One year ago today, August 15th 2011, the T72 rule came down from our mother ship and was commented about almost 4000 times and viewed over 165,000+ on Flyer Talk . I am not trying to make you remember the pain of your “dentist” visit from last year, but to hold our beloved airline accountable. On the 9th of August, a now former Delta Social rep posted on Flyer Talk this:
During that review we determined that there are more than 1,000,000 award seats that were going unused at the 72 hour mark prior to departure. That is 3 days in which those seats could otherwise be sold or used for other SkyMiles members who truly intend to sit in the seat and travel.
As a result, we’re updating this policy once more. So, effective August 15, 2011, SkyMiles members who wish to cancel or make changes to their award ticket now need to do so at least 72 hours before their flight departure (for changes, this applies to each flight segment – outbound and return). This change will make those seats available to other members and ultimately increase award availability. Miles for tickets cancelled within 72 hours will be nonrefundable. Taxes and fees for award travel cancelled within 72 hours will be refundable upon request. Same-day standby options will remain.
For changes or cancellations made at least 72 hours prior to departure, Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will continue to receive reissue and redeposit fee waivers. Reissue and redeposit fees will continue to apply for other members.
We will be sending out an email to customers with advance award travel booked later today – delta.com is being updated with this information as well.
Because it was a trending theme in last month’s thread, let’s address another issue head-on. We understand that extenuating circumstances do happen and our agents are equipped to review those situations on a case-by-case basis to determine if an exception is warranted. (Just do us a favor and try to make sure it’s not the 8th time your great uncle has passed away.) – [BOLD MINE]
So have we seen, now one year later, a million more award seats available? You tell me. Now clearly I am just about as pro-pro, rah-rah, goDelta-goDelta as you can get and make no bones about it. I love Delta. They do a TON right. This is not one of them as well as award space. Early this year the computer “upgrades” did not go so well. Now changes are coming, slowly, and if implemented right, could make a big difference. But honestly Delta, how long do we have to wait?
So what is the current state of the T72 rule? Here is what the Delta.com site says on the matter:
Changes for Award Travel Tickets
Changes to Award Ticket Travel must be made at least 72 hours prior to the departure time of the flight being changed. Award Tickets booked within 72 hours of departure are nonrefundable and cannot be redeposited or reissued unless prohibited by local law. No changes will be permitted to the originating of Award Tickets booked within 72 hours, however changes to the return are permitted if the return flight is not within 72 hours and the change is made at least 72 hours prior to the departure flight. Fees apply for any changes. Please visit delta.com/fees for our current fee schedule. Changes to the return portion of an Award Ticket is permitted at least 72 hours prior to the departure flight. Taxes and fees will apply. Changes to Pay with Miles tickets are determined by the fare rules of the ticket purchased.
One big “WIN” that we did get by socially blasting and begging Delta was the adjustment to the return trip. The rule went from NO changes to return to sure, as long as at least 72 hrs there as well. Personally I feel, if the rule is to stand, just make it outbound. Once you are traveling, the ticket is NOT going “unused” and give us some flexibility here. My take would be just dump the NO change and make it a $150 FEE for everyone, including DM & PM if inside 72 hrs. It would prevent abuse but when we need it we can change!
Because this rule has “morphed” so many times, and we have the joy of our favorite game of “rep roulette“, many times you will not get the right answer or one that helps or hurts you. If you look carefully at the statement from the ex-Delta rep, you will see there are exceptions granted on a case by case basis. So like everything with our airline, if you don’t like the answer, hang up, call back, ask until you get the answer you like.
So now it is your turn, comment please what you think about T72. Has it changed the way you feel about our airline? [please keep it PG-13 as I will edit if I must]! I have even put up a poll so you can vote if you feel more award space is now open thanks in part to this rule. – René