Pitfull of new mileage award and SDC

Old May 15, 2015, 11:28 am
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Pitfull of new mileage award and SDC

Just experienced another pitfall of the new mileage award tickets.
In order to get the lowest award ticket you have to book 21 days out. However, you can ever forget doing a SDC on that ticket. There will never be a seat in the fare bucket you purchased because you had to book it 21 days out and of course when doing a SDC...that fare bucket will never be available, the best you can hope for is a SDS.
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Old May 15, 2015, 11:49 am
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Yup... nothing new here unfortunately. If you have a level 1 or 2 award its unlikely you can SDC with it, similar to how if you purchase a U/T/X/V ticket its not likely you can SDC unless the flight is wide open.

Will be interesting what happens with SDC on award tickets as DL moves to dynamic award pricing and there are no more discrete award levels.
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Old May 15, 2015, 12:07 pm
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Perhaps. Has it been confirmed that these 21 day restrictions are enforced by removing availability from the lowest buckets, as opposed to fare rules? Because if it's done by fare rules instead, it would be no different than, say, booking a V fare that is only offered for 21 day advance purchases. You may not be able to buy a ticket in V on the day of departure, but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't V inventory.
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Old May 15, 2015, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by javabytes
Perhaps. Has it been confirmed that these 21 day restrictions are enforced by removing availability from the lowest buckets, as opposed to fare rules? Because if it's done by fare rules instead, it would be no different than, say, booking a V fare that is only offered for 21 day advance purchases. You may not be able to buy a ticket in V on the day of departure, but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't V inventory.
In my experience, it's available fare buckets. This predates the 21 day advance "rule" and goes back to the change in SDC by fare bucket. I have tried to SDC on at least half of my award flights the past year and a half and the change has always been whatever the award amount is at the time you make the call. Before the SDC change, as long as there was an award seat available in Y when on a Y award, you could SDC to it no matter how many miles they wanted for it at the time.
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Old May 15, 2015, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by javabytes
Perhaps. Has it been confirmed that these 21 day restrictions are enforced by removing availability from the lowest buckets, as opposed to fare rules? Because if it's done by fare rules instead, it would be no different than, say, booking a V fare that is only offered for 21 day advance purchases. You may not be able to buy a ticket in V on the day of departure, but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't V inventory.
Exactly. The problem tends to be availability of cheap inventory classes, not advance purchase fare rules versus SDC.
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Old May 15, 2015, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by rylan
... if you purchase a U/T/X/V ticket its not likely you can SDC unless the flight is wide open. ...
Originally Posted by javabytes
Perhaps. Has it been confirmed that these 21 day restrictions are enforced by removing availability from the lowest buckets, as opposed to fare rules? Because if it's done by fare rules instead, it would be no different than, say, booking a V fare that is only offered for 21 day advance purchases. You may not be able to buy a ticket in V on the day of departure, but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't V inventory.
in the case of revenue seats, you might indeed not be able to buy the low fare due to advance purchase restrictions, but as javabytes suggests, there have been several reports of DL making the inventory available -- thus enabling SDC

about a month ago I was holding a 2pm BWI-JFK-SEA (purchased approx 48 hrs out, K was lowest available); when I inquired about SDC options leaving around 8am I was offered BWI-ATL-LAX-SEA or BWI-MSP-SLC-SEA
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Old May 15, 2015, 12:28 pm
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Yes that is true that lower buckets may be available for SDC and are not for sale due to advance ticketing restrictions. However from what I understand and lack of evidence otherwise, award ticket inventory and what is for sale are the same so if you have a low award, you can only SDC to another flight if DL is offering it for purchase at the low level.
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Old May 15, 2015, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by rylan
Yes that is true that lower buckets may be available for SDC and are not for sale due to advance ticketing restrictions. However from what I understand and lack of evidence otherwise, award ticket inventory and what is for sale are the same so if you have a low award, you can only SDC to another flight if DL is offering it for purchase at the low level.
Except that DL no longer has "levels" for awards, it just charges arbitrary numbers of miles.
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Old May 15, 2015, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by rylan
Yes that is true that lower buckets may be available for SDC and are not for sale due to advance ticketing restrictions. However from what I understand and lack of evidence otherwise, award ticket inventory and what is for sale are the same so if you have a low award, you can only SDC to another flight if DL is offering it for purchase at the low level.
Actually, that isn't true, at least for a DM. You can SDC all you want on an award ticket but you have to pay the difference between what you originally paid and the current cost of the ticket is. Back before the "21 day rule", you would sometimes get a refund because the fare was now lower. I'm sure that is still the case but good luck having a cheaper fare within 24 hours of departure.
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Old May 15, 2015, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by yohanson
Actually, that isn't true, at least for a DM. You can SDC all you want on an award ticket but you have to pay the difference between what you originally paid and the current cost of the ticket is. Back before the "21 day rule", you would sometimes get a refund because the fare was now lower. I'm sure that is still the case but good luck having a cheaper fare within 24 hours of departure.
This sounds a lot like changing your award ticket within 72 hours of departure.
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Old May 15, 2015, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by yohanson
Before the SDC change, as long as there was an award seat available in Y when on a Y award, you could SDC to it no matter how many miles they wanted for it at the time.
So it worked like the F SDC rules today? Man, I wished I had known that!!
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Old May 15, 2015, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by yohanson
Actually, that isn't true, at least for a DM. You can SDC all you want on an award ticket but you have to pay the difference between what you originally paid and the current cost of the ticket is. Back before the "21 day rule", you would sometimes get a refund because the fare was now lower. I'm sure that is still the case but good luck having a cheaper fare within 24 hours of departure.
Not sure how that is of any help however... the whole point is being able to SDC without getting dinged for the difference between your low award and the current going rate. If you have a 25k award ticket and call up and are told you have to pay an additional 40k miles because there isn't anything in your low bucket, thats effectively not being able to do SDC.
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Old May 15, 2015, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by rylan
Not sure how that is of any help however... the whole point is being able to SDC without getting dinged for the difference between your low award and the current going rate. If you have a 25k award ticket and call up and are told you have to pay an additional 40k miles because there isn't anything in your low bucket, thats effectively not being able to do SDC.
True but they can confirm you on the flight for the extra miles as opposed to you standing by for what could be a soon to be sold out flight. You'll be able to confirm a seat.
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Old May 15, 2015, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
This sounds a lot like changing your award ticket within 72 hours of departure.
SDC and changing outside of the 72 hour window is exactly the same for an award flight for a DM/PM. I've never recently attempted to change 24H<>72H although as I typed that, I believe I did get told about the 72 hour rule now applying to the return last year and that she was making an exception for me during that 24-72 hour window. But, upon more thinking about that, I changed that flight to the following day so that doesn't apply here.

Originally Posted by EZEDoesIt
So it worked like the F SDC rules today? Man, I wished I had known that!!
Yes, exactly like the F SDC rule today on a paid fare. Sometimes back in the day, they would even give you back miles if it was a cheaper award fare.
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Old May 15, 2015, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by sethb
Except that DL no longer has "levels" for awards, it just charges arbitrary numbers of miles.
Not arbitrary, intentionally high.
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