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Delta restructuring award tickets

LisaRex

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The last 5 years, I've been able to snag 9 RT tickets to/from Hawaii using the Delta SkyMiles that I earned using the Delta AMEX. As I'm sure everyone suspected following the recent economic downturn, the gravy train will be over soon:

"...the current system allows 25,000 SkyMiles or 50,000 Skymiles to be used to get a reward ticket in coach for a domestic roundtrip flight.... The new system will allow 25,000, 40,000 or 60,000 SkyMiles to be used for roundtrip flights."

FirstClass domestic will be as high as 75,000 SkyMiles. (edited to add: I should have said 100,000 SkyMiles.)
International First Class will be as high as 370,000 SkyMiles.

:eek:

From the Money article linked to:
http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&date=20080730&id=8962320
 
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LisaRex

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Carolinian

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And you can bet those 25K awards are going to be rare!

Sadly, I still have more DL SkyPiles left over from my years as a DL Gold Medallion than I would like. What really burns me up, though is that now they may hijack my NW Worldperks miles and convert them to even more SkyPiles.

I bailed out of DL during the Rob Borden reign of terror (see www.saveskymiles.com ) and now need to bail out again, so I am looking at CO, UA, and AA. AA, however has two strikes against it for anyone doing much TATL travel - BA and Heathrow.
 
S

Steamboat Bill

And you can bet those 25K awards are going to be rare!

Actually booking to Hawaii during the Summer 2008 or Utah for Spring 2009 has been impossible for me to book the SkySaver flights as I checked 331 days at midnight. The only options were SkyChoice.

But my August 2008 trip to Banff via Calgary was easy to book for 25k per ticket and I did it about 2-3 months ago, but the 50k First class tix were sold out....go figure.
 

Carolinian

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Caribbean goes from 30K to 35K, and Europe from 50K to 60K when you can find a seat at the lower level. The consensus seems to be that they will be rare once the three tier system comes in.

I am bailing once again with the likely approval of the DL takeover of NW, probably to CO. And I have changed the instructions with my employer's travel office from DL being my second choice airline to ''avoid if at all possible''. Screwing me on my miles has been a huge disincentive for me to ever fly them again.
 

Aussiedog

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FirstClass domestic will be as high as 75,000 SkyMiles.
International First Class will be as high as 370,000 SkyMiles.

Today I booked a domestic first class for Feb and it cost 90k miles. The cheapest I could get was 67k with SkySaver but I would be going through Salt Lake City with a 45 minute layover in the middle of winter.

That would give me a heart attack.

Ann
 
S

Steamboat Bill

I also booked all my planned flights from now until even next summer as who know what will happen in 12 months
 

Carolinian

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The key phrase is ''burn, baby, burn''. Miles are being devalued everywhere, but DL seems to be the worst among US carriers.

I am also getting rid of my mile-earning credit cards and telling the card companies why. Who wants to pay the extra fees when miles are a lot less than they used to be.
 

philemer

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Today I booked a domestic first class for Feb and it cost 90k miles. The cheapest I could get was 67k with SkySaver but I would be going through Salt Lake City with a 45 minute layover in the middle of winter.

That would give me a heart attack.

Ann

The terminal is kept at a warm 70-71 degrees F.. A 45 min. layover is really short. Sorry to see you wasting miles. :)
 

LisaRex

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Today I booked a domestic first class for Feb and it cost 90k miles. The cheapest I could get was 67k with SkySaver but I would be going through Salt Lake City with a 45 minute layover in the middle of winter.

That would give me a heart attack.

Ann

Yikes. My quote should have read that FirstClass domestic will be as high as 100,000 miles.
 

Talent312

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Yikes. My quote should have read that FirstClass domestic will be as high as 100,000 miles.

My wife and I flew 1st class R/T from Florida to Hawaii for a total of 100,000 miles (50K each) on Delta... in 2002. Times change. Its no use getting ticked off at airlines trying to cope w-rising fuel prices and stay in business. We may as well bay at the moon.
 

Passepartout

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I would be going through Salt Lake City with a 45 minute layover in the middle of winter.

That would give me a heart attack.

Ann

SLC is our nearest 'gateway' airport. It isn't THAT bad even in the dead of winter. Not like they make you stand out on the tarmac with your thumb out waiting for a plane to happen by.

Jim Ricks
 

LisaRex

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SLC is our nearest 'gateway' airport. It isn't THAT bad even in the dead of winter. Not like they make you stand out on the tarmac with your thumb out waiting for a plane to happen by.

Jim Ricks

I read Aussiedog's post to mean that she'd be afraid that she wouldn't make her connection in that short of time, esp. since it was the dead of winter (when inclement weather might delay her incoming flight).
 

Carolinian

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My wife and I flew 1st class R/T from Florida to Hawaii for a total of 100,000 miles (50K each) on Delta... in 2002. Times change. Its no use getting ticked off at airlines trying to cope w-rising fuel prices and stay in business. We may as well bay at the moon.

Rising fuel prices? This seems to be the excuse for everything these days, and I can accept that for baggage fees for a second bag which involves extra weight and generates cash to pay for that weight.

However, whacking us for more miles does NOT generate any cash for the airline. In fact the value of miles earned and spent stays in balance because although using miles may produce a ticket that would have cost more, the cost of replacement mles from revenue tickets has gone up by the same amount. Because the value of miles burned and new miles earned go up at the same rate, the ''inflation'' argument to justify these airline increases just doesn't flush.

Where there has been inflation in the number of miles floating around, it has come directly from airline policy in wholesaling gobs of miles to credit card companies, florists, etc. Airlines should not be allowed to hose customers who bought tickets in good faith just to cover themselves for dumping these vast quantities of non-flight miles into the system.

What we realy need is some consumer protection legislation requiring airlines to honor miles under the terms they were earned. If they want to change their program, it should only be allowed as to new miles, not those earned under other terms. This is just a bait and switch type scam. Delta was honest enough to do that at one time in the past, but not with those running the airline today.
 

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However, whacking us for more miles does NOT generate any cash for the airline. In fact the value of miles earned and spent stays in balance because although using miles may produce a ticket that would have cost more, the cost of replacement mles from revenue tickets has gone up by the same amount. Because the value of miles burned and new miles earned go up at the same rate, the ''inflation'' argument to justify these airline increases just doesn't flush.

I must be dense or terminally confused.
Seems to me that the chilling effect on FF bookings will effectively produce more revenue generating fares (from those of us just as likely to travel anyway), but there will not be an equivilent cost in FF miles to the airline.

Believe it or not, there are many paying passengers who are not members of that airlines FF club, and those that are, often allow their miles to expire... or they expire having never used their miles. Its a cynical approach to be sure, and unfair to those who horded points, but were likely only seeing the beginning.

The FF programs were premised on the notion that, almost always, flights took off with a few empty seats for which no paying customer could be found, so why not let a frequent loyal customer have a seat that would have gone unused otherwise. Nowadays, this premise is quickly becoming outdated.
 
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Aussiedog

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I read Aussiedog's post to mean that she'd be afraid that she wouldn't make her connection in that short of time, esp. since it was the dead of winter (when inclement weather might delay her incoming flight).

Yup -

I love the area - that's not it at all - but a 45 minute layover (RDU - SLC - SAN) requires a perfect departure from Raleigh and not a lot of navigating around winter storms. Since I have a wedding to attend at the other end I don't have a lot of flexibility, and it's not like flights to San Diego are frequent - another consideration when I book cross country.

I usually book all my winter travel through southern gateways because of the higher risk of weather delays up north.

Ann
 

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When it comes to paying passengers, loyalty or lack of same counts a lot. Screw your most loyal passengers, and they will be flying alright, but just on other airlines. That costs the airline money.

DL found that out the last time it tried to royally screw it ff members back in the Rob Borden days (see www.saveskymiles.com ),abd that made enough of its best customers, medalliion level Skymiles members bailed out to other airlines in response to DL's hosing its ff'ers that it had to wave a white flag and reverse the changes. I was a DL gold medallion at that time, and after bailing to NW, I didn't go back after DL backed down as I had discovered that NW had a much better ff program. When DL and NW got together in SkyTeam, I did make DL my second choice airline since that had reversed their anti-customer policies and I could then earn NW miles if I flew DL.

DL has turned their ff programs into an anti-loyalty program by cheating those who have loyally flown them in the past. What's the old saying? ''Cheat me once, shame on you, cheat me twice, shame on me.'' What US did also will hurt them with their best customers, but since it primarily involved negatives changes on earning future miles rather than devaluing existing miles, it will cause less anger.

ANyone playing the mile game needs to do two things right now:
1) use your existing miles just as fast as you can.
2) watch changes in all of the programs and mitgrate to the airline whose changes are least damaging given your travel patterns.



I must be dense or terminally confused.
Seems to me that the chilling effect on FF bookings will effectively produce more revenue generating fares (from those of us just as likely to travel anyway), but there will not be an equivilent cost in FF miles to the airline.

Believe it or not, there are many paying passengers who are not members of that airlines FF club, and those that are, often allow their miles to expire... or they expire having never used their miles. Its a cynical approach to be sure, and unfair to those who horded points, but were likely only seeing the beginning.

The FF programs were premised on the notion that, almost always, flights took off with a few empty seats for which no paying customer could be found, so why not let a frequent loyal customer have a seat that would have gone unused otherwise. Nowadays, this premise is quickly becoming outdated.
 

LisaRex

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My wife and I flew 1st class R/T from Florida to Hawaii for a total of 100,000 miles (50K each) on Delta... in 2002. Times change. Its no use getting ticked off at airlines trying to cope w-rising fuel prices and stay in business. We may as well bay at the moon.

It's nice to be informed that the award chart is changing in a few months so that folks can burn miles now and/or plan ahead for future trips, which is why I posted the thread. I don't see anything in my tone that can be construed as angry, because I'm not.
 

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I also booked all my planned flights from now until even next summer as who know what will happen in 12 months

Glad to see I'm not the only one, I have all my airfare booked through Easter 09. Both summer trips 09 are we are driving.
 

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A lot of folks over at FlyerTalk, the ones who generally take the consumers side, rather than parrot management positions, are indeed quite upset about DL's little shell game that is substantially devaluing our miles. And they should be. DL tried another scheme to devalue miles a few years ago and got forced by angry customers in the www.saveskymiles.com campaign to wave a white flag and restore the program. Now, they are trying to use the smoke screen of high oil prices to do a similar thing in a somewhat different way. It is fair game to change the rules for miles to be earned in the future but it is dirty pool to change the value of miles people earned in good faith based on rules then in effect. When DL made a major change in the past, at least they had the honesty and integrity to allow the previously earned miles to be redeamed under the old rules for years afterward. Obviously words like ''honesty'' and ''integrity'' mean nothing to the DL of today. And even changing the value of miles to be earned in the future will cause high value frequent flyers to vote with their feet, as many, including myself, did in the Save Sky Miles campaign.

The organization I work for has offices in over 70 countries around the world and our employees travel quite a bit back and forth to the US as well as between some of those countries, and our tickets are generally in the higher fare categories. Many of our members are very attuned to changes in ff programs, and DL's series of negative moves, actually starting with adding a $200+ surcharge above taxes and real fees to TATL award tickets ex-EU, have gotten some comments on our employee intra-net comment board. It would not surprise me, based on those comments if most of our members who have been using DL as their primary ff program will end up voting with their feet to other carriers.

Personally, I had my SkyPiles down to enough for a RT TATL ticket and a RT Caribbean ticket. If I can't find somewhere useful to burn them soon, DL's shell game will reduce this to a RT TATL ticket and 20K orphan miles or two RT Caribbean tickets and 10K orphan miles. Even worse, if their takeover of NW is approved, they will hijack and devalue my NW Worldperks miles as well. And finding a way to burn those SkyPiles is further complicated by the fact that I get whacked with the ripoff $200+ surcharge if I try to use them for a ticket from Europe where I am based. That limits me to using them to fly a relative from the US over here for a visit. Yeah, I guess I could use the orphan miles for the greatly reduced value they have in the Pay with Miles program but I sure as heck do not want to give any cash for any portion of a revenue ticket to this stinker of an airline.
 

Timeshare Von

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I have already bailed on NWA with their outrageous ticket prices for our upcoming two trips (MCO in Dec and PHX in Mar). AirTran is making Milwaukee affordable in the wake of Midwest's continued problems and NWA's mismanagement.

I will have around 65k miles after my next (and last?) paid trip on NWA to SAN later this month. I hope we'll be able to use them for something decent in 2009. Time will tell.
 
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