New Delta Award Discount Contains a Big SkyMiles Sleight of Hand

Delta is running an award redemption discount for domestic, Latin America and Caribbean travel between specific destinations.

Book by April 23 for travel between April 30 and June 20 and some routes start at 10,000 miles each way instead of 12,500 miles each way within the U.S.

As noted by The Gate, the chart of eligible cities includes this gem:

So for these two specific routes the ‘sale price’ will be 12,500 miles. That used to just be known as ‘the price’.

The sale includes a 21-day advance purchase requirement (as most domestic routes do to obtain saver awards now, an unannounced change by SkyMiles though not all routes all the time) and there are blackout dates as well:

New York – Kennedy, NY (JFK) to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (PLS) – May 02, 2015, May 16, 2015 to May 23, 2015, June 20, 2015 | Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (PLS) to New York – Kennedy, NY (JFK), May 02, 2015 and May 30, 2015 | Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Zihuatanejo, Mexico (ZIH)- May 02, 2015, June 06, 2015-June 20, 2015 | Zihuatanejo, Mexico (ZIH) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX)- June 13, 2015 to June 20, 2015 | Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Bozeman, MT (BZN) – May 07, 2015 – May 14, 2015, June 04, 2015 – June 15, 2015 | Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Mazatlan, Mexico (MZT) – June 13, 2015-June 20, 2015.

If you didn’t believe that SkyMiles had gotten more restrictive this sale seems to underscore it.

12,500 miles each way has for years been the standard award price. Now it’s a sale price. Has something changed? We don’t know officially, of course, since there are no more Delta award charts.

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. You gotta love “The World’s Most Trusted Airline”, if they do say so themselves. When are the Freddies, again?

  2. Gary,
    I think you are 100% right. Delta has become so secretive about SkyMiles, who knows what miles are needed for an award!

  3. One thing that I am curious about…are flights that are now above 12500 now available using points of partner carriers? If this is the case, the higher number is now the new low for these routes since you can only book partner awards for the low category.

  4. I spent 1.5 hours yesterday with Delta, online and by phone, trying to get any of several US city-city flights for 10,000 miles. Each CSR transferred me after searching for such a thing. They asked what promo code I received. Not one of them knew anything about a 10k mile offer and could not find such a thing. I finally gave up. Worthless!

  5. What’s with the snortiness? Almost all loyalty programs have devalued over the years, including AA’s. Yes, Delta isn’t as generous as AA, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t write a more mature and thoughtful article about the subject. You have written some great articles in the past, but this isn’t one of them.

  6. You are incredible naive or uninformed. To compare their changes to recent AA changes is ridiculous. Delta’s been completely underhanded and has THE least transparent program worldwide by far.

  7. Easy for you to say, Greg–you clearly don’t live in Atl. I’d love to boycott Delta, but it is almost impossible.

  8. @mbh – where there’s a will, there’s a way. I have flown over 100 segments over the past year with AA/US, and I live in Atlanta. Money talks, BS walks .Delta probably doesn’t need just my money, but if enough ppl did the same, they’ll feel the difference.

  9. I enjoy hating on Gary as much as the next guy, and don’t even fly Delta or collect Delta miles, but still am loving the coverage. Keep airing out Delta’s dirty laundry, they deserve to be exposed. I can appreciate you sticking up for consumers at large. Kudos!

  10. Gary, you have contacts in delta , why don’t you interview them like you did with Susan Rubin or whatever her name is. It would be interesting to hear what they have to say

  11. Your could provide everyone including the airline a service if you did live streamed interviews where we get the chance to ask questions, or solicit them in advance so they can feel the heat (or esteem) of their customers. Delta needs to know that one of their “Customer Service” agents told a 30 year customer that if they didn’t want to wait for them to decide “sometime” to offer one-ways at 12,500 I could take my business elsewhere. They need to know that this 30-year monthly customer now avoids Delta flights even though they are the most convenient choices in at least half of my searches.
    It isn’t that Delta is scewing up, it’s that they don’t seem to care what we think and think they can “stick it to” customers who once felt loyalty to them that translated into a franchise.

  12. Who enjoys “hating on Gary?” The guy is a workhorse for what seems to be the public interest. He may end up being what stands between us and complete devaluation of these programs to near the equivalent of ending them.

    After reading the drooling Obama haters who chewed their legs off in several threads like this is Faux News, I rather suspect we have a number of Mr Rooney’s who think their far right fever dreams can be shared safely with the general public without abject ridicule, and the reminder that they are the bad guys in every depiction in popular culture. Better to stay out of the dog door, Rooooneeeyyy!”

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