Delta just dropped a new award chart with increased mileage costs for some international business class routes – the award chart is live now and applies to travel from June 1, 2014 onward. (Travel prior to that date should price at the older levels.)
- US-Europe in business class goes from 100,000 to 125,000 miles roundtrip
- US-Asia in business class goes from 120,000 to 140,000 miles roundtrip
- US-Australia in business class goes from 150,000 to 160,000 miles roundtrip
- US-South Africa in business class goes from 140,000 to 160,000 miles
They say the need for the change is because their product is so good.
In June 2014, we will be the only U.S. carrier to offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in Business Class across our entire wide-body fleet.
Except… except… United is already fully flat on all of their long haul even if their legacy 777s do not offer all aisle access. Are we really paying a 25% premium because of that?
The bulk of the US Airways fleet is configured that way.
And the US-Australia awards are mostly booked at the low level on Virgin Australia which has not altered its product.
And mileage pricing has never been about quality of product, the entire reason that Delta moved to a three-tiered redemption product in the first place was to better tie redemption costs to the price of award tickets.
They also announced that effective September 9 they will no long offer to put awards on hold prior to ticketing — all awards will have to be issued immediately, and can be cancelled for 24 hours.
This is especially problematic because the Delta website offers so few airline partners, and doesn’t price things correctly or even correctly complete reservations much of the time. So you put part of what you want on hold and play agent roulette until you find one who knows who their airline partners are and how to book those seats.
Bonus takeaway: Adjustments to their award chart suggest to me that their IT systems are not yet ready for the roll out of revenue-based redemptions. They wanted a stop gap in place because whatever the new redemption program will look like isn’t ready to be announced, and most likely that’s driven by implementation issues.