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Per don’t call the airline, Delta Air Lines is currently offering some great partner award availability on many of their partners for low-level business class awards for multiple people. Partner airlines include Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Korean Air, and Virgin Australia to name a few.
In the last year, Delta announced major revisions to the SkyMiles program that just took effect as the calendar flipped to 2015. The changes included:
- A new revenue-based earning program. Starting this year, you’ll earn miles based on the cost of your fare and your Medallion status, rather than how far you fly. However, earning Medallion status itself will still depend on the miles flown and the fare class or class of service.
- A revised award calendar. The old award calendar was very buggy and consistently returned inaccurate results. Often the awards priced out far too high, while other times the calendar showed low-level awards that wouldn’t materialize when you tried to book them.
- One-way awards. One of the biggest drawbacks of the SkyMiles program was that you could only book round-trip awards (or a one-way for the same price as a round-trip).
- A new award chart. Delta announced a switch from a three-tier award chart to a five-tier chart.
- Increased award availability at the lowest levels. By far the biggest problem faced by most award travel enthusiasts was that Delta published three award tiers, but rarely made awards available at the lowest level. Delta’s announcement appeared to be good news, but many people noticed that Delta promised more awards at the lowest mileage levels (plural)—which could be interpreted as the lowest two levels in Delta’s new five-tier chart, and not necessarily more seats at the very lowest mileage level.
When it comes to increased award availability, in the past couple of days, there has been some great partner availability. Here’s a look at the some of the awards that I was able to book:
New York (JFK)-London on Vigin Atlantic for 4 people in Business Class
Los Angeles- Sydney on Virgin Australia for 4 people in Business Class
Los Angeles- Guangzhou for 4 people in Business on China Southern
Paris- Johannesburg for 4 people in Business on Air France
As a reminder, Delta is a transfer partner of both American Express Membership Rewards and the Starwood Preferred Guest program, but there was rarely any reason to transfer points to SkyMiles in the past. That’s no longer the case. Delta has re-established itself as a legitimate (if not great) transfer option, and has similarly boosted the usefulness of its co-branded credit cards, like the Gold Delta SkyMiles and Delta Reserve from Amex.
Feel free to comment below with any great redemptions you find!
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|None||15.99%-24.99% Variable||$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|