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SDC rules change April 16; Increased restrictions incl same fare bucket availability

SDC rules change April 16; Increased restrictions incl same fare bucket availability

Old Mar 28, 13, 1:59 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by RobertS975 View Post
"Loyalty is a two way street." Gee, I must have made a wrong turn somewhere. I seem to be on a one way street.
The sad thing is that SDC was one of the few truly novel, customer-friendly innovations that Delta ever introduced anytime since the start of the Leo Era (remember "Delta 9.5, Customers 0?")

Any thread that is working on page 4 only 75 minutes after the initial posting is a thread with a lot of ticked-off people. Not that they care.

As I used to state in my signature line ...

"On Virginia Ave, loyalty is a one way street"
--Me

Last edited by OldRoyal; Mar 28, 13 at 2:06 pm Reason: added a paragraph
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:03 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by flymanbeast View Post
I think too many people have been gaming the sdc for more mqm or upgrades
Very definitely true, and if this cuts down on that I'll be happy. But that's one small consolation in a sea of negatives.

Why do they even need folks like Jeff anymore?. Any schlub can take a hatchet to the FF program periodically, you really don't need talent to do that.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:04 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by lamont2718 View Post
Strongly agree. Unless previously purchased tickets will be exempt from the new SDC policy (a la MQM bonus on M fares), the lack of advance notice would represent truly bad form on Delta's part.
They've done it before and they'll do it again.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:12 pm
  #49  
 
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Having to SDC into the same fare bucket is going to be interesting. I just did a search for today for the one routing I most often SDC DEN->SLC available fares are T,X, and Y. And given I too am sLUT flyer there is one flight, I also not that tomorrow there is a U fare.

It will be very interesting and I would like think that someone did some real stats work here looking at past data.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:12 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by flymanbeast View Post
I think too many people have been gaming the sdc for more mqm or upgrades
That's probably part of it right there. Just like with MQD requirements, it discourages people from being able to game the system and save the perks for those who are more willing to pay for it.

The other thing is the lost revenue on the initial booking. Many people have admitted on here to using SDC to avoid higher fares on their travel dates. They need a flight at the time of flight A but pick flight B because flight B is significantly cheaper and simply plan to SDC to flight A on the day of. And DL is losing out on the revenue.

You wonder if FT and similar sites are what are leading to some of these changes like MQD and the changes for SDC. Too many people share their "secrets" at how to game the system of boosting status and perks with cheap mileage runs, work the upgrade system by moving to flights with better availability, and select cheaper flights and SDC to the more expensive one later. Too many people brag about beating the system and using the system beyond what the intent was, and they forget that the system is much more powerful than they are and that the system can easily fight back.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:12 pm
  #51  
 
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This is horrible

I used SDC to get home earlier when I finished early or in advance of weather where DL would do nothing. This is a horrible move and a huge devaluation.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:12 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by jrl22 View Post
iirc CO's SDC policy used to have the fare bucket restriction, which pretty well offset the 24-hr window; I'm not sure whether that has carried over to UA


I ** really ** hope "only-as-ticketed routing" won't be part of SDC (I believe both UA and AS are currently that way, and that is also a killer)
In regards to the UA question, I bought and flew one of the DTW-HNL $440 fares on UA DTW-IAH-HNL on 12-8-12 with a return HNL-IAH-DTW on 12-11-12. I have family and friends who live on the islands so I thought a good deal for a quick 4 day trip. None the less, as I had some vacation time, I kept doing the UA SDC via my Android App i might add every day, multiple times, as you could change to a new flight within 24 hours of any available flight. I knew that eventually I would not be able to change and confirm but with the timing of the HNL flights, I knew I would know with plenty of time to get to airport if I could not change. Anyways, I finally flew home on the 19th after at least 15-20 changes to the itinerary all free from my plat status via a status match.

And yes I changed my routing from HNL-IAH-DTW to HNL-EWR-DTW, HNL-ORD-DTW, HNL-IAD-DTW multiple times depending on availability, so routing changes were allowed as well.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:16 pm
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by lamont2718 View Post
Strongly agree. Unless previously purchased tickets will be exempt from the new SDC policy (a la MQM bonus on M fares), the lack of advance notice would represent truly bad form on Delta's part.
Actually, I'm kind of surprised that advanced notice was not given to the "Miles Die When You Do" enhancement. I can see it now ...

"Die before December 31 and get Skymiles!!"
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:19 pm
  #54  
 
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We could go back to the pre-deregulation era when you could freely change your flights or even your carrier, or even get a refund with little, if any, fuss. No loyalty programs to worry about. Lots of empty seats. Mainline flights to small, out-of-the-way places. Lots of flexibility. Oh wait! We'd be paying thousands to fly in Y instead of hundreds.

No I am not advocating this. And I do not like the changes, either. But sometimes it is calming to think of what the alternative could be.

I wonder what other "enhancements" are going to be rolled out. Looks like they are taking the piecemeal approach.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:26 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by GatorBlues View Post
Maybe, maybe not. At some point, Delta will have watered down the benefits of status to the point that people that often pay more to stay on Delta's flights will instead mix in significant numbers of flights with other carriers. If a large group of travelers starts flying only 65% of the time with Delta instead of over 90%, it's going to hurt Delta's bottom line. I'm not offended by any of Delta's changes, but I question whether they have gone too far and caused unintended negative consequences for the airline.
The other airlines are doing the same things to their loyalty programs... some of what they lose, DL will gain - and vice-versa.

On DL I have gone from PM, to GM, to FO... (I actually got upgraded out of ATL yesterday at the 48h hour window) I've switched most of my flying over to UA. When the balance of my DL miles are gone, and I have used a couple e-certs I have with DL, my flying will be with UA. (unless DL has a fare or promotion I can't refuse)
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:28 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by flymanbeast View Post
I think too many people have been gaming the sdc for more mqm or upgrades
Don't see how that's the case. MQM should be limited by routing rules. You shouldn't be able to SDC to an itinerary you couldn't have purchased under that fare to begin with. If that rule is getting broken, stop the exceptions.

I really don't see the issue with someone SDCing for better upgrade chances. They're going to occupy a seat on one plane or another. If they perceive their chances to be better on a different flight, chances are that flight isn't as full, so why not let people switch over to it?
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:36 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
Don't see how that's the case. MQM should be limited by routing rules. You shouldn't be able to SDC to an itinerary you couldn't have purchased under that fare to begin with. If that rule is getting broken, stop the exceptions.

I really don't see the issue with someone SDCing for better upgrade chances. They're going to occupy a seat on one plane or another. If they perceive their chances to be better on a different flight, chances are that flight isn't as full, so why not let people switch over to it?
Who cares if people are using SDC to improve upgrade opportunities? What difference does it make what the reason is? If DL would make SDC doable online, even require you to do it online, at a kiosk, or not at all, then there would be very little personnel cost associated with it. And filling up soon-to-depart flights by moving pax from later flights should be win-win for everyone.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:41 pm
  #58  
us2
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Assuming that this account is more or less accurate, this really sounds like a scheme thought up by back offiice beancounters who don't deal with the operational realities of running an airline.

Overall, what I'd expect this to do in the aggregate is to lock people more into the flights onto which they were already booked. I'm not sure that's a good outcome when capacity is restricted as much as it is.

Any time you can get a person off a later flight and on to an earlier one, you're maximizing the capacity of the system for a given day. Given the lack of excess capacity in the system generally, that should always be a win-win for both the airline and the customer. Moving a customer to an earlier flight costs essentially nothing; when a seat on an early flight goes out empty, it's gone for the day. Ideally, you'd want the latest flights to be the emptiest -- it's your last chance to get people where they're going without an overnight delay -- and a backlog that then spills over into the next day.

Unless there's transparency in availability and your place in the standby list, paying $50 to standby is buying a pig in a poke, which essentially makes it unviable for infrequent leisure travelers and FOs. On a lot of routes, you'd achieve an equal result by going into the men's room, pulling out $50 and flushing it down the toilet, especially given the inability to move from a nonstop to a connection and vice versa. This is really the case on hub to hub flights, which tend to run full.

All in all, from what I can tell, this seems like one of those brilliant MBA generated ideas that sounds good in theory (where the operative objective is extracting as much cash from the customer as possible) but downright awful operationally. I can see this backfiring as the number of VDBs and IDBs increase, because what you've done is remove flexibility to move people around by trying to pass along as a cost to passengers something that is actually desirable from an operations perspective. A $50 fee is not insignificant, especially when, in some cases, it's money that is going to be thrown away.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:50 pm
  #59  
 
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I'm tired of enhancements. Just frickin tired.

I'll hit PM this year and 2014 will be my last of flying delta exclusively. I'll go back to UA and pretend somebody cares.
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Old Mar 28, 13, 2:55 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by us2 View Post
...Overall, what I'd expect this to do in the aggregate is to lock people more into the flights onto which they were already booked. I'm not sure that's a good outcome when capacity is restricted as much as it is.

Any time you can get a person off a later flight and on to an earlier one, you're maximizing the capacity of the system for a given day. Given the lack of excess capacity in the system generally, that should always be a win-win for both the airline and the customer...
Well said. I've love to see the assumptions that are baked into this decision. I'd bet the outcome will be quite different.
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