You know what is frustrating to me? Being told that something is going to cost me this much but in reality is something else.
This practice is called “Bait and Switch” where a company shows one price, but when you go to pay the price is different. Delta, off and on, has had real issues with this when it comes to tickets you are purchasing. But does this apply to award tickets too?
By then end of this week I should be down from almost 1 million Skymiles in my account to under 3,000. My wife is down to under 10,000 (she did not have that many to start with). So I have been doing a BUNCH of award bookings and I CLEARLY will not pay more than LEVEL 1 or low level awards for any of them. I have a family reunion in July and since it is vacation and I am flying with my wife I want to go in 1st class (you may not agree with using my Delta points for this kind of domestic redemption, but that is for another post).
Now before we get too far into this, keep this next VERY important detail in mind. Notice what Delta has publicly stated the reason for the shameless and insulting removal of the award booking charts was:
Delta’s expanded search capabilities and calendar at delta.com offer more flexible and accurate view of Award prices – BOLD MINE
An accurate view says to me they are stating that the price shown is what the price truly is. On my search above, Delta.com even went as far as to show, in real time, how many seats at that price – 50,000 each – were remaining per passenger.
The same thing goes for our return trip. There were 3 seats in the 50,000 point redemption for 1st class seats round trip total each (there are only two of us btw).
Even at the last page it confirmed the total miles needed for this trip just like the preceding pages showed. I then went to pay and what do you think happened?
The flight just “sold out”. RATS! Well I guess that can happen. So I log out, clear my cache on my computer, log back in, and guess what I see? The 3 seats are back again just like before! I try to purchase my tickets again and guess what happens. Yep, the same thing all over again.
I call Delta and the medallion representative is able to see the SAME THING at his end. Really? Now he had the power to honor the price shown on both his and my screen, but it is sad you have to call the airline to get the ticket. Plus, without award charts, I bet the average consumer would not know that they can stick to their guns and get that price shown (and have phone booking fees waived since Delta.com is clearly not working)!
This gets even worse! I posted the other day about one of my trips to and from Sweden I booked on award points. I had the same thing happen with one of the Virgin flights I had tried to book, that is, for the return, it “just sold out”.
The Medallion representative told me – get this – “Oh this happens all the time and can take up to 24 hours for the sold seats to disappear from the system“. Really? So in other words, Delta.com can display wrong information for up to a full day with partners. That is accurate information?
How can we use this to help us? In my case, the representative did the right thing and honored the price. With partners Delta can not FORCE space so no joy there. But what they can do is match the price shown on Delta.com in points on Delta metal and that is what they did in my case. They matched the LEVEL 1 seats on Delta jets that were showing a much higher award LEVEL total since the web site clearly displayed what the price should be at purchase. Again good of them to honor the price, as they should, just sad that you have to call to get this done! – René
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