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Originally published Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM

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Delta hints at frequent flier changes

Mileage program to favor high-spenders more than long-distance travelers.

AP Airlines Writer

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MINNEAPOLIS — Delta says its frequent flier program will increasingly favor big spenders over people who simply rack up miles.

Most airlines reward how many miles you fly, not how many dollars you spend. But Delta Air Lines Inc. President Ed Bastian said on Tuesday that future changes would likely favor travelers who spend more. That’s Delta’s strongest hint yet that it may move the whole frequent flier program further in that direction.

Last week Delta announced that frequent fliers would need to spend a minimum amount of money to earn a higher frequent-flier status. Travelers prize that status because it moves them to the front of airport lines and lets them qualify for upgrades to first class

Two years ago Southwest changed its frequent flier program to reward more-expensive tickets.

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