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I often complain that Delta’s website is broken since it can be darn near impossible to find partner award availability – partly because the site actually pulls availability from so few partners to begin with. However, following recent developments that have made awards on partners like Korean and Virgin Australia searchable, now shows Alitalia award space when searching for flights. Previously, you had to actually call Delta to search for Alitalia awards and book them (and often agents would tell you that the system would take 24 hours to confirm availability), so this takes that extra step out of the equation, though you might still need to call in thanks to Delta’s clunky award searches.

Economy awards from the U.S. to Europe using Delta SkyMiles require 60,000 miles roundtrip, and I was able to find quite a bit of availability, including this example New York (JFK)-Milan award on Alitalia for 60,000 SkyMiles and $52.70 in taxes and fees. Be sure to check out My Flight Review: Alitalia JFK-Rome in Coach, which I flew with my dad back in December 2011, and which was satisfactory overall.

New York-Milan award on Alitalia for 60,000 SkyMiles.
New York (JFK)-Milan award on Alitalia for 60,000 SkyMiles and 52.70 in taxes and fees.

Business class awards from the U.S. to Europe are 100,000 SkyMiles roundtrip. Here’s a sample New York (JFK)-Rome business award on Alitalia for 100,000 SkyMiles and $59 in taxes and fees – a bargain compared to the the taxes on many awards to European destinations. Check out my Flight Review: Alitalia Magnifica Business Class – Rome to Miami if you’re interested in experiencing that class of service, though to be fair I had their old business class and their new lie-flats get decent reviews.

New York (JFK)-Rome busines award on Alitalia for 100,000 SkyMiles and $59 in taxes and fees.

Although Delta still has a long way to go before it catches up with both other SkyTeam airlines’ website award searches, notably, as well as competitors in other alliances including United in Star Alliance and Qantas (and even American) in Oneworld, I’m glad to see the airline making another positive change to its award searchability and adding more partner availability. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to book awards on any of its partners online, but until then, I’m keeping the Delta SkyMiles phone number on my speed dial.

Hat tip TPG reader Dennis!

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Aside from the 75,000 points sign-up bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

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More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 6/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
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Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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