For those who are willing to pay for access, Delta's SkyMiles Select program is a good alternative to flying the requisite miles to earn elite status. But it also sets an interesting precedent for paying for overhead bin space.
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A big benefit of earning elite status with any air carrier is the perks that show up at each tier. Earn silver, gold, platinum, or rubidium status with American, Delta, United, or Transavia, and benefits like free checked bags, upgrades, and priority boarding start to roll in. But now Delta is carving at least part of those benefits out and selling them as a stand-alone subscription product.
Called SkyMiles Select, the new program costs $59 annually. It includes unlimited priority boarding — ostensibly guaranteeing overhead bin space — plus eight drink vouchers and a limited-edition luggage tag.
Effectively, the new product is a portion of elite status without all of the required flying. And considering the number of people who may only want the basic perks without the travel or environmental impact of elite status, the subscription could pick up traction. Skift Senior Aviation Business Editor Brian Sumers wrote up the full product scoop last week.
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Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is also a director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.
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Photo credit: Shown is the interior of the Delta Airbus A350 commercial jet. Delta has launched SkyMiles Select, a stand-alone subscription product that includes unlimited priority boarding among other perks. Chris Rank / Delta Air Lines