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Delta Changes Stopovers and Open Jaw Policy, Updates Website

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Over the past year, Delta has made a number of negative changes including Mileage Accrual Based on SpendingAdditional Revenue Requirements for Medallion StatusReduced SkyClub Guests and Increased FeesA Tighter Same Day Confirm PolicyBlocked Access to ExpertFlyer, and Limited Partner Transfers to SkyMiles. However, Delta is continuing chiseling away their SkyMiles program when it comes to SkyMiles awards with stopovers or open jaws.

Delta is removing open jaws and
Delta is changing their open jaw and stopover policy on award tickets.

As a result of Delta moving from a three to five level award pricing structure and introducing one-way award pricing, stopovers and open jaw award pricing rules will also change. The new pricing structure and rules will apply to bookings made after January 1, 2015.

Stopovers

For Award Travel booked prior to January 1, 2015, one stopover is allowed per roundtrip Award Ticket under certain circumstances. A stopover is defined as a stay of more than 4 hours between domestic flights and more than 24 hours between domestic and international or all international flights. The destination city is not considered a stopover. A stopover is allowed, provided there are no more than two connections between the origin and destination including any connections that are made while traveling to/from the stopover point. The stopover city must be located on a valid routing.

Stopovers will no longer be permitted for Award Travel booked on or after January 1, 2015.

Open Jaw

Open jaw Award Travel is permitted for Awards booked prior to January 1, 2015. To be eligible, the mileage between the open jaw points must be less than or equal to the total mileage flown between any other trip in the itinerary (origin to destination). A double open jaw is not permitted.

For Award Travel ticketed on or after January 1, 2015, all open jaw itineraries will be priced based on One-Way Award Travel pricing rules.

Delta's award website now has a 5 week calendar view.
Delta’s award website now has a 5 week calendar view.

In addition to these two changes, over this weekend, Delta Air Lines made some other changes to their website to improve the award functionally of the site, however the only partner airlines that will display availability on the site are Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Alaska Airlines, meaning that still the majority of their other SkyTeam partners will still not be displayed on their site when searching for award space.

Delta's new award toolbar offers many choices.
Delta’s new award toolbar offers many choices.

New website takeaways include:

  • Integrated shopping path with revenue and Award Shopping, with the ability to toggle between using money or miles prior to shopping from Advance Search
  • Display options for both cabins during shopping
  • New flexible date and airport radius Shopping options
  • Improved 5 week Award calendar

My Thoughts

Removing stopovers on award tickets is a huge negative for me, since I always like to try and build one in, especially if headed to Europe, it’s nice to stop on the way in a city like Amsterdam or Paris, but now with these new changes, you’ll no longer be able to do that. Earlier this year, Delta announced they would be ending round-the-world SkyMiles tickets as well. At this rate, if they continue you might only be able to redeem for domestic awards- who knows!

If you do want to book an award with a stopover in it, you’re still able to through December 31, 2014.

What are your thoughts about this latest change from Delta?

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