Sunday, April 9th, 2017, 12:37 pm
They still have internal award charts, but they won’t publish them.
I wrote back then,
” For whatever reason Delta doesn’t want people to know what the awards should cost. Or they want to be able to change award prices as they please without having to update their charts.”
Both statements have turned out to be true. They want their award pricing on their own flights to be opaque so that the price is what they say it is, period. There’s no way to cross-reference it or see if it’s pricing correctly. And every couple of months they have steadily increased the rates they charge.
They also run award sales that allow you to book mileage tickets for fewer miles, but how can they advertise a sale if there are no regular rates?
To be fair, it hasn’t all been bad. Award space for saver award travel on some routes, especially to Europe, has improved and is actually much better than on American. However close-in availability can get very expensive and saver award availability on routes like JFK-Tel Aviv is non-existent.
It’s the slow trickle of devaluations that have properly earned SkyMiles its SkyPesos moniker.
The latest news is that Delta has made partner award flights 10-25% more expensive than before. They managed to implement this latest devaluation while their airline and online operations were melting down over this past week.
A JFK-London flight in Delta business class is 70K miles one-way, but if you want to fly on Virgin Atlantic it’s 85K miles.
A Virgin Australia flight to Australia in business class was 80K miles one-way at the time they deleted their award charts. That rate went up to 95K after the charts were deleted and the new partner saver award rate on that route is 115K one-way.
Currently there’s a workaround if you book a domestic Delta flight at the saver award level to add on a partner award at the old rates. But finding Delta domestic saver award can be tough and it means having to take a connection. And it remains to be seen how long that workaround will last.
Delta feels that it is so strong operationally that they don’t need to have a competitive mileage program. Perhaps that is true or perhaps that is arrogance, but with some airlines making more profit selling miles than selling seats there will come a time where people will stop accumulating Delta miles with their credit cards and focus their spending on airlines that treat mileage collectors with honesty and fairness.