Delta’s new 2015 frequent flyer program is coming closer to fruition.
- Miles will be awarded based on dollars spent instead of miles flown
- Minimum spending requirements for elite status go up 20%
- New award pricing goes into effect, along with one-way awards.
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.