Delta has released its award chart for awards booked on or after January 1, 2015. Check it out here.
Great News: The lowest priced “Level 1″ awards (formerly “Saver”) will remain at the same price or drop compared to the award chart that goes into effect on June 1, 2014.
SkyMiles have seen a lot of changes the last few months:
- First Delta announced a devaluation of its award chart for awards flown June 2014 or later. (You can still beat this devaluation!)
- Then Delta turned that into a double devaluation, speeding up some of the price increases to February 2014.
- Last week Delta made a giant announcement that earning SkyMiles would become revenue-based starting in 2015. We learned that the 2015 chart would have five price tiers and would allow one way awards, but we didn’t see the price tiers.
Luckily, after some intense pressure and scrutiny (h/t Gary Leff), Delta released their 2015 award chart early. Both the economy and business award charts can be found here, and they aren’t bad.
The economy chart’s Level 1 prices are identical to the June 1 chart except that roundtrips to the Middle East and South Asian subcontinent are going back down to 80k miles each. This was their price until Delta’s 2014 devaluations.
The business award chart is identical to the June 2014 chart at Level 1 except that Northern South America is dropping from 90k miles roundtrip to 80k. That’s a great adjustment as 90k was just way too high for a roundtrip to Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, or Ecuador.
There are a few other changes in price at the higher award levels, but as usual, our goal for ourselves and our clients at the MileValue Award Booking Service will be the lowest price Level 1 awards.
I think we can breathe one major sigh or relief. Level 1 award prices are not going up, and that means that award space on Delta’s SkyTeam partners will remain affordable.
I’m also glad Delta will finally introduce one-way awards for half the price of a roundtrip, and we’ll be able to book award tickets in Economy Comfort.
But the big question–and one we won’t have answered until at least 2015–is what level Delta will tend to release its own award space at.
We have no idea the amount of Level 1 availability that will be released with this new five-tiered award chart. If it’s anything like Delta’s current yield management, don’t expect to find many domestic segments at the lowest levels.
Scott wrote a great post about the Top Four Delta Awards You Need to Fly Before It’s Too Late which is still applicable after today’s announcement.
Book Scott’s favorite SkyMiles awards that cost between 25k and 150k miles under the old chart before 2015 if you can. Otherwise, time will tell in seeing if saver availability improves under the new five-tier system.
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