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In a move that’s sure to be unpopular among award travelers, Delta Air Lines has pulled SkyMiles award charts and upgrade charts from the website. Previously, Delta published fairly clear charts indicating how many miles you’d need to fly from one region to another at various redemption levels and in different fare classes. Now, links to Delta award charts take you to this fairly useless page with only the most elementary information about redeeming for award travel.

No award charts here!

I don’t know what Delta’s playing at here. Making award charts unavailable serves no purpose other than obscuring redemption values to less informed travelers. After all, if you don’t know what the lowest redemption levels are, you won’t complain when they’re not available. Delta can’t make its award charts disappear for good; the Internet is sort of like the anti-Las Vegas: what happens there remains visible to everyone forever. You can still find award charts where they’ve been posted previously, but this move by Delta is highly unfriendly to its frequent flyers.

However, I suspect a larger game is afoot, and that this could be the outset of a fully revenue-based SkyMiles program on both the earning and redeeming sides. That’s just a hunch, and awards are still pricing according to the old charts, but I’ll be keeping an eye on redemption rates to see if anything changes.

What do you think of Delta pulling its award charts?

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