Delta Has Lost Their Minds – No More Award Charts

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For years I have largely ignored the Delta Skymiles program.  Their awards were largely too pricey, I didn’t trust them with my miles, etc.  Then, I started to come around with SkyMiles 2015.  They promised improved saver availability and search better online capabilities, and they delivered on both promises.  I hadn’t actually started building up my Delta balance yet, but I was strongly thinking about it.

Then today happened.

Delta has lost their minds.  They decided it was a good idea to do away with an airline award chart.  This isn’t an IT glitch, this is something they have confirmed as intentional.  To me, this is the equivalent of grocery stores doing away with putting the prices of food on the aisles.  How useful would it be to not know what your basket of groceries would cost until the items are scanned at the checkout counter?  Not very.  Only that is exactly what Delta is now doing by not letting you see the list of award chart mileage prices before actually choosing a specific award.

Delta Award Chart

Instead of a award chart, there is this….

I’m not one to use bad words much (at least on the internet where they can’t be erased), but WTF?!  How is that good for the customer in the slightest?  How can you expect everyday folks to be able to plan for what a redemption may cost when there is no chart?

Of course the answer is that it isn’t good for anyone except Delta.  It does strike me as a move on a path to a revenue based redemption model where of course an award chart wouldn’t be needed because the redemption price is tied directly to the selling price of the ticket.  I hope that isn’t the case, and that doesn’t make total sense to me given all the hype they built up over increased low level awards with SkyMiles 2015, but I’m kind of at a loss for any other logical explanation.

Why make customers blind to price and information unless you don’t want them to be able to see and plan?

The worst part of all of this isn’t what Delta did.  The worst part is that the other airlines, namely United, love to copy Delta’s playbook pretty closely when it comes to these sort of changes.  I agree with the advice over at One Mile at a Time to take screen shots of the United award charts ASAP, just in case…. Though let’s hope that even United can see this is a very bad move.

 

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Comments

  1. Would you go to a restaurant and order dinner without a menu and wait for the check to see if you can afford it? Delta’s policies are driven by their accountants which I suspect have been huffing too much Jet A exhaust on the ramp.

  2. This is insanely dumb. But to play devil’s advocate:

    The award chart has gotten incredibly complicated, and most people probably just bypass the chart entirely. (Delta’s web team would have the numbers to indicate how many people actually access it.) Meanwhile, the small subset of people who actually do keep track of how much these awards cost have blogs and forums to keep up. Therefore:

    The simpletons who don’t understand the chart no longer have access to the source of their confusion, and

    The 1% of us who care check out FlyerTalk.

    Again, this is IDIOTIC. But I think that this is a window into how the airline is thinking about it. Essentially assuming – probably correctly – that most people are two dumb and/or busy to understand their chart.

  3. I really doubt this is legal, definitely not in the EU. All delta.com localizations in EU must show final prices right along the search results.

  4. At the grocery store, I could always just walk out and refuse to pay, if the bill was an unpleasant surprise. “Yeah, just put that stuff back. Too expensive.” I guess I could do the same at the Delta website. Usually, it’s them blowing me off with a nonsense error message, so it might feel good to walk away. “Nah. Think I’ll check out Air France.” Cool thing is, I don’t have to make an excuse — not that they ever listen.

  5. i was in the same place as you. Ready to turn in my delta credit card and give up on them. Then 2015 hit one way awards reasonable options again. Apparently that has quickly changed will wait a month and decide.

  6. i just looked at the Delta site using the app on my iPad. I was able to see the miles needed for travel an award ticket. Not sure what the problem is. Am I missing something?

  7. Not sure why some see it as a big deal. I did a test search, and website still shows me how many miles/$ will cost me by what day, before I decide to book. Exactly the same as before.

    The only difference seems to be that people will no longer know what the official # of miles required are per tier. I think one can have a good idea by consulting with charts from other airlines. Also with a large number of bloggers out there, I’m confident some will collect such info and publish a near-official chart.

  8. Delta also recently told ExpertFlyer to remove all info about their flights (not just award availability, but also revenue fare bucket availability and even basic fare information – way more extreme than what United and others have done). Bottom line is that they want only totally uninformed consumers as customers. And, in the past, they’ve said they for legal reasons they can’t provide advance notice about Skymiles program changes. My Delta trust factor is now exactly ZERO!! (Last year I booked a Delta flight after Expertflyer advised me a lower fare had become available. Now I’ll just book someone else and avoid the hassle.)

  9. Can we really blame Delta? They do it cause they can. Just like airlines years ago decided to start charging for bags and it stuck. People will continue to fly them, and that’s the only embarassing thing.

  10. i just sent an email to delta on their website asking that the chart be posted on the web site. I would hope all concerned do the same. And if people do ultimately decide to leave Delta’s program, and/or cancel credit cards, I hope people are clear about why!

    • Your hope that flyers will cancel their branded credit cards or not ever board an aircraft of delta again are futile hopes. Why? Because at the end of the day those same people who bitch and moan lack the fortitude of their alleged convictions. I’ll be you that fewer than .05% of those furious blogosphere posters will ever cancel their AX cards, their flights or anything else over this. They’re just mamby- pambies always screaming ouch! but never following through with their idle banter.

  11. Their award chart was a huge lie anyway.

    I rarely saw any relation to what their available awards cost and what their chart says.

  12. This is definitely a problem for me bc I often choose a destination around how many points it takes. I look at the award chart and think “I’ve got 160k points, where can we go with that?” If I have to plug in dozens of airport codes and itineraries to figure out a variety of options, then I’m not going to do it. For flyers who know where they want to go, this move is still a problem, but those flyers who don’t have a specific destination in mind, it’s the death of delta loyalty.

  13. I was said Delta is the most evil of all the airlines but some people thought I was too harsh. Here you have it. Problem is they have copycats that will do whatever they do. I have no choice but to fly Delta since I live in a Delta hub and be able to fly non stop is a huge advantage for me. I have tons of Skypesos but I have been dumping them on the same speed I earn them. In the last 10 months I dumped close to 700k Skypesos and I am now with a low balance with them. Hate Delta and cannot stand their CEO talking on their safety video on how good of an airline they are.

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