-→ Low Level Seats ←-

MASSIVE Award Devaluation from Delta 25% BE increase 01JUNE2014 + 48hr Award hold GONE 09SEPT2013

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

award prices going up

As I mused this weekend, I could “feel” another “enhancement” was on the way soon. The bad news first (not that there is any good news to follow really)!

  • Delta is bumping up award prices for low level BE seats world wide by 10-25% effective TODAY for flights after 01Jun2014
  • Delta is dumping all award holds as of 09SEPT this year.

As usual, Delta is hiding behind the veil that legally they can not tell us sooner as this is a “pricing issue”. We know that is just not the case, but that is Delta’s stand.

So this just stinks. Delta says this will free up award space that is on “hold” and not used. Delta said the T72 change would free up space and if it has I sure have not seen this to be true in real life – have you?

Is there ANY good news from all of this? Some. If you can book and start flying by 31MAY2014 you can return after 01JUNE2014 and still get the old low level award pricing. Also, after 01JUNE2014 you are guaranteed to get a full-flat seat by Delta per my sources.

EDIT: It seems that Delta’s left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. It ‘MAY’ be that only the outbound will stay OLD-LOW and the return, after 01JUNE2013, will be the NEW-LOW thus the ticket at low level biz would be 112,500 total round trip.  But the info this AM was if started pre 01JUNE round trip would be OLD-LOW so 100k total. #Developing and will update this post as I get more solid info. No one seems to know for sure! I love my airline 🙁

This is being hotly discussed on Flyertalk where Delta broke the news and you can follow the thread HERE and one that started before the official announcement HERE.

Clearly there is NO WAY to defend this one even from my uber-pro Delta stand. It stinks, but at least it is not worse (yet)! And I was having such a fun morning too 🙁 – René

UPDATE: For a second time this year Delta devalues Skymiles AGAIN!

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
Click here for more information



Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. If Delta would actually offer these seats at 125K I could almost live with it(not that I have a choice).
    All this means is that mid and high level will rise commensurately.
    The lack of transparency while using their incredibly inept search “engine” is the biggest problem. I have no idea whether I am getting a good rate or not??
    Finding the seats with low level and a decent itinerary is nigh inpossible without a long, arduous search.
    Add the fact that the mileage requirement is rising precipitously and this is bad news no matter how it is parsed.
    United’s search engine is easy to use, transparent and much more generous to almost anywhere on the globe.
    Poor form Delta, poor form.

  2. Delta Platinum Reply

    Adios DL! It’s been a great few years, but I’ve had enough of your “enhancements.”

  3. Rene – even DL shareholders lose on this because most of us are DL FF members. I am sitting on 250K sky pesos I need to burn now. I’m done with DL after this year. I’ll keep my GM through 2/2015 and then only maintaining my AA status. These “enhancements” have ruined Delta.

    • @JGfromOC – DAL share price does not, for now, support you as most are just taking all the Delta will dish out. I get you, but for now, Delta wins we loose! 🙁

  4. Alohadavekennedy Reply

    Delta is just creating a no fly zone! Will the last flyer leaving Delta please turn out the lights?

  5. lets not forget the delta employees they should be able to get a business seat for themselves now that delta’s loyal customers can’t afford it. I think it is time they start paying income tax on this very rich benefit.

  6. i just want to make sure her: this also applies to partner awards right?

  7. dginchelsea Reply

    Another reason why I’m no longer flying Delta. Question, though, what does this mean for tickets already booked at 100k for TATL? I have a flight in January, that I may want to modify.

    • @dginchelsea – as long as you start to fly before 31MAY2014 you are fine and can change etc. My guess is if you have one already booked departing after 01JUNE2014 the only change you can do free (ie no more points) is schedule changes. #Developing

  8. Delta stinks… sorry for those in Atlanta or St Paul. Been collecting AA and United all the way since day one. Domestic flights I take Southwest or use Avios for short flights or use my AA or United GC’s I get from AMEX Platinum. International – AA and United miles get you almost anywhere in the world.

  9. so If I was to book a ticket departing May 20 then returning June 2, it would cost me 125k miles now?

  10. Arrrrgggghhh! I just wish DL would toss us something positive for once. As someone commented above, I would be OK with the change if this meant that DL would release more low-level seats. But we all know that is not going to happen. Now I am not so disappointed that they have almost de-hubbed CVG – since I most likely have to take a connection to get where I’m going, now I have many more reasons to consider the competition. It’s sad because I really like DL’s product/people (I’m almost a 2m miler) but I’ve been in a love/hate relationship with them since 2008 when they introduced the 3-tier award levels. Most things have gone downhill for the Medallion community since that change.

  11. ok. Thank you Rene. I’m booking a flight for the inlaws, just transferred MR points to book the tickets. phew!

  12. Obviously I’m not happy about this, but if it does make it easier to get low level awards, I can handle it. Losing 25k miles to actually be able to fly on a flight I want isn’t the end of the world. I have had so many troubles trying to book flights at low level that I would be happy if it improved. Especially if it made making changes easier. Probably won’t affect my way of traveling much at all.

    • @Jeffsetter – I am in too much of a fowl mood today to post more but I agree. If this would open up more low level seats and clearly all will soon be full-flat then this would be worth the price jump. But my guess we will have to work just as hard to find the seats as always!

  13. Rene,
    I also asked my question to Lucky (I happened to be reading his blog when this was announced and asked before I came over here). He says he’s getting an error message with an itinerary departing prior to May 31, then returning after June 1. Have you confirmed with Delta that itineraries that begin before May 31 aren’t affected by this change and it would still be a 100k mile trip?

    • @steve – yes CONFIRMED with Delta corp contact – all trips that start before 01JUNE2014, even if they return after 01JUNE2014, will be at lower award levels (ie in your case a 100k biz RT to Europe).

  14. thank you Rene!
    I like that answer better than Lucky’s 🙂
    It’s why I come to you for Delta questions

  15. I just put an itinerary on hold for next year, leaving in late May and returning in June. The web site is pricing such itineraries with the difference included. For example, if you are pricing a low-level ticket both ways that is 100K under the old rules and 125K under the new, the result will be 112500. I haven’t called the Diamond line yet to see if they can force it at 100K.

  16. Pingback: Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel News: August 14, 2013 - Frequently Flying

  17. Riot Nrrrd™ Reply

    Rene, I’ve got enough miles for a 125K DL award ticket. Based on this information does it mean I am best off using those miles up for a ticket before June 1st, then?

    • @Riot Nrrrd™ – if you want to fly BIZ under old low level seats yes then you will still have 25k left over. If you want low level coach, no change.

  18. I just did a booking for my inlaws. Atl-lhr-cdg-atl. may – 20 June 4. Got 2 tix for 100k + fees each

  19. For those who think sky miles are worthless, I just booked $35000 worth of first class from cha for 2 weeks in Australia and New Zealand. 390k miles and $500. That’s almost 10cpm.
    I’m not happy with all the changes. This is why I am burning and considering another carrier n

  20. Just got GM and will have PM by end of year, and so sad that my first real introduction to status on an airline has been with Delta, whistling as they kill the excitement and anticipation I felt about what I’d hoped would be a long relationship. I live in a United hub and liked actually getting upgrades as SM because everyone else was flying UA. But I’ll dump the 5 Delta CCs my wife and our businesses have and match over to UA, I guess. At least I won’t have SLC layovers anymore. Bummer.

  21. Pingback: Fighting Delta’s devaluation - The Frequent Miler

  22. I’ve just spent all morning trying to figure out what to do with my 200k Delta miles. I had assumed I could do some 100k European business class trips with my gf whenever I wanted, but now I learn I have to book them for spring or else: a) earn myself another 50k miles to do it later, b) go economy, or c) forget Europe. Problem is, the award reservation calendar is nearly useless online and I can’t get the thing to give me much of anything for 100k out of MSP in May anymore. I found actual honest-to-goodness green (low) availability on the calendar to Shannon, Ireland, but when I clicked on it, it told me the lowest was 162,500 RT. I tried Athens and Paris and the “low” then shoots out 150k or worse. There are a few cities I do find still at 100k, but my gf is hardly going to be pleased with “Get packed for Moscow because it’s the only place I can get!” Very frustrating, as I had gotten the 55k Plat Bus Delta Amex this summer just to push us to the point that we could do Europe. Sigh /rant

  23. I will check out E7 posts, thanks. Unfortunately, since I already have both the Delta Plat cards (biz and personal), I can’t get another Delta card for a year… I’d have to get a different Amex for some SPG/MR points to transfer.

  24. Pingback: Huge Changes To Delta & Asiana Airlines Announced - Points Miles and Martinis

  25. I was able to use use the multiple city tool to find low legs all the way to ATH, but when I did a May outbound and June return, the total was 112,500, which (like others found above) seems like it split the difference between old and new rates.

  26. Pingback: Errors, corrections & WELCOME Michael W. Travels to BoardingArea! - Delta Points

  27. Pingback: Miles and Points Updates in 60 Seconds or Less! (Hyatt Points, AAdvantage Promo, and more) - Mommy Points

  28. Pingback: I just burned ¼ million Skymiles & I just love it! - Delta Points

  29. Pingback: Delta Air Lines AGAIN increases award prices from 3-17% in another devaluation of the frequent flyer program - Delta Points

  30. Pingback: You can HOLD Delta award tickets for 1-2 hours (even up to 4 with issues)! - Delta Points

Write A Comment