Delta's new Cape Air partnership offers cheap mileage fares on expensive routes
Last week, Delta announced a new partnership with Cape Air that gives Delta customers access to Cape Air's 11 routes out of Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). Not only do SkyMiles members get a bigger route network, but they are now also able to earn and redeem miles on Cape Air flights.
As an added incentive, Delta is offering 500 bonus SkyMiles on all Cape Air flights flown by Aug. 31, 2021. This bonus is pretty substantial, considering some Cape Air flights can be booked for as little as 5,000 SkyMiles each way.
Cape Air mostly serves smaller airports catering to leisure travelers. The timing of the announcement is perfect, considering we're a few weeks away from the busy summer travel season. Depending on where you're traveling, you may get three or more cents per mile in value from redemptions on one of these routes.
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Cape Air routes
Cape Air is currently operating 11 flights out of Boston:
- Augusta, Maine (AUG)
- Bar Harbor, Maine (BHB)
- Hyannis, Massachussetts (HYA)
- Lebanon, N.H. (LEB)
- Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. (MVY)
- Nantucket, Massachusetts (ACK)
- Portland, Maine (PWM)
- Provincetown, Massachusetts (PVC)
- Rockland, Maine (RKD)
- Rutland, Vt. (RUT)
- Saranac Lake, N.Y. (SLK)
Booking Cape Air flights with Delta SkyMiles
Cape Air flights can be booked for as little as 5,000 SkyMiles, even during the busy summer travel season. The key to booking these low fares is to be flexible. Use the calendar function on Delta.com for a monthly overview and if you're able to, plan your trip around the lowest fares.
Keep in mind that Delta utilizes dynamic pricing, so redemption rates change based on demand. To give you an idea of what you can expect in terms of redemptions, let's look at the Boston (BOS) - Martha's Vineyard (MVY) route. A one-way ticket on this Cape Air route in early June starts $179 per person.
The same flight starts at 5,000 SkyMiles and $12 in taxes and fees. TPG values SkyMiles at 1.1 cents each. On a booking like this, you would get almost four cents in value out of each SkyMile. That just goes to show that you don't always have to travel in premium cabins to get maximum value out of your miles.
It's worthwhile to compare Delta's award rates against Cape Air competitors. For example, the BOS-MVY route is also operated by JetBlue. Using the airline's Best Fare Finder, you can see the lowest rates in June are 6,900 TrueBlue points each way. Taxes are just $5.60.
While Delta's lowest redemption rate is less than JetBlue's, you may want to redeem TrueBlue points on dates when Delta's Cape Air fares skyrocket to 100,000 miles each way.
Delta's partnership with Cape Air opens up more routes where SkyMiles members can earn and redeem miles. With fares starting at just 5,000 SkyMiles each way, Delta beats out competitors like JetBlue on some of these routes. With a very small number of airlines offering service to Cape Air destinations like Martha's Vineyard, it's nice to have another airline to earn and redeem miles with.