First, a quick follow-up to yesterday’s story about Delta possibly charging extra to speak to a US-based agent: a Delta spokeswoman now says that the carrier will not charge a fee for speaking to a reservations agent in the US. Much ado about nothing.
So, I’m not sure if this is a sign of things to come in the US, but I wanted to pass along some frequent flyer changes Down Under: Air New Zealand has altering its frequent flyer program to reward passengers based on the dollars they spend, not the miles they fly. These dollars are then converted into cash they can use to purchase seats on any flight—no restrictions. There’s no indication that US airlines are moving in this direction, but when I step back and think about it, the cash-based plan makes more sense than a mileage-based reward structure. After all, the airline wants you to spend money with them; the current scheme actually rewards you for purchasing cheap long-haul flights rather than expensive (and profitable) full-fare short haul trips.