ExpertFlyer Removes All Delta Upgrade Space

ExpertFlyer is one of the travel tool subscription services I pay for, given that it saves me a ton of time and does display some information which isn’t otherwise readily available online.

Over the past couple of years they’ve certainly fought their fair share of battles with airlines over which space they can and can’t display. ExpertFlyer is a great service and makes life easier for the frequent traveler, but in many cases that’s not something the airlines like. For example, if you can set alerts whereby ExpertFlyer emails you when award or upgrade space opens up, the airlines aren’t a fan of that for obvious reasons. While they create the rewards systems, they don’t want to make it easy for you to find. For example, late last year they stopped displaying most Star Alliance award space, as well as British Airways award space.

Which brings me to the recent news. Last October Delta requested that ExpertFlyer stop displaying elite upgrade space, and ExpertFlyer complied. However, they were able to continue displaying other upgrade space.

Delta-BusinessElite

Unfortunately over the past few days it looks like Delta has requested that ExpertFlyer stop displaying all upgrade space, as the following message now appears on ExpertFlyer when trying to search space on Delta:

Delta has unfortunately chosen to remove their upgrade inventory from ExpertFlyer and as such it is no longer available at this time. More information about the change and how to send feedback to Delta about it can be found here. Thank you for your understanding.

ExpertFlyer-Delta-Notice

ExpertFlyer Voice posted the following information on FlyerTalk:

Delta has unfortunately chosen to remove all of their upgrade inventory from ExpertFlyer and as such it is no longer available at this time. This is after previously being authorized by and told by Delta that upgrade inventory would continue to be made available. As such all Flight Alerts for the affected upgrade classes will be set to Expired later today as to not count against your active alert limit. We will then email ExpertFlyer subscribers that currently have active DL upgrade alerts to notify them of this change.

To be clear, not only was the data legitimately purchased via our GDS data contracts, but executives at Delta were aware that ExpertFlyer was showing DL upgrade inventory and we were allowed to continue doing so until a recent policy change.

We agree with the sentiments of our customers that ultimately this does more harm than good to their best customers and suggest that you contact Delta and express to them how you feel about the ability to see, evaluate and use these various upgrade inventories and the value it adds to your elite status with Delta. Please use the following link to email them.

Delta Email Feedback

As always, thank you for your continued support.
-The ExpertFlyer.com Team

Based on that explanation it’s not entirely clear to me whether they were legitimately authorized to display that space (like, that they had a contract in place), or if they just knew that Delta knew what they were doing, and Delta didn’t say anything about it at the time.

Bottom line

When you really break it down, you’ve gotta love these loyalty programs that we get emotionally attached to. ExpertFlyer ultimately makes the lives of their most frequent flyers easier, and that’s not something Delta wants. And that’s not exclusive to Delta, sadly it’s the case with most loyalty programs nowadays, with a few notable exceptions…

Sadly loyalty isn’t really a two way street. Then again, I think that’s why most of us have polygamous relationships with loyalty programs nowadays… or perhaps nowadays they’re just better referred to as friends with benefits?

Comments

  1. I don’t get “emotionally attached” to any of these programs. As you note, it’s a one way street as far as the providers are concerned. Which is why getting emotionally involved is silly. This is strictly business. It’s a shame that the airlines are pretty intent on destroying these companies like ExpertFlyer and AwardWallet. I’ve paid for EF for a few years now, but once the useful data is gone, what are you left with?

  2. @ Santistico and Lantean: Amen.
    Delta is evil. They may create the appearance of wanting to be the best airline, and might offer this or that, but it’s a charade, a fallacy. Behind the scenes they are greedy could not care less about the customer.

    In short, the only reason I care about this type of news is the hope other airlines will choose not to follow. That would be the mark of a true leader in the industry. Not one who thinks they control it. Otherwise, I could care less about Delta.

  3. Perhaps this is a lose for business travelers, travelling on the company dime. But if you are a regular joe, I find delta discounted domestic business fares to usually be significantly cheaper then other airlines. And the product is better. Seems like they are the first to realize that its more profitable to sell biz tickets for $$ to those willing to pay a reasonable price for it then just upgrade their elites, who mostly travel on business.

  4. So delta is doing what star alliance and British airways already did and this makes them evil? Still don’t understand people who accuse companies of having human intentions or feelings. I don’t agree with the move but evil is such a ridiculous thing to accuse an airline. ISIS is evil, nazis were evil, save your hyperbole for somewhere else. Not frequent flyer blogs.

  5. @ JustSaying — It’s probably not worth it for the average person, but it’s great for looking up fare buckets for flights, setting seat and revenue fare availability alerts, searching American upgrade space, and searching award space on some other carriers, like Emirates, Air France, etc. All depends how much time you spend searching award and upgrade availability, in my opinion.

  6. I retire in 2 years…….I am sitting on 2.3 mil with a goal of 4 mil at retirement and the level of planning prior chasing your Fifth Freedom flights and “other” aspirational spots makes me think I need to have a “realistic expectation” “starting point” to head off on adventure…….while I may not book them “all” myself it seems I can’t get there without this roadmap…………

  7. Yeah, Delta is evil.

    They were so evil that last week my return from Beijing was delayed 3 hours (due to a maintenance issue) and we got to DTW after I missed my connection. The truly evil part was that they comped me in the DTW Westin and guaranteed me a seat to my final destination on the first flight in the morning. But that was probably because I was Diamond and had a Business Elite ticket.

    So “boo hoo” to all you people who churn CC when DL tries to take control of their availability.

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