Grant Martin reported on our sister blog Gadling that Delta is going to levy a $25 fuel surcharge on domestic tickets bought with frequent flyer miles. International flights will ring up a $50 charge.

Does this make sense? The airline convinces me to sign up for its frequent flyer program hoping to gain my loyalty by giving me swag for each flight. Now I'm sold, and fly Delta for a few years, the very epitome of a loyal customer. The marketing tactic has succeeded brilliantly. Every company lusts for loyal customers.

Then I go to redeem those frequent flyer miles, and I find that most of the flights I want are booked (but I can have all the free magazine subscriptions I want). When I finally do manage to use my miles to book a flight, Delta hits me up for chump change at the gate.

Now I'm no longer a loyal customer; I'm a pissed ex-customer. How many dollars were spent on cultivating me as a customer? Thousands. How much did it cost the to destroy all of that marketing? $25. Is it any wonder the airlines are a mess?

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