(WREG-TV) Delta is the first major carrier in the U.S. to have passengers earn award miles based on the fare they pay, rather than how far they fly.
The change, which kicks in on flights after December 31, is causing a lot of controversy among frequent fliers.
“The current distance-based model was developed 30 years ago when fares were highly correlated to distance,” says Jeff Robertson, Delta’s vice president of SkyMiles. “We think the spend-based model allows us to invest more in our premium customers and is right for Delta today.”
Smaller airlines such as Southwest and Jet Blue have been using similar programs.
Delta’s frequent fliers will earn between five and 11 miles per dollar of their base ticket price, plus airline surcharges.
They can earn an additional two miles per dollar if they book the trip with Delta’s co-branded SkyMiles credit card.