Delta Confirms Elimination of Free Stopovers on Awards, Stealth Way to Increase Award Pricing

Delta’s new 2015 frequent flyer program is coming closer to fruition.

They’ve improved the award search calendar, though there are still bugs and glitches and it doesn’t support all of their airline partners (but at least the calendar now supports some!).

And as part of the introduction of one-way awards, I I told you to expect that stopovers would no longer be allowed on award tickets without spending additional miles.

If you’re flying New York – Paris – Prague, you can currently book a ticket that lets you stop for a few days in Paris on the way. The website already implemented a change where it charges more for that stopover. That turned out to be a change simply made early, that Delta didn’t plan to reverse, rather than a glitch.

Delta has now confirmed that there will no longer be stopovers allowed without additional miles as part of award tickets starting in 2015.

Delta let me know that they updated their website as follows:

For Award Travel booked prior to January 1, 2015, one stopover is allowed per roundtrip Award Ticket under certain circumstances. A stopover is defined as a stay of more than 4 hours between domestic flights and more than 24 hours between domestic and international or all international flights. The destination city is not considered a stopover. A stopover is allowed, provided there are no more than two connections between the origin and destination including any connections that are made while traveling to/from the stopover point. The stopover city must be located on a valid routing.

Stopovers will no longer be permitted for Award Travel booked on or after January 1, 2015.

This is a way to charge more miles for award tickets, without changing pricing on the award chart.

  • Some airlines like United allow one-way awards, and allow stopvoers when booking a roundtrip.
  • Some airlines like Alaska allow stopovers on one-way awards.

But Delta isn’t alone in this. American doesn’t allow stopovers on their awards, either.

Each program is different, with a varying mix of availability, rules, benefits. Delta was already less generous than its competitors. This is a stealth award price increase.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I was able to book this itinerary for 25k miles:


    So under new rules, if I’m understanding it correctly, it’s three tickets and each costs 12.5k miles for coach?

  2. So this is what I plan to do if this affects me. In Europe, I might have to use a LCC carrier, but more importantly, trains are excellent in Europe. In most instances, a high speed train would be a nicer and possibly faster experience. In Asia, flights between many cities aren’t very expensive. So, I’ll probably buy intra-Asia tickets. You are right, Gary, this is another devaluation.

  3. @Hannah Is that a new policy? Amtrak on revenue fares has allowed stopovers – they’ve only been forbidden on awards IME. That’s too bad because I’d definitely turn WAS-NYP and NYP-BOS into two separate awards for 4k.

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