delta skymiles

A Review of SkyMiles, Delta’s Frequent Flyer Reward Program

Years ago, Delta Airline’s loyalty reward program SkyMiles was very popular but years of poor customer relations, unclear terms and conditions and customer dissatisfaction has left it a shell of its former self.  Despite this, it is still among the most popular frequent flyer programs in the US today and still offers great rewards to loyal customers.  The biggest problem that brought SkyMiles down is the many fees and restrictions slapped on customers.  SkyMiles is essentially a rewards, travel incentive and loyalty program that offers its passengers flying either Delta or partner airlines.  Here is a deeper look at the program (Source : 30k)

Earning Points

To earn SkyMiles points, you will first need to sign up for the program on Delta’s website where you will receive an email containing the program details.  You will earn SkyMiles points in four different ways: You can fly Delta Airlines to any of the 300+ destinations around the world or fly on any of the partner airlines which include Continental, Northwest, Alaska and NWA.  The second way to earn SkyMiles miles is to stay at hotel partners when you travel.  It is however important that you find out which hotels are SkyMiles members on the program’s or Delta Airline’s website.

SkyMiles account holders also have the option of accumulating points when they get and use a Delta SkyMiles Check Card or Credit Card or when they spend money on any of the partner dining, hotel and car rental partners.  Lastly, you can buy SkyMiles directly from Delta if you want to fill meet a target to cash it in.  Each mile you travel on Delta Airlines or partner programs earns you one SkyMiles.  For Delta cards, each dollar spent is one point or mile, with special bonuses and promotions coming by every now and then.

Redeeming Points

SkyMiles loyalty reward program offers a number of different ways to redeem accumulated points including getting free tickets, shopping and gifting.  Most people redeem their SkyMiles points for flight tickets starting at 25,000 miles for a return ticket to a domestic destination.  You can also use these miles to upgrade to First class or business elite from economy class.  Delta also allows elite SkyMiles members with Reserve, Gold or Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards from American Express to redeem miles for part of the Delta ticket price.

If you would like to shop with your SkyMiles, you will have to shop at an establishment that is a member of the program.  Delta has a SkyMiles marketplace and online auction you should check out and they also let customers redeem their SkyMiles points for Broadway tickets.  Lastly, you can donate your SkyMiles to either SkyWish or transfer them to another member.

Summary

Pros

  • Delta has made great strides to establish alliances with shopping, car rental, credit card and other establishments that accept SkyMiles.
  • You can shop with your SkyMiles
  • SkyMiles points are easier to earn compared to most other programs.

Cons

  • Too many unsatisfied members complaining online of poor services.
  • Too many restrictions on miles redemption and high fees, especially award redemption fees.
  • Most often customers lack seats to redeem points for.
  • Upgrading a seat using reward points is extremely difficult according to customers.