Loyalty isn’t just a word; it’s a sentiment that builds over time, nurtured through shared experiences and a deep connection. For over a decade, I proudly wore the Diamond and Platinum Medallion badges as a loyal Delta Air Lines customer, but it is with mixed emotions that I will not be pursuing medallion status in the SkyMiles program anymore. Recent changes to the 2024 SkyMiles program have led me to reconsider my loyalty and seek new horizons. This is my bittersweet farewell to a journey that’s been a part of my life for so long.
The Delta SkyMiles Program: A Decade of Dedication
My journey with Delta began years ago when I first joined their SkyMiles program. Gradually ascending through the elite status tiers, I felt the true essence of loyalty as I enjoyed perks like priority boarding, complimentary upgrades, lounge access, and waived baggage fees. With each flight, Delta reaffirmed my belief that loyalty was more than transactional; it was about mutual appreciation for each other.
The Transformation of Loyalty
However, the recent changes to the 2024 SkyMiles program have left me feeling like I’m breaking up with an old friend. The transformation from a loyalty program into what seems like a rewards program solely based on spending (MQD – Medallion Qualifying Dollars) has been disheartening. This shift feels like a move from genuine loyalty to a “pay to play” or “pay to earn” approach, where the primary concern is the dollars spent rather than the customer experience.
The Downfall of MQD
Over the years I was willing to pay more, have extra connections, or even overnight layovers to stay with Delta in order to show my loyalty and dedication to the airline so I can earn enough MQM (Medallion Qualification Miles) to earn the next tier status. However, the switch to status with only Medallion Qualifying Dollars has removed the sense of loyalty and instead focuses on how much money you spend. It’s hard not to feel that Delta now cares more about the revenue generated than the loyalty to the airline. This new system has devalued the essence of loyalty, where commitment, trust, and dedication should be the determining factors, not just the amount of money in one’s wallet.
The Bittersweet Goodbye
It is with a heavy heart that I make the painful decision to part ways with the Delta SkyMiles program. My departure isn’t about finding an immediate replacement; it’s about rekindling the true essence of loyalty. While it’s a bittersweet farewell, I’m excited to explore new opportunities and programs that genuinely value loyalty as I do.
As I step into a new chapter of my travel loyalty journey, I have already shifted part of my South America Business to Avianca’s LIfeMiles but had intentions of maintaining Delta SkyMiles for my international travel. But for now, I will be able to maintain Diamond for one more year and afterward, my Loyalty to Delta Skymiles will be over in 2025. During the year of 2024, I will be seeking other airline loyalty programs such as Air France/KLM Flying Blue and AeroMexico Rewards. Loyalty should never be sacrificed for revenue, and the bonds formed between customers and brands should be cherished, not commoditized.
My journey with Delta’s SkyMiles program has been a remarkable one, filled with incredible experiences and memorable moments. This farewell is not a rejection of Delta but rather a pursuit of a loyalty program that aligns with my values and beliefs. Loyalty should always be a two-way street, and as I bid adieu to Delta, I hold onto the hope that true loyalty will continue to thrive in the world of travel rewards programs.
Farewell, Delta, and thank you for the unforgettable adventures we’ve shared.