What the DL Award Calender could be

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Gargoyle, Mar 19, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,014
    Likes Received:
    96,541
    Status Points:
    20,020
  2. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,136
    Likes Received:
    7,321
    Status Points:
    5,000
    The project head of award booking part of DL.com really should be ashamed of the poor product they are responsible for.
     
    Davescj, kyunbit, traveller99 and 3 others like this.
  3. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,014
    Likes Received:
    96,541
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I think DL likes their award calendar just the way it is, and so that project head is doing exactly as instructed.
    They told us at the first Road Warrior Training almost 4 years ago that they knew it was messed up and they promised to fix it. There has been not any sign of improvement.
     
  4. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,247
    Likes Received:
    33,912
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I recently flew with a DL Web Programmer and was told one reason that the award calendar intentionally was like this. It seemed plausible and the answer was very convenient for DL's own.
     
    Davescj likes this.
  5. USAF_Pride
    Original Member

    USAF_Pride Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,108
    Likes Received:
    4,015
    Status Points:
    2,545
    I think there is no doubt it is intentional. The old adage; "Actions speak louder than words" definetely applies to DL. SkyPesos need to be taken off the books and the only way for that is to "game" the system (in their favor).

    IMO, if they don't change some leadership thinking, DL will have the same customer unfriendly attitudes of other airlines that are despised.
     
  6. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    875
    Status Points:
    895
    Fascinating!

    There are some of us who have made that argument for a number of years. Initially to a chorus of derision.

    Interesting that now even DL employees acknowledge it. It makes commercial sense although it reveals a corporate mendacity that I think should disturb DL apologists. More so, that clearly this validates the view that all such "glitches" with the award calendar and redemption engine are deliberate barriers to redemption that are intended to frustrate customers when they seek Holy Grail LOW awards.

    This is entirely consistent with the logic of 635k from PHL to FCO, not all of which was in J.... just another reason why it's simply not worth it to pay good money to fly DL when there are products with better value packages on the table.

    AA's award map is a clear indication of how they view AAdvantage, i.e. as an integral part of the value of the AA product.

    DL by comparison is truly, irredeemably, irrefutably:

    [​IMG] BEST IN CLASS [​IMG]
     
    Scottrick likes this.
  7. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,136
    Likes Received:
    7,321
    Status Points:
    5,000
    What was the reason given?
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  8. kyunbit
    Original Member

    kyunbit Silver Member

    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    1,154
    Status Points:
    825

    From my school life, I remember that it was only the 'Best in Class' that went nowhere.
     
    Davescj, redtailshark and Gargoyle like this.
  9. robmac

    robmac Silver Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    388
    Status Points:
    500
    What I'm about to say is not in defense of DL or any of their systems programmers. It's possible their IT team sucks, it's possible they are just doing a very good job at following marching orders.

    I'm a software developer, and I've seen in dozens of companies how messed up they can be. Most often than not, as a programmer/contractor/developer/analyst/etc. you do what the client asks for. You can voice your concerns and most will not care, they want what they want. Decisions made from the top, are not always well informed (place the blame wherever you want).

    I would flag this as a sign of internal miscommunication in Delta (company needs vs. customer needs). A sign that the folks at the top focusing on a short term bottom line (getting rid of SkyMiles on their books) and not the long term product satisfaction (SkyMiles redemptions).

    I'm a Medallion, have been for a while. I've recently been flying a bit more on AA, and I've been re-considering loyalty. I've been able to book AAdvantage miles whenever I needed to, as opposed to whenever I had the dates flexibility to. They are bringing new planes to the fleet. Renewing their service. And have a double-tiered lounge service, which is amazing!

    I still fly Delta because of convenience (airports available to me) and because I've flown them forever, but they got to rethink some stuff...
     
    akcae, Davescj, Flyer1976 and 4 others like this.
  10. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    875
    Status Points:
    895
    No, they won't rethink. Because they already did. Think, I mean. They have taken their gamble. Which is that SM is not an FFP as we know it, Jim, not as we know it.... it is no longer intended to deliver a level of benefit that incentivizes new custom. It merely rewards - to a small degree - custom that essentially they receive anyway (i.e. captive corporate clients, flyers of convenience, those who don't care about FFP, etc.). It exists so they can at least say "We have an FFP too!" It does not (and has not for several years) compete as an FFP against UA MP or AA AAdvantage.

    As long as industry contraction, or at least capacity control, and consolidation are the order of the day, they win. At such time as locos or alternatives dump tons of capacity on the market and invigorate competition, as well as driving unit yields lower, then DL will have to change their product. Until then, no way.

    As for "miscommunication," that sounds like a "glitch." Like it's an unfortunate byproduct, an unforeseen and correctable accident or malfunction that a wise manager would fix as soon as it came to his/her attention.

    But no, I don't think DL management are that incompetent. I think their communication is crystal clear - involving silence on real matters of import while initiating fake cheese "discussions" on FT, cuts in benefits, elimination of AF UG possibilities, reduction in M-class bonus, doubling of intra-Asia award demands overnight and without notice, the imposition of 72-hour award moratoria that have no purpose except to PREVENT DM GAMERS REDEPOSITING AND REDEEMING AT SUDDENLY-AVAILABLE LOW LEVELS, etc. etc.

    Really, I cannot understand how an intelligent person - who views DL's SM management also as intelligent - can draw any other conclusion from the consistent tone of SM operation.

    They know well how awful SM is and how difficult it is to redeem awards. They gloat when additional redemption barriers appear and then implement policies to make it impossible to deliver reasonable service (can't override the auto-pricing, even though that's...ahem.... 635k from PHL to FCO, not all of which is in J, I am sorry Sir/Madam, that's all I can do..."). Three-tier system offers MORE CHOICE... (yes, it does... at 635k or more, whereas UA's simplistic system only offers TWO LEVELS of LOW and HIGH, thus offers LESS CHOICE than SM....so goes the logic of DL and their apologists.)

    They - it - are, in Jeff's own words:

    [​IMG] BEST IN CLASS [​IMG]

    I do note that now, compared to three years ago, few if any people debate this fact. The debate even here on the DL board centers on the intentionality of DL management that has delivered the [​IMG] best in class [​IMG] reality.

    Is it all a "glitch"? Are they that incompetent/stupid?

    I say, no.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  11. dayone
    Original Member

    dayone Silver Member

    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    824
    Status Points:
    795
    The broken award calendar could arguably be forgiven three years ago. Now, it's just inexcusable. It's an embarrassment to an airline that claims to be "best in class."

    It's sad that it still hasn't matched the functionality of the legacy NW award engine.

    DL management should specifically asked about the plans to fix it at every press availability.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  12. DiverDave
    Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Status Points:
    1,095
    RTS, my friend, where are the rest of the stars? :cool:

    Here's a UAL question for you. The old Continental award booking engine was notorious for pricing out First Class/Business awards that had major segments in coach, often the overseas segment of an international award. Has that nasty little trick carried over to the new UAL.com? It was doubly nasty, as you couldn't know that some segments were in coach until you actually selected them.

    David
     
    Gargoyle and redtailshark like this.
  13. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,247
    Likes Received:
    33,912
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Not anymore at the new United. :D

    It now tells you what segment is what while searching for your desired itinerary.
     
    Scottrick, Gargoyle and redtailshark like this.
  14. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    875
    Status Points:
    895
    David, buddy, MP limits the number of those stars that can be embedded in the post. But additional irony is not necessary. We all know and laugh.

    Now, try this. Go to UA.COM and search for an award. Try a one-way just to speed this up.

    I don't know...how about, PHL to FCO - a notorious routing if ever there was one - for July 7th which was the specific outbound date.:cool:

    Scroll down. You'll see that on this day there is one LOW biz option available even though the award calendar is showing white which supposedly means no availability at all. This itself is customer-friendly and the complete inverse of the DL practice of showing green when LOW simply cannot be found even by DL SMS agents. I'd say, this is best in class... The option involves US air connecting to A3 at ATH. US sector in J, and the A3 sector. Note the floating alert beside the 50k blue mileage button that says "Mixed cabin." So, yes, UA does alert you to the exact cabin mix.

    BTW, on the following day, there are six LOW business class award options showing. I'm not logged in as 1K. I'm not logged in at all when searching for this.

    Obviously it's not even in the same universe. If redemptions mean anything, it would be comical to claim DL can compete with UA for either availability or ease of booking. Two minutes or less, and this award is yours no hassle no calling 1K or UA CS. Check what DL.COM offers for this route on this date. Yes I know SM doesn't offer one-ways but try it anyway.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    akcae likes this.
  15. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,014
    Likes Received:
    96,541
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Vaguely related: I got frustrated with delta.com last night and was searching on klm.com and spotted this:
    KLM-option-to-book.jpg
    This was on a $1500 coach TATL ticket. Just $20 to lock in pricing and ticketing for two weeks.
     
    USAF_Pride likes this.
  16. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,247
    Likes Received:
    33,912
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Looks like they're trying to capitalize on UA's latest FareLock ancillary revenues. :eek:
     
  17. DiverDave
    Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Status Points:
    1,095
    My point here was that on continental.com you had to click to the next screen and you would often find that (for example) that a major segment such as PHL-ATH was in coach.

    Delta.com pulls the same trick sometimes, but at least you can see it on the flight selection screen.

    David
     
  18. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,136
    Likes Received:
    7,321
    Status Points:
    5,000
    I have to strongly disagree here. This isn't customer-friendly at all. What's the point of an award calendar if it doesn't accurately reflect what days have availability?! Delta's might have additional problems, but to say that the UA.com calendar is customer-friendly is really stretching it. There are known problems with the UA.com search, and this is one of them. It, like DL.com, does not show all partner availability on its calendars. My belief is that no calendar is helpful if it isn't accurate. In both the DL.com and UA.com situation, I have to search day-by-day to guarantee I have found all available space. How is one situation better than the other?

    And let's please avoid a comparison of how regularly BOTH of them display phantom availability that can't actually be booked. Bottom line: DL's award search engine is broken and needs to be fixed. So is UA's, even if UA's might be better than DL's.
     
  19. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    875
    Status Points:
    895
    David, yes, I remember CO.COM being criticized for this. But I never dealt with it - I accumulated via NW WP and although for years I flew CO far more than NW (TUS), I was treated in fact as a CO elite by virtue of NW WP status and WP redemptions were better. So, no reason to actually belong to OP!

    I remember in 2004 flying to GIG on CO, on an award booked on NWA.COM. Guy sitting next to us was an OP member doing the same...but at 50k per ticket instead of 35k.

    Anyway, by the time I switched to OP they had fixed this.

    As for UA.COM award vs. DL.COM, it's factually true that both systems have errors. However, I think the magnitude and type of the errors and the basic level of functionality are very different. I'm not the only one judging from the baying chorus of abuse about the DL award engine and calendar over at FT.

    UA can err in customer favor - like the one documented above, where a white calendar square does not correspond to "no availability." A good error, though. Everyone knows that such errors on DL always work against the customer. "Sorry, this flight just sold out" "Error 1584. Please call the SM service #" etc.

    There's also the matter of simply being able to view partner availability as a matter of course on Star carriers. We can't see all of them on UA.COM but twelve to fourteen carriers typically show up when I search US-EU or US-Asia. DL.COM deliberately hides SkyTeam partner availability - try searching NYC to CCS or BOG and you can't see the many AM possibilities, often at LOW levels. You have to use multi-seg and hope DL.COM doesn't crap out on you. Same for SU LAX-SVO. You can't see AZ either, etc.

    But if you like DL.COM and think it superior, that's great - it means you won't comp to UA and absorb my Z upgrade inventory or colonize the plentiful and easily-booked LOW level Star award inventory :cool:
     
  20. robmac

    robmac Silver Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    388
    Status Points:
    500
    DL really doesn't care much about what KLM and AF make/want available as far as award inventory goes. It used to be better...
     
  21. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    875
    Status Points:
    895
    [​IMG] BEST IN CLASS [​IMG]

    See the comment on the other thread here as well as the outrage on FT.
     
  22. robmac

    robmac Silver Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    388
    Status Points:
    500
    Do you have a link to the FT outrage thread?
     
  23. akcae
    Original Member

    akcae Silver Member

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    150
    Status Points:
    420
    As I posted elsewhere, a couple of weeks ago, I spent an entire Saturday morning searching for two award tickets US-EU for December after school is out. Didn't particularly care if it was Y or C. On DL.dumb, I diligently did the one-by-one segment search, many different gateways and partners, and finally pieced together something like home airport to ATL to NYC to FCO to destination and return back to FCO to BRU then overnight then back to ATL and then home. This was for two, and only was able to find C availability at low.

    Then, I spent TWO MINUTES searching a full itinerary round-trip for three passengers PLUS infant on UA.com and on the first try found the perfect itinerary, minimum connections, low level.

    Then I cried.
     
    Flyer1976 and robmac like this.
  24. robmac

    robmac Silver Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    388
    Status Points:
    500
    If you want to cry hardest, look it up on AA...
     
  25. akcae
    Original Member

    akcae Silver Member

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    150
    Status Points:
    420
    Sadly oneworld doesn't serve BEG now that air berlin and Nikki discontinued service from VIE. :(
     

Share This Page