Possible overpricing for Medallions and new Atlanta International Terminal opening day

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My fellow Boarding Area blogger Points, Miles & Martinis does a great job giving us a photo tour of day one of the new international terminal and company CEO has done the rounds on TV as well:

click photo to play video

The other big news for the day is that no one likes paying a higher price for the exact same product. Delta states on their web site about the “Best Fare Guarantee”:

If you find a lower published fare for the exact same Delta itinerary as the ticket you purchased on delta.com, you have the choice of either receiving credit for the difference in fares and a $100 travel voucher or receive a refund for your ticket. For a claim to be valid under this guarantee, it must satisfy all Terms and Conditions and be submitted in compliance with the Claims Processing procedures.”

As it turns out a reported “IT” glitch “MAY” have cost Delta’s best and most loyal customers, elite Medallion flyers money as you can see in the Star Tribune.

Delta’s company spokesman Paul Skrbec told me this today:

“We have been investing in our website and the technology that supports it for over a year. Recently, we updated our search function as part of a phased approach to improve the site. Shortly after making the updates, we discovered that it produced inconsistent results for logged in and non-logged in customers. We evaluated the situation carefully and rolled back to our prior search function which resolved the issue.”

This all started with a CBS Minnesota piece you can see here.

As an elite Delta flyer, I am accustomed to the unique and somewhat challenging IT system that Delta has in place for trying to book award tickets. We like the fact that Delta gives more award space to elite flyers. Here is the core of this issue; Delta has yet to find out if beyond price checking, if purchased tickets are different over the three week period. So we do not know if medallions have been affected by this and have overpaid for tickets.

It will be up to you, Medallion flyers, to find out if you were bitten by this computer bug, how much it may have cost you, and then try, on a case by case basis,  to get credits back under the best price guarantee. Since the trip has already happened, you can not get money back. But you can maybe get an Electronic Travel Voucher for each ticket you were overcharged for, issued to your Skymiles account. These, under the new rules for ETV’s, can only be used one per ticket. If you have two or more instances you find where you were overcharged, you get 2 or more credits that can ONLY be used by you and ONLY one per ticket!

At this point, so much of this is just speculation. This story is far from over so stay tuned elite flyers! – René

 

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11 comments

  1. @frank – that is the question! I am not 100% sure on that one. I am open to good ideas from readers but I think it will be up to Delta to tell us if this has happened. Like I said, stay tuned! – Rene

  2. @Kathy – the problem is there is no firm proof of anything yet. Even the people in the piece did not book the two tickets and say see, we PAID more too. If they had printed everything, and done that, this story would be even bigger. But in the end, as I see it so far, and I am no lawyer in any shape or form, if, again, IF this did happen, it is bad but probably not illegal. – Rene

  3. I do not really buy the idea that there is more award space for medallions, or at least it has never appeared that way in my experience. As a matter of fact, there have been times where there was LESS award availability when I was logged in! So it doesn’t surprise me that the prices could be [edit] up, too. There has been a lot of speculation that some of Delta’s IT glitches are purposeful to [edit] people out of SkyMiles, but I believe the customer base’s tolerance of these issues is growing razor thin…

  4. The online booking problems seem to be far from being fixed. I still run into problems trying to book flights for my fall vacation trip to the States.
    I’ve been looking for flights for weeks now. Last week I found something I liked. I logged in on delta.com, started searching for my flights wanted. I selected flights for all segments and they were priced the same as when was not logged in. I proceeded with entering passenger and payment information. Everything fine. Then I clicked on “Purchase” and up came a “Fare Change” message. Suddenly, flights cost about 250 Euros more per person. I started over with absolutely the same results.
    The same earlier this week. I tried a different scenario (alternative routing) and I was shown great rates. Okay, I logged in, selected flights, and clicked on “Enter Passenger Info” which resulted in an error message “Unable to Process”.
    And today? The only difference is, for one routing I get different prices upfront depending on whether I’m logged in or not. The other routing? Same rates but the error message “Unable to Process” appears when I click on “Enter Passenger Info” (no matter if I’m logged in or not).
    When is Delta IT going to fix this? Despite news today they had, they have not.

  5. Bummer, maybe I just had some bad timing and ran into “real” fare changes? I don’t know.
    Looks like those “promised” relatively good rates are gone and I have to invest significantly more than I’ve ever done before.
    I know airlines have to make money, but at least 150 Euros more than I have ever paid for comparable routings is not nothing.

  6. Looks like it is still [edit].
    Went through (almost) whole booking process. All the way displayed price was 744.50 Euros per person. Clicked on “Purchase” and received “Fare Change” message: price went up to 861.50 Euros per person. I’m pretty sure that, when I start over, I’m presented with a 744.50 Euros per person fare for the exact same route the exact same dates.

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