Last week we learned that Delta wants to keep your spouse out of their lounges — the $450 Skyclub membership fee will now require you to pay for guests.
It turns out they also want you to travel alone, too.
Delta has always been pretty good about releasing just a single award seat. I’ve not had too much difficulty finding one business class award seat to Asia on many Delta flights. The challenge has always been finding two (fortunately Delta has airline partners that are more generous with award space than they are).
So I did something of a head tilt when I saw MileValue declare, “Not April Fools: Delta Has the Best Award Space to Asia I’ve Ever Seen.”
Delta has been de-emphasizing connections through Tokyo, and they’ve been adding direct flights from their U.S. hubs (and Seattle!) to Asia.
Along with that strategic shift, award availability has gotten better. But still for just one passenger.
Unfortunately, and what caused me to have to go digging to check the veracity of the post I was reading, nowhere in the claim about ‘best award space to Asia’ did the words “one passenger” appear.
So what at first looks like a see of “green” (most dates available on the calendar) for business class flights from Los Anglees and Portland to Tokyo and from Seattle to various destinations in North Asia turns out to be green if you want to travel solo.
Here’s San Francisco – Tokyo, 1 business class award
If you plug in two passengers here’s what you get.
Portland-Tokyo in March, 2 business class awards, all medium or high space
Seattle-Shanghai in March, 2 business class awards, all medium or high space
San Francisc-Tokyo in March, 2 business class awards, 1 date with saver award sapce
Other months yield similar pictures, although not all have even the one stray date with availability for two passengers.
Most of my readers are looking for two (or more) seats for award space, not just one. And most of my award booking clients aren’t particularly inclined to split up and travel separately from their companion when booking a trip.
You can of course book one ticket at the low award price and a second at the medium (more expensive) level where that’s available. But I wouldn’t consider that to be the best inventory to Asia I’ve ever seen, or even have seen this week.
The other problem of course is finding any Delta award availability from your home city to their international gateway. Counterintuitively that’s often the hardest part about booking an international award ticket using Skymiles. But that’s the subject for a different post.
Looks like we have to rate the claim of ‘best award space to Asia’ for Delta Skymiles as “mostly false.”
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