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Delta SkyMiles just became a little more useful, as Delta has announced that you’ll now be able to use miles to upgrade your seat on Virgin Atlantic flights.
Delta and Virgin Atlantic formed a transatlantic joint venture in 2014,so there have been some benefits when travelers with status travel on the airlines, as Diamond Medallion members have been able to use Global upgrades on Virgin Atlantic.
Now SkyMiles members will be able to use miles to upgrade from a paid on ticket on Delta-marketed, Virgin Atlantic operated flights between the US and UK. There are two upgrade options for flyers according to Delta:
- Upgrade from a purchased Virgin Atlantic Economy ticket to Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy or Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
- Upgrade from a purchased Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy ticket to Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
Delta also said that upgrades are only available on purchased economy tickets with the Y, B, M, H, Q, or K fare class while premium economy tickets must have the P, A, or G fare class.
Now this might not be the best deal or way to use your SkyMiles. Unfortunately Delta doesn’t publish an award chart or upgrade costs. According to a 2015 report from TPG, upgrading on US to Europe routes will cost you 60,000 SkyMiles on Y/B/M fares and 80,000 miles on S/H/Q/K fares one-way.
If these are the correct numbers (we’ve reached out to Delta for comment) then it’s a pretty terrible deal to upgrade, since premium economy runs 55,000 SkyMiles +$5.60 one-way and Virgin Upper Class is 85,000 miles +$5.60 one-way. Basically, you’re only saving 5,000 miles by upgrading vs. booking an award outright, but you’ve already paid for a full-fare ticket — however, it’s possible that this move is targeted at business travelers whose employers purchase full-fare tickets, and then they can use their own miles to upgrade if they so choose.
Upgrades must be completed 24 hours before departure and you’ll have to call in to a SkyMiles representative to find out the actual pricing and if there’s availability (at 1-800-323-2323 for SkyMiles members or Medallion members can call through their dedicated phone line).
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees