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When it comes to searching for flight availability and setting alerts for award seats, I usually turn to ExpertFlyer. Their flight availability tool shows you the availability of certain paid fare classes and gauges your chances at getting upgrades, same day confirmed changes, and standbys if you’re an elite frequent flyer. If delays or cancellations occur, you can also use ExpertFlyer to search for alternative flights and prepare yourself for getting rebooked.
Last year, I wrote about how Delta was forcing ExpertFlyer to remove their Elite Upgrade Space from the site, which meant you could no longer check for RU/OU space (where Medallion upgrades originate). Well earlier this month, Delta began forcing ExpertFlyer to remove everything Delta-related from the site.
ExpertFlyer posted the following on their site:
“Delta has requested that we no longer offer to you any information on ExpertFlyer pertaining to Delta. Since our inception almost 10 years ago we have accessed Delta information through a GDS where they publish information for the benefit of various travel providers. We have always done this with the full knowledge and tacit approval of Delta. However, there now appears to be a change of thinking at Delta where this is no longer the case. As a result, we will no longer display Delta information in any of our Tools, including Flight Availability, Upgrades, Seat Maps, Fare Information, Flights Status, Flight Details, and Flight Timetables. All Alerts of all types for Delta will be set to Expired as to not count against your active alert limit.
To be clear, this action is not unique to ExpertFlyer. Delta has recently been removing their data from many websites, both booking and non-booking, in an attempt to force as many travelers as possible to only use delta.com and their apps for Delta information. In our many conversations with Delta it was made clear to us that their new policy is that any service or website that is not explicitly authorized to show Delta data will be forced to stop, especially any that screen scrape data from Delta.com or any Delta partner or agency website.”
I see this move by Delta as pretty unfriendly to customers, but can’t say I’m surprised. There are still other ways to pull up Delta flight availability by fare class, including FlightStats or of course Delta’s own site, where you can use the advanced search tool to search by fare class. For pulling up Delta seat maps, I’ve found Ben Edelman’s Seat Maps to be quite useful, but you must log in to your Delta account first before you search.
How do you feel about this new “enhancement” from delta? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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