Frequent Flyer

Delta SkyMiles Devaluations Coming – Again

Delta frequent flyers will no longer be able to make stopovers on award trips, and many open jaw trips will become more expensive.

Airline mileage programs are famous for their devaluations and generally customer-unfriendly ways. But even in that context, Delta stands out for the number and severity of the negative changes its loyalists have been asked to endure.

The new-for-2015 spend-based program itself will be a downgrade for many Delta flyers. Add to that the increase in revenue requirements to earn elite status, the limitation on partner transfers to Delta, elimination of round-the-world awards, higher fees for airport lounge access, and a more restrictive same-day confirmation policy.

The bad-news list grew even longer this week, with two new restrictions on award travel published in the airline’s terms and conditions page, both of which take effect on January 1, 2015:

  • “Stopovers will no longer be permitted for Award Travel booked on or after January 1, 2015.”
  • “For Award Travel ticketed on or after January 1, 2015, all open jaw itineraries will be priced based on One-Way Award Travel pricing rules.”

So, no more enroute stopovers. And open jaws will be priced according to the mileage requirements of each of the itinerary’s individual one-way segments, which is likely to result in a higher final price.


Reader Reality Check

Is this any way to run a loyalty program?

This article originally appeared on

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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