Delta announced yesterday a new program to recognize many of their elite customers, as well as many partner elites, under the new branding “Sky Priority.” The new program, rolling out on Thursday, April 15, will offer a consistent set of benefits for a broad group of the carrier’s most frequent fliers, but will also leave a few out in the cold.
The idea behind the program is to provide a consistent and improved experience, from booking through baggage claim, for frequent fliers. It will apply to Delta’s top three elite tiers (not to Silver Elite – whoopsie) as well as SkyTeam Elite Plus members and anyone traveling in the premium cabins. They’ll have dedicated check-in facilities, priority baggage handling and boarding, things that very frequent fliers have come to expect from their airlines and things that are generally provided already.
Perhaps the most significant new development is that these Sky Priority customers will now be compensated a bit when they are seated in coach. Should the upgrade not clear (or the passenger not be eligible, like SkyTeam E+) a coupon will print out with the boarding pass offering a complimentary premium beverage or snack from the Buy-on-Board collection. Quite a nice nod to the folks who didn’t get the upgrade.
Overall the program looks nice, except for excluding the Silver Elites from the free snack/drink, and it definitely is a legitimate enhancement to a frequent flyer program in an era that has mostly been seeing cuts, not improvements.
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