Change to Delta Skymile members – Points now expire at death

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A sneaky little change that can’t be found anywhere on their website any more.  In the past you could identify a beneficiary to your skymiles, but now that option has gone away.  Joining the likes of other airlines with the same policy including: United, South West, and Jet Blue.

It’s really a shame, because Delta is benefitting on millions of miles from those who have given their loyalty exclusively to one carrier.  No email or formal announcement of the change was announced to members.  It only appeared in last week’s posting of Flyertalk.com from an airline representative.   A glimpse into that posting:

Tim Winship, editor and publisher of FrequentFlier.com, was not surprised travelers are angry.

“Earning frequent flier miles in the minds of most people is akin to earning money and the idea that your miles — or your money, for that matter — would simply disappear when you die strikes a profoundly disturbing note in the minds of many,” Winship told NBC News.

Delta countered that the benefits of SkyMiles are intended to reward those who participate in the program directly. They are the ones who demonstrate their loyalty to the airline, said Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly Singley, in a statement.

She added that the policy change was made after careful review.

“We are the only airline whose miles do not expire, so our customers have the ability to enjoy using miles without the risk of ever losing them,” Singley said.

“In order to offer this unique benefit, some other, lesser-used policies were examined and determined not to have as much value to our members.”

Interestingly US Air, United, and Alaska still offer the ability to identify a beneficiary.  The common census seems to be, don’t let your miles add up.  Use them, transfer them, or give them away while still alive and well.

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