Delta Suddenly Increases Cost of Awards to India
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Delta's at it again — with no notice at all, the airline has increased the cost of one-way awards in business class between the US and India. Previously, you could book a business-class award for 70,000 SkyMiles one-way on Delta partners such as Korean Air and Air France. After the change, however, these flights will require an eye-watering 97,500 SkyMiles.
Despite some positive enhancements to the SkyMiles program, this change reminds us how the airline has continually made significant devaluations without preparing customers beforehand. Since Delta no longer publishes an official award chart, it can make changes whenever it sees fit, but some sort of advance alert would be a good way to prepare flyers for significant price increases like this one.
Here's what availability looks like for December 2016 and January 2017 for flights from New York (JFK) to Delhi, India (DEL). As you can see, one-way awards in business class won't come cheap — in addition to the 97,500 SkyMiles, many tickets come with hefty surcharges of up to $450.
A search for the same flight between JFK and DEL in economy shows that the airline has saved economy awards from this devaluation — they're still pricing at 40,000 SkyMiles one-way.
If you've been saving for one of these awards and now find yourself suddenly short the required number of miles, you can consider adding to your SkyMiles balance with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express, which is currently offering a bonus of 30,000 SkyMiles when you spend $1,000 within the first three months of account opening.