So, Alaska and Delta Both Have the Best Airline Rewards Program? (From the Same Awards)

In my inbox landed press releases from Alaska Airlines and Delta:

Alaska and Delta Best Program US News 2017

  • Alaska Airlines’ frequent flyer program once again named No. 1 loyalty program by U.S. News & World Report
  • Delta SkyMiles named a Best Travel Rewards program by U.S. News for 2017-2018

Let’s see, what airline is more likely to be making a bogus claim?

US News Best Airline Rewards Programs 2017Ding, ding, ding, D for Delta.

Delta SkyMiles is the top U.S. global airline* loyalty program in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-2018 Best Travel Rewards Programs ranking.

The tip-off is the asterisk where Delta creates its own award category: *U.S. global carrier is defined as U.S. carriers offering intercontinental flights: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

Alaska was again #1. Though I doubt it is worth digging into the quality of this award, Delta moved from #9 last year to #2.

Alaska flies from the US to Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico, by the way.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has extensive international partnerships and even awards elite-qualifying miles on supposed Delta partner Korean Air, which Delta does not. Alaska does not need government protectionism is the form a joint venture to provide the basic expectations of their members with regard to partners.

Alaska Airlines Partner Airlines

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4 Comments on "So, Alaska and Delta Both Have the Best Airline Rewards Program? (From the Same Awards)"

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Bravo Delta. You get my award for “Most Egregious Goalpost-Move of 2017!”


Good job of calling out Delta. What’s hard for me to fathom is any methodology that would put that sad program so high. Miles don’t expire. OK, is there any other feature of SkyMiles that is good?


And this yet again erodes trust in delta. Nothing new


[…] but important to this narrative. You see Delta has an award program called SkyMiles. They say it is “A” award winning program (it’s not). It used to be an amazing program with stunning value and rock solid IT […]