We all knew this would happen, that is, horrid E Basic fares would spread to SkyMiles awards. This really has little impact on me because I tend to burn my SkyMiles for international awards in Delta One at Level 1 or 2 SkyMiles award prices. It is rare I fly on domestic awards because I tend to pay for those tickets (in main cabin not E Basic) to earn more MQMs and MQDs and to have a shot at a medallion upgrade.
“Our loyalty team is continuing to test Basic Economy Awards on all US50 + CA flights with an origin or destination of Charleston, SC (CHS) only. This is in addition to MSP PHX, which will continue to offer BE awards. The terms and conditions for Basic Economy Award tickets are the same as for Basic Economy retail:
- No voluntary changes/cancels/redeposits outside of Risk Free Cancellation period.
- No advance seat selection. No paid or complimentary upgrades.
- No Same Day changes.
- Seat Buyback available.
- Checked Bag fee applies (except trans-Pacific).” – @Delta on Twitter (bold mine)
Now here is the really NASTY part of these new awards – you no longer have up to 72 hours before the flights to redeposit these tickets (like all other SkyMiles awards). This is a MASSIVE #KeepDescending worthy change in awards. Once again, for 2019, loyalty is cheapened just a little more. I have been waiting for Delta Corp PR folks to 100% confirm the above (as you can not always trust what twitter says) and will update this post if anything changes.
Now should you book these? I have only ever booked one single E Basic ticket in my life and it was fine for a CRJ200 DTW to SBN (a half hour flight where all the seats are the same – awful). If there are short flights that seats do not matter then yes I can see booking one of these with SkyMiles (as long as you are 100% sure you never will need to cancel). Keep in mind that you still get a personal item and a carry-on free with Delta E Basic fares (unlike other airlines).
Will this mean cheaper awards? I would not count on it. With “cash” E Basic fares we have seen that what was the cheapest price is now E Basic and other fares have gone up. Expect the same impact with SkyMiles E Basic fares.
I am sure you got the email on this month’s Delta SkyMiles “flash sale” – this time to Asia. There are some real savings over the normal lowest level award prices so if this works for you book by midnight TONIGHT. Or, if you have something already booked, compare the current price to see if you can get some points back.
Lastly today, the Delta A220 (formally known as the CS100) that will start passenger service at the end of January 2019 has started training flights as of yesterday! I will not be on the inaugural flight for this bird but am really looking forward to trying out the new
Premium Economy First Class seats when it starts service from Detroit next year! – René