Alaska And Virgin Australia Awards Bookable On Again

Filed Under: Alaska, Awards

Delta made a pretty major change to the SkyMiles program last week, whereby they no longer priced stopovers on award tickets. This didn’t just apply on, but also for reservations made by phone.

Delta quickly clarified that this was as a result of changes to the IT of Delta SkyMiles, clearly in preparation for the 2015 SkyMiles program. While Delta will be introducing one-way awards in 2015, I think it’s safe to assume they’ll come at the expense of stopovers on roundtrip awards.

Delta claimed that award stopovers could still be priced by calling Delta reservations agents, though that wasn’t entirely true. Unless you specifically ask an agent for a stopover, they know about the “glitch,” and they manually price it, they’ll charge you extra for stopovers. It’s fascinating when an airline’s policy is that they’ll charge you the wrong price unless you know to call them out on it… but that’s an entirely different story.

Anyway, there were two other seemingly innocent changes — stopped displaying award availability for travel on Alaska Airlines and Virgin Australia. I gave them the benefit of the doubt on that one, though it was a bit odd that stopped displaying space for both partners around the same time. I spoke to someone at Delta who explained it was an IT glitch. An actual IT glitch, unlike the change with stopovers.

That does indeed seem to be the case, as both Alaska Airlines and Virgin Australia awards are once again bookable on


That’s good news, since Alaska Airlines is an incredibly valuable SkyMiles partner for domestic travel (given that they actually release a good amount of saver level award availability, unlike Delta), while Virgin Australia is invaluable for travel to Australia, as they release more saver level business class award space between the US and Australia than any other airline.

  1. Lucky, have you noticed any problems with booking VS awards on Several times I’ve selected VS flights, but gotten error messages if VS flights are included in the itinerary. Looking from IAD, if that matters.

  2. @ Brian L. — Yep, though sadly it’s nothing new. They’ve long shown phantom space and then it gives that error message. šŸ™

  3. I know delta doesn’t allow 1way booking until Jan 1 2015, is there anyway around that? I see space on a LAX-SYD available now. Is it possible to book a roundtrip now and change it to an 1 way and get a credit back on the miles?

  4. Now that Delta might formally eliminate stopovers on awards, and the combined AAdvantage won’t allow stopovers on awards, I’m worried that will set a precedent for the other frequent flyer programs. It would make MileagePlus the only major US-based frequent flyer program to still allow stopovers on awards. Do you think we have anything to worry about?

  5. @ will — Not entirely sure how that will work, to be honest. In theory if you made changes it would price out at the new one-way price, but who knows how the Delta computers are going to handle that.

  6. Did Virgin Australia award space disappear from ? I can’t seem to find them even on flexible day mode.
    Thank you

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