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Delta to Cut First Class Prices After Making SkyMiles Upgrades Harder

March 04, 2016 /

Airline miles junkies typically have one goal for their large mileage balances: Swilling Champagne in first class while jetting across an ocean for free.Only rookies burn miles on such things as rental cars, theater tickets, and magazine subscriptions.Delta Air Lines, the world’s second-largest carrier, wants to end that mindset and get people treating their miles as a form of currency. Sure, flyers can use points to make those business and first-class tickets more affordable. But this is the beginning of the end for the era of the free ride.“We want people to be able to use those miles not to fly for free but to control your experience,” says Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s incoming president and architect of the airline’s revenue plans. To do this, Delta plans to adjust the pricing of seats at the front of the plane so more are sold. While Delta currently sells just 57 percent of its first-and business-class cabins, the company said in December that it will boost the figure to 70 percent by 2018.