April 7, 2017
Use this Loophole to Get Around Delta’s New SkyMiles Devaluation
Without ANY advanced warning, Delta has devalued their award program AGAIN. And of course, true to Delta fashion, they didn’t bother to explain any of this to their customers and left it to them to just figure it out.
The main devaluation effects award tickets booked for travel on Delta’s partner airlines. Many, though not all, flights operated by Delta’s partners are seeing price increases across all classes of travel. Here are some examples.
Partner Award Flights between US and Australia (One-Way)
- Economy Class-Increasing from 45,000 miles to 55,000 miles
- Business Class-Increasing from 95,000 miles to 115,000 miles
Partner Award Flights between US and Europe (One-Way)
- Economy Class-Increasing from 30,000 miles to 35,000 miles
- Business Class-Increasing from 70,000 miles to 85,000 miles
Partner Award Flights between US and Asia (One-Way)
- Economy Class-Increasing from 35,000 miles to 40,000 miles
- Business Class-Increasing from 80,000 miles to 95,000 miles
It also looks like partner awards between the US and Europe are even more expensive when booked about three weeks before departure date. For example, a Virgin Atlantic business class award booked a few weeks before travel is pricing at 102,500 miles one-way.
These changes don’t seem seem to have effected pricing on routes operated by Delta, and that’s the ‘loophole’ you can use to get the old prices. For example, instead of booking a direct flight to your final destination exclusively on a partner like Virgin Atlantic, book that flight with a short connection involving Delta aircraft. Because there’s a Delta flight as part of your itinerary, you’ll still get the old award pricing structure.
Delta keeps devaluing its frequent flyer program, and it doesn’t give advanced warning to its passengers. Those are just some of the reasons why I don’t keep any significant balance of SkyMiles in my frequent flyer currency portfolio.
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