Back in early 2015, Delta deleted their award charts from their website overnight, instead suggesting that award tickets should work the same way as paid tickets, with variable pricing. They claimed that as long as the online award shopping process is easy, people don’t care about the lack of an award chart (too bad their online search tool is still broken, so they haven’t delivered on that).
Of course we’ve still been tracking award costs, and as of now Delta still has consistently priced “saver” award levels. Over time we’ve seen the cost of many SkyMiles awards increase.
For example, in August Delta quietly raised the cost of business class awards between the US and Europe from 62,500 miles to 70,000 miles one-way, for travel as of January 1, 2017. In January Delta quietly raised the cost of business class awards between the US and South Pacific from 80,000 miles to 95,000 miles one-way, for travel as of October 1, 2017.
Well, Delta has just made their latest award cost increase. Business class between the US and India at the saver level just increased in price from 70,000 miles to 97,500 miles one-way. While Delta never provides any advance notice of these changes in terms of when you book, in the past they’ve only had the devalued award costs apply for travel in a few months. In this case, business class awards are going up in price for travel effective immediately, even if you’re traveling tomorrow.
For example, here’s a calendar search of one-way business class awards between New York and Delhi:
That’s also a pretty drastic increase in terms of the number of miles. A roundtrip business class award to India increases from 140,000 miles to 195,000 miles — that’s a ~40% increase in the number of miles required. For what it’s worth, the cost of economy awards between the US and India isn’t increasing.
As previously announced, Delta is also increasing the cost of awards between the US and Middle East from 80,000 miles to 97,500 miles one-way for travel as of November 1, 2016.
It’s no secret how I feel about Delta’s lack of an award chart, and the resulting no notice award price changes. This change is especially bad, both in terms of the percent increase (which is worse than most of the others), and also in terms of the change kicking in for travel effective immediately.
I guess the change as such was inevitable, given that Delta recently raised the cost of awards between the US and Europe to 70,000 miles one-way in business class, and they weren’t going to have the same pricing for travel to Europe and travel to India.
Will you be impacted by this change in award costs to India?
(Tip of the hat to @kabirobhan)