Update: See Delta’s response.
Last week Delta ‘tuned up’ the SkyMiles technology and I wondered if I was being paranoid to believe that was more likely than not bad for members.
This week we’re learning that Delta — whether by glitch or by design — seems to be charging their own elite members more miles for economy awards than they are general members.
- Delta used to give extra award availability at the lowest pricing to their elite members. They eliminated that benefit last month.
- In order to check for the ‘extra availability’ online, there’s a button the search page for the member to indicate they’re one of the passengers.
- Elites saying so seem to be getting higher prices for economy awards than general members.
Flyertalk member hnewman posted these screen shots.
There’s plenty of 12,500 mile one-way award space (click to enlarge):
But when this Diamond member is logged in and indicates they’re one of the travelers, the same seats cost 17,500 miles (click to enlarge):
There has to be a mistake here. I don’t doubt that Delta may be planning to role out variable pricing, it’s the most likely reason why Delta removed its award charts from their website. However,
- It’s easy to circumvent this, an elite just unchecks the box that they’re a traveler and then enters their personal information at the checkout stage.
- If anything, I’d expect Delta to go the opposite direction and make elites’ miles more valuable, ‘it’s all about being more rewarding for their most profitable customers’ — that’s the narrative they’ve been pushing for the last couple of years and if this change were intentional it would undermine their story.
In the meantime, if you’re a Delta elite and you’re searching for economy awards, make sure you indicate you aren’t one of the travelers when searching for award space!
(HT: Delta Points)