I’ve really enjoyed reading Gary’s analysis and thoughts about Delta’s recent award chart change which led into a discussion about revenue based frequent flier programs. I won’t call him right or wrong, I’ll only say you should read what he says if you haven’t already. I don’t even have anything to say about what Delta did. Actually, I have plenty to say about that and revenue-based programs. The reason I stay away from the discussion is that there are a plethora of blogs out there talking miles and points to no end. Gary’s blog, is of course, the patriarch…and the granddaddy of them, and one I read every day. I just don’t think I’d have that much to add to what he and the other handful of top bloggers have to say in this debate. I am always glad to discuss my thoughts on these things when I see you in person at any of the frequent flier events.
I do have to say that I think many fliers over-estimate the bottom line contributions of the various mileage schemes to the profitability of airlines. I’m not saying that they are not profitable, I simply don’t think they are “beyond your wildest dreams” profitable. Just my opinion. Here’s another opinion for you. Revenue based programs are coming to an airline near you. Personally, I began to ponder the possibility of revenue-based programs with Delta’s introduction of “pay with miles” a few years ago. All indications are that Delta is very likely to make a move in this direction at some point in the future.
Personally, I think the other airlines will let them go first and see what happens. If the world doesn’t stop spinning, it is a virtual certainty that the other airlines will begin to follow suit. Whether that’s good for them or not, I don’t know. Rumors are that some of them seem to think revenue-based is a good idea. Only time will tell. I hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does, I will still find a way to play…. and you can take that to the mileage bank.