One of the few lessons airlines learned about the traveling public was not to mess with frequent flyer programs. Southwest Airlines started toying with their very popular Rapid Rewards program, attempting to blend a few of AirTran’s policies that were friendlier to the airline than the traveler. As other airlines have merged with fellow airlines, we have seen subtle changes to the frequent traveler programs. Almost all of the modifications have seen airlines dialing back the benefits and perks to the consumer.

Briefs: Delta expands a premium perk; AAdvantage adds a partner

By Jim Glab of Executive Travel

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In news of U.S. airlines, Delta will reportedly offer a super perk to some premium passengers at more airports; American AAdvantage members can now earn and burn miles on a pending Oneworld partner; Southwest boosts the price of some award tickets; and Alaska adds a new electronic option for Mileage Plan members.

• For the past couple of years, select Diamond Medallion customers of Delta Airlines have benefited from a very special amenity — a ride to their connecting flight at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson in a Porsche Cayenne or Panamera. And now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the airline is expanding that program to three more airports: New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The newspaper cited a spokesman for Porsche as the source of the information. At ATL, about three dozen premium passengers per day are selected for the special rides, the newspaper said.

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