Topic of the Week: Delta’s New 72 Hour Rule

Delta SkyMiles members seem to be pretty unhappy at the latest move by the airline. If you’re on a frequent flier ticket, you can no longer make any changes or get a refund once you’ve hit 72 hours prior to your departure. You angry about this?

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21 Comments on "Topic of the Week: Delta’s New 72 Hour Rule"

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deltagoldflyer
Guest

DELTA-72=NEWCOKE anyone remember new coke? it lasted 79 days on the mkt and cost millions. coke got it and went back. maybe in 72 days after millions in $$$ gone and saying bye bye to it’s best flyers it will get it as well!

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-skymiles/1246062-updated-award-redeposit-reissue-rule-change.html

Fred
Guest
Honestly, I think that there will be a lot of complaining and whining about it, but people will just learn to live with it in a few months. Even though people threaten to leave SkyMiles because of this sort of change, they rarely do simply because they already have the status and everything, and if Delta is the cheapest/most convenient for them to fly, they aren’t going to stop. Besides, there are a whole bunch of other reasons for people in other FFPs to switch to Delta anyways, so you’ll see people moving both to and from SkyMiles. Delta knows… Read more »
Jordan
Guest
Yeah, there’s no reason to go through with this potential PR nightmare unless Delta really is having a major problem with award ticket cancellations/changes at the last minute, resulting in a bunch of empty seats. This would probably be the only way to curb it. I realize we’re dealing with SkyPesos here, but when you book an award ticket, elite or not, you really do have a good bit of flexibility with the ticket (opposed to buying a revenue ticket). I don’t think it’s the end of the world to stiffen up that flexibility a bit. Maybe it will be… Read more »
David SF eastbay
Member

I clicked on the provided link and read about this just now and having worked at an airline I can completely understand their reason for doing this.

It’s the same reason you now have first and business class fares that are nonrefundable and/or have $500 +/- cancel/change fees. Airlines loose to much money by people who buy those seats and not show up for the flight and then want to change or get a refund and not have to pay a penalty.

DesertGhost
Guest

My issue with all the fees, conditions, etc. is discolsure. If the conditions of an airline’s (or any other business for that matter) offer is fully disclosed, then the consumer can make a decision that’s in his or her’s best interests. As long as terms and conditions are disclosed fully, I have no problems.

hawes.daryl
Member
DesertGhost says it right. As long as the policy is clearly stated and explained upfront and is not hidden in all of the fine print…then fine. You have to remember that any frequent flier program is meant to build, then maintain brand loyalty as well as rewarding it. Some folks see these rules as Delta’s way of penalizing their most loyal customers. If so, why would they do such a thing? I see them tightening the rules because they were compelled to react to those members who were abusing the program. Why else would they…just to be difficult? I think… Read more »
MeanMeosh
Guest
I don’t fly DL so I’m really not going to be affected by this personally, but it does seem like a bit of an unnecessary “shock and awe” type of response. From the link above, it looks like part of the issue is upgrade abuse, where elites with an existing paid-for coach ticket also book a biz class award to hedge their bet in case the upgrade doesn’t clear. Apparently this is possible because you don’t have to enter the SkyPesos number of the passenger. If that’s really the problem, couldn’t you fix it by just requiring the SkyPesos number… Read more »
Justacustomer
Member

MeanMeosh is right; this does seem like a bit of an unnecessary “shock and awe” type of response. I think Delta Management would be smarter than that to figure out ways to solve this problem that they created via more targeted actions to those that may have abused the awards. What concerns me even more is the little notice they gave and the seemingly hostile attitude they are taking towards customers. It’s one thing to bully the unions and vendors, but customers who’ve earned that 150K award ticket to Europe?

davidwhotz
Member
While it’s high-elite customer unfriendly, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. As a Silver Medallion on Delta, I’m not going to make many changes anyway since it costs me $150 a pop. I can definitely understand the frustration of folks who make a medium or high award reservation hoping that a low seat shows up later so they can get their miles back, but I think it’s not going to make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. Now if Delta starts being less stingy further out with their availability of low seats, then I’m… Read more »
drybean
Member

Nice move by the largest carreir in the free world…keep on hurting your best customers and they will all end up with AAdvantage numbers…

Robert
Guest

Actually UA/CO is now the biggest carrier, and AA isn’t doing so hot. People will stick with Delta despite this change. They just like to complain.

dondelta
Member

Delta was at one time the number one airline in passenger service and that led them to their success. Since they started to offer early retirement back in the mid nineties they deteriorated to being bankrupt and now they are nothing but another Greyhound Bus. It is a shame because she was once the Bright Star in the Industry. I am sure that their founder is rolling over in his grave.

David SF eastbay
Member

The magic 72 hours, DL must love that number. Their full fares must be purchased 72 hrs in advance (unless booked within 72hrs of departure), so this new change fits the advance purchase rule of full fares. It makes the space available to sell to people who really may travel and not just looky-loos holding space or lower cabin passengers booking fake higher cabin space to keep the seats open so they can upgrade day of flight.

Again if the other airlines see this working for DL, they all will change their rules also.

donna_pursell
Member

Hi neighbor
This is pure B— S–t. I always thought Delta was 1 notch above United. Now Delta is at the bottom!!! The only good use for Delta miles now is at the gate for an upgrade? Jack Pursell Surfside,CA

Robert
Guest

You can’t just get an award ticket that you will actually use like you’re supposed to?
DL still beats UA imo.

chris771
Member

Hey Cranky McCrankerton! Thanks for the link and for bringing lots of eyes to The TICKET this week.
Best,
Chris

Dale
Guest

This begs the question: Can you MAKE a frequent flier reservation on Delta less than 72 hours in advance? Nearly all my travel is one way last minute or close to it.

Carl
Member

This change is very customer-unfriendly. The award tickets are rewards for flying Delta or using their credit card. If the issue is that people are switching expensive awards for cheap awards, then Delta should make cheap awards avaialble earlier. I could understand a policy that you lose the miles if you don’t cancel, but not one that prohibits changes less than 72 hours. Even on non-refundable tickets you can make same day changes or change the ticket subject to a change fee.

AK
Guest
I traveled to Alaska (FAI) with my partner on Delta award tickets on Aug 3rd. It just so happened that the evening of the 15th was when we were scheduled to return home, also on Delta award seats. We had charted a bush flight from a very remote location to FAI, but the bush plane failed to show up on morning of the 15th due to bad weather. After a 20 minute ATV ride to a location that happened to have cell phone signal, I was able to call Delta to inquire about what would happen if we didn’t make… Read more »
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