At the beginning of February Delta appeared to impose a three week advance purchase requirement in order to redeem awards at the saver level.
Domestic economy class awards at 12,500 miles one-way simply didn’t exist on most routes for travel within 21 days.
- When you’d find space at this price, it was usually on partner Alaska
- Exceptions were for some very low load factor routes like subsidized ‘Essential Air Service’ routes
- And a handful of anomalies.
It really does seem Delta is backing off of this (HT: Reader Marc L.).
Now, saver award availability is still shockingly bad. But it does seem to exist, at least on some routes — and many more routes than a month ago.
These are not cherry picked, merely the first few routes I happened to pull up.
Here’s an award calendar showing dates where non-stop space is available Atlanta – Orlando. Plenty of days where 12,500 mile seats are open.
There are a handful of days open on Los Angeles – Las Vegas (it’s absurd that there aren’t more).
Here’s a search for Detroit – San Jose, largely involving connections via Salt Lake City.
Space isn’t available within 3 weeks on all routes, however — no 12,500 mile seats appear on the Delta award calendar for Atlanta – Los Angeles within 3 weeks. Whether this is a continuation of the 21 day advance purchase requirement policy, or just awful award availability, is difficult to say.