Fuel Surcharges Hit Delta's Frequent Flier Program

Delta informed their beloved frequent fliers yesterday that effective August 15, all flights booked with SkyMiles will carry up to a $50 fuel surcharge. The airline also announced the impending release of an exciting “new multi-tiered Award program.”

Delta’s dispatch:

Escalating fuel prices continue to impact our world economy, everyday life and the airline industry. Due to continued, unprecedented fuel costs, we will add the following fuel surcharge to Award Tickets originating from the U.S. and Canada, effective August 15, 2008:

  • $25 for Award Travel between the 50 states and Canada
  • $50 for Award Travel between the 50 states/Canada and all international destinations

This was a difficult but essential decision to ensure we are doing everything possible to offset the cost of fuel which has nearly doubled in the last year. This fuel surcharge will not impact any existing ticketed Award itineraries or any future Award Tickets issued prior to August 15, 2008, regardless of the date of travel. We hope this is temporary, and should fuel prices subside from current levels, we will reevaluate this surcharge.

We are committed to making SkyMiles® the best frequent flyer program in the industry and providing you with the most benefits and rewards. We will continue to expand the destinations and opportunities for Award Travel and strengthen the program as we prepare for our proposed merger with Northwest Airlines®. Additionally, we will keep you updated on the launch of our new multi-tiered Award program and other key initiatives over the next 60 days.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and support of Delta and the SkyMiles Program—now and always.


J. W. Robertson

Managing Director, SkyMiles

The announcement coincides nicely with the release of the 20th fare hike this year.

We are intrigued by the “new multi-tiered Award program” J.W. mentioned. Details are scarce, but we imagine it will work out something like this: there will be two impermeable tiers. In one tier, there will be awards. In the other tier, frequent fliers.

(AP Photo/Al Behrman)

(Thank to everyone who forwarded the announcement!)

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