Lately we have seen quite a bit of negative press surrounding the still unannounced changes to the Delta Skymiles program. This has caused many to start redeeming their Skymiles as soon as possible.
These negative changes include:
- Complete removal of award charts from Delta.com
- No low Level 1 awards on Delta flights less than 21 days in advance
- No award chart to reference when a ticket prices incorrectly
- No way to predict a price of an award if it is not bookable online
Based on this we advise our clients to redeem their Skymiles as soon as possible. Without an award chart Delta can alter prices on a whim, with no announcement or warning, and the award you though you had enough miles for could no longer be possible.
With the ability to book one way awards we have been successful with helping other redeem their Skymiles for portions of a trip. I have also personally booked some trips using Skymiles to work down my own balances. Thanks to my debit card I can earn Skymiles very cheaply but my balance was high enough to feel uncomfortable holding them.
The single best use of Skymiles still stands true today: Redeem them for flights that are not operated by Delta.
Currently all partner awards are pricing at the low Level 1 which still makes them the best value. Delta still has many good partners to redeem Skymiles for.
Our favorite awards include:
- Virgin Australia (to Australia/Pacific region)
- Korean Air (to India and Asia region)
- Virgin Atlantic (To Europe and India)
If low Level 1 space is found on Delta operated flights of course we would recommend booking them! It is not easy to find but does exist. Delta’s business class is a good hard product with fully flat seats. For those flying in economy we generally recommend flying an airline based outside of the United States. This is true for all award redemption and not just Skymiles.
Delta has decided that it wants to be deceptive and continue to devalue Skymiles at an alarming rate. With no award chart to reference we have to “trust the computer” which historically has rarely gotten pricing correct on most award tickets. This is a sneaky way for Delta to get more Skymiles (a liability in accounting terms) off their books by charging more. They are banking on ignorance of their program members to just take the price given.
If you are unhappy with these changes please tweet @Delta and @DeltaAssist voicing your concerns. You can also comment on their Facebook page. The only way to have a chance of reversing these changes is to be vocal on social media with our unhappiness and also vote with your dollars.
The Award Booking Service team has vowed publicly to not buy another cash flight on Delta until they bring back award charts.