Are Airlines Becoming More Like Banks?


1. Increased focus on dollars spent can lead to more personalized rewards and benefits for high spenders.
2. Aligning with banks can potentially improve financial stability and customer service.
3. More emphasis on revenue can help airlines invest in better in-flight experiences and amenities.
4. Partnership with financial institutions may result in additional perks such as co-branded credit cards and exclusive offers.
5. Integration of banking systems can enhance the overall customer experience with streamlined processes and easier payment options.


1. The shift to prioritizing dollars spent may alienate loyal customers who do not spend as much but have a high frequency of flying.
2. Increased focus on revenue might lead to inflated prices and reduced affordability for budget travelers.
3. Complex loyalty programs can become confusing for customers, making it harder to understand and maximize benefits.
4. Integration with banks may result in increased data sharing, raising privacy concerns for customers.
5. Shifting from a traditional frequent flyer model to one that resembles banking may erode the unique identity and appeal of airlines.


Delta Air Lines recently made changes to its SkyMiles program, giving greater emphasis to dollars spent rather than miles flown for status. This shift is aiming to attract high spenders rather than frequent flyers, but it has caused dissatisfaction among various individuals, including some industry insiders.