Changes in Privileges Program of Delta Hotels and Resorts Announced — With More to Come

This is the exterior of the Delta Ottawa City Centre — one of 40 of the Delta Hotels and Resorts. Photograph courtesy of Delta Hotels and Resorts. Click on the photograph for the official Internet web site of the Delta Ottawa City Centre hotel property.

“To ensure Delta Privilege remains competitive, and to pave the way for a rewarding new program set to launch in Autumn 2014, changes to the current program needed to be made”, said Ken Greene — who is the president and chief executive officer of Delta Hotels and Resorts — in a recent announcement. “These changes to benefits will be effective for reservations made after February 28, 2014 for stays starting on or after March 1, 2014.”
The changes are as follows:
  • Upgrades Delta Privilege Platinum Plus+ frequent guest loyalty program members will be upgraded to the best available room type at time of check-in — including Signature Club and suites — based on availability. Certain room types — such as specialty suites, for example — are excluded.
  • 48-hour Guaranteed Room Availability for reservations booked at least 48 hours prior to arrival is valid for one standard guest room when paying the daily rate of the hotel property — but it is not available at some resort locations. This benefit cannot be used in conjunction with any type of promotional, discounted or negotiated rates.
  • Personalized choice of welcome snack or 250 Aeroplan frequent flier loyalty miles for Delta Privilege Platinum Plus+ members for every stay. Please notify staff of your preference and your member profile will be updated accordingly.
  • Nightly turndown service upon notification to staff if you wish to receive this service.
  • Extended Check-out until 4:00 in the afternoon at hotel properties — until 2:00 in the afternoon at resort properties — for Delta Privilege PlatinumPlus+ members.
  • Qualifying stays and rate types for earning Delta Privilege elite level status stays and Aeroplan miles have been implemented effective as of January 15, 2014, as shown in the chart below:

I would not have known about these changes to the Delta Privilege frequent guest loyalty program had it not been for FlyerTalk member Points Surfer, who posted about these changes earlier today in the Comments section of an article I wrote here at The Gate pertaining to trust in frequent travel loyalty programs. “I don’t think Trust plays into these commercial incentive programs much anymore”, Points Surfer posted. “More like Confidence that when you achieve the goal’s the rewards are consistence per the agreement….when a program breaks that confidence it should be abandoned or you are rewarding bad behavior. Like Delta Hotels clawing back Plat+ 2015 benefits ‘after’ members earned them with 25+ stays in 2014….they lost my Confidence and therefore my business.”
Sure enough — after a brief search — I found the news pertaining to this perceived devaluation buried in this discussion on FlyerTalk where Points Surfer posted personal comments in response to the changes greater than a month ago. In response to the announced changes, Points Surfer lamented: “I personally feel the Delta Privileges Program has unfairly represented its offering as members dutifully earned Plat+ 2014 status through 2013 and a key incentive was suddenly denied after March 1 2014. At the very least it would have been ethical to honour this critical Plat+ 365 day benefit of ‘best available at reservation’ through 2014 and let membership decide what was important to them in 2015. Clawing back earned benefits into the year you earned status doesn’t pass the sniff test so in good conscious I’m voting with my feet.”
I do not typically follow the Delta Privilege frequent guest loyalty program — as Delta Hotels and Resorts is a chain of 40 hotel properties located in ten provinces in Canada, with four new properties slated to be opened by 2015 — and therefore missed this news. Points Surfer, please accept my gratitude for alerting me about it — but this is only the beginning, as steps will be taken to further strengthen the Delta Privilege frequent guest loyalty program in the fall of 2014 in order to ensure that “we continue to remain competitive with our loyalty program.”
Does the announcement of additional changes to be implemented later this year mean further perceived devaluations — or will the Delta Privilege frequent guest loyalty program change for the better? Will it be a mix of both? What do you think?

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