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Update 8/11/15: The deal is now open to everyone. I have uncovered many of its secret rules.

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Delta Points got the following statement:

“There is a transatlantic fare sale going with a one day presale for Medallion/cobrand. It will be open to all as of tomorrow.”

So credit card holders and elites could book August 10, and everyone can book August 11. I’ll update when I can book the awards. I’d love more details on what the restrictions on the cheaper awards are.

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Delta Points reports seeing Delta awards from the United States to Europe for 21,000 SkyMiles one way. The normal minimum price is 30,000 miles each way.

He also reports Business Class awards on Delta, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic for 53,000 SkyMiles one way. The normal minimum price is 62,500 miles one way.

Then FlyerTalker “steveholt” found 87,000 mile roundtrips from New York-JFK to London in Business Class for the week of Thanksgiving. Delta Points found Newark to Amsterdam for the same price.

Unfortunately I can’t pull up any of these deals. Searching the same routes and dates brings up only 30,000 and 62,500 mile awards for me.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 9.30.17 PM
My Atlanta to Amsterdam Search Results

The working theory is that the discounted awards are only available to Delta elites who sign into their accounts before searching. I do not have Delta elite status. If you have Delta elite status, post your search results in the comments that are cheaper than Delta’s former award chart.

For now this sale is unconfirmed by Delta, so it is a possible glitch. I don’t think it is a glitch though. I think it is a step toward revenue-based pricing of awards. Many of the cheap awards found are at particularly cheap times to travel–for instance those 87,000 mile awards are in Business Class over Thanksgiving, which is a famously cheap cash ticket.

We will see if Delta gives us more details about which routes and dates are available for discounts or whether Delta says nothing. The latter is a strong possibility because one effect of not having an award chart is that you don’t need to explain price increases or sales. There are neither since there is no award chart as a basis for comparison.

 

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