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delta-iconDelta is overhauling its frequent flyer program starting in January 2015.  The other day they released their new award booking tool, and there is a bit to like there – it’s much improved over the old one (which is saying exactly ZERO as the old one was utter garbage).

(READ: Delta Award Travel: 5 tricks to Delta’s improved award search calendar)

Today they also released their new award charts for all region (previously they had only released the changes from North America).  I first read it on View from the Wing, where his reaction was “first blush is that there are some price increases but no obliterations”.  I decided to take a quick peek at what changes there were.  This doesn’t tell the whole story as we won’t know what kind of availability Delta will release in the new “Level 1” lowest level award category just yet.  As far as I could tell, this is the complete list of changes:

(Note that in all cases we are comparing the lowest levels, which are “Saver” in the current Skymiles program, and “Level 1” in the new Delta award chart)

Delta award chart changes from North America

  • Economy to the Middle East – was 40,000 miles and now is 42,500 miles
  • Economy to South Asian subcontinent – was 40,000 miles and now is 42,500 miles
  • Business to Northern South America – was 45,000 miles and now is 40,000 miles

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

Delta Award chart changes from Mexico

  • Economy to Southern South America – from 30,000 to 35,000 miles.  Business from 62,500 miles to 65,000 miles
  • Economy to Africa from 45,000 to 50,000 miles.  Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to the Middle East from 45,000 to 50,000 miles.  Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to South Asia from 45,000 to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to Northern Asia from 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to Southeast Asia from 45,000 to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Business to Northern South America down from 45,000 to 40,000 miles
  • Business to South Africa from 80,000 to 100,000 miles

Delta Award chart changes from the Caribbean

  • Economy to Northern South America – from 22,500 miles to 25,000 miles.  Business down from 45,000 to 42,500 miles
  • Economy to Africa from 45,000 to 50,000 miles Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to the Middle East from 45,000 to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to South Asia from 45,000 to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to Southeast Asia from 45,000 to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Business to Europe from 62,500 miles to 65,000 miles

Delta Award chart changes from Central America

  • Economy to Africa from 45,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to the Middle East from 45,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to South Asian subcontinent from 45,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Business from 60,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to Northern Asia from 40,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Economy to Southeast Asia from 45,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Business to Europe from 62,500 miles to 65,000 miles

Delta Award chart changes from Northern South America

  • Economy to Europe from 40,000 miles to 50,000 miles.  Business from 72,500 to 80,000
  • Economy to Afirca from 55,000 miles to 60,000 miles.  Business from 80,000 to 90,000 miles
  • Economy to the Middle East from 50,000 miles to 60,000 miles.  Business from 85,000 to 90,000 miles
  • Economy to South Asia from 50,000 miles to 60,000 miles.  Business from 75,000 to 90,000 miles
  • Economy to Northern Asia from 50,000 miles to 60,000 miles.  Business from 85,000 to 90,000 miles
  • Economy to Southeast Asia from 50,000 miles to 60,000 miles. Business from 85,000 to 90,000 miles
  • Economy to the Southwest Pacific from 50,000 miles to 60,000 miles. Business from 80,000 to 90,000 miles

delta-airplaneDelta Award chart changes from Southern South America

  • Economy to Europe from 50,000 to 60,000 miles.  Business from 87,500 to 90,000 miles
  • Economy to South Africa from 60,000 to 70,000 miles.
  • Business to Africa from 87,500 to 90,000 miles
  • Business to South Asia from 80,000 to 90,000 miles
  • Business to the Southwest Pacific down from 95,000 to 90,000 miles

Delta award chart changes from Europe

  • Economy to Northern Asia from 45,000 to 50,000 miles.  Business from 70K to 80K miles
  • Economy to Southeast Asia down from 55,000 to 50,000 miles. Business from 70K to 80K miles
  • Economy to the Southwest Pacific from 55,000 to 60,000 miles.  Business up from 80,000 to 90,000 miles
  • Business to Africa from 50,000 to 65,000 miles
  • Business to South Africa from 50,000 to 65,000 miles
  • Business to the Middle East from 35,000 to 42,500 miles
  • Business to South Asia from 40,000 to 42,500 miles

Delta award chart changes from the Middle East

  • Economy to Southwest Pacific from 55,000 to 60,000 miles
  • Business to Africa from 60,000 to 70,000 miles
  • Business to South Africa from 60,000 to 70,000 miles
  • Business to North Asia from 60,000 to 70,000 miles
  • Business to Southeast Asia from 60,000 to 70,000 miles
  • Business to Southwest Pacific from 85,000 to 90,000 miles

Delta award chart changes from Africa

  • Economy to South Africa down from 30,000 to 22,500 miles
  • Business to South Asia from 60,000 to 70,000 miles
  • Business to North Asia from 75,000 to 80,000 miles

Delta award chart changes from South Africa

  • Business to South Asia from 60,000 to 70,000 miles
  • Business to North Asia from 75,000 to 80,000 miles

Delta award chart changes from the South Asian subcontinent

  • Economy to North Asia from 37,500 to 40,000 miles.  Business from 55,000 to 70,000 miles
  • Economy to the Southwest Pacific from 45,000 to 50,000 miles.  Business from 70,000 to 80,000 miles
  • Business to Southeast Asia from 50,000 to 65,000 miles

Delta award chart changes from North Asia

  • Economy to Southeast Asia from 35,000 to 40,000 miles
  • Business to the Southwest Pacific from 75,000 down to 65,000 miles

Delta award charges from Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific

  • Business from Southeast Asia to the Southwest Pacific – from 60,000 to 70,000 miles
  • Travel WITHIN the Southwest Pacific going from 30,000 in Economy and 45,000 miles in Business to 22,500 / 40,000 miles

What does it all mean?

Well the good news is that this isn’t a bloodletting and major devaluation.  Yes, there are many routes that have gone up, and in some cases quite substantially.  On the flip side, there are a decent number that have gone down as well (I attempted to highlight those in bold).

One thing I noticed while going through the charts is that they seemed to want to standardize similar routes.  For example, Business Class flights from Northern South America to the various regions in Asia were anywhere from 75,000 to 95,000 miles – now they’re all 90,000 miles.  Perhaps the idea there was to simplify things and try to minimize people “arbitraging” the region definitions?

Again, this in and of itself won’t mean a whole lot – the real key will be when we know what kind of availability is in the “Level 1” bucket.  I’m not holding my breath for a ton there – I suspect it will mostly be in the Level 2 and Level 3 buckets, which will mean that this news has room to get much worse.

Let me know if I made any mistakes, or what sweet spots you see in the comments!!

UPDATE: See also: Initial Analysis of the new Delta Award Chart

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