Delta #KeepDescending update – NO MORE STOPOVERS or OPEN JAWS #SkyMiles2015

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keepdescending

After I was one of the first to post about the upgrades to Delta.com to find awards (but kinda buggy) Delta today has announced the following “enhancements” to the Skymiles2015 program:

Stopovers
For Award Travel booked prior to January 1, 2015, one stopover is allowed per roundtrip Award Ticket under certain circumstances. A stopover is defined as a stay of more than 4 hours between domestic flights and more than 24 hours between domestic and international or all international flights. The destination city is not considered a stopover. A stopover is allowed, provided there are no more than two connections between the origin and destination including any connections that are made while traveling to/from the stopover point. The stopover city must be located on a valid routing.

Stopovers will no longer be permitted for Award Travel booked on or after January 1, 2015.

Open Jaw
Open jaw Award Travel is permitted for Awards booked prior to January 1, 2015. To be eligible, the mileage between the open jaw points must be less than or equal to the total mileage flown between any other trip in the itinerary (origin to destination). A double open jaw is not permitted.

For Award Travel ticketed on or after January 1, 2015, all open jaw itineraries will be priced based on One-way Award Travel pricing rules.

So two of the most valuable features of Skymiles will be trashed next year – thanks Delta! I see you have our backs! Want to spend a few days in Amsterdam or London or Paris on the way to your final city (or on the way home)? Not if you book next year! Want to enjoy a free one-way ticket tacked on the end of your award ticket? Not if you book next year! – GONE!

I am almost physically ill. No more RTW or Round The World award tickets after 1JAN2015. The list just goes on and on. The #DOS or Destruction of Skymiles truly is on the way and all you have to do is look at the clock on the right hand side of the blog! (I think ADAM is going to be VERY busy before 2014 ends!) – René

PS – So anyone voting for Delta to win at Freddie awards this year?
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38 comments

  1. What kills me is it doesn’t cost them anything to provide a stopover. We usually enjoy DTW-ATL-ECP each year, staying in ATL for a few days.

    Most of their changes haven’t affected us much, but this one hurts…

  2. Still sticking by your previous post where you say that 2015 will be “amazing”?

    These clowns are actively trying to shed their HVC’s. Let me guess, they did a survey and found this is what we wanted, just like the crap food in the Sky Clubs.

  3. @Dave – No way to sugar coat this one – this is DEVASTATING. I will understand if most move to AA after this enhancement. Truly a knife in the back.

  4. Does this mean you’ll have to pay the phone booking fee twice for an open jaw since it will be two one-way tickets?

  5. I see all complaining but comments to delta no longer work with the new Upper Corporate Management. Its all about money. If we all do not move airlines and bargain a deal with them and leave Delta they have 15 more things they will end or remove you watch. They don’t care

  6. I don’t know where I fall on the scale of importance to Delta (I’m usually a silver medallion with around $4,000 spend on airfare per year, for 10 years, so I know not extremely high), but as a business traveler who can book my own flights, Delta has pushed me over the limit and now my $4,000 per year will go to other airlines.

    I’ve always booked Delta for personal trips to earn the miles and have earned and redeemed hundreds of thousands over the years. I was already going to switch, but was considering keeping Delta in the mix just for the ease of fares and routes for me, but this is the straw breaking the back scenario.

    I always book award trips to maximize seeing multiple places, and eliminating these options is absurd. I’m going to do everything I can to credit to and fly Alaska and AA in 2015, even Southwest (which has obvious drawbacks) can offer me better redemption options since my family is on a route that can be considerably high for Delta.

    So yeah, I won’t break Delta in 2015, but I hope that is enough of my kind bolt they will feel it in the wallet, but I’m not holding my breath.

  7. Well, everyone wanted one-way awards. Did anyone really think that net positives like seeing partner awards and one-ways were not going to have a trade off. Most people didn’t have a clue about stopovers so the population that will be effected will be minimal to Delta. If they improve reward space just a little, most people will think that it is a net positive. But of course most people are not hard-core mileage gamers like us.

  8. I’m confused. How can they be getting rid of stopovers and simultaneously add one-way awards? Doesn’t this just open the gates for double open jaws? e.g. now you could fly ATL-CDG-BCN or something, then return MAD-JFK-LAX by booking as two awards. The one caveat of course is those pesky fees they charge for originating outside of North America, which is complete ßull$h!t. Have they said anything about those going away? What good is a one-way award returning to the US if you’ve got to pay like $400 in whatever those fees are supposed to cover? Shame, shame Skymiles.

    As an aside, I really don’t see United copying anything, but I really, really hope I’m wrong. Their award routing rules and systems are so much more complex and allow for abuse more than Delta’s. Redoing all of that would be an IT nightmare, I would imagine.

  9. I am disappointed, but not surprised. The really goofy thing about this is that, in the past, I had to take crazy 12-18 hour layovers when booking reward tickets at not crazy sky miles prices. Now this is considered a penalty. I really don’t get it. Last year on a trip to FCO we had a 12 hour layover in AMS so that we could get this coach trip for 120,000 miles… in coach! Otherwise this would have cost 200,000 per passenger to have a shorter layover in AMS. We can complain all we want to. It is useless. Does the conductor care if the cattle are comfortable? No. Does the conductor care if he gets the cattle to the butcher so he gets his money?

  10. I’m curious how you think that they are eliminating open jaws. Give me an example where skymiles 2015 would price an open jaw differently than 2014. I agree that stopovers are going away and that eliminates an extra destination or a free one way, but it seems like they are keeping single open jaws and giving us the ability to have double open jaws for free so at least that is an enhancement.

    The only worry would be whether they will charge the high surcharges on tickets that originate in Europe if you open jaw in Europe. Here is an example:
    JFK-CDG, AMS-JFK is an open jaw that prices at 125k miles and $97.50 currently. If you price it as two one ways you get taxes of JFK-CDG $5.60 and AMS-JFK $317.54 so in this case you are paying 230% more taxes when priced as one ways rather than RT. Let’s hope that gets fixed or else they truly would be eliminating open jaws.

  11. well, i can always go back to Australia…..or better yet, get the Delta Credit Card that allows me to pay my bill at 1 cent per mile.
    I’m working on a way to maximize the value of this based on what i charge. Any ideas?

  12. Finished my last trip with Delta. It was nice while it lasted. I liked being Platinum status this last year and enjoyed my trips with them for most of the last 15 years. Now it is time to move on.

  13. When delta canceled my skybonus account and deleted all the points I had in there without any notice, they thoughtfully attached a file to the bottom of their email explaining this showing their #1 ranking with corporate flyer. That is what they are interested in and that is who they are catering to. If you are a corporate flyer Delta cares, if you are not they are happy to “thin the herd” and get rid of you.

    That is no way to treat your other noncorporate customers. Delta’s treatment of it’s loyalty flyers will come back to bite them, and their corporate clients won’t be able to carry them. Once the fleeting benefits of the Northwest airlines takeover is over and Delta is back to being a niche regional airline in the southeast again they will reconsider their reliance on corporate flyers and disdain for their loyalty flyers. And by then, no one will care about dumb Delta either.

  14. So grateful that we burned almost all of our miles on a family visit last week. American, here we come despite my prefeence for Delta service. Tis a sad day for this 2 mil mile Family

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