Bits ‘n Pieces for May 4, 2012

In the opening remarks of the May issue of Inside Flyer, Randy Petersen suggests that Delta buying an oil refinery should mean that they reduce fuel surcharges on their award tickets. Zing! Of course what they do is add fuel surcharges onto other airline awards (so they’re not even ‘recouping the cost of fuel’ on their own aircraft) and add international origination surcharges to tickets beginning in Europe, since most European carriers whack their members with similar fees. If only Randy’s wish were true. I’m not betting on it, my concerns with the Delta program were succinctly laid out in my debate with the Points Guy on the value of Skymiles.

Inside Flyer has a Freddie Awards wrapup as well, including full results beyond just the winners.

Here’s the week’s roundup of miles and points news, or at least my take on the most important things to know over the past seven days, up on Conde Nast’s Daily Traveler.

Expedia Rewards is one year old. An average of 300 people joined the program each hour (and why not, if you were booking on Expedia anyway?). One person earned 940,000 points — they probably should have booked on Travelocity through the Ultimate Rewards mall instead, but who am I to judge? 4.3 billion points were awarded in total. Perhaps that’s why they devalued only halfway through that first year

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. There’s always hope Gary. I’ll make a point once the refinery deal is up and running to lobby for the end of those pesky award surcharges.

  2. Once they figure out how complicated it is to run a refinery and how much extra overhead there is when you have to have all the office safety and process experts to cover just one, and stay up on all the refining technology, and fit experienced refinery employees into a totally different airline corporation bureaucracy, they may have to raise fuel surcharges based on the ultimate economics of this deal. They would have been better off buying an old boeing factory so they could build their own aircraft, at least some of the skills will transfer from maintenance.

  3. @Marc

    While I see Delta having many challenges, I don’t understand your comment at all. It’s not like they are buying a refinery construction set at Ikea and then building everything, including workforce, from the ground up. They are buying a refinery, I would imagine it has at least a few people working there and has not been cancelled either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *