Delta Delivers Big Blow to SkyMiles Members

delta skymiles devaluation

Delta SkyMiles Devaluation

During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw United Airlines make several devaluations to its MileagePlus program by increasing redemptions for partner awards. Now it’s Delta’s turn with a big devaluation of its SkyMiles program.

Delta, in an unannounced move, has increased award rates for bookings on partner airlines like Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and others. These are big increases across the board, and include all ticket classes. Delta got rid of award charts a while back, so these devaluations are now done quietly. Unless you read about them, you end up finding out when you go to redeem your SkyMiles.

The devaluation was first reported by Thrifty Traveler. These are some examples of the new pricing for partner awards:

  • 35,0000 SkyMiles one-way for Economy awards between U.S. and Europe on Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic. That’s a 40% increase from the previous rate of 25,000 SkyMiles.
  • 95,000 SkyMiles one-way for Business awards between U.S. and Europe on Air France and KLM. That’s a 27% increase from the previous rate of 75,000 SkyMiles.
  • 102,500 SkyMiles one-way for Business awards between US and North Asia on Korean Air and China Airlines. That’s a 20% increase from the previous rate of 85,000 SkyMiles.

Guru’s Wrap-up

Partner awards are usually the best use for Delta SkyMiles. But this announced devaluation is bad news for SkyMiles members who might have been planning on booking their next trip with Delta partners. The awards listed above might vary a bit, based on demand, so you could get slightly better prices in some cases. But on the other hand, you could also end up paying much more in some instances. If you are booking awards on Virgin Atlantic for travel from JFK to London for example, you could end up paying 170,000 miles if booking 21-60 days prior to departure and a whopping 195,000 miles when booking within 21 days.

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