Delta Is Releasing Their 2015 Award Redemption Chart Early!

A frequent flyer program is equal parts earning and redemption.

Delta’s new revenue-based frequent flyer program has only shared details of how miles will be earned — based on the money you spend, rather than the miles you fly (time spent with an airline on their planes) — and not how miles will be spent.

As a result we really don’t know the impact of the changes. Delta had said they would release the award redemption half of the program during the last quarter. They’ve had their new redemption chart, but they had planned to keep it a secret. Their members would fly all year, saving points to redeem next year, but not knowing how much those points are worth.

Word today — three different people had shared with me by the end of the day — is that Delta had changed its mind and plans to release its award charts tomorrow.

They could still pull back, but it was definitely the word from inside Delta that they were looking at this.

I haven’t seen the charts yet. And the charts won’t tell the entire story — we will have to see what actual availability is like at each level once the new year comes. But if true it will be a step in the right direction.

Delta can structure their program any way they wish. That’s certainly what they told the Supreme Court. I just think they need to be honest with their customers about what the value proposition is. Then folks can decide whether or not it works for them.

Assuming the charts come out tomorrow (or Friday) it’ll be an interesting time evaluating what the changes mean. I’m most interested to see what changes if any there are to the partner airline award chart since that’s all based on the same inventory as before, not revenue-based, so charging more miles doesn’t get more availability.

We may know soon.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The good news is that the pressure forced their hand. The bad news is that there was certainly not enough time to rework whatever they had planned which means it is going to be whatever they were going to release down the road – probably not good. :(

  2. I know Gary has been bashing Delta. And for good reason IMHO. I am burning through my Delta miles now quickly. I will be booking another big trip shortly for next year before any further changes to what is not the creates program for redemptions. However get ready for bashing the rest of the big airlines. American has also made some changes with redemptions on domestic flights. They are pushing a lot fo the US air flights many of which are less desireable. The pivot point is American. Once they make a move United will be right behind them. For all we know Delta could turn up to be better than the others when the smoke clears. Airline miles these days are like Bitcoins.

  3. Honestly, though, wouldn’t it be in their best interest to make the new chart “good” to cushion the blow in the near term? Short of a guarantee that they won’t go revenue based on the redemption side, the new chart is just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Deltanic. It’s all going down, it’s just a matter of when. At least from a mileage perspective.

  4. Gary,

    What did DL say about the legality of letting customers know about mileage price changes well in advance of implementing the price change? :D

    Have to be amused by the games DL plays when they do SkyMiles changes.

  5. @GUWonder they have gone through a series of new shifting answers on that question. I committed to them that if they released the chart early, I would not call them out for breaking the law in doing so. I will stick by that promise.

  6. NOTHING stops DL from making a change again, they may be putting this out to keep customers then once ur screwed for the year, here is another change… I won’t trust them, making my changes now.

  7. @M – I saw that but do not think it is the new chart, since they’ve said the new chart will be 5 tiers and that one is not.

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