Please understand how misleading, wrong & bogus the “all new” Delta award booking page is (and how many Skymiles it will cost you if you trust it)!

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Delta, as a way to selling you the complete stupidity, and beyond insulting nature, of removing the Skymiles award calendar on Delta.dumb, has told you that:

“Delta’s expanded search capabilities and calendar at Delta.com offer more flexible and accurate view of Award prices.”

The only problem is that statement from the company is FLAT OUT FALSE & BOGUS!

The “new calendar” is not a more accurate view of award prices. We at least now have the full list of the hidden Delta 2015 award charts here on the blog as well as many other places on the web (sorry Delta you cannot delete the web).

We also can simply search for ourselves for proof of how misleading Delta is in their assertions. Take a look at just one example. Say you want to take a trip from Melbourne Australia to Chicago. What happens when we search, on the “flexible and accurate view” on Delta.com, what do we find?

mel to ord

Really. An entire month of  215,000 points  for a one-way trip from Australia to Chicago. Gosh when we check the 2015 award chart the MAX price should be no more that 200,000 for a one-way LEVEL 5 award from ANYWHERE in the world. So how can we overpay 15,000 SkyMiles over the absolute maximum cost? Simple, Delta.dumb is pricing this as more than one, one-way ticket. OK, not nice, but we can do that too.

Let’s do that same thing and price a one way from Melbourne to Los Angeles

mel to lax

OK. WoW. We can find a LEVEL 1 business class ticket for just 80,000 points. Huh. That is interesting. Well what about the next part, that is looking from Los Angeles to Chicago.

lax to ord

Humm… Lots of choices. We are ranging, in business class, from 25,000 LEVEL 1 to as much as 45,000 LEVEL 4 awards. But let’s do some math.

80,000 + 25,000 = 105,000

80,000 + 45,000 = 125,000

OK so to use Delta wording, that is “simple math”, the absolute highest price this trip should price out at (unless we pick Nov 7 or 14th that is) should be 125,000 SkyMiles not 215,000 Skymiles.

I hope you see my point. Delta is just robbing you of your Skymiles. The only way we can know this is to compare the hidden charts and know what it should cost. That, and as we have in the past, search leg by leg and point to point and even booking two separate one-way tickets come up with a price  50%  cheaper than the Delta.dumb award page shows us.

Now on top of all of this, if we look at the post from over the weekend, if we work at it, the LEVEL 1 total price really should only be 80,000 SkyMiles all-in. Think about that and compare that price to what Delta has told you that you should pay. Maybe it is time for all of us to give ADAM a chance to save us some Skymiles 😉

Let me end with this tonight, and I am sorry in advance for those who do not appreciate the new direction for the blog this year, but I will be pointing out all week just how bad things have become this year, where we are going next, and what you need to do to protect and lock in the value you now have from your hard earned SkyMiles. – René
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35 comments

  1. I love that you’re being honest and trying to help us understand what’s going on and how to protect ourselves; keep the blog going in any direction it takes to keep vacations possible for all of us – Thanks Rene!

  2. The solution is simple…leave Delta. When revenues start to drop, maybe they’ll learn how idiotic it was to mess over their Lowell customers. Dueces DL, I’m out!

  3. Here’s the problem facing those of us using the last version of the charts and savvy award booking services…. If the charts no longer exist then what do you say to an agent that wants 215,000 for a OW MEL-ORD? DL’s booking system isn’t allowing them to manually construct awards segment by segment anymore.

    What is the leverage you think Adam and all the rest have to override the system?

    You’re right and it’s very wrong, but will even DL agents be allowed to use these charts going forward?

  4. @Royce – Delta is no longer publishing, but they are still using them! If they change, we will see it (ADAM will tip me if I miss it btw)!

  5. Thanks Rene. That’s all I can muster. I’m beat from my latest project and was looking forward to planning a trip but now I can’t even stomach trying until the dust settles and I regain my wits. Huge disappointment but not so deep I can’t point out the heroic job you are doing facing down Delta over this latest change. Thanks isn’t enough.

  6. i just had to spend 200,000 miles to fly a good friend to Vegas for
    200,000 miles Are you crazy
    I guess Mr. Anderson you should start parking your planes, 20 yea
    diamond MM good bye!!!

  7. Direction is clear, rip people off and leave them no chart to point to. I wish I could say LEAVING would have any effect but it won’t.

    IMO loyalty programs were more important when planes were at 70-80% load factor. If you could steal some of your competitors customers by throwing them a few peanuts and fill seats on your planes, maybe have the other guys run empty, that was awesome. However now that planes generally run full, they don’t need to entice anyone.

    What are you going to do? Run over to United and make them even fuller planes? Then run back to Delta when you never get upgrades? Go to one of the smaller carriers who will get squished when the duopoly gets around to it?

    This is the environment we allowed to be built, by making mergers and acquisitions cheap and easy.

    Bed made, lie in it.

  8. This is from the company that on every video flight has its CEO extoll delta’s core values of honesty and integrity. I agree delta is basically stealing from its customers.

  9. Great post. To me as a Delta Diamond, this was the last straw. You publish a “2015 award calendar” and then one month – one – into 2015, you remove it and claim to have a more “flexible” award calendar? It’s clear to me they can’t even be trusted to keep their own promises. Time to move on.

  10. I feel like this sequence of events was entirely predictable since I, an unknown person in Louisiana, predicted it without any special knowledge. Industry consolidation means that it no longer makes sense to chase customers because they have nowhere to go. When you don’t need (or even want) loyalty, then it’s silly to continue to offer a loyalty program with measurable benefits. I’m as sorry to be right as anybody but where was this anger when the casino industry, the airline industry, etc. was allowed merger after merger without any legal challenge? It’s too late to do anything about it now. Where there is no competitor, airlines like any other business will charge what they please unless they’re a government service. I would personally support nationalizing the airlines — it’s preferable to oligarchy — but I’m confident I’m well in the minority.

  11. This is a good Chris Elliot topic. Some government or better business entity needs to step in and stop this deceptive practice. I like the analogy that Travel Codex used. It’s like a supermarket without prices where you only find the price at checkout.

  12. This smells like a great national news story. Imagine having a reporter for CNN/MSN/FoxNews/Whatever laying it out just like you are. Up until now many of the changes have only really impacted us hardcore points enthusiasts and have been spun so cleverly that most people will see it as a true enhancement. But now, these changes are becoming easier to explain/show to your less hardcore traveler and have them be just as upset. No published award chart? You website is making me pay 3x what I SHOULD have to pay? Someone needs to find a way to get some serious exposure on this and really put some egg on Delta’s face for all to see.

  13. Rene, we love you policing this for us. I used your page on best booking practices and took a 220k trip (Midwest to Europe) down to 95K. Thanks so much. Waiting on schedule changes to clean it up down the road. Mark

  14. Great post and information. I appreciate all the time you are investing in getting out the truth! I must admit every time I see another change like this I feel more disgusted and betrayed!

  15. Thanks Rene for all your hard work & the magnifying glass you give all of us to better see what the heck DL is actually doing to us. I’m glad we have someone like you, but unhappy that this is happening.

    Question – among your blogging peers from the hotel or car rental industry, do you hear any of this being tested or implemented w them?

    Thanks again for all your insight!

  16. @Kevin – Thanks. You ask:
    .
    “among your blogging peers from the hotel or car rental industry, do you hear any of this being tested or implemented w them?”
    .
    Not sure I get what you are asking. Are you saying others like hotels or cars removing their award charts as well? The idea is so preposterous I can not think anyone else would want to do this.

  17. Yes, I was just curious if you’re hearing this devaluation of awards, hiding of awards charts etc, like DL is doing, — being kicked around by hotels or car rentals…the things us road warriors use often. Preposterous as it sounds, did we ever think we would be here w Delta?

    Tx again.

  18. @Kevin – I would not be shocked it this move, if not undone by Delta, will push legislators to regulate frequent flyer points. That will start a snowball of destruction even worse that what we have now. I always think where is the tipping point – I think this could be it. Delta has really lost their minds! 🙁

  19. @Tom Chris elliot is against loyalty programs to begin with. Why would he care?

    @Rick I see what you are trying to say about an outrageous that an award would price at 200K rt to vegas. What us even more outrageous is that you paid it. Why not pay cash (and on another carrier)?

  20. Your findings were corroborated by a noontime segment on Fox News. He mentioned Delta specifically by name when talking about changing award ticket structure; also mentioned tying miles to dollar value of ticket.

    Keep up the good work.

  21. Wow, there are SO many things wrong with this. I picked a random date (10/14) and saw this in action. The routing is MEL-SYD-LAX-ATL-ORD. Delta.dumb is forcing you onto their metal for the TPAC flight, which is 175,000 by itself. Then, they are using additive pricing with the short MEL-SYD flight on Virgin Australia (40,000). That’s how they got to the 215,000 number.

    SO thankful I have ditched Delta (aside from some voucher/award trips coming up). Now I just need to get rid of my remaining 125k miles!

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