St. Petersburg Times Online: Business
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com
Back
Print story Reuse or republish Subscribe to the Times

Buttons signal disgruntled frequent fliers

By STEVE HUETTEL, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 14, 2003

Look closely on your next Delta Air Lines flight and you might see signs of a rebellion brewing among some of the airline's most loyal customers.

Delta angered thousands of elite-level fliers by cutting perks on its SkyMiles reward program. Those buying the cheapest tickets get credit for only half the mileage they fly toward earning elite Silver, Gold or Platinum Medallion status. And the airline is limiting the number of prized upgrades used to move from coach to first class.

A group of unhappy members launched SaveSkyMiles.com, a protest Web site. They say more than 4,300 SkyMilers, with an average of 576,000 miles flown, have signed an online petition asking Delta to reconsider the changes.

Their latest tactic: wearing buttons that picture a rat or a man parachuting from an airplane with the message Driving Every Loyal Traveler Away.

"We thought the rat was cute, kind of like rats deserting the ship," said Bruce Schobel, of Princeton Junction, N.J., who flies more than 100,000 miles a year on Delta. "But some people thought it was nasty, so we went to parachute man abandoning the Delta plane."

Delta representatives met with leaders of the group at Newark International Airport last month but didn't make any promises. "At this point, we're evaluating their concerns," a Delta spokeswoman said.

The protesters next plan to make their case to shareholders. They've raised $6,000 to rent mobile billboards for Delta's annual meeting April 24 at New York City's Plaza Hotel. The vehicles will circle LaGuardia Airport and the Plaza.

Print story Reuse or republish Subscribe to the Times

Back to Business
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
 
Special Links
Stocks


From the Times
Business report
  • Three questions with Duane Woerth
  • Better times
  • Little profit in resale of time shares
  • Buttons signal disgruntled frequent fliers
  • For Verizon, rates are relative
  • CrossGen repurposes the comic book
  • Eckerd moves into Manhattan
  • HealthSouth troubles haven't reached Tampa Bay area, local centers say
  • Just ignore what we've been saying about a new power plant
  • A sweet way to sell
  • Humana tries plastic surgery on image
  • Profile: Marc Blumenthal
  • People
  • Company
  • Robert Trigaux: Dr. Florida's prescription: creating a vision for cities

  • From the AP
    Business wire


    From the state business wire

  • Judge denies dismissal of Citigroup shareholder suits
  • Carnival to buy 4 cruise ships from Italian builder

  •