The internet is the fastest medium to notice shifty behavior. With many airlines simultaneously making treacherous moves, Delta just couldn't help but jump into the fray. How much does an award flight on Delta cost now? No one knows! I have loved Delta and it's the only airline my wife and I hold a meaningful elite status on. I am now seriously worried about earning any more miles into a program where I have NO idea what they are worth.....
Delta this week has pulled an even more sinister move than British Airways. Rather than gut the value of their miles (which they did last year), they have entirely pulled their award chart from the website. Anyone who reads this blog (hopefully) collects miles with purpose and intent. To shape my intent, I personally find out how many miles I need for my desired flight. Once I know how many I need, I save miles until I have the necessary amount and then book. Delta has eliminated the option for anyone who wants to set a goal and know when to cash in and how. Instead, Delta have created an invisible market, where you search and are given a price in miles with no basis to determine whether it's fair. It could be a lot or a little and if you are a novice, you could be getting screwed.
Through years of experience, I personally always search far and wide before booking an award ticket. I know that if flexibility allows, looking through a whole calendar month or more each way can make all the difference in getting the most value for the least miles. For example, I know that at the lowest level I can get a round trip flight from the US to Europe in Business Class for 125,000 miles. Knowing this, I won't spend more than 125,000 miles for that award ticket. If you were new to Delta miles or unaware of the going rate, there is a fair chance that the first price introduced to you upon searching would be 220,000 miles round trip. If you didn't know better this would equate in a loss of an extra 95,000 miles (enough for a round trip business class ticket from NY to LA)! When I think of hard working people, who don't have the time to search, or the likes of my parents who would never know how to navigate things (without my help), I feel that Delta is truly pulling the curtain over us. The Delta Skymiles American Express card used to be a tremendous value because the 30,000 bonus miles you got could guarantee a round trip economy flight. Can it still?
As I encouraged folks with the British Airways fiasco, write, tweet, email, facebook and call Delta and let them know how you feel. Rollbacks do happen and this blackout of sorts is unprecedented across any airline. My best advice is to search far and wide before booking your award flight. Search the Economy and Business Class chart before booking to make sure you are not wasting miles on peak days without knowing it. God...save your points.
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