Delta business class saver awards between the US and Europe were 62,500 miles each way. That’s the price from the no-notice devaluation for travel June 2014 onward.
Now, for travel January 1 onward, US-Europe will be 70,000 miles each way at the saver level. There was no notice given for this change, it’s simply in effect. That’s an increase of 15,000 miles roundtrip.
At 140,000 miles roundtrip, that compares to:
- 115,000 miles roundtrip at American
- 115,000 miles roundtrip for United flights via MileagePlus, or 140,000 miles for Star Alliance flights.
- Prices that vary by partner with Alaska but all that are lower than Delta’s, indeed you can use 62,500 Alaska miles for a one-way business class award on Delta that Delta will now charge 70,000 miles for.
At the beginning of the year Delta made changes to the price of several international awards for travel October 1 onward. You’d think one devaluation in the first quarter of 2016 would be enough for the SkyMiles program, but that would be wrong because they made no notice changes to Tel Aviv awards in March.
Despite eliminating award charts, Delta does have an award chart. There is saver award inventory (all partner awards are saver awards), and the price of awards is fixed when it’s available. Delta just doesn’t publish the chart of prices any longer. That way they can hide when they increase prices although they have no problem touting when they lower prices via a ‘sale’.
Delta used to refuse to give advance notice when making changes to their chart (going so far as to preposterously claim it was illegal to do so). Now they do not even give notice once they’ve already made changes.
The Delta.com award calendar shows the lowest one-way price for Washington Dulles – Paris in business class as 70,000 miles non-stop on Air France next year.
This isn’t just a case where no saver awards are available, and Delta is pricing at ‘level 2’ pricing. This is for the non-stop Air France flight only and in “O” class.
Delta wants to go revenue-based on redemptions, but revenue-based redemptions are transparent. You have points worth a certain dollar amount. Here you have no idea what awards are going to cost, and they aren’t even tied to price. They’ll tell you your points are like money, and the price changes day to day, but with money you can buy tickets from Delta or United or American. And you can buy toothpaste.
The value of your money is reasonably fixed and transparent, at least you know when there’s inflation. Delta won’t even publish inflation statistics. That’s the worst kind of money, like you find in unstable third world dictatorships. The biggest problem SkyMiles faces is their trust deficit.
You don’t get information to understand what miles are worth, and when they make changes Delta doesn’t play straight with what they’re doing with your miles or how that will affect you. The lack of an announcement underscores that. Delta makes changes, without (any) enough information for members to understand what those changes are or mean, and the airline’s position is that’s all the information anyone deserves to get.
(HT: laptop travel)
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