Delta Close-in Award Booking Fees are Back!

That was fast!

This morning I blogged that Delta had eliminated close-in booking fees for awards. No longer would Delta charge its customers to book awards less than 21 days in advance, following the move United made last summer.

But now the fees are back! They’re waived for Platinum and Diamond elites and for American Express co-branded Delta Platinum and Reserve credit card holders. But everyone else will pay the fees. And the fees have gone up, they’re now as much as $150.

Should’ve known that there wouldn’t actually be a customer-friendly move coming out of Delta.

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, 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. Yes I am a PM flyer this year but will not be next year – maybe GOLD but could be just SM.

    Either way I hold the AMEX Reserve card. Why should you if you fly Delta. Tons.

    1. Worth the price.
    2. Crown room for you and 2 more
    3. Move up the upgrade list.
    4. Service
    5. Miles miles miles.

    Why worth the price. Look at all you get. Up to 1 year extra warranty on EVERYTHING you buy. Get a 5000 TV, sure, the extra year is great! Plus all the other BUY type warranty’s you get as well.

    The crown room is great if you fly. Cheaper than buying it.

    You get on to of the upgrade list if you have it.

    They like you at AMEX and Delta for having it!

    You can get up to 30k MQM and 30k miles for card per year. Plus, if you just call them now and then and ask for extra miles to keep card, you get them. I get 10k or more each year just for a phone call.

    Yes good old Delta has issues. Name one airline that does not. But if you have the AMEX card and play the game, you will like it in the end!

  2. I agree with deltaPMflyer, there are of course issues but what airline doesn’t have issues. We all have our favorite or most convenient airlines and we do what it takes to make it work.

    If you fly often on Delta then just pay up a little and get at least the Platinum Skymiles AMEX card. I’ve got it and have had it (or the Gold version before Platinum existed) for at least 12 years now. Sure, there’s an annual fee. But I get the companion certificate. Plus I get 2 miles per Delta $ and 1 mile for everything else. And it’s nice to not have had to pay more than $5 for an award booking.

  3. I don’t either. The flaws of Delta’s program are well known that we don’t have to repeat them over and over again. And the reasons given above by the posters just show how unaware they are of the benefits of other frequent flier program. Oh well.

  4. I really think these fees don’t matter much… because Delta miles are impossible to redeem. There is simply never any availability. It’s like having a savings account you can never withdraw from… it’s nice to watch it grow, but ultimately it’s useless.

  5. Some of us are stuck at Delta hubs, so we do the best we can with what we’ve got. True, we could work hard to make other airlines work, but then my award availability on that new airline is low since I have far fewer flights to choose from. As such, I’m NOT in the market for prime international award tickets, if that’s what you’re talking about Delta having low availability.

    I’m not apologizing for Delta, merely explaining how I meet my needs with the program that works for me. I’ve NEVER had trouble finding award tickets, in fact, my availability has only improved over the past few years (2001-2003 was very tough for me to find good award seats, anywhere). You zealots of other programs obviously have things completely figured out and love to point out those facts. Sheesh, this is just a game to play to earn miles.

  6. I knew their merger would stink to high heaven
    Indidually these were two of the most greedy programs out there.Together as one program/airline they will continue to
    damage every customer relationship till the airline goes under
    Nothing surprises me not even a 100,000 mile round trip redemption ticket in coach from New York to Atlanta
    Thats probably next

  7. Delta is the worst. Almost impossible to use your miles unless you use double or triple the standard award level. I can’t stand Delta.

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