Is Delta requiring 3 weeks minimum purchase for LEVEL 1 award tickets?

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tweet from michael j daugherty about sub 30 day award booking

The author Michael J Daugherty tweeted the above to me the other day. I did not think much of it as Delta, historically and even this year, has been VERY stingy on awards. You have to know how to look and game those seats as I talked about over the weekend.

But today Brett Snyder, who blogs The asserted that Delta is in fact blocking LEVEL 1 award seats unless you book 3 weeks out. I did some quick tests and confirmed what he found and re-tweeted his post link. Take a look at these searches (note LEVEL 1 one-way coach award should cost you just 12,500 SkyMiles per the 2015 award charts):

dtw to atl

sbn to atl

chi to atl

lax to nyc

But then I had some time to do some more searches and there are LEVEL 1 seats to be found (with a catch). Take a look at these searches both domestic and international:

sea to nyc

dtw to ams

atl to cdg

ams to dtw

So it is not impossible to find LEVEL 1 seats. But the only ones you will see at LEVEL 1 awards are on Delta partners not on “Delta Metal” aka you are going to be on a CODE-SHARE flight and not have the same perks as when you are flying on a real Delta operated jet (points earned are the same, yes, but from seats to everything else it is a whole different world when flying with a Delta partner flight).

ams to cdg

ams to lhr

Especially interesting to me is searching from two European hubs, that is, from Amsterdam to Paris and Amsterdam to London. Gosh, it would be nice to see these kinds of wide open LEVEL 1 awards from Delta’s US hubs (btw 15k is the LEVEL 1 coach award inside Europe).

Now Delta has made 2015 the year of all years to devalue, cut and destroy the SkyMiles program and often with no pre-announcements including apparently this latest one to pull all Delta metal inventory for travel from same day up to 3 weeks out. Yeah, #KeepDescending Delta.

I don’t know about you but I have ZERO trust remaining for the company after this past Friday’s shameful move to remove the award pages. I fully expect them to “do bad” if you will to loyal flyers. – René

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AGAIN! @Delta #KeepDescending “enhances” Skymiles NO NOTICE! 3 for 2 is GONE!

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