In today’s episode of “this is why people don’t trust the SkyMiles program,” it appears that Delta is cloaking partner award space on Delta.com.
This started on Wednesday morning, and is one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen.
Delta appears to be blocking (or at least cloaking) partner award availability, but in a very clunky way.
Let’s say, for example, that you want to search space between Houston and Paris next spring. If you search award space with any frequency, you are likely in the habit of searching one-way trips, so let’s start with that:
And you get the following results:
Now, given that SkyTeam partner Air France flies directly between Houston and Paris, and typically has plentiful award space 10 months out, it’s very odd to not see any flights on Air France.
So, let’s filter the search a bit more, and only look at non-stop flights:
We spent a few minutes yesterday wondering if we were crazy (afterall, we’d been able to book one-way partner awards without issue on Tuesday evening), before Mac realized that the space was available, but only if you searched as a round trip.
But that does seem to be the case. If you keep all the other parameters, and instead search for a roundtrip, space is magically there:
This seems to be impacting all partner award space. And it’s not just flights to Europe — this seems to be a global change.
If you look at space between Vancouver and Guangzhou (not like anyone else would ever do that, but let’s pretend), you get the same results:
No results on a one-way. Plenty of space on a round-trip.
I think this is just a glitch. That being said, I don’t truly understand how “glitches” like this happen, and SkyMiles does have a history of making it more difficult to redeem awards, particularly on partner metal.
The good news is that these awards are still bookable by phone, and hopefully the web functionality will be restored soon. I’m not a fan of having to pay phone booking fees for something that really should be available online though.
Mark this one as developing, and very very odd.
Has anyone else run into this? Any problems booking by phone?