Airport Gate
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

A Nice Little Touch From Delta Air Lines; Yet More Outrage With SkyMiles…

hile I was waiting for my flight at Washington Dulles International Airport, I spotted a cart off to the far right side of the gate at which I was sitting; and I saw people taking items from the cart.

The sign on the cart had Have One On Us. written on it — and so I did.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

There was a variety of snacks — including chips, popcorn, granola bars, and FiberOne chocolate fudge brownies, which the one I ate was quite good — sitting in what appears to be the basket which flight attendants once used to serve snacks in the first class cabin during domestic flights within the United States. There was also a choice of cans of soda, bags of fruit drinks, and bottles of water.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Of course, there was at least one person who just had to stuff his bag with handfuls of snacks and drinks. Some people have to try to ruin a good thing — such as this nice little touch from Delta Air Lines — for others…

…but then again, is that not what some frequent fliers did with loyalty programs: abuse them?

Yet despite the service and product offered by Delta Air Lines to generally be good — arguably superior to its competition based in the United States — there is even more outrage posted recently pertaining to Delta Air Lines. This time, the reason is the sudden disappearance of its award charts…

…and some people wonder why there is outrage against frequent travel loyalty programs, which is an article I posted almost two months ago that I hope you will read again.

Marshall Jackson of MJ On Travel already wrote an article about a similar topic which I was going to write: that Delta Air Lines should just trash the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program altogether. Stop with all of the complicated rules which require a doctorate degree in engineering to understand. Stop continuing to promise amenities and benefits that will rarely be realized. Stop the marketing garbage about how I asked to not have an award chart and what an enhancement it is for me to have the privilege of spending 750,000 SkyMiles from Atlanta to Chattanooga in a seat in the economy class cabin. Save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in salaries and benefits and eliminate the entire SkyMiles department. Save additional thousands of dollars from advertising unlimited upgrades and free tickets to anywhere in the world at any time and that you will get a new Lamborghini with every ticket purchase.

Delta Air Lines does not need frequent fliers anymore — unless they pay and pay. We get it. Just get rid of what has become a virtually useless program when compared to its former self even only a few years ago.

If you take the frequent flier loyalty program out of the equation, I usually have a good experience flying as a passenger on Delta Air Lines. When you take the operations and service point of view, Delta Air Lines is probably the best airline based in the United States — if Alaska Airlines is not better. I like the little touches such as the snack cart before a flight.

When it comes to loyalty programs, I will say this again for the whateverth time:


Why is Delta Air Lines implementing these changes? Because they can.

If you do not like these changes, then fly as a passenger on another airline — as I have been doing more. Use another mode of transportation — as I have been doing more…

…or stop flying as a passenger altogether. Forget award charts; same-day confirmed; Have One On Us coupons; unlimited upgrades and all of the other benefits you used to enjoy often…

…but do not expect Delta Air Lines — or, in this particular case, United Airlines — to change course just because you are not happy. Money talks. Airlines listen…

…and unless you are spending the big bucks, you have most likely become irrelevant in terms of frequent travel loyalty programs. Instead, concentrate your efforts on losing your elite status, gaining your self-respect and launching your own frequent flier loyalty program.

The honeymoon is over, folks. It has been over. I do not like the changes any more than you do; but let us just move on and realize that there is more to travel than frequent travel loyalty program miles and points — like actually enjoying the travel itself?

That is what I have been doing: enjoying travel. I am currently in Nairobi and will be leaving Kenya in fewer than 24 hours. I then head to Muscat and will eventually document my adventures which I will experience there here at The Gate. I expect to be in South Africa later this month and in the United Arab Emirates in May, with other countries still yet to be determined; and I intend to document those trips as well — even though I still had not caught up with documenting my unintentional trip around the world but will eventually do so.

For me, the service and product offered by Delta Air Lines will keep me as a customer when it is convenient to me — but I do not intend to go out of my way to be a customer of Delta Air Lines like I did in the past with the main reason being its seemingly dying SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program…

You can see the silhouette of the Have One On Us cart at the right of the photograph at the top of this article. All photographs ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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