Delta Airlines Crushing the Competition – Award Flights Starting at 5,000 Miles

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Delta Airlines award flight sale

Delta Airlines Crushing the Competition – Award Flights Starting at 5,000 Miles

Yet another award sale from Delta Airlines.  They are going at it non stop these past few weeks.  This sale is unique because it is a sale for cash flights and award flights.  The cost starts at $99 and the award prices start at 5,000 Skymiles.

These prices are for one way flights but the terms say a roundtrip flight is needed to be booked in order to get these prices.  I found that in reality this isn’t the case…there is award space for one way flights as well.

RELATED: Why You Should Always Download the Airline’s Mobile App Before Flying.

Sale Terms

The flight sale comes with the following terms:

  • Book by September 25, 2018
  • Fly October 30, 2018 through March 7, 2019
  • 21 days advanced purchase
  • Friday or Saturday stay required (not really though from what I saw)

Best Options

Many of the routes on sale are regional flights but here are some of the better options I saw:

  • Atlanta to Louisville – $109 or 6,000 miles
  • Austin to Los Angeles – $149 or 9,000 miles
  • Austin to Seattle – $129 or 7,000 miles
  • Boston to Milwaukee – $129 or 7,500 miles
  • Detroit to Philly – $129 or 7,500 miles
  • NYC to St. Louis – $139 or 8,500 miles
  • Portland to Salt Lake City – $119 or 7,000 miles
  • Nashville to Raleigh – $99 or 5,000 miles

As you can see miles is going to be the better option most of the time.  Booking these sales will bring you a return of 1.5-2 cents per Skymile.  Delta hints that there are even more sales out there so be sure to check any future flights you were considering from your home airport.

Direct Link to Offer Page

Conclusion

These prices compete with and often beat using British Airways Avios for American Airlines flights domestically.  If you were planning a trip on one of these routes then you are in luck.  Remember that American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Delta Airlines and that you can get 100,000 MR points with the Platinum card’s current targeted offer.


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27 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry but this is not ‘crushing the competition’.

    Delta has been driving value to those who:
    1. want to fly economy as their reward
    2. will choose where to go based on Delta’s sale
    3. can act quickly and spontaneously in making their booking

    Most people start with the destination and look for the reward. They book well ahead, around their lives and schedules. And heaven forbid they want their reward to involve greater comfort..

    To be clear these award sales are nice, though they don’t always offer decent value for miles, often the discounts are on flights being sold super cheaply for cash too. But they are not game changers for SkyMilers or mechanisms to provide value to the vast majority of members.

    • For domestic travel, which most people do in economy since the value isn’t there for first class, Delta is the best of the big three in my opinion. And Drew did a good breakdown of why as well http://travelisfree.com/2018/08/15/comparing-online-award-availability-for-aa-ua-dl/

      And I think you just defined all airline sales did you not? I don’t see many others doing them or as frequently so I do think there is a better chance these will work for you.

      So I guess I would say Delta is crushing the competition domestically – which most people fly more often than internationally.

      • You appear to make the case in this post that these sales are crushing the competition. They are not. Whether Delta is offering better value than other airlines for the median member looking for domestic coach travel is beyond the scope of what you covered, so isn’t what I was addressing with my comment.

        Best,
        Gary

        • “Crushing” is in the eye of the beholder. If Delta offers a much better deal for a flight you’re interested in than the competition (which they have for me), then they are crushing the competition. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. Delta is without question offering much better deals lately in both domestic and international travel for lots of people. Yes, I kind of see what you’re trying to say, but you’re really just arguing about the term “crushing”. Have fun with that. Pretty sure superlatives are requisite to most all these blogs (including yours) so if you’re going to argue over the definition of “awesome” or “breathtaking” or “crushing”…ad nauseum, good luck with that. You’ve got a full time job on your hands. It just comes off as being overly pedantic.

        • Gary I did mean that they are crushing the competition overall not just with this sale and that is why I have pointed out that they have had many lately in the first few sentences.

          Thanks for the comments though – always good to get feedback.

  2. Agree with some, disagree with some. I would say most people who are not travel hackers or whatever you’d like to call it, prefer to fly economy many times than premium cabins fewer times. The point is not necessarily maximizing $pm but instead minimizing $ expenses and still taking the vacations you want to.

    I’ve been super excited about Delta’s sales, because before this it was always economy 30k if you book months out, or 40k+ if you are doing 1month or less out. + many of these sales are to gateways from where you can travel to other places.. i.e. 48k to berlin, 28k to zurich, etc. I would say to the vast majority if these sales continue they make skymiles a lot more attractive.

      • Agreed. And the value is definitely not just domestically. Those 30,000 mile RT’s to HKG hung around way too long (still available I think) for me to pass up. I realize it’s your job to alert people to this stuff, but could you maybe not go out of your way too much to wake those people up to these amazing opportunities Delta seems to be consistently offering? Be a gentleman and allow Gary to assure everyone their old notions of SkyMiles are still completely valid. 😉

  3. I agree with Gary. This is FARRRR from “crushing the competition.” No doubt, its great to see but don’t let DL fool you. Their awards have been crazy expensive for so long that I think this is a situation where “normal levels” make you feel like like you’re getting a deal. however, look at the actual destinations…ATL-Louisville? Really? The “busiest airport in the world” and DL hub is giving me a discount to Louisville…and with restrictions? Wow, I better jump on this ASAP!

    • AJ you have to look at the overall picture. They have been rolling these out on a weekly basis for 2 months now plus they already offer the lowest economy awards of the big 3 – see the link above.

      I recently booked a roundtrip flight to Denver for 14K roundtrip from Detroit without a sale. I think people still overlook them.

      • Mark, ordinarily much admire your posts, your calm restraint, and value added content. (“imho” — often the best at m2m) But in this case, you’re trying toooo hard. Delta is hardly “crushing the competition.” (and since when is BA transfer of miles to AA “the competition?”…. hard as that route is to pull off…..)

        Sure, there’s some modestly good deals here, if you have to be among the 3-% with an interest in flying those routes. Good for you that you found good deals…. Maybe there’s a pattern forming, but so far, this is mostly anecdotal…… The “big picture” you’re referencing is your take, but remains to be seen.

        You’ve hardly proven anybody is crushing anybody. That sounds more like the overblown “stuff” that gets tweeted at us everyday from you know where…..

        • Havai thanks for the comment. I was talking about the overall program and not just this sale in the headline. I thought I made that clear in the first two sentences referencing the sales they have been having often lately.

          As Chris mentions below these have been 30K to Hong Kong, 50K to Australia, 16K to San Juan and on and on. Overall I think Delta has been doing a better job of late and crushing AA and UA.

          I also linked a post above showing that Delta has been offering the best overall availability and price for economy award travel of the big 3. Some refuse to use miles for domestic travel while others value it. If you value it then Delta has become your best option overall.

          I brought up BA on AA as a comparison solely because many have said that is the best deal in domestic travel (when you can find it) and a lot of these routes beat it.

          I guess it is in the eye of the beholder. I think Delta has been making their miles more valuable lately while others have not.

  4. Seeing all these naysayers downplaying the value Delta has been consistently offering lately seems strange. Almost makes you think they haven’t been paying attention and don’t know exactly what you’re referring to. RT’s to Hong Kong for 30,000, Australia in late spring for 50,000, Zurich in late summer for 28,000? Not exactly obscure spots only “3-%” of travelers would be interested in. (Especially when it comes to your target audience!) But like I said previously, fine by me. From here on out I’m on the Gary Leff Truth Train: Delta SkyMiles Still Suck and Always Will!! (Less competition for these amazing deals is something I’m willing to deal with.)

  5. 1.5 to 2 cents value for a native airline mile currency isn’t crushing the competition – especially while on ‘sale.’

    UA miles can regularly get you 3 cents plus in value – no sale needed.

    ZRH for 28k is in that neighborhood, but not this sale.

    • Are you getting 3 cents per mile on domestic economy? Are you seeing one way flights for 5-8,000 United miles?

      You have to remember the cash fares for the flights listed above are also on sale which is why the value is not as far spread. Plus it is domestic economy. Check the article linked above on Travel is Free – United is the worst of the major 3 airlines for domestic award travel.

  6. Yeah, well, I just priced flights from Casper Wyoming to Helena Montana (check the map). I need to fly a musician with his Baroque bass (taken apart!) in the seat next to him. 37.5K each! NOT a bargain. Very frustrating. (With money they want $445 x 2). The only thing being crushed here is my enthusiasm for this upcoming festival. His is the first ticket of 20+…. sigh.

    • I am surprised you are even able to find flights on miles between the two if I am being honest. Hope you are able to get some cheaper seats somehow.

  7. Delta is having these ‘sales’ to create a Visual out there for oldtimers with pre-conceived notions. My Sky Pesos can have value once in a while. Now about that 200,000 mile redemption on first JFK to LAX.

  8. I just compared the Delta Nashville to Raleigh which they have for $99 or 5,000 points…On the same day, Southwest has that flight for $49 or 3,900 points. Ny to St. Louis, Delta for 8,500 points and Southwest has is it for 6,500. I do have to agree with some of the comments here, it is definitely a bargain compared to Delta’s regular miles redemptions but is not necessarily great compared with the prices of Southwest.

    • Southwest is great for domestic travel. I am actually working on a write up comparing the 4 for domestic travel right now.

    • Yeah, too many people never think of Southwest.

      For low-end fares/redemptions, it is often WAY better than any alternative. You can get over 2 cents a point.

      I have seen redemptions under 1000 points.

      And if you do not have status on a legacy, the free option to cancel/refare is hugely valuable.

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