Delta announces changes to frequent flyer program

Starting in 2015, passengers will earn miles based on ticket price, not on distance traveled

HOUSTON – Changes are coming to the points you earn by flying the friendly skies. Delta announced major changes to its frequent flyer program Wednesday, but those in the industry say it may just be a sign of things to come.

Starting in 2015, passengers flying Delta Airlines will earn miles based on ticket price -- not on distance traveled, which is the way the SkyMiles Program is set up currently.

The goal is to attract more business travelers who tend to spend more on flights.

Other changes include no blackout dates and one-way award tickets that can be purchased for half the price of round-trip tickets.

The airline said existing miles will roll over into the new program.

However, industry watchers think it's only a matter of time before the other major carriers -- United and American -- switch to a similar model, and that's bad news for the casual traveler.

The program starts Jan. 1.