Have you noticed this 'little' change on Delta's SM rules?

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by DLroads, Jul 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DLroads
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    DLroads Gold Member

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    Just noticed it here. underlining is mine.

    "As of July 27, 2011 SkyMiles members must request Award Ticket redeposits before their flight departs. This change will make those seats available to other members and ultimately increase Award Ticket availability. Miles, taxes and fees for Award Travel are non-refundable for flights cancelled after the original flight departure time. Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will continue to receive redeposit fee waivers, although fees will apply for other members. "

    Not clear from the text if DM/PM would be allowed to redeposit after flight departs (I assume yes, but I do not take anything for granted). It is a change that was in place before, and due to PM (prior to DM days) protest, was waived... (can someone please correct my fading memory, if that's not the case?)

    Note added: PLEASE note official DL reps answers Q&A about it at flyertalk
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    Something that I notice in the quoted announcement is inconsistency (no surprise again):eek:: the scheduled departure time might not be the same as the time the flight departs.:D Hasn't DL ever heard of flight delays?:p So which one is really the deadline? What if the flight becomes so delayed that a person chooses to cancel the trip or drive? Should they be penalized in this case for not cancelling before the first scheduled departure time if they decide after several hours not to stick it out and wait in the airport?
     
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  3. SC Flier
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    Based on the wording, the flight will be delayed but won't depart at all. This is for cancelled flights! ;)

     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    No, the OP seems to mean award tickets that are cancelled by the passenger choosing not to fly, missing the plane, etc. Nothing is said about flights that are cancelled by DL, but presumably the award ticket passengers would be rebooked if possible and otherwise offered the opportunity to have the ticket refunded without a penalty.
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    This new policy will make it harder for elites who book and then cancel and redeposit award tickets as an easy way to get a boarding pass to get through airport security and/or use a lounge, given DL's reluctance to issue gate passes.
     
  6. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    :rolleyes: I know what the OP means, and I know what Delta means. But my quote of the OP was a quote of exactly what Delta has on their website: "...flights cancelled...." Delta didn't say what they mean.
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    Once again.....maybe we should stop being surprised when this happens. Why can't DL hire someone to read stuff before it's disseminated to avoid these problems and embarrassments? This is not rocket science to avoid and/or fix.
     
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  8. SC Flier
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    Who was surprised? ;) Not me!
     
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  9. DLroads
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    DLroads Gold Member

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    CAN'T REED, CAN'T RITE,
    Can't spell the thread title... can someone correct it for me? :confused:
     
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  10. MSPeconomist
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    For me, not so much surprised as amazed. Statements of rules should be absolutely clear and unambiguous, favoring precision over nice-sounding prose if necessary.
     
  11. SC Flier
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    The OP of a thread can click on the "report" button to request that a thread title be changed by the admins. Otherwise, the thread title will generally be left as is.
     
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  12. Hello Everybody!

    I'd like to begin by introducing myself… hello! I work in SkyMiles and am one of Delta’s social media ambassadors. A group of us have been posting in other online communities over the past year and today marks our first post on Milepoint. I’m going to try my best to monitor this forum as well and answer questions you may have.

    Thanks for starting this discussion and my apologies for not making it over to Milepoint sooner. A similar conversation regarding the Award Ticket Redeposit policy is taking place over on FlyerTalk, and I wanted to make sure that you had the same information. This is what I posted yesterday:

    “Because we know so many of you watch SkyMiles program changes carefully, we wanted to make sure that you all had visibility to a rule change to our program related to Award redeposits. Starting today, you will need to request a mileage redeposit before your original flight departure time in order to have the miles go back into your account.

    Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will continue to receive redeposit fee waivers and a redeposit fee of $150 will apply to other members.

    Why is Delta making this change? Last year, our planes departed with more than 400,000 empty seats because customers had Award Tickets booked but did not physically fly in those seats. This change to our redeposit policy will make those seats available to other members and ultimately increase our Award Ticket availability.

    We have already updated this information on delta.com, but also wanted to ensure that FlyerTalk members had visibility to this change.

    I’ll be monitoring your comments and take them back to the rest of the SkyMiles team as part of our ongoing conversations, but also want to let you know (if the past is any indication of future) that I may not be able to post as many updates on this topic as some would like. Having said that, please know that all your comments on this topic will be heard by our team.”

    Michelle, SkyMiles | Delta Social Ambassador
    Connect with us at Twitter.com/Delta & Facebook.com/Delta
     
  13. SC Flier
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    Welcome to milepoint, Michelle_DeltaSkyMiles!
     
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  14. rrgg
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    rrgg Silver Member

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    Michelle, I think you need to consider the unfortunate case of someone rushing to make a flight but gets stuck in traffic or whatever.

    You should give people some grace period to cancel following the departure time, maybe 6 hours, maybe 24.
     
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  15. MSPeconomist
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    Welcome to MP. We're glad to have you here. You should probably contact MP to obtain designation as an official representative so that newcomers are aware that you're speaking for Delta.
     
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  16. SC Flier
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    Michelle_DeltaSkyMiles, here are details for contacting milepoint as an official representative:
    http://milepoint.com/forums/pages/official/
     
  17. matthewtravels
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    matthewtravels Silver Member

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    First off, welcome to MilePoint Michelle_DeltaSkyMiles.

    Many of the members here can tell you that even when an award ticket is canceled, availability is often NOT increased - as in, just because the award was canceled does not mean the seat is then opened up for other award bookings. Some of the members here even work in revenue management for the airlines and can certainly confirm this issue.

    This is a misleading justification for the policy change from Delta.
     
  18. MSPeconomist
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    Even if all 400K seats would not become award inventory to be used by another FF or actually sold if DL revenue management predicts that the seat should be sold, it's still disgraceful for so many FFs to take advantage of the rule and not practice courtesy and common sense in cancelling any reservation as soon as it's apparent that it will not be used. I find this number staggering: more than 1000 "wasted" seats per day on average across the DL system where people don't bother to cancel in a timely manner partly because they're not penalized.

    Major hotel chains have been "dinging" people who don't cancel award rooms (either free nights, points, or cash and points) sometimes charging the rack rate to a credit card when a free night redemption goes unused. Airline seats are even more perishable than hotel rooms. Once the aircraft door is closed, DL can never recover any value from the unplanned empty seat.
     
  19. SC Flier
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    It actually happens before this when the have a final call for confirmed passengers and then clear standbys. But I generally agree with your statement. When customers routinely push the limits of cancellation policies, it puts the businesses into the position of needing to get more strict about them. The courtesy of cancelling early is beneficial for everyone in the long run.

    Consider this, though:
    I book a RT award for 30K SkyMiles departing on Aug 1 and returning on Aug 15. Something comes up and I fail to cancel before my outbound flight is scheduled to depart on Aug 1. My entire itinerary gets automatically canceled. Should I not get some of those miles back since they now still have 2 weeks to sell the seat on my return flight? Whether I call in or not, they know that those seats on the return are now available to sell. (Some people might say that that's fair. Would it be less fair if I had spent 60K for that same domestic itinerary?)
     
  20. MSPeconomist
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    Maybe the argument could be made that by missing the outbound, you've implicitly notified DL that you're cancelling the return since your action/inaction has caused DL to cancel your return flight. It might be good to give people a choice of losing their miles or paying a fee to have the miles returned. I would also hope that DL would grant some flexibility to people who miss an award flight through no fault of their own.

    In terms of whether hi/medium/low should make a difference, I don't think we want to go there at all. That direction suggests different cancellation/rebooking fees for different award tickets and I think many of us do not want that.
     
  21. SC Flier
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    Given the option of them all being completely non-refundable, it makes things better reflect the cash pricing of tickets. IMO, it isn't fair that the airline gouges on award prices at the HIGH level and then still demands the same strict penalties for changes and cancellations. And if I were to book a HIGH level award far in advance, it will cost me cash to change it to a LOW level award if one later becomes available on the same flights.

    It would certainly be nice if a HIGH level award had cancellation policies more similar to a refundable fare.
     
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  22. MSPeconomist
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    I guess I see it differently because as a DM, I don't pay exchange/cancel/redeposit fees and I greatly value this flexibility. It seems reasonable to me that I've earned the ability to be able to change without penalty to more convenient flight times when award seats become available close to my trip.However, my point is that I do not want some of the rules for award tickets to parallel the rules for ordinary revenue tickets of different fare classes.
     
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  23. Davescj
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    This is not as odd as people may think. Remember, once a flight has departed, you usually can't get a refund for a cash ticket either, as I understand it.

    And people would normally (seem) to know that they won't make a flight.
     
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  24. MSPeconomist
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    Some but not all airlines have that rule. While it normally doesn't seem unreasonable for a domestic flight, you could be caught in traffic in Japan, for example, and not be able to call and cancel because your cell phone doesn't work there. Of you could be driving and hoping to make the flight, thus you're reluctant to pull over and call DL.
     
  25. Davescj
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    I'm always reluctant to call DL.....LOL

    But, you do have a point. But if I were in Japan (I lived in Tokyo), I would take the train....LOL So I could be packed on.

    But seriously, I wonder what DL will do for truly usual circumstances like the one you named.
     

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