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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.
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.