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'No Question, We Probably Went Too Far': Delta Airlines CEO Backtracks on Sweeping Changes to SkyMiles Accounts, Sky Club Access The unpopular changes set to roll out in 2025 were announced earlier this month.

By Emily Rella

Key Takeaways

  • Earlier this month, Delta announced sweeping changes to its SkyMiles loyalty program and Sky Club access, which were set to roll out in 2025.
  • The news didn't go over well, and customers were furious.
  • After "listening to the feedback," Delta CEO Ed Bastian acknowledged the company "went too far" and more changes (to the changes) are on the way.

After mass criticism, Delta Airlines' CEO is backtracking on the upcoming planned changes to the company's SkyMiles memberships and ways to access its Sky Clubs.

During an event at the Rotary Club of Atlanta event on Monday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said that the company was "listening to the feedback, reading the feedback" and now plans to make changes—to the planned changes.

"We're still assessing what to do but there will be modifications that we make, and you'll hear about it sometime over the next few weeks," Bastian explained. "We need to make certain that we can serve our higher tiers with the level of premium experience that you deserve and you expect."

Earlier this month, Bastian and Delta announced that starting in 2025, aspects of SkyMiles memberships would be changed, such as only allowing members to reach elite status based on how much they spend on their select SkyMiles credit cards (regardless of how many points they earned through miles on flights), as well as severely limiting who would have access to the Delta Sky Club.

Related: 'This Is a Terrible Day': Delta, American Express Limiting Access to Sky Clubs, Customers Lament 'Brutal' and 'Outrageous' Changes

Another announced shift was that American Express Platinum Card and American Express Business Platinum Card holders would be limited to only six visits to the Delta Sky Club per year unless they spend over $75,000 per year.

The news did not go over well with customers, who called the changes "outrageous" and a "miscalculation" — with many threatening to cancel their credit cards and SkyMiles accounts.

"No question, we probably went too far in doing that. Our team wanted to rip the bandaid off and didn't want to have to keep going through this every year with changes and nickel-and-diming and whatnot, but I think we moved too fast," Bastian admitted of the "unsustainable" changes. "We will be making modifications and changes because it really matters to us."

Bastain did not specify how Delta would be modifying the new Sky Club policies.

Delta had hinted at these changes last month after the managing director for Sky Clubs, Claude Roussel, pointed out that customers and loyalty members had grown frustrated with overcrowding.

"We continue to work with our partners and continue looking at this issue. It's not a done issue," Roussel told The Points Guy. "We have to continue making progress. Our guests are telling us that. They're telling us: 'Listen, we love the clubs. You need to fix the crowding."

Delta was up just over 26% in a one-year period as of Thursday afternoon.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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