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Delta drops mileage expiration

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  February 15, 2011 05:07 PM

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Delta Air Lines announced that its SkyMiles credits will no longer expire over time. The Atlanta-based carrier said that the change, effective for all accounts as of Jan. 1, would make it the first major US carrier to drop such limits in its frequent-flier program.

Passengers enrolled in the SkyMiles program earned points for each mile they traveled, redeemable for a variety of benefits, including free flights. Now under the new plan, the points won't disappear if they go unused after 24 months, as was the case.

"We know how much customers value their miles, so eliminating mileage expiration is a major win for them,'' said Jeff Robertson, a Delta vice president, in a news release "This is yet another benefit that sets us apart from the pack, making Delta a clear leader in loyalty program benefits."

Amid rising fare prices and proliferating fees, the expiration of frequent-flier miles had become a sore spot for many travelers. This move by Delta will likely put pressure on other airlines to consider similar changes.

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