Merge your Delta and Northwest frequent flyer accounts — get 500 miles

In this week’s chapter of “Merger Mania, Delta Devours Northwest,” lots of changes have happened to each respective frequent flyer program.

To merge the two programs, small changes in mileage earning, spending and transfer have been implemented, largely to make Northwest’s program emulate Delta. System Wide Upgrades, a feature that many Northwest flyers briefly enjoyed, will now be translated to Medallion Upgrades, a weaker, less useful tool. Northwest Platinum flyers will now earn fewer bonus miles as well; their earnings will be reduced from 125% to 100%.

The most abhorrent change to the programs, however, is the addition of an extra “reward tier” on mileage tickets. As billed, this change is supposed to provide “more flexibility” by charging more miles and providing extra seats when searching for rewards. But in actuality, it’s just another way to gouge passengers.

Think of it this way. Last year, if you wanted to fly from Atlanta to New York there were 10 options to fly for 25k miles. This year, there are 20 options to fly at 30 – 35k miles and 2 options to fly at 25k miles. And those latter flights? Only good on Wednesday redeyes on a 12 seat propeller plane.

It’s not that egregious, but you get the picture.

The (scant) good news is that we now have better, fluid access between both accounts. As of last week, passengers from each program can log in, link accounts and swap miles, which means if you have orphaned miles in either account, you can move them over. Yes, you can move elite miles as well.

You can link the accounts by going under Worldperks | Manage My Account | Link Accounts and Transfer Miles. Once you link them up, you’ll get 500 bonus miles.

If you want to read more about the details of the mergers, a good resource is Flyertalk.