The WSJ has an article today with the details of the three tiers of awards Delta has been hinting at for a few weeks now.
Delta also plans to increase the number of “tiers” in its SkyMiles plan this spring. Instead of offering domestic tickets for either 25,000 or 50,000 miles — with many more tickets available for 50,000 miles — the airline will offer 50% of its total seat inventory for 40,000 miles, while maintaining the same amount of seats in the 25,000-mile tier. Most remaining seats will fall into the 60,000-mile tier.
Hmm, I think this gives Delta a lot of leeway to play games. On one hand the fact that even 60,000 miles wont get you any seat on a plane is pathetic (for 50,000 every other legacy carrier still offers it), but at the same time there might be a bright side, that shady area between a traditional “saver” and “standard” award. While I’m not certain what exactly is meant by “50% of its total seat inventory”- does that mean of seats available for awards, of seats available for sales, or what?- this might mean that there’s decent availability for 40,000, which could benefit those with travel patterns where they can’t plan months ahead but at the same time not last minute either. Of course knowing the airline industry I’m betting this also means less saver awards, so we’ll basically see the 25K award as rare, 40K as the former saver award, and 60K somewhere in the middle.
Only time will tell, but I don’t think it’s all bad… as long as other airlines don’t follow Delta’s lead, or at least that this stays within SkyTeam!
Thanks to my friend Peter for the heads up on this.