Complete a Survey For 250 SkyMiles: Did You Receive One?

I checked my e-mail account earlier today and received the following message to complete a survey for 250 SkyMiles from Karen Zachary, who is the managing director of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program of Delta Air Lines:

Complete a Survey For 250 SkyMiles

Delta SkyMiles Survey — February 2016

This is the message which I found in my e-mail account earlier today.

Earn 250 miles for completing a quick survey.

As a Medallion® member, your feedback is important to helping us offer amenities and benefits that make your travels easier and more seamless.

So click through now and take a moment to tell us what’s most important to you, and in return, we’ll add 250 miles to your SkyMiles account. All surveys must be complete by 5 p.m. E.D.T. on Saturday, February 20, 2016.

We look forward to seeing you on board — and online — soon.

Karen Zachary

Managing Director- SkyMiles Program

That was a surprise to me, as I do not recall the last time I was targeted for a survey; but I completed it. The survey contained questions which asked me to rate aspects of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program from 1 through 10 — ranging from upgrades to a seat in the premium cabin to Medallion Qualification Dollars to earning and redeeming SkyMiles.

Many of the questions were rated low by me, as the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program is of significantly less value to me now that earning miles is based on revenue than when it was based on distance.

Why a Survey? Why Now?

Upon receiving the e-mail message, I wondered why surveys were being sent to anyone at all, to be frank.

If you recall from this article posted on Friday, May 1, 2015 after the Freddie Awards at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta, I wrote the following in response to a reader of The Gate who was curious as to what executives of Delta Air Lines thought about not being nominated for a Freddie Award — let alone winning one:

The employees from Delta Air Lines were indeed gracious; but I was told by no fewer than two of them prior to the start of the awards ceremony that if Delta Air Lines did win an award that they were not doing their job correctly.

Think about that statement for a moment: if Delta Air Lines did win an award at the 2015 Freddie Awards, then they were not doing their job correctly. One of those times that that was stated to me was after I wished them luck at the Freddie Awards.

Delta Air Lines is currently raking in record or near-record profits quarter after quarter. Having the best frequent flier loyalty program in the industry does not exactly seem to be a goal based on the above statements. Why would the opinions of anyone be gauged at this point?

My Response

Uncertain as to how much room I had to write a response, I posted the following paragraph…

Although I understand the reasons for the changes from distance based to revenue based, I have always felt that they were too drastic — resulting in my loyalty to the SkyMiles program to be substantially reduced and therefore reducing my discretionary travel with Delta Air Lines. Consider bringing back some of the incentives that were inherent with the distance-based component of the program which would entice people to participate more in the SkyMiles program — with as little effect to the current revenue-based system as possible; as after all, Delta Air Lines is a for-profit corporation — to create a SkyMiles program which is a win-win for Delta Air Lines and as many members as possible. That balance — or “sweet spot” — is currently missing. Thank you.

…also realizing that what you and I may consider incentives could vary.

Summary

I have espoused for years that Delta Air Lines is a for-profit corporation and has a right to profit as much as it can — as long as representatives of the company are honest with their customers; and as long as the company engages in practices which at a minimum comply with the laws and regulations which it is required to follow. That opinion has not changed…

…but when asked to rate the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program as a member, that is a different story. I had to be honest and truthful.

The dichotomy between Delta Air Lines and its frequent flier loyalty program is astoundingly enormous, in my opinion. Despite my loyalty to the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program being substantially reduced, I believe that Delta Air Lines is still the best airline in the United States overall in terms of operations. The airline serves many destinations with ample frequencies; its front-line staff is second to none; and it was the only airline of which I know that continuously served complimentary snacks and beverages when other airlines ceased to do so for years — although announcements from United Airlines and American Airlines both recently proclaimed that snacks were returning to passengers seated in the economy class cabin.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Karen Zachary several times last year. She and I have each other’s business cards; so we have each other’s contact information. I am not gloating by any means, as many “bloggers” also have exchanged information with her and Sandeep Dube — who is the vice president of customer engagement and loyalty of Delta Air Lines — as a result of being involved in the Delta Jet Drag charity event last year.

Karen Zachary and Sandeep Dube are free to contact me at any time if they have any questions or want to have a conversation. I have been in contact with many employees and executives of Delta Air Lines over the years and want to continue that relationship…

…but in the meantime, you are encouraged to please opine with your thoughts pertaining to the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program in the Comments section below. What would be your suggestions in improving the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program?

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