Delta Changes MQM Accrual rate on Partner Airlines

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Whendoublewidesfly, Feb 4, 2013.  |  Print Topic


Will you continue to fly Delta after these changes are put in place

Poll closed Mar 6, 2013.
  1. Yes, these changes don't bother me

    0 vote(s)
  2. Yes, I rarely or never fly these other airlines so I don't care

  3. No, I'm switching to a different airline

  4. Undecided

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Whendoublewidesfly

    Whendoublewidesfly Silver Member

    (Copied from my websiteat
    Delta Airlines one of the world’s largest airlines, flying to 319 destinations in 59 countries on six continents, is a founding member of the SkyTeam Alliance. Yet now, the founding member is pulling back from the alliance and in some aspects, further breaking up the unity of the alliance by making it harder for their members to fly partner airlines and still earn Elite Status. This means Delta is trying harder than ever to insist that Delta fliers fly Delta Metal. It goes from Bad to Worse for Skyteam and Delta fliers as of March 1st.
    What do I mean? Delta announced that they changed the way you earn SkyMiles Status and sent an email to their frequent flyers. Not only did they announce the spending requirements for Elite Status, they also briefly mentioned a change to MQM accrual rates.
    The email said:
    In addition, beginning March 1, 2013, we will adjust the Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) you earn on select fares when flying Delta and our partner airlines. To learn more about earning MQMs, visit
    These modifications will ensure that our most valued flyers have an even more exclusive and enjoyable travel experience.
    There wasn’t a lot of details of the changes other than the fact that MQM accrual rates would change. I first noticed the change on Delta flights, really only affecting high class fares (those that most people don’t’ fly). Yet then I status to explore more and I’ve notice a lot of changes for the bad on the Alliance partners.[u1] Changes that I think will truly piss off the typical person who flies both Delta and SkyTeam partners internationally, especially to places where Delta’s own footprint doesn’t reach.
    Take a look at new earning rates afterMarch 1st for SkyTeam Partners: (I've only entered 5 because that's all Milepoint would let me, see the complete list of changes here
    South America Travel Takes a True Beating!
    Nothing Good Happening In China.....
    It goes from bad to worse...
    Notice any trends? Basically, Delta is punishing you for flying their partners when it comes to earning MQM. If you fly a Delta partner, DO NOT expect to earn MQMs like you use to, in fact you’ll be lucky if you even earn ½ as many miles as before! The only way to fly a Delta partner and earn full MQM is if Delta is heavily invested heavy in them. Delta should no longer be called a SkyTeam member, but instead a Joint Venture conglomerate! KLM, Air France, & Alitalia are all closely tied to Delta due to the Trans-Atlantic JV and there mileage accrual rates are being matched 1:1 to the Delta Chart. Aeromexico is in a similar situation where Delta now owns a 3.5% stake in the company. This means, it’s in Delta’s best interest to get you to fly on KLM,AF, AZ or AM, because when these airlines are making money so is Delta!
    I find these changes to be ALL BAD changes to the SkyMiles program and just proves that Delta is NOT playing fair! If you’re a worldy flyer and this doesn’t get to you, I’m not sure what will!
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  2. Davescj
    • Original Member

    Davescj Silver Member

    This is an interesting change which I had not noticed. One does wonder where DL is going with this.
  3. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

  4. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    This is an interesting summary. With MQD not being earned on non-006 ticket stock, there's a lot less incentive to book partners to begin with, especially those outside AF/ KL / AZ that may be harder to book via DL.
  5. mht_flyer
    • Original Member

    mht_flyer Gold Member

    Awful. When a full fare Y fare on a partner earns 75% that is pretty poor.

    I hope DL fails at this initiative.
    icurhere2, mrredskin, foxberg and 3 others like this.
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
    • Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    i am glad I am not a Delta/Skyteam flyer, and I do hope they fail with this.
    foxberg and mht_flyer like this.
  7. Bay Pisco Shark
    • Original Member

    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

    When discounted business earns 50 to 75%, that is really poor. These aren't exactly bargain tickets.
  8. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

    AA used to have similar EQM accrual with BA. But they made changes in the opposite direction. DL will also learn eventually.
    rwoman and mht_flyer like this.
  9. Whendoublewidesfly

    Whendoublewidesfly Silver Member

    AA made the change with BA after the JV was approved.
  10. mrredskin
    • Original Member

    mrredskin Gold Member

    For domestic travel, I've never had a major issue
  11. USAF_Pride
    • Original Member

    USAF_Pride Gold Member

    I think that is the biggest problem is the disparity from the domestic vs. international.
    akcae and mrredskin like this.
  12. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Yup, and DL has the same situation. So does UA.

    The bottom line is that the airlines want you flying where they are getting higher yields from you. If you don't then they don't reward you as much.
  13. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

    ...and I laughed at UA flyers when it happened to them.

    Damn Karma.
    8MiHi likes this.
  14. nldogbert

    nldogbert Silver Member

    This to me is also a very weird move, especially for J and F class tickets. It seems that they are heading towards what LH/UA are doing, awarding minimal mileage/EQM to these J/F/Full fare Y tickets. On the other hand, I find it so strange that they are selling themselves now out to SPG with the new co-share privileges (worst is SPG Platinum members can be upgraded for free on day of departure).

    I really do wonder where DL aims to go with these changes and co-operation?
  15. mattsteg
    • Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Do spg plat day of departure upgrades really matter? The other details are much more significant, and I'm much core concerned regarding this heralding a switch to straight dollad-based earning and burning.
    foxberg likes this.
  16. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    But how do you explain DL dropping the MQM earning on its own M fares from 150% to 100%, the same as the cheapest coach fares?
  17. mattsteg
    • Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    They want to sell B-fares to those that want the MQMs?
    ballardFlyer likes this.
  18. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    The same way that I explain AA, US and UA not offering premium earning on their 3rd fare bucket in coach. It is expensive but not "full fare" and so doesn't get the bonus. US doesn't even offer them for Y & B fares.
  19. Ryan Bingham
    • Original Member

    Ryan Bingham Silver Member

    Where is DL going with this?!?! Squeezing every last penny of profit out of SkyMiles. Forcing all bookings through and all butts in the seats on DL metal.
  20. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Yeah...I cannot believe they're trying to be profitable and use their loyalty program to drive loyalty to their brand. :rolleyes:
    deltagoldLass and OnTehWings like this.
  21. bennos

    bennos Silver Member

    That's fine, but it reduces the value of partners and alliances.

    For example, I just booked US-EU/stopover/EU-SIN on AF (a JV partner, no less!). While I'll get full MQMs on the ticket, since I couldn't ticket it on 006 stock (let's just say DL isn't that advanced for the routing I wanted, while AF had no problems with it) and I couldn't book the DL code for the TATL portions (ditto), I'd earn exactly 0 MQDs if this were next year. (I realize this thread is about reduced MQM, but as of next year it's really the same thing.) This was a PE ticket, so not exactly cheap.

    So, what's the point of staying on SkyTeam, or even within the JV? Had this been next year, I probably would have booked SQ or some other carrier instead. In turn, this would mean dropping a level or two with DL, which would perhaps push me to B6 (38" pitch in EMS seats vs not getting upgraded on a TCON) for some of my domestic travel. And next time I flew TPAC, perhaps I'd look at NH instead, since I wouldn't need the long haul flying to maintain status anymore.

    In short, this doesn't drive overall loyalty when there are no viable DL options in specific cases (and the EU-MSP-NRT-SIN routing that DL came up with does not qualify as "viable"). Perhaps this is an edge case that DL is willing to trade off, but let's not pretend these changes are all chocolates and roses from a customer perspective.
    akcae likes this.
  22. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

    Did you call Delta to try to book?
    A good agent can work out just about any routing, sure it takes a few minutes and cost a few bucks but if you wanted to get the MQD this would have been a way...and for ST E+ status levels (GM and above) you'd get the ticketing fee waived.
  23. bennos

    bennos Silver Member

    I did, and the DM line couldn't do it. (OT, but I was basically doing a US-SIN round trip in PE with a surface sector and a stopover. AF priced it is a single trip, DL wanted to price it much more expensively as a round trip nested within an open jaw.)

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