Delta.com No Longer Showing Alaska Award Space

It has been an exciting couple of days as far as SkyMiles and delta.com go.

First, Delta stopped pricing stopovers on award tickets, both through delta.com and through their reservations center.

Their response? Basically “oh yeah, it was part of a website update, but you can still book those stopovers through our excellent reservations center… if you specifically ask for it… and find an agent that knows that the ‘glitch’ exists… and find a supervisor that’s willing to manually price it.” Oh well, on the plus side, at least Delta is finally admitting they’re overcharging for awards. ­čśë

Then Delta also recently stopped displaying Virgin Australia award space on delta.com. That one I gave them the benefit of the doubt on, as the space can still easily be booked through the reservations center. And I might even be a little happy about that, since in theory it means there’s less competition for those Virgin Australia award seats.

Interestingly Virgin Australia isn’t the only SkyMiles partner not displaying on delta.com anymore. Alaska Airlines award space doesn’t show up on delta.com anymore either.

Alaska-Award-Space
Alaska award space on alaskaairlines.com

Delta-Alaska-Award-Space
Alaska award space on delta.com

It doesn’t matter which route you search, but Alaska award space won’t show up. Alaska really is a key partner when it comes to booking SkyMiles awards, especially originating on the west coast. That’s because domestic award space on Delta metal at the saver level is typically horrible, so the best way to position yourself to an international gateway city is often on Alaska.

Alaska-737

The way I see it, there are three possible explanations for Alaska award space no longer showing on Delta’s website (or perhaps it’s a combination of all three):

Anyway, Alaska’s saver level award space should still be bookable with Delta over the phone. Searching Alaska award space is easy, as you can use the Alaska or American websites, or ExpertFlyer. See my previous post for a more detailed explanation of how to search Alaska award availability.

Why do you think Delta removed Alaska award space from delta.com?

(Tip of the hat to Jamie)

Comments

  1. fourth possible explanation (most likely):

    SkyPesos program is slowly being eliminated… Delta simply doesn’t feel like they need it any more… by 2016 or 2017 it may be gone completely.

  2. Let’s hope for a rude awakening for Delta on Jan. 1st when they realize the amount of elite flyers who have jumped ship to Alaska & American!!

  3. @Tar_000, I don’t know what sort of bubble you’re in, but Delta’s been doing better than ever in spite of (or perhaps because of) its negative (to the consumer) changes to its SkyMiles program. I don’t think there’s any rude awakening in store for Delta, nor, for that matter, do I think a Platinum Medallion is going to jump ship and fly an inferior in-flight product like AA or UA or AS simply because an Alaska award is not bookable online, or because they can’t work in a stopover on a leisure flight to Europe 11 months in the future.

  4. Nick is correct. I’m prisoner to DL, and I do hate a lot of the Skymiles crap.

    That said, the crews are happy, the planes – even the old ones – usually work fine, and I get where I’m going when I need to get there. I’m Plat – my upgrades just about always clear.

    Yeah, could Skymiles better? Yes. But I listen to horror stories about AA and UA, and I am very happy flying with DL.

  5. I’ve never been one to propagate rumor… and I’m not in a specific position to know better, but from what I do know, I would put hard money up against the AS/DL relationship being fully unwound (or at least an announcement with timelines) on or about the last week of January 2015.

  6. IMO the above comments are correct. Delta is proving that the American market can support a better product at a higher price with fewer ancillary benefits… the opposite of the race to the bottom we all decry.

  7. Overall, I’m sure Delta will be fine through all their changes. However that doesn’t change the fact that many of us in the Points/Miles game will have to abandon Delta as part of that game.

  8. @ John DELTA — They will try to charge it, though if you explain the situation they might be willing to waive the phone booking fee.

  9. I live in Atlanta and I hate this airline with the fiery passion of a million nuclear warheads. Delta is literally the worst of the worst as far as how they treat customers. All of these changes basically say “We don’t give a crap about our every day customers. The only people we want to take care of are top tier business travelers. The rest of you suckers get on the plane and shut up.” All US carriers are complete and total crap, but Delta is basically leading the way in seeing how badly they can screw people over before they start seeing their numbers plateau, but that will never happen, because we’re so brainwashed, we’re just happy they’re not treating us worst than they are. Poor Delta Points guy – every time Delta releases one of their “we don’t give a crap about our customers” changes, he just says “Oh! This could have been SO much worst but I’m happy it’s not!” It’s like saying “This bully could have punched me in the face, but instead he just gave me a wedgie.”

  10. @Nick & Neil S. –

    Perhaps you are right. I, however, believe the true test for the “Delta Model” is contingent upon economic activity in the near to distant future. Delta will be successful in “courting” elite members on a regular basis due to the earning structure of the ’15 program as professionals’ travel plans do incorporate a lot of last minute traveling and re-structuring of travel. That, in turn, will provide a lot of miles based upon last minute bookings. However, that “courting” is also to some extent -if not more- based upon the appetite of companies to spend money on travel (thus more so contingent on the economy and the financial state of the company). If the elite ranks fall within the cracks (due to changing company policies as evident a few years back), along with less spending undertaken by the common passenger (not because of lower ticketed prices, which will then be the norm, but due to a lack of disposable income and a lower propensity to spend), how does one lure people back?

    Just a thought!

  11. @Tar_000, Delta has captive audiences in Atlanta (and generally the deep south), Salt Lake, Minneapolis-St Paul, Detroit and much of the upper midwest, and is starting to capture Seattle travelers who fly internationally. I don’t see those elite travelers jumping ship… ever.

    Frankly, SkyMiles may be becoming a PITA to redeem, but Delta and SkyTeam have been consistently offering sub-$2000 (in some cases WELL under $2,000) premium fares roundtrip to Europe from the West Coast. Who needs SkyMiles redemptions anyway when all they’re good for is Air France, KLM and Alitalia?

  12. I meant to say, who needs SkyMiles redemptions when you can buy the premium product outright for the cost of economy?

  13. I have to say that now that I know this hobby well and how to search for available space using different airlines websites, I think it may actually be better to not have easily bookable space. As long as you can still book it and still search it on Alaskaair.com I’m fine with it. More seats for the savvy.

  14. Was going to write about this today but you beat me to it. Noticed it last night. On one hand this increases the value for those using an award booking service and to those who are knowledgeable. But it also makes booking significantly more difficult.

  15. Unless you are booking flights constantly, most simply forget to think about other partners if they don’t show up when you search for flights. I bet <10% would remember to search elsewhere and then call.

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