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Update 12/23/16: RapidTravelChai found Delta’s buried notice about the effective date for redeeming SkyMiles on Jet Airways flights: “The ability to redeem miles globally on Jet Airways flights will be available for SkyMiles Members by March 1, 2017.” So, unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait much longer than we expected to redeem SkyMiles for Jet Airways flights.
It looks like Delta didn’t take long to move on after its breakup with Alaska Airlines. In a partnership that’s been developing over the last three months, Delta has now added Jet Airways as a SkyMiles partner. As of today, December 22, you’ll now earn SkyMiles on all Jet Airways flights.
If you’ve never heard of Jet Airways, you’re not alone. Currently, Jet operates just one flight to North America — between Toronto (YYZ) and Amsterdam (AMS). However, Jet Airways has a rather extensive route network throughout India, the Middle East and South Asia. And flying with the India-based carrier might be worth the detour — it offers a solid on-board first class hard product, as TPG experienced on a recent Etihad flight operated by Jet Airways.
Interestingly, Jet Airways isn’t being treated as one of Delta’s minor partners. Instead, Jet Airways is listed as a “Group 1” partner — along with Delta’s best buddies Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic. This means that SkyMiles members will get full Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM), earn Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD), Medallion Mileage Bonus and up to 200% class of service bonus for first-class flights.
That’s right, even in the cheapest economy fare class, you’ll earn 100% of the flight miles as MQMs and 5% of the flight miles as MQDs. But, you aren’t going to end up earning many SkyMiles on the most discounted economy fares, earning just 1,000 SkyMiles for every 4,000 miles in the air.
On the other end of the spectrum, first-class Jet flights will earn a whopping 300% of flight miles as SkyMiles and give you a huge boost toward your elite status qualification: 200% of flight miles as MQMs and 60% of flight miles as MQDs. The 60% MQD rate matches the highest MQD rate that Delta offers for any partner. If you pay less than 60 cents per mile for Jet Airways first-class flights, you’ll earn more MQDs than what you paid for the flight.
For those looking to maximize SkyMiles and MQD earning, you’re going to want to consider both Delta-marketed flights (flights with a Delta flight number) and Jet Airways-marketed flights (flights with a Jet Airways flight number). As Delta and Jet Airways continue to expand their codeshare flights, you might have the choice of both options for the same flight. Choosing the right option could earn you more SkyMiles and/or MQDs than the other.
If you’re paying less than 5 cents per flight mile in economy, 30 cents per mile in business or 60 cents per mile in first class, booking through the Jet Airways flight numbers will earn you more Delta MQDs than the Delta flight numbers. Whether or not it makes sense from a SkyMiles earning standpoint depends on your Delta Medallion status and the fare class booked.
While Jet Airways now allows JPMiles members to redeem miles for Delta flights, Delta SkyMiles members still can’t redeem miles for Jet Airways flights. However, we can expect this award option to be added soon.
Delta loyalists — especially those with upcoming travel to or around India — should be thrilled at the potential of earning full Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and a solid rate of Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) on Jet Airways flights. We look forward to Delta adding award redemption flights for Jet Airways flights, allowing SkyMiles members more options on travel to India.
Featured image by NurPhoto of Getty Images.
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