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Yesterday I was one of the first to break the complete list of 2015 Delta Award Chart changes. All in all, many routes changed, but for the most part, they were only increases of 5,000 to 10,000 miles between certain regions. There were also a few regions where the price went DOWN (what’s the opposite of devaluation? Inflation? 😀 )
As an example, here are the changes for the Hawaii region
Delta award chart changes from Hawaii
- Economy to Northern South America – was 27,500 miles, now 30,000 miles. Also Business from 55,000 to 62,500 miles
- Economy to Southern South America from 35,000 miles to 40,000 miles. Also Business from 72,500 down to 70,000 miles
- Economy to Europe – from 35,000 to 40,000 miles. Business down from 72,500 to 70,000 miles
- Economy to South Africa – from 55,000 miles to 60,000 miles
- Economy to the Middle East – from 45,000 miles to 50,000 miles
- Economy to South Asia – from 45,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Business from 50,000 to 80,000 (!) miles
- Economy to Northern Asia – from 27,500 miles to 30,000 miles. Business from 42,500 miles to 50,000 miles
If you want to see the full list – see Complete list of 2015 Delta award chart changes
Again, we don’t know exactly how this will look in 2015, since we don’t know what kind of availability Delta will have in the lowest-level “Level 1” of award tickets. If finding award seats in Level 1 is all but impossible (gee, just like Saver availability now!), then this devaluation will be much worse.
Still, I thought I would highlight a few patterns I saw while transcribing the data.
Standardization of mile prices to Asia, Africa and Oceania
It looks like Delta was perhaps trying to take away some of the “arbitrage” that you could do by being smart in your destination country. One example of that is the miles required to go from Mexico to several of Delta’s Asian “regions”
- To Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, or the Middle East: 45,000 miles
- To North Asia: 40,000 miles
- To South Africa or the Southwest Pacific: 50,000 miles
Now those prices are all 50,000 (in Economy).
There are several similar examples like this – I think it makes sense as in many cases Delta’s “regions” don’t make a ton of sense (why is Turkmenistan, which borders Iran, in Southeast Asia?)
Reduced prices to the SW Pacific and Northern South America from some regions
There were only a limited number of mile reductions that I saw, but among those, the 2 regions that seemed to pop up more than others were Northern South America and the Southwest Pacific
- Business from North Asia to SW Pacific dropped from 75,000 to 65,000 miles
- Business from Southern South America to the Southwest Pacific down from 95,000 to 90,000 miles
- Business from Mexico to Northern South America dropped from 45,000 to 40,000 miles
- Business from the Caribbean to Northern South America dropped from 45,000 to 42,500 miles
- Business from North America to Northern South America dropped from 45,000 to 40,000 miles
Not to mention that travel WITHIN the Southwest Pacific dropped from 30,000 in Economy and 45,000 miles in Business to 22,500 /40,000 miles in 2015.
As a reminder, Delta considers the Southwest Pacific “American Samoa, Australia, Christmas Islands, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna Islands”
Travel within regions getting cheaper
In addition to travel within the Southwest Pacific getting cheaper, a couple of other places got cheaper
- Travel within Africa went from 30,000 in Economy and 50,000 in Business to 22,500 for Economy and 40,000 in Business
- This includes South Africa, which Delta considers a separate zone and also is now 22,500 / 40,000 miles
- Travel within the Middle East (Bahrain, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates (composed of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras El Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al Qaiwain), Uzbekistan, Yemen (Republic of)) goes from 40,000 / 60,000 to 22,500 / 40,000.
As mentioned before, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything without knowing what kind of availability will be in each bucket, but this does give at least an initial glance. If you want to see the complete list – see Complete list of 2015 Delta award chart changes
What award looks the best to you?