Earlier this year, I was praising Delta for becoming more consumer friendly with an award search engine that actually worked, the introduction of one-way awards and more lower level award space but today I was shocked today to learn that Delta has intentionally deleted any form of the SkyMiles Award Chart off their website effective immediately. For those that think this is another Delta IT glitch or oversight, this is confirmed to be intentional – see some of the tweets from Delta’s verified Twitter account below.
The award charts used to be at this link here but when directed to that page, all I see is a little message telling me to rely on an award calendar that will price the flights and then log into my SkyMiles account to pay for it. So essentially, I am at the mercy of their computer to tell me what the flight will cost and I have no way of verifying or confirming if the cost of my flight in miles is correct. For what it’s worth here is snapshot of the Award Chart for flights via Web Archive for flights departing North America (except Hawaii).
Business Class Award Chart
To me, this is a huge issue. I understand frequent flyer programs are subject to change but now planning out an award using SkyMiles will be almost impossible as how will I know when the saver levels increase? For example, I’m collecting Delta SkyMiles to fly my wife and I to Australia and a saver business class award is 160,000 miles roundtrip. My goal was to acquire 320,000 Delta SkyMiles for both of us and even if Delta announced any changes to their reward program, I could adjust my strategy accordingly. However, now I will HAVE NO IDEA when or if the amount of miles required for a saver award changes. It could jump to 200,000 miles each overnight and I won’t know whether the award chart is mispricing the flights (which happens with Delta on some awards) or the new minimum is really 200,000 miles going forward. Having a lack of award chart and not having to announce any changes or devaluations is awful and unfair to SkyMiles members.
This action by Delta tells me that there might be a huge change to redeeming SkyMiles in which it could be revenue based and the price of the flight in miles, will correlate with the actual selling price of the flight. Delta has already implemented this on the earning side of miles so it almost makes too much sense to do this on the redemption side as well. Going forward, the SkyMiles program might resemble a frequent flyer program just like Southwest or JetBlue and this will offer significantly less value for most customers. To be clear, this is pure speculation as nothing has been announced in this regard and I am merely interpreting today’s action as a move to that direction.
This action by Delta is frankly just awful for customers – it basically tells me that Delta doesn’t want you to know how much your award flight should cost so their “All New Award Calendar” can automatically price it for you. That’s a bunch of garbage especially since it’s no secret that even with the improvements to the Delta search award engine recently, certain flights were still mispricing and resulting in a much higher cost in miles than it should have been. I’m not advising everyone go blow their SkyMiles balance and book awards but if you have been eyeing an award and just been lazy about booking it, now might be time to secure it.
Anyone as angry about this as I am? Or am I making a big stink about nothing?