Delta Information Once Again Displays On ExpertFlyer

ExpertFlyer is a subscription based service which I find valuable. A subscription costs $99 per year, and there is quite a bit of value you can get out of it:

  • You can see fare class inventory and fare rules for a vast majority of airlines
  • You can search award availability on select airlines
  • You can look at seatmaps for specific flights on a vast majority of airlines
  • Most useful of all is that you can set alerts, so that you’ll be emailed when a specific seat opens up, specific fare class opens up, award seat opens up, etc. (though for award seats it only works on select airlines)

If you’re a frequent flyer, I think having an ExpertFlyer subscription is well worth it.

One of the challenges for Delta flyers has been that since mid-2014, ExpertFlyer hasn’t been allowed to show any information pertaining to Delta flights. This was because Delta prevented them from doing so.

Delta-ExpertFlyer

While unfortunate, Delta’s logic was essentially that they wanted you to check everything related to your flights directly on their site, because they have a better chance of selling you things this way. Furthermore, they didn’t want ExpertFlyer to display upgrade inventory, which they thought made it easier for people to “game” the system and seek out flights with upgrades.

Delta-One-London - 3
Delta didn’t want to make it easy to search for upgrade inventory

Well, there’s finally some good news in this regard — ExpertFlyer is once again displaying information pertaining to Delta flights, with the exception of upgrade availability.

Delta-ExpertFlyer

Per a notice ExpertFlyer Voice posted on FlyerTalk:

We’re happy to announce that as of today the previously missing DL data has been restored to ExpertFlyer. The only exception is DL Upgrade class inventory that requires GDS access, which Delta is still not allowing us to use.

However regular fare class inventory/availability/alerting and all the other searches (including Seat Maps/Alerts) are available again for DL. Please note, DL flights will only show when DL is the only airline specified in the Flight Availability search.

This is great news. While it would of course be ideal if upgrade inventory were displayed as well, this already represents a huge improvement. You can now look at Delta seatmaps, revenue inventory, fare rules, etc., on ExpertFlyer. Furthermore, you can set alerts for specific Delta seats and Delta revenue fares.

ExpertFlyer

I’m curious if Delta somehow had a change of heart, or if ExpertFlyer is simply now pulling inventory in a way which Delta can’t reasonably object to. Regardless, this represents a very nice improvement to ExpertFlyer.

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. @ben a trick on international flights is to pull them up under the flight no’ of their codeshare partner. Delta 173 amsterdam – atlanta can not be displayed. However the KL 6573 is shown on expertflyer inclusive of upgradable seats. Worked for me twice

  2. @TravelinWilly A DL elite can use this to search for flights with confirmable upgrade space before purchasing and applying an upgrade, rather than buying the ticket first and then hoping for an upgrade.

  3. @David W. I think we understand the process, but why would this be “gaming the system”? Does Delta not want people to use their earned certificates? I thought you could always call and ask if space was available before buying a ticket too.

  4. @David W. — this is true, but you can also call or Tweet at Delta and they will readily tell you whether any given flight has upgrade space available or not, so it is not like it is secret information. The only effect of not showing it on ExpertFlyer for Delta is that their customer service agents are wasting time answering simple, silly requests.

    Arguably some other ExpertFlyer features, like seat alerts, are more damaging to Delta, since someone could set a seat alert for a better seat and then just wait for that to come through, rather than choosing to pay for a better seat sooner.

    Not sure I understand but in any case it’s a welcome change, and seems to be in line with a trend of genuinely customer-friendly moves by Delta in recent weeks.

  5. So I can use expert flyer to alert me when low point award tickets become available on delta from over a specified date range? This would sure beat the hit or miss approach I use now.

  6. I suspect that Delta is displaying their complete upgrade availability on ExpertFlyer. It just turns out… that they have none.

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