Delta Says 3 Day Advance Purchase Requirement for Non-US/Canada Awards Was Error

Yesterday Delta updated the terms and conditions of the SkyMiles program to say 3 day advance purchase was required for any awards not starting or ending in the US or Canada.

Delta contacted me to let me know that this was a mistake, that the terms and conditions have been fixed and no longer reflect this requirement.

Yesterday the section ‘Award Travel Ticketing Restrictions’ said,

Award Tickets that do not originate or end in the United States or Canada have a three-day advance purchase requirement. This includes routes like Paris (CDG) connecting through New York City (JFK) to Sao Paulo (GRU), or Shanghai (PVG) to/from Tokyo (NRT). No Exceptions. The advanced purchase applies to all Award bookings in the affected markets.

That’s been rolled back to say that awards from certain (~ 60) countries require a 3 day advance purchase or airport ticketing:

Award Tickets purchased for travel within or originating in China, Russia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brazil and any country in Africa require a 72-hour advance purchase. Members desiring travel within or originating in these markets within 72 hours must go to the airport to purchase their ticket, including reissues. No Exceptions. The advanced purchase applies to all Award bookings in the affected markets.

In other words the operative restriction is the one that was imposed at the end of February without notice on members. There is no new restriction that’s imposed at this time.

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. Gary – If you can inquire with Delta about how to actually do ticketing at the airport for affected countries, then that would be great. I live in Atlanta, and have tried to do so at Hartsfield-Jackson for tickets to Africa (for my own account with me as the traveler), but only to be told by multiple representatives that I need to contact the SkyMiles desk and just handed a slip with their number. When calling that number, they’re either clueless about the restriction or know enough to tell me to visit the airport. Delta makes it seem easy to book within 72 hours, but if I can’t do it as a frequent traveler in Atlanta, then I wonder if I’m either getting bad agents, or if there’s a special desk I need to visit at the airport. Have you heard of reports of travelers booking within that window? It could just be me, but idk.

  2. You don’t just accidentally update your site. There are so many layers for an update like that to be rolled out it’s hard to imagine it was a mistake

  3. If the ticketing counter at ATL dont know how to ticket a last minute redemption then what about outstations? Plus, what about a country where Delta dont actually flies to but operates a GSA ticket office. Will a visit to one of those GSA office suffice to ticket a last minute redemption from, say, Indonesia? Or do you have to actually go to the nearest airport where Delta actually flies to and ticket your redemption there?

  4. Deltaese:”It was a mistake that we released those updated terms and conditions today.”
    Translation: “We plan to roll this out soon.”

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