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Delta is not an airline to show customers much love. In NWA days I received frequent updates on the airline and the occasional personal touch. Delta sends this Diamond Medallion a generic e-card at Christmas. The year the merger was implemented the team, presumably ex-NWA, was excellent at providing status updates. After the year closed, things went dark. The prevailing attitude seems to be one of ‘take it or leave it.’ They increase award prices with no notice and now a good thing, add partner online booking with no notice, so the policy is consistent in not reporting anything relevant.
Since the merger there have been changes, both pro and con, rollover MQMs I consider the best.
The worst for every ex-NWA flyer is the ongoing debacle with delta.com. The best airline website in the world was scrapped for a broken site that in several years has only managed to have new images on the homepage. Some of my last awards booked on nwa.com included China Southern to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (ASB) and Korean Air to Vladivostok, Russia (VVO). Nearly anything thrown at nwa.com could be booked. A thing of beauty. Transparent, easy, and no need to spend my time and Delta’s battling on the phone.
There have been occasional claims from Delta that they are working on the website but every purported example of progress has proved empty or exception-riddled. Itineraries often don’t even show the terminal at multi-terminal airports, a simple touch from nwa.com, etc, etc, etc.
The appearance of Korean Air awards on delta.com this week is the first tangible sign of progress, the first sign that they are actually working on online partner booking. United and American have bounded far ahead after the NWA lead was ceded. If we get one partner added ever 2-3 years we might be back to nwa.com by 2030, let’s keep up the momentum, Delta!
So, let’s give it a spin.
Korean Air flights do indeed appear on many routes, such as Seoul-Taipei:
But it fails the Vladivostok test (and Irkutsk and Ulan Bator):
And the really attractive routes, like Los Angeles-Sao Paulo, which will be upgraded to 777-30ER starting October 30, seem to be “not available” in perpetuity (update, see comments, reader DTO reports success on some dates by searching for price if search by schedule shows the flights as ‘Not Available,’ I re-ran some of my test searches and it is hit or miss but better than getting nothing.)
So, we’ve added a partner, but not for all markets, and still run into general Delta partner issues of time periods and routes that appear to be blacked out. For Delta, even that is progress, so I will champion it like I trumpet TSA PreCheck, lipstick on a pig it may but since I am kissing anyway, let’s slather it on.