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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.

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor,, @grantkmartin 

Skift Stories and More Expert Insight

Can Loyalty Points Transform Travel Metasearch? A Japanese Case Study: Industry observers have said it for years: Eventually, travel metasearch will evolve beyond being price comparison and click-through sites.

Delta Air Lines Sells a New Subscription That Indirectly Includes Overhead Bin Access: No full-service airline wants to come out and charge for overhead bin space. The optics would be horrible, with passengers complaining about how an airline took from them what was once free. But Delta Air Lines on Wednesday quietly came close to instituting a pay-for-space policy, even if the webpage touting the product said nothing of the sort.

Marriott Drives Deeper Into Luxury Short-Term Rentals as a Loyalty Play: Despite early hype, Marriott International doesn’t intend to take on Airbnb and other homesharing companies with its recently announced homesharing business.

United’s Plan to Use Larger Jets to Control Rising Costs: No U.S. airline is on a better financial trajectory than United Airlines. But investment analysts are paid to worry, and they have asked whether United is spending too much money, a habit that could hurt the company if this long-rumored economic downturn occurs sooner rather than later. Launches Flights Through Partnership Across Europe: has unveiled the next piece in its evolution toward becoming a full-service online travel agency — flight bookings in seven European countries.

Marriott Is Buying Elegant Hotels in Barbados in Further All-Inclusive Push: Marriott International has agreed to a deal to buy Elegant Hotels for $130.1 million in a move that will see the company expand its all-inclusive offering in the Caribbean.

Cathay Cuts Earnings Outlook After Being Battered by Hong Kong Disruptions: Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. cut its earnings outlook after passenger traffic fell for a second month as protests that have put intense pressure on the carrier continued to disrupt travel and business in Hong Kong.

New Vietnamese Airline Bamboo Plans IPO in Early 2020: Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways expects a market capitalization of as much as $1 billion at its planned listing in the first quarter next year.

Norwegian Air, JetBlue Tie Up to Expand Transatlantic Network: Norwegian Air  and New York’s JetBlue Airways plan a partnership enabling passengers flying between Europe and the United States to continue to multiple destinations under a single booking, potentially boosting traffic and average fares.

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Grant Martin [] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is also a director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.

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 / Rank Studios