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Booking Delta award travel can often be expensive, with award flights costing much more with SkyMiles than on airlines such as American and United. However, it can be reasonable if you’re able to find availability on Delta at the saver level. The downside is that saver awards are scarce, especially on busy routes and during peak travel times and destinations.
That said, now’s a great time to book awards to Europe — for travel dates next summer — with your SkyMiles. Delta currently has a ton of saver availability between the US and Europe during summer 2016 with flights starting at 60,000 miles round-trip in economy, plus a surcharge that varies depending on the flight. Normally, these routes could exceed 100,000 miles round-trip, so 60,000 miles is a steal.
Of course, availability and prices will vary based on the travel date and destination, but with some flexibility and early planning, it’s possible to snag the lowest award ticket rates. Keep in mind that you can change your award ticket for free if you have Platinum or Diamond medallion status. The best availability also seems to be from cities with a big Delta presence, like Atlanta and New York.
Don’t forget you can earn Delta miles with the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express or transfer from Membership Rewards using the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card. For more tips on working toward Delta awards, see Nick Ewen’s post on Earning Delta SkyMiles without Flying.
Here are some sample bookings for two passengers:
New York (JFK) to London (LHR) from 60,000 miles round-trip SkyMiles in July and August:
Atlanta (ATL) to London (LHR) for 60,000 SkyMiles round-trip in June and July:
Boston (BOS) to Paris (CDG) for 60,000 SkyMiles round-trip in June and July:
New York (JFK) to Munich (MUC) for 60,000 SkyMiles round-trip in June and July:
Is it worth it?
Delta miles have lost quite a bit of value as the airline has changed and updated its program — even pulling the award chart from its website. Award travel can be quite expensive on certain routes and travel days, so it’s nice that saver awards are currently bookable. There’s no guarantee that this availability will last (or return) as the summer travel season approaches, and peak-Europe rates return, so book sooner than later if you’re interested!
With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.
- Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
- Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
- There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
- Terms and limitations apply.
- See Rates & Fees