Delta Rolled Back Last Night’s Devaluation, Transatlantic Business Class Back to 70,000 Miles

Last night Delta began charging 86,000 miles each way for business class awards between the US and Europe on Delta’s own planes. What’s bizarre — aside from the 23% no notice increase — is that it meant Delta flights were more expensive (by 1000 miles) than flights on partners.

There was also a suggestion that Delta increased the price of South Asia (eg India, Sri Lanka) business class awards on partners to 120,000 miles one way. But that’s the absurd and extortionate price they imposed back in April.

When Delta makes a change you never know whether it’s an IT glitch (their IT isn’t very good, and they frequently misprice things, though rarely in your favor) or if it’s intentional. They insist, of course, that ‘the price is the price’ and have hidden their award charts because you aren’t supposed to know how much an award costs, how many miles you need to save, and as a matter of policy they refuse to respect their members by informing them of changes in advance.

In fact a year ago Delta started charging more miles for partner award flights than Delta flights. Then they claimed it was a mistake, but the mistake was just that they rolled out the change too early, the ‘mistake’ became the price six months later.

SkyMiles are just like Forrest Gump, you never know what you’re gonna git.

Indeed now Delta transatlantic business class is back to 70,000 miles each way, last year’s no notice devaluation price.

Here’s New York – London Heathrow, Delta at 70,000 miles and Virgin Atlantic at 85,000 miles.

Similarly here’s Atlanta – Frankfurt, back at 70,000 miles for business class as well.

What we don’t know of course is whether the end of the 70,000 mile award was a type I glitch (a true mistake) or a type II glitch (revealed too early). Of course with the rate of devaluation of SkyMiles we know that prices generally will rise, that’s why they hid award charts in the first place, to keep members from understanding the value of their miles.

(HT: Rene’s Points)

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. Time to immolate my stash of Skymiles. It’s only a matter of time before the 86K requirement is live.

  2. I keep posting that I think there are some bad people there working for the different airlines who get pleasure from hurting people and this is another example of that. I don’t think it was an accident at all. I think they read the miles and points blogs and think of ways to stick it to miles and points enthusiasts, because there is no other reason for them to do what they do. With the record profits they are making, there is no need to figure out new ways to sh_ft their loyal customers. The people doing these things are like anarchists and vandals, but in a formal corporate setting.

  3. Keep calling them out on their B.S. Gary. Sneaky Delta will inevitably keep trying to screw over their customers.

  4. I’m not sure they have rolled back everything. Searching today DTW-CPH for next July in Business, and the cheapest available is 85,000 miles one way. Two weeks ago it was 70,000 miles.

    And, of course, the only one available within a day or two of my date, even at 86,000 miles, goes through JFK, with an 8 hour layover. But if I want to book the JFK-CPH route on miles and pay for DTW-JFK (to shorten the connect time), the JFK-CPH leg is not available as a saver on Delta.

    And, note — the mid-August return (WAW-DTW) booked using United miles on LO is only 70,000 miles plus 50 zloty fuel charge (about $11.00). So Delta is no longer competitive on their award travel.

  5. Do any retailers tell if when a price of a product goes up? Get a grip. It’s reality. Prices rise and if u don’t like it, but a competitor’s product.

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