Well respected travel writer for the Associated Press SCOTT MAYEROWITZ a few weeks ago had a piece that ran in the Star Tribune that highlighted the nasty new airfare rule that Delta, and virtually simultaneously all the other major airlines btw, put in place.
Delta even spelled it out clearly to travel agents and told them about the routing and pricing changes. My “favorite” part is the last paragraph that says:
“You can book any one way ticket we offer for sale, but we do not recommend using multiple one-way tickets to create connecting itineraries. It increases the likelihood that customers could experience service failures such as lost baggage and missed connections.” – pro.delta.com
In other words, even though we brag we are the “on-time machine”, booking one way tickets is risky and can result in “service failures such as lost baggage and missed connections”. Right. Just how does one reconcile these two statements.
I thought with help from the Great Circle Mapper I would illustrate the “slimy” new rules for you and show you in just one simple example how much this can and would cost you if you just book on Delta.com
Notice if we fly out this Monday April 18th in the morning from Atlanta to Los Angeles. We do what we need to do there and then on Wednesday the 20th we pop up to Seattle for another meeting. We get that done and fly home on Thursday the 21st. If we add up the price of each of these one-way jumps we come up with a grand total, for the 3 one way tickets, of $1020.30. Not cheap but we are talking flights in just a few days. Now if we use Kayak.com we can find hack fares for under $500 but that is not the point for today.
Notice what happens to the price of these 3 one way fares if we use the Delta.com multi-city tool and select the exact same flights. $1296.70! Yep, almost 30% more for the exact same flights on one itinerary vs booking them as 3 separate one way tickets.
Is that slimy? You tell me.
Are there any workarounds? There don’t seem to be. I am a HUGE advocate of always starting your flight searches at KAYAK.com as you can compare what other airlines are charging as well as tinker with routes that Delta.com will simply not book no matter what you do. But notice what happens when you plug in the dates and flights and choose Delta only on Kayak now (for the same flights).
Delta has done a bunch to upset business travelers over the past few years. They have changed the SDC & SDS that is same day change and same day standby rules over and over. They have made upgrades, something that was all but assured for top elites, a lottery game where folks at the last minute jump in at often super cheap prices and buy an upgrade (even for less than $10). Now we have this latest change to extract more money for the exact same flights.
I really don’t know where this will end. Delta is upsetting just about everyone nowadays from the once a year passenger who is hit with fee after fee to the destruction of the SkyMiles program as well as the Medallion program and yet they just keep flying full. I guess Delta can do just about anything?
You tell me, did you know about this latest change in pricing? Does it in any way impact your choice to keep flying Delta? – René