Delta is advertising a fare sale for travel from August 6 to December 16, and, in a first, is advertising a concurrent sale on the award prices on the same routes.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.04.49 PM

There are 29 listed sale routes.

When 5,000 mile awards started in May, I wrote that this was mixed news:

  • Good: Some awards are 60% cheaper, and hopefully more routes with 5,000 mile award space are added.
  • Bad: By picking 5k routes on cheapness not distance, Delta is taking a step away from award charts (which it deleted from the internet already) and toward revenue-based redemptions. If Delta makes award redemptions based on the ticket price, Business Class awards, and all the other best values, will surge in (miles) price.

Since then, Delta has taken further steps toward revenue-based award redemptions, so forgive me for not being very excited about this sale, which also appears to be worse than previous sales. (See the section on city pairs below.)

Award Space

Award space is excellent at the 5,000 mile price on routes that are offering it. Here is Cincinnati to Memphis in October and November for four people.
Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.06.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.06.53 PM

Routes with 7,500 and 10,000 mile awards also have great space. Here is New York to San Antonio in August and September.Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.07.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.07.39 PM

City Pairs

Previously, these discounted award segments could be added together, and the rules were like this:

  • At the time of research, no 5k segments could be added together.
  • Combine a 5k segment and a 10k segment, and you get a 10k award.
  • Combine a 5k segment and 12.5k segment, and you get a 12.5k award.
  • Combine a 10k segment and 12.5k segment, and you get a 12.5k award.

Now the rules have changed. Here’s what the screenshots below show:

  • Combine a 5k segment and a 5k segment, and you get a 10k award.
  • Combine a 5k segment and a 10k segment, and you get a 10k award.
  • Combine a 7.5k segment and a 7.5k segment, and you get a 12.5k award.

I saw the pattern a few months ago, and I do not see it anymore, so I conclude that Delta has now set award prices based on city pairs–just like with revenue tickets–that have nothing to do with the prices of each segment.

Boise to Spokane: 10k miles

Boise to Seattle (5k) + Seattle to Spokane (5k) = 10k

Boise to Seattle: 5k miles

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.09.39 PM

Seattle to Spokane: 5k miles

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.09.58 PM

Boise to Spokane: 5k miles Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.10.11 PM

Phoenix to Spokane: 10k

Phoenix to Seattle (10k) + Seattle to Spokane (5k) = 10k
Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.11.45 PM

Los Angeles to Bozeman: 12.5k

Los Angeles to Seattle (7.5k) + Seattle to Bozeman (7.5k) = 12.5k
Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 1.12.28 PM

I don’t discern any pattern of the price for the trip based on the price of each segment, which leads me to believe that each city pair has a mileage price that is no dependent on the price of each segment.

Bottom Line

Certain Delta city pairs have awards as low as 5,000 miles one way for late Summer and Fall travel. Check out the full list here.

 

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