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Despite some huge changes to its mileage program including increasing award redemptions and switching both its Medallion elite program and mileage-earning to a revenue-based system, and overhauling its partner earning rates, Delta has made one major positive change: its online award search engine is much more versatile these days.
Not only can you use advanced search options such as displaying availability in all cabins at once, being able to see 5-week award availability calendars and at non-stop flights on the routes you want, but it has begun pulling in much more partner award availability including most recently: Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Garuda Indonesia, GOL and Vietnam Airlines. That is in addition to the partner availability it already showed on airlines including: Air France/KLM, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia (though there seems to be an issue with this one at the moment).
Just to give you a couple examples, I was able to look up the following awards in the fall both quickly and easily, and Delta displayed the partner award space with no issues whatsoever.
Aeroflot from Moscow to New York JFK:
Aerolineas Argentinas from Miami to Buenos Aires (the airline also flies to JFK):
Garuda Indonesia from Amsterdam to Jakarta (currently its only route to Europe):
GOL (which flies primarily within South America, mostly Brazil) from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo:
Vietnam Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City to Paris:
And Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City:
Have you used Delta.com to book partner awards lately? What are your thoughts?
All in all, this is good news for folks looking to redeem their Delta SkyMiles since it means less time on the phone with (sometimes) inept award desk agents and going through the award calendar day by day and airline by airline with them. Anything that empowers flyers to take more of the award process into their own hands is a step forward in my opinion, and hopefully Delta will continue to improve its search engine even further.
For more information on how to maximize Delta award searches, check out these posts:
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|None||15.99%-24.99% Variable||$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|