Delta redemption scheme

The Delta redemption scheme is completely revenue-based now for all redemptions, both on its own metal and the partners’. 

Delta airline partners

SkyTeam airline partners

  • Aeroflot
  • Aeromexico
  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Air France
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • Czech Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • ITA Airways
  • Kenya Airways  
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Saudia Airlines
  • Tarom Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Xiamen Airlines

Other airline partners

  • Cape Air
  • China Southern
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Mandarin Airlines
  • Shanghai Airlines
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia
  • WestJet

Good redemptions

To be honest, I initially didn’t want to include Delta Airlines in this guide because it’s completely revenue-based now. There are no predictable sweet spots, or even predictable good redemptions anymore, and Delta also adds fuel surcharges to many of its partners. However, since there are people (me included) who still have miles in the Delta SkyMiles program, here is what we can do in confines of this extremely overpriced program.

Look for domestic coach awards

Even though Delta award tickets are revenue-based, there is no single formula that would explain why some awards price higher once others price lower even though they might cost about the same in cash. So whenever you need a cheap domestic ticket, check Delta first. While I have no love for its loyalty program, it’s just a better airline operationally, and when the price is right, it’s a win-win. I prefer flying on Delta to both American or United, although not to JetBlue.

Check Delta Flash Sales

I once had to cancel a Business Class award ticket to Colombia that had cost me only 28,000 miles (!) – yes, a round trip and yes, in a lie-flat seat. Delta rarely has Business Class tickets on sales, but their so-called flash sales can be dirt-cheap, so when you see an email touting Delta flash sales, don’t rush to discard it. You might find something in there worth checking. 

How to book

You can book Delta flights and most of its partners’ online. Call 800-323-2323 to book your award travel for the following airlines:

  • Air Europa
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Czech Airlines
  • Kenya Airways

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