free for the rest of the year and next year. Not hard to Google and see how to do easily earn it.
I guess it’s just me, but I don’t see the appeal of this program. Sure they have a boat load of transfer partners and by the looks, some very nice hotels. I have no interest in their credit card though.
Their credit card earns 1 SPG point per dollar on everything, and up to 5 SPG per dollar at their hotels. Their hotels redemptions start at 2,000 points a night. Oh there are only 8 category 1’s in the US. They have more category 2’s though. which you need 3,000 points for. I’m sorry, but if I’m going to spend $3,000, I can earn more Ultimate Reward points and redeem at Hyatt. For the $65 fee, no annual free night? I mean there are many other hotels that will give you a free night for just having their card.
You get a bonus of 25,000 SPG (goes up to 30,000 once a year) points after spending $5,000 in 6 months. If you transfer 20,000 SPG points to an airline, you’ll get an extra 5,000 points. Oh, the transfers aren’t instant either. I hate waiting, I am probably one of the most impatient people when it comes to waiting for points. After the bonus is gone, if I am going to spend $20,000, I better earn more than just 1 award saver domestic round trip ticket. There are other benefits to their credit card , but I personally don’t think it’s as good as people make it seem.
Let me know if you agree or disagree with me on any or all of these. I’m happy to hear your opinions!