Frequent flyers have flocked to the current spate of EQM promotions by several airlines (see InsideFlyer May 2009 for specifics) that end June 15, 2009. In an article in The Wall Street Journal by Scott McCartney, United said that 50 percent of their elite-level members signed up for the promotions while Delta said one-third of their members have signed up (American declined to discuss their numbers).
And even though there are many members taking advantage of the deals to help them earn or keep elite status, United predicts that they will have fewer elite-level members next year because of the travel cutbacks this year. “This will certainly counteract some of the natural decline we’re seeing, but it’s not going to fully account for it,” said Graham Atkinson, president of United Mileage Plus. The article also mentions that Delta plans to offer special deals with American Express and that flyers should expect more bonus offers as summer rolls around and business travel continues to be down.