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Delta still BLOCKING seat maps, Midwest 11,000 SkyMiles awards, Alaska – Delta awards & other Delta updates to start the week!

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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.

Open seats vs open seat in dummy booking!

Yes, Delta is still doing this. No, it is not affecting everyone. Yes, it could be different on vs. the Fly Delta App and even different in iOS vs. Android. Yes, it is beyond maddening. No, Delta does seem to care. Yes, I have asked them about it. Yes, I thought it was a bug but they were going to fix it. Yes, I hate having to do a dummy booking just to see what seats are open. No, I do not (yet) plan to pay for Expert Flyer just for this bug.

OK, that takes care of most of what will be asked in the comments below. Of all the stupid things Delta has done this one to me really takes the cake. I blogged about this “bug” in May but now am starting to believe it is a new “enhancement” to Delta. Delta can do a lot to decimate SkyMiles and “most” loyal flyers don’t care,but when it comes to something like blocking seat map access that, to me, is like taking a stick to a beehive. Delta needs to fix this. Until they do you can help us all and COMPLAIN <-LINK to Delta about this issue. Be specific about them blocking seat maps not in the cabin of service you are booked in.

Ah, Midwest life 😉

Next up we have a strange thing going on with some SkyMiles award pricing. This is not, that I can tell, the monthly “flash sale” but LEVEL 1 awards to / from the Midwest to Los Angeles are pricing at 11,000 SkyMiles each way (should be 12,500 at LEVEL 1 awards). It is not pricing at the lower level from Atlanta or New York. There may be other routes also pricing lower like this so hunt around if you are, like me, always trying to get value out of your SkyMiles. Or, if you don’t want to do the work but want to save, just have ADAM do the work for you! 😉

Please don’t go “click’in” on stuff on Delta.dumb

Next up a warning after this week’s round of nasty Schedule Change Saturday events that rolled out. Some of you, like me, may have booked some Delta flights with Alaska miles before the divorce – that is, the end of the partnership with Delta and Alaska. If you did so all the original booking ticket rules “should” apply but under the schedule change Delta may reissue the ticket and thus block you from much you are due (like upgrades and such). Delta people have to work with Alaska people to fix this and only during the open hours of the Alaska award desk. If you have issues or Delta reps tell you no just HUCB until someone fixes these frustrating problems.

Delta employee in Medallions 1st class seat

Next up it seems that the changes to the D-40 / upgrades on-board is helping but still has not driven SHENA completely from the Delta culture. For those not aware I talked to the Delta CEO about the frustration of YBYL – that is, if you are #1, #2 etc. on the upgrade list with no seats open (but someone will likely miss-connect) and You Board You [will] Lose your upgrade. He had a team study the issue and made the change for upgrades to process 40 minutes before departure vs. 30 minutes as it was before and instructed gate agents to work with crews on-board to pull those who board from coach up to 1st class. Again, many reports are this is happening much more than before but there are just about as many that SHENA i.e. gate agent shenanigans are alive and well and the only way to be sure is to be the last medallion standing at final boarding call if you want that upgrade not to be given to a Delta employee.

So there are the bits you need to know to start your week. Any other Delta tech bits we all need to know about that could affect our travels? Be sure to comment below! – René


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. Not only are they blocking seat maps, but they are using Upgrade Cert fliers as “staging horses” in an attempt to upsell other passengers (potentially lower status) checking in. I had 2 instances on recent LAX-SYD RT where I was #1 with seats open up to boarding and suddenly they disappeared. Ironically, I spoke to the #2 and #3 position Diamonds on the flight and they saw the same thing. Trying to squeeze a couple more dollars to fill those FC seats at the expense of its most loyal customers is appalling.

  2. I echo Harry’s comments. This has happened on every single flight I have had a RU cert on…..I have yet to clear one. I have tried 6 times.

  3. I have been writing a complaint once per week and have called the diamond line afew times to check on my upcoming flights to use GU certs…it is just maddening the thought process of hiding this from the highest medallion group much less any customer….there is a nefarious reason and im very suspicious im going to be screwed.
    Thanks for continuing to check on this and keep us motivated to speak up and complain!!!!

  4. Seat blocking seems to be selective. It leads me to believe that it’s tied to an algorithm that Delta is using to predict how many up sells it can expect. Because dummy bookings burn precious seconds it’s especially maddening when time is of the essence.
    I too have tweeted and written to Delta asking them to stop the madness.
    As for Shena, last week a retired Delta FA seated next to me revealed that non-revs treat GAs with kid gloves because they get burned too. She told me she was thrilled because she hadn’t been seated in FC in years.
    Show GAs the love. Smile. Be kind. Chocolate goes a long way.
    #teamboardlast. It aint over till the fat lady sits in your seat. And then it’s REALLY over.

  5. Filed a written complaint on the seat blocking today. I don’t hide my credit card from them when I pay them for my seats!

  6. Texas Yankee Reply

    Friday AUS – MSP (or it could have been Sunday MSP – AUS) the gate agent came on with a boarding pass and walked to the back. Returned to the front and the door was closed as the lucky Battlefield Upgrade Recipient walked up to take his new seat. I was amused as to how slow he walked and that he had to go back just as slow to get his bag … But it was nice to see that the GA did come on board to upgrade someone who had already boarded.

  7. Actually got a call from Delta today apologizing for a complaint/concern I registered online regarding GA behavior at check in AND strange quirk relative to FC upgrade. I was #1 on list the whole morning and then presto chango someone “bought” the last FC seat… Probably a close friend of the GA 😉

    My other complaint was a “crew” member was sitting in C+ while at least this medallion had their knees in their chest for 3 hours.

  8. Santiago Speranza Reply

    Complaint filed… Am I the only one missing something here or is everyone else no longer seeing the Upgrade Lists on their Delta App’s 120 Hours before their flights anymore? There are plenty of first class seats available but no upgrade lists… I have flights coming up in 24 hours out to 4 days and none of them have lists? Input would be greatly appreciated as this might be the straw that breaks the camels back for me with Delta.

  9. So, is the answer to have friends book fully refundable FC seats and no-show. Clearly the seats are there and visible if you try to book. If we all started doing this, perhaps it would send a message. My calls to Diamond desk were worthless as in I could get some nearly worthless miles. I will be forced to status match to AA (my company’s OTHER preferred carrier) next year and use them for all International flights.

  10. Viewing is back! And if you click on an open seat, it tells you how much the first upgrade costs. This is for a flight 2 days from now, I’m a PM in C+ with a waitlist to first. Alllllll part of their scheme! App only allows upgrade with money as far as I can tell, will see if website allows with miles.

  11. Update… tried to do the upgrade on full website, only allows to pay actual money, not miles. I am Amex reserve and was signed-in, so if pay-with-miles was an option it would have appeared. It does show on a two-leg flight that if i chose to buy both it was CHEAPER (by 71 cents) than buying one. Sounds like the second leg is a guaranteed upgrade.

  12. No change. Blocking continues to be selective. Some of my flights are blocked. Some are not. Seriously? Delta needs to stop this madness!

  13. Well for what its worth i had a very nice call from Delta this afternoon about my flurry of complaints about blocking the seating charts. She said Delta was aware there was an unexpected complication in their last upgrade to the websites and was told it should be corrected in the next upgrade whenever that will be is anyones guess.
    She said she had fielded several of these complaints and she felt the more complaints came in the faster Delta might react. So keep calling, writing your complaints folks!!

    • @Steve – Huge thanks for your input and YES folks keep letting Delta know!

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