No more award changes/refunds inside 72 hours

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Wandering Aramean, Aug 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Effective August 15, 2011 no award changes or refunds will be permitted inside 72 hours of departure. This is to address the supposed 1MM bookings that existed last year at 72 hours out which were never flown. By preventing such changes and cancellations Delta expects to "make those seats available to other members and ultimately increase award availability."

    Yeah, they really stated that.

    This policy applies to all members. No exceptions for Diamond/Platinum elites. It also comes just two weeks after they announced that the awards would expire at the time of departure. That wasn't a tremendously friendly change but at least it sortof made sense. This new one is just bad customer relations.

    It seriously sucks.

    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/thewa...-locks-down-award-changes-close-to-departure/
     
  2. Delta Points
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    Please everyone contact DELTA on this one. This is BAD. We can not let this one go. CANCEL rule is fine but we need to be able to CHANGE!

    The idea is to not have seats go unused. Great. But let us change!

    LET THEM KNOW NOW everyone PLEASE!
     
  3. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    That's the biggest load of crap from DL since they they did the sneak devaluation hidden in a promo email a few years back.

    While I didn't 100% agree with the no refund if you pass the time of the flight (flat tire rule, sickness, etc being legitimate reasons it might happen), this is just totally silly.

    I just looked at the calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st.'

    It looks like they let the bean counters out of their cave, and they saw a simple way to screw a whole bunch of members. If they're going through with this change, then they need to provide free changes since most of the reasons people change awards at less than 72 hours is because of bad routings, 2-3x miles, and of course someone gets sick, or a real need to change flights.
     
  4. rrgg
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    rrgg Silver Member

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    Why not just increase the change fee when you get within 72-hours? That would encourage people to cancel in advance of the flight without infuriating someone. Imagine if they applied this policy to cash tickets and you lost the whole fare. I wrote to Delta myself.
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I'm surprised that DL wouldn't prefer to collect the $150 change fee from folks who aren't DM or PM rather than having the miles wiped from their books for late cancellations. The fee is real cash and depending on how DL miles are valued for accounting purposes and other issues in the treatment of outstanding FF miles, for the typical domestic coach award taken by the overwhelming majority of FFs (so we have been told) $150 versus 25-40K miles doesn't seem like the change is necessarily better for DL.

    OTOH, if you can't get any benefit from bothering to cancel or change within 72 hours, I predict many many more no shows for award tickets. Once you're within 72 hours, if circumstances intervene and you need to change or cancel the trip, you gain nothing by contacting DL. Instead of more award seats, they'll have more empty seats for nonrevs.

    Given the problems with attempting to book award travel on delta.dumb and the crazy routings and connecting times offered, it seems just wrong to prevent someone from switching to a nonstop or an itinerary with a two hour connection rather than a seven hour connection when an award seat becomes available close to the travel date.

    It's hard to see the business advantage of DL reserving any new award seats they release within 72 hours for new last-minute award tickets (rather than revisions to existing award tickets) given that DL eliminated its close-in ticketing fee. The no changes rule also makes it much harder to use the last minute seats as there seems to be no grace period to check on hotel availability and rates or coordinate with friends' and relatives' schedules when one notices that award inventory has become available within 72 hours. (Apparently there's no exception for a 24 hour risk-free cancel either. Also, does anyone know whether the 72 hour from the first flight window applies to the return part of an award RT too? This can be huge for long overseas trips. Once again, DL doesn't write the rules clearly.)
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    I just looked at the DL website to see how this is being publicized and when I look in the obvious places, such as SkyMiles what's new and Medallion program changes, I don't see anything, and certainly not on the homepage. The only change that's close is listed as an update to "Redeposit Fee" where it states that tickets must be canceled before the flight departure time to get a refund of the miles. AFAIK there's no change in the *redeposit fee* here.
     
  7. Delta Points
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    Delta: We never make the same mistake three times.

    .....we will just have to wait and see...

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    [​IMG]DELTA - keep climbing (right!)[​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  8. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Unpleasant hit in particular to Plats and Diamonds that doubles up on the pain of the previous change.
     
  9. DLroads
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    DLroads Gold Member

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    That one I find a logical answer: 25K is $250 liability on the books. While one can add $150 in cash, it is better to delete liabilities. Especially since very few reedem 25K (given the never have low award-medium-high system)

    given that someone uses delta for revenue flights 75K a year, or 125K miles a year, or more, it is wrong to limit the few times they use award seats, period.

    And we did not even talk about the challenges it would cause the RTW desk with RTW award tickets. Those are almost never flown according to the original bookings...
     
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  10. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    With Delta miles always hard to use (at the low level) there was usually a way to find something that works last minute to change to.
    Now they're really squeezing it...
     
  11. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    From the original message from Delta on FT (now also officially posted below):
    "We will be sending out an email to customers with advance award travel booked later today – delta.com is being updated with this information as well."

    I think that these decisions were not thought out well at all. There are much better ways to address their problems.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The announcement included the observation that they are "working on getting the website updated" or something like that.
     
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  13. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    You were all warned that Delta Air Lines is the Wing of Satan.
     
  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Interesting, because the award booking website has been getting even worse. A few days ago I discovered a case where the information on the screen when searching to book an award ticket gives the wrong arrival date for the flights (it's correct on the itinerary after the trip is booked), which certainly messes up the search for connecting flights when you do multi-city to put it together after searching by segments. It apparently behaved the same way on the computer of a DM line phone agent I called.

    Updating the website doesn't help when DL releases a bunch of good award seats shortly before the travel dates.
     
  15. Late last month, I posted information about recent changes to our Award redeposit policy. The changes were made after we reviewed the number of award seats that were going out empty and the number was large – massive, in fact. So we made some adjustments to help address the situation and increase award availability.

    In response to that post, members asked if we were looking at making changes to the policy for any time prior to departure. In fact, we were. During that review we determined that there are more than 1,000,000 award seats that were going unused at the 72 hour mark prior to departure. That is 3 days in which those seats could otherwise be sold or used for other SkyMiles members who truly intend to sit in the seat and travel.

    As a result, we’re updating this policy once more. So, effective August 15, 2011, SkyMiles members who wish to cancel or make changes to their award ticket now need to do so at least 72 hours before their flight departure (for changes, this applies to each flight segment – outbound and return). This change will make those seats available to other members and ultimately increase award availability. Miles for tickets cancelled within 72 hours will be nonrefundable. Taxes and fees for award travel cancelled within 72 hours will be refundable upon request. Same-day standby options will remain.

    For changes or cancellations made at least 72 hours prior to departure, Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will continue to receive reissue and redeposit fee waivers. Reissue and redeposit fees will continue to apply for other members.

    We will be sending out an email to customers with advance award travel booked later today – delta.com is being updated with this information as well.

    Because it was a trending theme in last month’s thread, let’s address another issue head-on. We understand that extenuating circumstances do happen and our agents are equipped to review those situations on a case-by-case basis to determine if an exception is warranted. (Just do us a favor and try to make sure it’s not the 8th time your great uncle has passed away.)

    Candidly, we expect that this change may be unpopular with some – and we will hear all of your concerns related to it – so we are communicating this early and will be sending a variety of communications to customers later today. When program changes occur, we want our members to be aware of them so that they can adapt accordingly.

    Now let’s start the conversation. I’m gathering your comments and bringing them all back to the team…
     
  16. ChicagoEric
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    ChicagoEric Silver Member

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    This is my favorite part of this message for two reasons:

    1. "This change may be unpopular with some" which makes me imagine a staff meeting where someone argued that it might not be unpopular with some
    2. "we are communicating this early" for a change that occurs in 6 days time

    Gotta love Delta. It used to be this genteel southern airline - they were the only airline with Maker's Mark at one point. Now they're the only airline with Skypesos.
     
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  17. DLroads
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    DLroads Gold Member

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    You will NOT get likes for the changes here. Somewhere between the broken award calendar, the retroactive rule changes, the attempt to instate rule changes in the middle of the game, the fact that you do not pay any attention to the challenges people have actually BOOKING award tickets, the fact the we spent our time and money earning those miles, the penalties in terms of miles deduction instated on PM and DM clients (Our miles have $ value for Delta, and for us too!)... Well, somewhere there it seems to me that your changes would get ZERO LIKES for the changes here. I will not repeat the discussion at FT, where many of the important points elaborating the reasons for which the changes should not be put to place were mentioned.
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Don't forget the, "This is coming only 2 weeks after we made another change to this exact same policy that was also pretty crappy but not nearly this crappy," part of the message. That's important, too. Why start there (0 days) and then move to 72 hours out? Maybe so they can hear this uproar, give it back but still be at 0 days?

    Man, I hate believing that I'm really this cynical.
     
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  19. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    Michelle, my comments just went to the DoT.

    Delta cannot legally change the terms and conditions of travel that is already booked. Period.

    I hope my fellow MPers and FTers will complain to the DoT, and that the DoT will fine Delta.

    Thank you,
    David
     
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  20. Delta Points
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    Well many were complaining about just how many PM & DM there are now at DELTA!

    I am very confident that this decision will fix this situation very quickly!
    :mad::mad::mad:
     
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  21. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    Cheryl, in case Delta has forgotten, here is a reminder:

    http://www.dot.gov/affairs/aviation080516/baggagefeenotice.htm

    " In no case should more restrictive baggage policies or additional charges be applied retroactively to a consumer who purchased his or her ticket at a time when the charges did not apply, or when a lower charge applied. Whatever the contract of carriage provides regarding free baggage as of the date of each ticket sale is binding on the carrier. The Aviation Enforcement Office considers any carrier practice that violates its contract of carriage provisions to constitute an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712. "

    As President Reagan used to say, here you go again. :eek:

    David
     
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  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Here's the conversation:
    1) Why is the program so mismanaged that a new policy must be implemented - for the worse - only 2 weeks after the previous change? Is no one managing the change control process there?

    2) Who could possibly be in favor of this change? Unless Delta is committing to releasing an additional 1MM seats annually as Low awards then you're really just coming up with another way to ensure that you're generating more revenue with ZERO benefit to the customer. And even if you did commit to that change it isn't really what is needed.

    3) This change significantly negates the "miles no longer expire" policy as you've just instituted a means which, if the numbers held, would expire something on the order of 50MM points annually across your member base.

    4) Adding insult to injury, the exclusion of an exemption for your top tier elites is horribly uncompetitive and an awful move from a customer relations perspective.

    5) While almost certainly trying to be "cute" with the uncle comment above, you come across as glib, flippant and condescending. Probably not the tone an official social media representative should be taking, particularly when announcing a horrid devaluation of their company's product to some of its most loyal customers.

    As this is a conversation, I look forward to continuing this discussion following your reply.
     
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  23. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Wow, I feel terrible for all you DLers. I wonder how many DL FFers this is going to piss off. AA, EXP status challenge NOW...UA/CO 1k status challenge NOW!
     
  24. ryandc99
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    ryandc99 Gold Member

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    Is there currently an offer for EXP status challenge? Last I had heard there wasn't.
     
  25. Delta Points
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    [​IMG]






    IF every single PM & DM calls delta medallion line today and let's them know what we think this could go away! JUST MAKE THE CALL - TXS







    [​IMG]
     
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