Delta Air Lines is going down the same path as American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, sending cease and desist letters to third-party websites that access Delta SkyMiles information for the benefit of frequent flyers using a mileage manager website. The letter from Wellborn & Wallace, LLC out of Atlanta, states that websites that automatically log into and collect frequent flyer account information associated with Delta customers do so in direct violation of the terms of service for Delta’s website, and that, “This activity directly affects the stability and performance of Delta’s information technology systems.” The letter continues, “These actions could subject you to liability for all of Delta’s damages (including hardware, software and employee costs) as well as any attorney fees incurred in addressing the illegal conduct.”
Bottom line: In a Wall Street Journal article from last October, a Delta representative was quoted as saying, “We do not support these sites as they do not adequately protect the customer and tend to cause a great deal of confusion.” So, you could say this move by Delta has been in the works, but this is the first time they’ve moved on it. There are a growing number of websites built for frequent flyers to help them manage all of their loyalty accounts on one website, and some airlines including American and Southwest, and now Delta, are fighting back and not allowing these third-party websites to access their members’ accounts citing the need to keep a close watch over their members’ membership data. What we can’t help wondering, however, is when a member of Delta SkyMiles accesses their account information, it does not cause any “stability and performance” issues–but these manifest themselves only when someone else accesses the information on behalf of the member.