Delta CEO Admits SkyMiles Changes Went Too Far, Promises Revisions

Delta CEO

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has acknowledged that the recent overhaul of the airline’s loyalty program faced backlash from customers, and he announced that the company will be making “modifications” in the coming weeks. The initial changes aimed to reward customers with elite status based on their spending, similar to American Airlines’ model, and limited access to Delta’s popular Sky Club lounges for many American Express cardholders.

Bastian made this announcement at the Rotary Club of Atlanta, recognizing that Delta may have gone “too far” with the initial program changes. Delta had been dealing with a surge in elite travelers, driven by increased spending during and after the pandemic, leading to overcrowded lounges and long lines for customers.

To address these challenges, Delta will revise its loyalty program to better align with customer expectations and demands. Bastian did not provide specific details of the modifications but stated that the changes would be announced in the coming weeks.

Delta’s move to adjust its loyalty program comes in response to competitive pressures in the airline industry. Rivals like JetBlue Airways capitalized on customer dissatisfaction with Delta’s changes by offering frequent-flyer status matching. Delta and other airlines are continually looking for ways to enhance their loyalty programs and services to attract and retain high-value customers.

The revisions to Delta’s loyalty program are expected to focus on striking a balance between rewarding top spenders and providing a quality travel experience for all customers, including access to lounges. The airline will seek to better manage the demand for its premium services while ensuring customer satisfaction.

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