Yesterday I wrote about the fatal flaws in the IdeaWorks study of award availability. But not everything in it is wrong. I think the methodology discredits the results, but they do happen to claim correctly that Delta SkyMiles is less good on the redemption side than most other currencies.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution naturally focuses on this Delta result.
And they get some juicy comments from SkyMiles. I do much respect Delta’s Karen Zachary for her candor..
“We’ve worked really hard in trying to keep our commitment to opening up more seats on the lowest level,” said Karen Zachary, Delta’s SkyMiles managing director of global programs. “We used to be really bad.”
…“The 25,000 mile round-trip award fare that historically has been a standard for the airlines, I think you’re going to see that completely change,” Zachary said.
Read those sentences again. And then a third time. The ‘gotcha’ here isn’t the admission that Delta’s program has historically been really bad.
The key takeaway is that she says the baseline 25,000 mile roundtrip is going to go away. I think it’s fair to say that’s because Delta sees awards being based on paid fares rather than award charts.
The Journal Constitution does flag, “[Delta] also removed from its website the charts that show customers how many miles are required for award flights.” That’s a kick me that just isn’t going away.