Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer changes: Delta has quietly changed the rules of its SkyMiles program

If you fly much these days, it's pretty much impossible to ignore Delta Airlines. Delta and United now control nearly half the air traffic in the U.S. after recent mergers.

In the Cincinnati area, most regular fliers are also Delta SkyMiles members, because of its dominance at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

But some SkyMiles members may be in for a rude surprise this fall when they discover they are no longer earning as many miles as they used to on certain flights.

Quietly Changes the Rules

Frequent flier programs used to be so simple: Fly 2,000 miles, earn 2,000 points.
     
But as of this fall, you may not earn as many miles on your next Delta flight if you purchase it from a third party source.

Delta has quietly changed the rules of its SkyMiles program, and starting this fall, certain discount fares will earn you fewer miles, according to a new page on Delta's website.

Delta's website now says that the following tickets will no longer earn as many points.

     -Student fares
     -Consolidator fares
     -Flights as part of a cruise package
     -Flights as part of a discounted tour package

If your tour books deeply discounted seats, you'll get just 25 percent of the normal SkyMiles award.

This means a cruise or Hawaii vacation package (purchased from a company outside of Delta) that includes airfare on Delta will no longer guarantee you 1,000 SkyMiles, for instance.

Doesn't That Stink?

And from the "doesn't that stink" file: the likelihood that your tour operator probably won't volunteer this information.

The travel blog FrequentFlier.com says it's unrealistic to expect travel bookers to pass this info on to passengers, which may leave you saying "doesn't that stink" when you get your next Delta statement.

Think about it: If you are a tour operator, would you want your customers to know they're earning fewer miles by booking with you?

What You Can Do

The easiest way to make sure you are earning full SkyMiles is to book directly through Delta's website, especially if it is a trip to Europe or Hawaii that could potentially mean a lot of miles.

But that's not going to make travel agents happy.

And it means you may end up paying more for your next travel package.

As always don't waste your money.
     
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