Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today announced it has eliminated the SkyMiles mileage expiration, creating a new industry-leading benefit for all members. This program change is effective for all accounts as of Jan. 1, 2011, and makes Delta the only major U.S. carrier without mileage expiration.
Previously, miles expired 24 months after a member’s last qualifying mileage activity, which required a member to earn or redeem miles within that period.
“Now that our massive frequent flyer program integration is complete, we are focused on smart ways to improve the SkyMiles program for all members,” said Jeff Robertson, Delta’s vice president – SkyMiles. “We know how much customers value their miles, so eliminating mileage expiration is a major win for them. This is yet another benefit that sets us apart from the pack, making Delta a clear leader in loyalty program benefits.”
This change is the latest of several enhancements made to the SkyMiles program in the last year including the new Diamond Medallion tier with complimentary lounge access and Rollover Medallion Qualification Miles. These features complement other recent changes such as the elimination of all award redemption fees and a free first checked bag on Delta flights for Gold, Platinum and Reserve Delta SkyMiles credit card holders from American Express.
Members can look forward to more in 2011, including significant improvements to delta.com such as an upgraded award travel calendar, improved booking process and better flight information displays. Additionally, Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members can expect several new benefits when flying select alliance partner airlines – including Air France, KLM, Alitalia and Alaska Airlines.
Now in its 30th year, SkyMiles is one of the longest-running and most successful loyalty programs in the travel industry. Last year, frequent flyers redeemed more than 264 billion miles in the SkyMiles program for more than 12 million award redemptions. In 2010, 8.3 percent of revenue miles flown on Delta were for award travel. Delta offers more ways to redeem frequent flyer miles than any other airline, including airline tickets, mileage upgrades, car rentals, hotel stays, Delta Sky Club memberships, merchandise and more than 30 types of gift cards. SkyMiles was named “Best Domestic Frequent Flyer program” for 2007 through 2010 by readers of Executive Travel magazine and “Best Frequent Flyer Program” for 2006 through 2010 by Business Traveler magazine. For more information on the SkyMiles program, Medallion status and mileage redemption options, visit delta.com/skymiles.