Delta, Please Explain.

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by aussieflyer, Aug 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    We all know that Delta miles are not that great because of their lack of availability. (V Australia has good availability but to fly LAX-MEL-LAX, when you can go LAX-HND-PEK-SIN-MEL-SIN-DPS-SIN-PEK-HND-LAX, would just be lame )

    The Asian ST airlines also have pretty good availability and Delta manages to do away with with a fair bit of that by blacking out whole time periods even when the airlines themselves don't black out. But you can still manage to find seats if youre going at the right time.

    But Delta still doesn't want people to use a normal amount of miles so they refuse to fix their outdated, backwards computer system which spits out the most insane prices for awards.

    Case in point: Wanted to book (within a bigger trip) NRT-PEK/DPS-ICN-NRT in business class. This is very clearly a North Asia-North Asia (open jaw) SE Asia-North Asia award. Have a look at their award chart and you'd reckon it should be 22,500+35,000 for a total of 57,500.

    Call Delta (btw, middle of the night you actually get agents who know that ST has partners that fly other routes besides Delta's...), feed the agent the flights and she comes back with," that'll be 107,000 miles". Huh?
    After inquiring why its so expensive, the response is because it goes through Seoul. Besides the fact that Delta doesn't fly DPS-NRT/HND (Delta agents' best excuse why theres no availablility ever,Delta doesn't fly there), no ST member flies that route.

    "Sorry sir, but since you have a stopover, it becomes one-way awards. And 3 of them." Not sure how >2 connection is a stopover but I realized that I'm fighting a losing battle, so I asked for a supervisor.
    Supervisor comes on and gives me the same story.
    End of the day,that's what the computer says....
    Felt like saying, you can't have it both ways. Either fix Delta.com so we can book normal awards online or if you are employing people they should use their G-d given gift of their brain in their head...

    In the end it all worked out for the good because I'm flying SQand NH J :)

    /rant
     
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  2. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    DL's pricing engine is clearly broken and gives the agents little information to use as to why something is pricing the way that it has. (Especially when you get weird numbers like 107K.) However, I think the reason this wouldn't price as you wanted is simple: your open jaw is too big, as PEK-DPS is way longer than NRT-PEK.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Have you tried adding a segment like PEK-SIN to reduce the size of the open jaw? However, this would probably add a stopover to the count at PEK, so it might not help either.
     
  4. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    Unless aussie is stopping over somewhere else along the route, having a stopover in PEK and the SIN-DPS OJ should be legal. The complicating factor might be the OJ with ends in different regions. Does that actually price correctly ever?
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    Actually, I was thinking fly PEK-SIN (maybe using CZ) to get closer to DPS and reduce the magnitude of the open jaw this way, because I'm not sure SkyTeam flies SIN-DPS. (KLM does serve DPS, I'm just not sure from where.)
     
  6. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    MU would do PEK-DPS to eliminate the OJ altogether. However, the routing would exceed the MPM for NRT-DPS by a lot.
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    It's hard to try to guess at possible solutions without knowing what the OP was trying to accomplish with his routing choices and open jaws.
     
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  8. travelgourmet
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    travelgourmet Silver Member

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    Pretty sure you can't do an open jaw in two separate zones, so it prices as two awards.

    For example, I just checked BOS-LGA/CDG-BOS, out on 8/10 and back on 8/17. Used the one way search to find low seats on both legs. Voilà, it prices out at 85k miles, or 25k + 60k.
     
  9. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    That's not a legal OJ, since the unflown portion is longer than the shortest flown portion. Looks like a multi-region OJ can price out right, as I just did IAD-AMS//CAI-CDG-IAD for 110K in J, which is 50K US-EU + 60K Middle East-US.
     
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  10. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    The distance not flown DPS-PEK is 3360 miles and the shortest leg flown NRT-PEK is 1330 miles. If mtkeller is correct (and I expect he is), the requested itinerary does not qualify as an open jaw.

    It's unfortunate that the agents couldn't clarify the pricing, but it appears the pricing was correct.

    David
     
  11. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    Thanks.
    Its nice to get some clairification.
    Another one which prices as two one ways is NRT-PEK//SIN-NRT. Maybe its the same reason but is there anywhere it clarifies that an open jaw must be shorter then the flight?

    Interestingly, with CO I booked NRT-PEK (stopover)-SIN-MEL//SIN-NRT...
     
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  12. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    DL's award routing rules are horrifically vague, unfortunately. (In fact, a strict reading of the rules would say you get an OJ or a stopover, but pretty much everyone has success getting OJ and a stopover, at least for international.) For a lot of revenue tickets, it seems it's just that the unflown portion must not be the longest, but it seems that for DL awards, it usually has to be the shortest.

    When did you make the booking? If it was after they instituted one-way awards, it'd be no problem.
     
  13. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    I booked it yesterday. But it isn't two oneways because otherwise a stopover would not be permitted.
     
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  14. MSPeconomist
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    Remember that DL "one way" awards price the same as round trips. The only advantage is saving taxes and not needing to find award availability on return flight segments you won't take or waiting for the return date to be loaded into the computer for booking.
     
  15. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    That's exactly why it comes out so expensive. It's considered 2 oneways which is in truth 2 RT's.
     
  16. MSPeconomist
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    It's sometimes even worse in that I've noticed that if you have a connection with one segment in low and one in medium, instead of charging the price for medium, delta.dumb sometimes adds the prices in miles, so that you end up being penalized for the one segment being available in low. This might be considered part of married segment logic, but taken to an ugly extreme.

    DL sometimes even does this on revenue tickets if you don't call and tell the agent exactly what fare codes to use for each segment. For example, suppose I'm buying a RT to NYC, say MSP-LGA nonstop outbound and LGA-DTW-MSP for the return with a connection but not a stopover. Suppose that MSP-LGA and DTW-MSP are only available in M class (expensive coach, really one way fares) but LGA-DTW is available in all fare codes. I've observed delta.dumb will try to book it as M fare MSP-LGA plus L fare or whatever (deeply discounted coach that can be combined into RTs with other fare codes) LGA-DTW plus (breaking the fare at DTW) M fare DTW-MSP even when a RT using all segments in M would be cheaper (and would make me more likely to be upgraded on LGA-DTW). I suspect that a lot of people don't notice this and pay a lot more for many tickets than necessary. To me, this seems almost fraudulent IMO. It explains some shockingly high fares when the fare codes suggest that it shouldn't be that bad, which is why I first noticed it.
     
  17. Pharaoh
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    Pharaoh Gold Member

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    When did Delta stop pricing an award ticket with a huge open jaw as the sum of half of the round trip cost for each of the flown legs?
     
  18. Davescj
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    Davescj Silver Member

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    For reasons I still don't know, DL kept their system rather than the NW system (which by all reports was better). Hopefully, DL will find a way to just let people book ANY legal segment and be done with it. If you're having issues with one agent, call back. Sometimes a more experienced agent can be helpful.

    Dave
     
  19. AtoZ

    AtoZ Silver Member

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    Is there any chance that DL will finally change this and offer true 1-way awards at 1/2 the miles for a RT?
     
  20. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    In the near term, probably not...:rolleyes:
     

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