Delta Announces A Number of SkyMiles Improvements Including 10k One-Way Redemptions!

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skymiles improvements

Delta SkyMiles Enhancements

Delta has announced that they are making several improvements to their SkyMiles program. After all of the recent changes including the disappearance of their award chart, this appears to be good news, although with Delta I suggest a wait and see approach.

Changes

Here are the changes as described by Delta.

  • “New One-Way Award tickets beginning as low as 10,000 miles plus taxes and fees, available through Dec. 31, 2015 for travel in select U.S., Mexican and Caribbean markets. Customers can now fly to several popular Award destinations with a 21-day minimum advance purchase.”
  • “Improved Award redemption by expanding the number of airline partners that SkyMiles members can select to redeem for Award Travel on delta.com. Delta recently updated the Fly Delta app to give customers the ability to book Award travel from mobile devices. Since January, Delta has offered customers the ability to book SkyMiles Award travel through the Fly Delta app.”
  • “Customers can now earn MQDs, regardless of ticketing carrier, for travel on most of Delta’s airline partners, which will help them achieve Medallion status faster. SkyMiles members will receive retroactive credit of MQDs on eligible partner flights dating back to the beginning of the qualification year, Jan. 1, 2015. MQD earning varies based on carrier and percentage of distance flown as determined by Delta and fare class paid.”

Update: Delta has added even more information on Flytertalk.

Analysis

MQDs

For Delta elites, the ability to earn MQDs on most of Delta’s airline partners should be an improvement and it is nice that they will be issuing MQDs retroactive back to the 1st of the year. I have reached out to Delta to find out which partner airlines won’t earn MQDs.

10K Redemptions

skymiles improvements
LAS-LAX

I am really interested to see how this 10,000 mile redemption option shakes out. If these awards are widely available, this could prove to be a great deal for some routes. I did a search on a number of routes and was able to find some 10,000 mile redemptions for short haul routes like LAS-LAX, but nothing on long flights.

At this time I have not been able to find a list of the routes which will be on sale, so there really isn’t any way to tell how good this change is or if it is something that will rarely be available. The only information I have is what was listed above.

Expanded Booking Options

Update: Delta has posted some more information on Flyertalk. They have added four airlines including China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern & Gol and are adding more partners in the coming weeks.

Delta has recently added China Southern and China Eastern to their booking engine, so I am not sure if that is what they are talking about in regards to expanded booking options, but I have reached out to them for more clarification. I will post any updates when I hear back.

 

Conclusion

None of these changes are spectacular, but it is nice to see Delta providing a little more value to their elite flyers and program members. Perhaps they are feeling a little heat from the backlash or perhaps this is just a temporary move, but either way it is a move in the right direction. You can find the full press release announcing the changes here.

What do you think? Is this enough to change your opinion of Delta’s SkyMiles program?


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Shawn,

    I have a quick question regarding how to use Delta miles to book reward ticket for others.

    I have 100K points in my Amex account which can be transferred to Delta miles. My friend and me have a travel plan this summer. After I saw this post, I think maybe I can buy the Delta reward tickets using those miles. But the problem we face is that my friend is not a miles collector and because of this I need to book ticket using my own miles for both of us. But I do not have any experience booking fright for others at Delta. I was thinking transfer Amex points to my Delta account then transfer miles to my friend’s Delta account, then I realized there might be transfer fee associated. I am not sure if I can book ticket for my friend in my own Delta account without any fee (except tax)? If it is possible, I am wondering what should I do? Any trick?

    Thanks

    • Sarah you can search and book through your account. On Delta’s homepage you would just search for two tickets. When purchasing the tickets with miles, it will ask you to put the passengers names.

      I do recommend that you don’t transfer over your Membership Rewards to Delta until you are ready to book. There are other transfer partners of Membership Rewards who you may also want to consider depending on where you are going.

      With any airline it is possible to book two tickets out of your account so don’t worry.

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