Delta CEO admits SkyMiles changes were too drastic, promises modifications

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Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has acknowledged that the airline “probably went too far” in overhauling its SkyMiles program and lounge access policy, and has announced that changes are coming soon. The airline had faced backlash from many frequent flyers who felt that the new rules were unfair and devalued their loyalty.

SkyMiles overhaul increased spending requirements

Earlier this month, Delta announced a complete overhaul of how it awards elite status to its SkyMiles members, which drastically increased the annual spending requirements. The airline also introduced new limits to Sky Club access for some American Express cardholders, who would have to pay extra fees or upgrade their cards to enjoy the lounge benefits.

The changes were meant to manage the demand for premium products and services that the airline said was “far in excess of our ability to serve it effectively.” Bastian said the airline was trying to ensure that it could serve all of the loyalty tiers at the level that they expected.

However, many frequent flyers were unhappy with the changes, which they felt were too drastic and penalized loyal customers. Some even threatened to switch to other airlines or cancel their credit cards.

Bastian promises modifications in the next few weeks

Bastian said that the airline had received “a lot of feedback” about the changes, and admitted that they “moved too fast” in implementing them. He said that the airline was still in the process of assessing what changes would be made, and that they would be announced sometime in the next few weeks.

Delta CEO admits SkyMiles changes were too drastic

He said that the airline wanted to “rip the Band-Aid off” and avoid having to make incremental changes every year, but realized that they “went too far” in doing so. He said that the airline valued its customers and wanted to reward them for their loyalty.

The changes announced earlier this month – and the coming modifications – are set to go into effect in 2025.

Delta aims to be the best airline for customers

Bastian said that Delta’s goal was to be the best airline for customers, and that it was constantly investing in improving its products and services. He said that the airline had recovered from the pandemic faster than its competitors, and that it was optimistic about the future of travel.

He also said that the airline was committed to sustainability and social responsibility, and that it was working on reducing its carbon footprint and supporting various causes. He said that Delta was more than just an airline, but a “force for good” in the world.

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