SDC changes could be on the way April 16th ( what is SDC anyway?)!

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I wanted to pop up a quick post about the rumored SDC changes said to be on the way April 16th. I am working to try to get some CORP confirmations, but often times I get the standard “can not comment on planned changes”. Other times I do get confirmations I can share. I will advise when I can.

First, what is SDC? You can look HERE what currently has to say about the perk. Basically, Same Day Change, sometimes called same day confirmation, in rookie terms it is changing to a earlier or later flight or flights to get home sooner or later or even to get a better route (either more direct if you want or LESS direct if you want to earn more MQM’s or Skymiles) on the same day you are already scheduled to fly. Some use this perk a bunch others don’t even know that you can do this or understand the rules.

The Points Guy, back when he still loved Delta back in 2011, had a great post you really should review HERE to get an overview of SDC. Then, you can take a peek at the current 11 page FlyerTalk post about the suggested and rumored change HERE.

Since most of this is unconfirmed, and many times, like the SPG CrossoverRewards early info, much of it can and does change by release date. But I do have a few thoughts if this info does pan out.

I get what Delta is doing here. Delta is trying to make as much money as they can (like every choice they ever make now-a-days). Some FF’ers have been using the SDC to work around having to pay higher fare class tickets and then “gaming” the rules to fly as they want and route as they want. Some of this will go away if they impose these new rules as suggested. I also get others just use this to get home sooner!

The one thing that would make my head come off is if, and again if, for award tickets, not just any same cabin seat must be open, but say a low level seat has to be open. That, as we all know, is somewhat hard to find nowadays (especially if you cannot change the route). Again, if this change happens, SDC for award travel will be just about over (unless you were dumb enough to book HIGH level awards to start with)!

I will have much more on this and was planning on an SDC Rookie Wednesday post but will clearly hold off until we get more word on this. Lastly, I will push Tamara’s Friday post off till later in the day so you all can share some feedback on what you think of this, so check back to see what Tamara has to share with you after lunch! – René

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  1. Rene, this sounds like a return to NW’s old policy, where you had to qualify for the fare category on a same day change, but had 24 ours or so in advance to make that confirmation, rather than DL’s 3-hour policy, which is very hard to do. As you point out, tho, flights are running so full these days that unless you are on a YBM fare, finding inventory at your fare category 24 hours out will not be simple, at all.

    Though people may be gaming this now, not many of DL’s routes fly with sufficient empty seats where one can ever count on a SDC when buying a ticket.

    Would be interested to understand how all the new fare bucket letters factor into this.

  2. OK, this change might put this GM over the edge. Let’s review the changes (read: downgrades) that Delta SkyMiles has implemented recently:

    1) MQD’s
    2) Decreased MQM’s in certain SkyTeam/Partner programs
    3) Lack of Award space availability (or at least, visibility) on SkyTeam/Partner flights

    Add to that the fact that I live in MSP and about 1/3 of my flights are with family, so my upgrade percentage is very low.

    So, here’s my dilemma: I got a match from my Delta GM status to *A Gold, which in turn I got Flying Blue to match at Gold status. With most of the nonstop flights ex-MSP, I’ll still fly a lot of DL.

    Given that, should I switch over and just earn FB miles from now on?

    I’m gonna post this on FlyerTalk as well for more input. I’m flying with the family tomorrow, so I need to decide within 24 hours.

  3. @mspswede – I saw your post on FT. There is some logic there. If you can make PM 10 years straight with FB you have lifetime PM with them. Not all bad idea unless they change it 9 years from now. At some point, Alaska or FB credited Delta points may be a good idea. May have to do a detailed post to compare. Txs – Rene

  4. I did a little bit of status chasing the past few years. I made the decision to stop chasing, and if it happened naturally that was fine. I get happier with that decision all of the time. I spent a few years as GM and used this perk once. Yeah, I can see how it would be abused to get the routing and flights you wanted without having to pay the going rate for them. But, it proved to be a highly convenient tool for me the one time I actually did use it.

    I guess chalk this up to yet another thing in this hobby of ours that gets shut down when abused.

  5. Surprise. Delta just keeps turning up the heat on its frequent flyers. Boiling the frog.

  6. When I switched from United to Delta I thought the 3 hour window was stupid. Add these changes in and this is why even though I am based in MSP and have platinum status with Delta and did over $500K with them as a business, I plan on trying to shift as much business personally and with my company to other airlines like United….as a business traveler that will buy whatever fare Delta offers, I don’t want to worry that my trying to get home early to see my family from Thursday night to Sunday night is now a MAYBE instead of a definitely. A connection through Chicago is better than a direct without flexibility!

  7. The only positive for us flyers out of this seems to be the possibility of Same Day Standby preventing people game for an upgrade. If I interpret the change, if you Same Day Standby because you can’t Same Day Confirm since there isn’t any fare class availability, then you will clear after all upgrades at the gate. In this case, a Gold confirmed on the flight would get the upgrade over a Diamond who does a Same Day Standy. This encourages people not to change just to game an upgrade.

    Thoughts Rene?

  8. @B – again I want to see all the info when and if it comes out. If it is set up the way it is talked about it could very well do what you said. At this point it is just a heads up till we get the final news. I do think there will be some good points and some bad points to this. No matter what, the final deal will make Delta more money.

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