I previously discussed using AAdvantage miles for award travel. In this post, we will take a look at using Delta SkyMiles for award travel.
Delta is part of the Skyteam alliance, which includes AirFrance, KLM, Korean Air, Aeromexico, and fifteen other airlines. Allowing you to earn Delta SkyMiles for flights on any of the partners in the Skyteam alliance.
Delta also has codeshare agreements with Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.
While Delta’s SkyMiles aren’t nearly as valuable as AAdvantage miles, Delta’s website may have an edge when it comes to searching for and booking award travel because you can see all partner airlines in one place. While I haven’t flown on many of Delta’s partner airlines, I have flown Delta One from Dublin to New York and AirFrance Business class from New York to Paris. The flight in Delta One was very nice, while the AirFrance flight was on an older 777 that had 3 classes of service, but they didn’t market or sell a first class cabin on the flight. The older AirFrance product was alright, but nothing special with its 2-3-2 Business class configuration and angle lie flat seats aren’t nearly as comfortable as Delta’s 2-2-2 configuration.
You do not need to be a Delta SkyMiles member to search for award travel on Delta’s website, and searching is very straightforward. Select book a trip, then show the price in miles, enter your departure city, destination, dates, and select the cabin you would like to travel in.
Unlike American Airlines’ site you cannot select which airline to filter by, instead, you can filter by connection city. When searching for flights from New York to Dubai flights on Virgin Atlantic cost only 70,000 Skymiles +$52 each way! Flights on Delta’s joint venture partners AirFrance or KLM would cost at least twice as much!
One downside is if you were interested in flying in International First class on one of Delta’s partners, there doesn’t seem to be a way to differentiate between business class and first class like you can on American and British Airways’ websites.
Although I would advise using your SkyMiles for international business class awards, you can use Delta’s website to search for domestic awards too. Not sure why but when I searched for a sample trip from Pittsburgh to Orlando main cabin and First class were the same price 32,500 miles each way, while comfort+, Delta’s premium economy product was 40,000 miles each way!
Bottom line is you can get great value from if you use your Skymiles the correct way. Sometimes it will take a little creativity and flexibility, but it can be done!
Have any questions about Delta Skymiles award travel? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @Passports2life!