Delta recently announced as part of the new SkyMiles program, stopovers are no longer allowed on award travel booked on or after Jan. 1, 2015 and all open jaw itineraries will be priced based on one-way award travel booking rules.
Delta SkyMiles also recently posted the new global award chart online, conveniently with separate charts showing redemption rates for travel booked before Jan. 1, 2015 and rates for travel booked on or after Jan. 1, 2015. The new rates are a mixed bag with about a dozen zone pairs requiring fewer miles than before and over fifty going up in price. Most zones that increased in price only increased incrementally, for example, Central America to Europe increased from 62,500 miles to 65,000 miles while Europe to Africa had a larger hit with an increase from 50,000 miles to 65,000 miles. The award chart for travel originating from the U.S. and Canada was released in March with only minor increases in redemption rates. To view the new global award chart, visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?11863
Delta also recently introduced a newly improved award calendar with new features including the ability to search with flexible dates over a five-week calendar, the ability to search exclusively for nonstop award flights, and unlike the award calendar of the past, the new award calendar displays award space availability on some partner airlines. While the new award calendar does not display available award space from all partner airlines, it is a useful new tool for searching SkyTeam award space. To search for award travel using the improved award calendar, visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?11864
Bottom line: Losing the ability for free stopovers is a negative change, but it came about when Delta introduced one-way awards, something they did not have in the past. Overall, the changes to award redemption amounts could have been much worse and the new award calendar is a big improvement.