Delta Releases Full New Worldwide Award Charts for Travel After January 1

Back at the beginning of the year Delta announced half of how their frequent flyer program would work in 2015. They released changes to mileage earning but told us nothing about how miles would be spent.

They explained that miles from flights would be based on spending. We learned that there would be a 5 tier award chart for each of economy and business class — 10 prices rather than the 4 that airlines historically had (and United continues to have) and the 6 that Delta introduced with Low, Medium, and High pricing.

But we needed know what those prices would be, so we were missing a big piece of the puzzle about the value of the 2015 program.

After continually calling Delta out for their ‘secret award chart’ — telling members the program would be great, but not letting members know anything about award pricing — they published their award chart for travel between North America and other parts of the world.

  • We still didn’t know what availability would look like, or more specifically availability at each of the 5 levels. My bet is that even if there’s better availabiltiy in the middle tiers than before, than there won’t be better availability at the traditional saver level.
  • We still didn’t know what prices would be for travel throughout the rest of the world, that didn’t touch North America.

However, the fact that they did release award pricing in advance for travel to or from North America obliterated the fake argument Delta used to make that they were legally required to devalue their program without advance notice to members, claiming to do otherwise would be illegal. (See Delta offers the dumbest excuse from a frequent flyer program, ever?)

So you’d think they’d be willing to share the pricing. Of course, it wasn’t until four years ago that they published award charts for other regions at all.

It turns out that as Delta prepares for 2015, they’ve gone ahead and gotten up their 2015 award charts for travel throughout the world.

For instance, here are the award charts for travel to and from Europe.

To take one example, travel between Europe and the ‘South Asian Subcontinent’ (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory; India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) was 35,000 miles each way in economy and 40,000 each way in business class at the ‘low’ or ‘saver’ level. That lowest level remains 35,000 in economy and goes up to 42,500 each way in business.

I haven’t yet done a full analysis of worldwide changes, I’m jetlagged off of a long haul flight. But first blush is that there are some price increases but no obliterations. The overwhelming affect of the changes will come from changes to relative availabilty in each of the 5 tiers (compared to 3 tiers today) for travel on Delta, and the extent to which Delta Skymiles will offer its members the same award seats that their partner airlines are offering to their own members and members of other partner frequent flyer programs.


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 InsideFlyer.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. What @johny johnston is referring to is language that IS on their 2015 award charts “for travel booked on or after 01 Jan 2015”. Said chart still contains the “Miles shown are each way based on round-trip purchase.” at the bottom.

    I’m sure it’s just a clerical error, Delta wouldn’t dare reneg on their promised 2015 one-way enhancements….right.

  2. I just did a post with a rundown of all of the changes. I agree with Gary’s sentiments – there are probably ~50 region pairs whose award value went up, but almost none that are a HUGE increase. Business from Hawaii to South Asia went from 50,000 to 80,000 miles

    There are even a few that have gone down, which surprised me.

    The real key will be when we figure out how much availability Delta releases to the “Level 1” bucket – if it’s not much, then this will be much worse as Level 2 or Level 3 can be significant increases over the current award chart

  3. Thanks Gary, will bookmark the link.

    For some reason I still don’t trust Delta. How sure are you on the one-way partner booking. I don’t like the language about it being “each way based on a round trip purchase” Do you think there is any reason to be concerned that they might either charge a higher amount of miles for one-way awards?

    Thanks for the update.

  4. DELTA is not stupid -just SLIMY –THEY PUT THIS IN FOR A REASON
    “each way based on a round trip purchase”

    UNITED “Fares listed are one-way, per person”
    AMERICAN “MileSAAver Awards: miles each way.”

  5. Is the below $600 in fees new? Is that on each leg in the case of one ways?

    “In addition to the mileage levels reflected below, Award redemption requires payment of at least $11.20 in U.S. government taxes and fees plus up to $600 for foreign government taxes and fees and/or carrier-imposed fees for international itineraries.”

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