Delta Air Lines, for the last year, has been employing a variable model to set the price of award tickets on Delta-operated flights. The airline has been charging more miles for high-demand flights. The carrier now looks to be using the same model with Virgin Atlantic, its partner. Normally, airline frequent flyer programs priced tickets based on location and inventory, only charging more if there were fewer seats available on a given flight.
Delta, in the last year, changed that, and now the airline prices tickets based on demand and current availability. This isn't necessarily bad news for flyers as there are plenty of deals to be snagged. Case in point, Delta recently offered award tickets from Haneda, Japan to Minneapolis, Minnesota for 50,000 miles each way - 10,000 miles cheaper than other carriers. On a side note, business class fares don't reflect these type of great deals with dynamic pricing as of now.
Currently, Virgin Atlantic is the only Delta partner that uses this pricing model. Though Delta has not come forward with plans for Delta's other SkyTeam partners, if the model finds traction, Delta's SkyMiles loyalty program may introduce its variable pricing to 20 other carriers worldwide.
In Other News...
1. Turkish Airlines Opens First Airport Lounge In United States
Last week, Turkish Airlines opened its first esteemed airport lounge in the United States. The 5,000 square-feet lounge, aptly named Turkish Airlines Lounge Washington D.C., was opened inside Washington Dulles International Airport.
The lounge can comfortably seat 120 guests and features a whole host of amenities including shower and bathroom facilities, free Wi-Fi, prayer and relaxation rooms, entertainment options, and to top it all off, a food and beverage buffet.
Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci said in a statement: "Travelers who visit the Turkish Airlines lounge at Dulles International Airport will be treated to some of the finest services and accommodations available anywhere". Now, it's hard to argue with that as Turkish Airlines has been named by Skytrax, for the sixth year in a row, the Best Airline Of Europe.
2. Japan Airlines Announces Priority Pass Lounge Partnership
Frequent flyers with Japan Airlines can now access over 950 worldwide lounges in more than 400 cities. Japan Airlines recently announced the partnership with Priority Pass. Members can redeem just 40,000 miles in exchange for a Priority Pass Prestige Membership, which costs $399 for a one-year membership that comes with complimentary unlimited access to the airport lounges globally.
After redeeming the Priority Pass Prestige Membership, members can simply get the Priority Pass smartphone app and use the Digital Membership Card. Members can also choose to have a physical card sent to their selected address if that's what they prefer.
Once redeemed and all set, travelers have access to lounges across America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, plus it's very easy to find a lounge with the Priority Pass Search Tool.