Remember yesterday when five different bloggers (OMAATx2, VFTW, FTG, DP & FM) shouted from the rooftops about Delta changing the policy on awards to preclude stopovers from being booked? Me, too. Just one problem with that “news” as it was presented: The policy didn’t actually change. Delta still permits stopovers on awards, just like they did last week. Oopsie.
What did change is that the website will no longer book such awards. That’s annoying and frustrating as a consumer but it is still possible to book those awards by calling in to reservations. Those are the facts as relayed to me in a conversation this afternoon with a Delta spokesman.
Beyond the facts, of course, is when I get to have a bit of fun with speculation. The changes to the website which were loaded up recently and which caused the panic are not the first to come as part of the prep for the new SkyMiles award plans. And, as I understand things, they are also far from the last we will see in the next few weeks. Delta is in transition mode and there is a lot yet to come on this front, especially with the way the website functions. Does that mean stopovers will eventually disappear? Maybe.
It is entirely possible that stopovers go away with the coming of one way awards. American got rid of them recently as well (and with no notice; oopsie). Actually American did it twice, first in 2009 dropping the stopover at the international gateway and then again earlier this year where the stopover at the North American gateway was dropped. United still has stopovers in their award rules except for awards wholly within the Lower 48, Canada & Alaska. And it seems to reason that with Delta making a change now to “support the future SkyMiles plans” that perhaps this is Delta tipping its hand a bit. But that is far from confirmed. Very far.
I do know that I’ll be keeping an eye on the Delta site a bit more than normal over the coming weeks. I expect we’re going to learn a whole lot very soon about what’s coming in 2015.
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