Is the Delta IT Team Undermining Delta SkyMiles Management?

Here we go again with Delta.

As many of you already know, yesterday FlyerTalker LBJ reported that when pricing out award tickets on the Delta.com site he discovered that the awards priced out differently if he was logged in vs. if he didn’t enter his SkyMiles member information.

Well, ok, so Delta is offering better award redemption prices for members, right?

Wrong. LBJ holds elite status in the Delta SkyMiles program, and award redemption prices were coming out higher for him when he was logged in.

Significantly higher.

Others immediately put the scientific method to the test and began attempts to duplicate the results. Many were successfully able to do so.

Then, about 8 hours after LBJ first reported his results, an official SkyMiles representative joined the discussion:

Delta confirms that we are aware of an issue with awards shopping results and we are investigating with utmost urgency. We will post another update on Wednesday 2/25 once we can provide greater guidance ~SkyMilesTeam

So what’s the true story here? It’s difficult to say.

Some, like Gary Leff of View from the Wing, believe this must be the result of an IT glitch, as Delta couldn’t possibly think they would sneak this by and:

‘it’s all about being more rewarding for their most profitable customers’ — that’s the narrative they’ve been pushing for the last couple of years and if this change were intentional it would undermine their story.

Rene of Delta Points doesn’t seem as convinced that this is a mistake on Delta’s part:

They have some of the BEST IT to run an amazing operation. I think EVERYONE would agree with that – it is stunning and unmatched. How can the same folks have the same level of incompetence in SkyMiles unless they WANT it to be this bad?

My personal opinion?

I believe Delta is obviously in the midst of some major changes to the SkyMiles program and the website, and they are making mistakes along the way. My guess is that someone pretty high up in the echelon over there said, “We’re going to make some big changes and we’re going to make them now.” And as is so often the case, that person probably didn’t listen when the underlings said, “Hmmmm, those changes you want are going to touch a lot of pieces and parts and it’s going to be pretty complicated and require a lot of testing to make sure we get it right.”

The exec, being an exec, probably just replied, “If we left it up to you IT folks we’d never finish testing and nothing would ever get done. These changes will be completed before the end of February. Am I making myself clear?”

And that my friends, in some paraphrased form, is how you lower the morale of an IT team and end up with “glitches” that look really bad for corporate and necessitate emergency responses.

Of course, that’s just my take.

It will be interesting to read the official SkyMiles response today. While both Delta Points and View from the Wing are expecting to receive an update directly from Delta, if you want the news as early as possible you should probably follow the FlyerTalk thread as the Delta SkyMiles representative will probably post it there first.

Read the thread in its entirety: “I am traveling” economy awards pricing higher

Image by Wicked Sushi. CC BY-ND 2.0.

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