Questions I Haven’t Seen Asked About Delta Destroying Its Mileage Program

I asked on Twitter:


Delta says their spiffy new award calendars are so good you don’t need an award chart anymore — even though having a functional award calendar in no way precludes showing an award chart as American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus both do… and even though many of Delta’s partners aren’t available online through their award calendar.

But there’s no such thing as an upgrade calendar at

  • Why did they get rid of the upgrade chart?
  • How much does an upgrade cost?
  • How would we know how many miles to save if we wanted to upgrade a future trip we haven’t booked yet?
  • If they’re going revenue-based, how will that work for upgrades — do we have to pay the difference in miles between the fare paid and the current business fare?

This is just one area in which there are lots of questions, and from Delta… no answers.

Delta, your members are calling, pick up the phone! They’d like to know what you’re doing to their miles, please.

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. On Delta’s Skymiles Program 2015 page where they discuss the 2015 award program, there is a section about the new option to pay with Points AND Cash. There is a illustration/screen shot of the award calendar options to pay with only points, or fewer points and more cash.

    However, in “real life” it appears that option does not exist.

    My question to Delta–what’s up with that?

  2. In the midwest, we used an approximation of “yay-by-so”. Unfortunately, that applied to size, and not price.

    There must be a proxy here. It’s just as measurable.

  3. Pick up the phone and then what?

    You know what the definition of insanity is? Expecting Delta Skymiles to treat their customers with respect. So why continue to give them your money? That’s the only way they will change. If enough customers dump them so that it effects the value of their assets and their bottom line. But in this environment they can apparently get away with anything they want to get away with.


  4. I’m booked on one of those super cheap Delta/KLM trips in May to istanbul. Thoughts on the best program to credit the miles to? (Ironically, I had been considering switching to Delta as my back-up program. That’s obviously not happening now!)

  5. Delta are dogs and their FF program is now a dog. If enough people boycott them hey will have to change. Just don’t fly with the bastards. They are thieving bastards. And as of Feb 28th, I will never flu UA again either. They make me bloody sick man. but if you all keep flying with them, it just encourages them to keep ripping off you Americans. You may as well just ben over and let them do what they want

  6. The most effective thing you can do in the short term is to cancel any Delta credit card. Tell Amex why you are doing this.

  7. I may have mentioned it in my post a couple days ago that I gave you a shoutout on ; ) it’s literally now a black market currency with no implied value whatsoever. Is it > or = to .01 or is it less? No way to know and depending on your dates, if you are a novice, you’ll never know or will there be a bench mark to compare to…

  8. Another question I haven’t seen asked: Delta has a bunch of partners that can’t be booked online (like Saudia, China Southern, etc.). How much do those awards cost? Delta is saying “the price is what the website says,” but those airlines wont show up on the website. So what’s the price?

  9. Economically, do the airlines have a choice here? They are selling miles to banks by the billions. People are getting better about using them. The liabilities they carry are massive. Other than dvealuing them or making them harder to use, what else can they do? With only three main legacy carriers having carved out their routes, and what’s sure to be copycat games with devaluations, I’m not sure this isn’t just the way of things.

  10. Delta is being operated by the Obama Administration. Get them out of the Delta executive suite and put some competent people in there.

    Ask Delta a question, the answer is Obama in the mirror sticking his tongue out.

  11. ED – it’s time to take off the aluminum foil hat and open a bottle of wine for some chill-out time.

  12. @Larry, speaking for myself, it’s less about the de-valuation (presumed) and all about the lack of transparency. Just tell us what the hell things cost, DL. I swear if I wasn’t stuck in ATL, I’d never fly DL again.

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