Airline Partner Earning Charts For 2015 Finally Released by Delta Air Lines

T he earning charts of airline partners of Delta Air Lines were finally released — albeit less than a month before they are to take effect. Interestingly enough, the earning of SkyMiles on partner airlines are based on distance — despite Delta Air Lines converting to a system of earning miles based on revenue for 2015.

As with the previous earning chart, partner airlines remain separated into four groups, as follows:

Group 1 You earn:

  • Full Medallion Qualification Miles
  • Medallion Qualification Dollars on flights ticketed by Delta Air Lines
  • Up to 100 percent base SkyMiles on all flights, depending on the airline partner and the class of service — a major change from the most recent earning chart where all flights earned 100 percent base miles, as I first reported in this article on June 4, 2013
  • A tier bonus of SkyMiles based on your current Medallion elite status level, and
  • A class of service bonus of Up to 200 percent — good news for those who purchase premium airfares, as this was raised from up to 50 percent

 

Group 2 You earn:

  • A reduced amount of Medallion Qualification Miles
  • Medallion Qualification Dollars on flights ticketed by Delta Air Lines
  • Up to 100 percent base SkyMiles on all flights
  • A tier bonus of SkyMiles based on your current Medallion elite status level, and
  • A class of service bonus of up to 100 percent — good news for those who purchase premium airfares, as this was raised from up to 50 percent

 

Group 3 You earn:

  • A reduced amount of Medallion Qualification Miles
  • Up to 100 percent base SkyMiles on all flights
  • No tier bonus of SkyMiles based on your current Medallion elite status level unless the flight was ticketed by Delta Air Lines — this is actually an improvement, as there was previously no tier bonus at all — and
  • A class of service bonus of up to 75 percent — good news for those who purchase premium airfares, as this was raised from up to 25 percent

 

Group 4 You earn:

  • No Medallion Qualification Miles at all
  • No Medallion Qualification Dollars at all
  • Up to 100 percent base SkyMiles on all flights
  • No tier bonus of SkyMiles based on your current Medallion elite status level unless the flight was ticketed by Delta Air Lines — this is actually an improvement, as there was previously no tier bonus at all — and
  • No class of service bonus at all

 

I italicized the key words up to above, meaning that depending on the partner airline, you may not earn full credit; and I highlighted what can be interpreted as good news in green.

Please refer to the new chart below for details; while the old chart appears below the new chart so that you may compare for yourself:

Delta Air Lines Partner Award Chart 2015

Notice the following changes in airline partners between the new chart above and the old chart below:

  • Virgin Atlantic was added to group 1
  • CSA Czech Airlines has been demoted from Group 2 to Group 3
  • Garuda Indonesia was added to Group 3
  • Malaysia Airlines and Olympic Airlines have both been removed from Group 4 — and the airline partner chart altogether — while Great Lakes Airlines was added to Group 4

 

It is still interesting that Korean Air — a founding member of SkyTeam — is still in group 4, where it was first positioned back in June of 2013.

If you primarily fly as a passenger on economy class tickets on such partners as Air France, KLM and Alitalia as examples, you will be adversely affected the most. Under the previous airline partner award chart, you earned 100 percent SkyMiles based on the distance flown; but as of January 1, 2015, you will earn as little as 25 percent SkyMiles based on the distance flown on the least expensive economy class airfares, as illustrated by the comparison of the new and old award charts for Alitalia:

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 4.12.17 AM

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 4.12.33 AM

In my opinion, it appears that Delta Air Lines gutted their SkyMiles program way too much — including the introduction of the new airline partner earning chart — to the point where few people can actually significantly benefit from it or be interested in participating in it. Loyalty can rest in peace with the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program.

Then again, Delta Air Lines is in a position where it does not need to cater to the frequent flier. As I wrote in this article posted yesterday:

…unless you are a frequent flier who spends a significant amount of money on airfares or an infrequent flier who spends a lot of money on ancillary fees, you most likely have become irrelevant to travel companies. You are much better off concentrating your efforts on losing your elite status, gaining your self-respect and launching your own frequent flier loyalty program than you are in organizing or joining a protest movement…

…or perhaps it is time to give up on earning miles, points and elite level status altogether.

To gauge how fellow frequent fliers feel about these changes, discussions about the new airline partner earning charts may be found at both Milepoint and FlyerTalk

…but I would like to know of your opinion as well. What do you think about the new airline partner earning charts released from Delta Air Lines?

2 thoughts on “Airline Partner Earning Charts For 2015 Finally Released by Delta Air Lines”

  1. patricia says:

    can we change the title first ? this is a partner EARNING chart not a partner AWARD chart

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for catching that, patricia. It has been corrected. Please accept my apologies.

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