No news is the best news

Northwest Airlines has announced program changes for 2004. The biggest news is no change at all: Northwest won’t go along with partners Delta and Continental on elite qualification — Northwest flights will continue to earn 100% elite mileage even on the lowest fares.

Additional changes:

  • Northwest will only award 50% of elite mileage on Continental flights at the lowest fares, so stay on Northwest metal!

  • Most strikingly, Northwest will award 100% of elite mileage on Delta flights at the lowest fares (effective this Sunday – we don’t have to wait until January 1 for this one!).

    So Delta frequent flyers flying L, U, and T fares will only earn 50% mileage, Northwest frequent flyers will earn 100% elite mileage on the same flights.

  • Northwest is increasing the number of miles required for First Class awards from the US to Hawaii to 75,000 and the number of miles required for domestic upgrades to 15,000. The upgrade price increase matches United, American, and USAirways.

    The Hawaii price increase matches Delta. Not ideal, but still better than expected — and not nearly as big a devaluation as Delta recently announced.

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 »

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