A Year of Empty-Leg Private Jet Travel Up For Grabs in Delta SkyMiles Auction

Apr 5, 2019

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A one-year Delta Private Jets Sky Access membership usually runs $8,500, but the winner of a SkyMiles Experience auction now underway will get to up their travel game by cashing out SkyMiles instead.

The auction concludes on April 15, with the current top bid standing at 376,000 SkyMiles. TPG values each SkyMile at 1.2 cents, which means that you shouldn’t bid more than 708,000 SkyMiles or you’re better off paying cash for the membership.

Sky Access members can book empty legs with Delta Private Jets Shuttle up to 24 hours prior to departure at no cost per leg and no limit on quantity, and should you win, you’ll receive reduced hourly pricing for standard private jet charters as well.

Delta offers thousands of daily flights, but there’s an elite few operated by its private jet division that you won’t often see while planespotting from a Sky Club lounge.

private-jet-lax-airport
You could fly in style, parking at LAX’s private terminal alongside the owner of an NFL team (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

Empty legs are flights scheduled without passengers to ensure an aircraft is positioned for a trip at the right airport at the right time, so if your schedule is flexible (and you’re based in the greater Atlanta area), there’s no telling how far you could fly in a year.

gulfstream g500 private jet
Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy

If you’re curious what life is like on a private jet, we’ve got you covered. TPG himself traveled with Editor-at-Large Zach Honig on a Gulfstream G500, and contributor J. Scott Clark recently zoomed across the United States on a HondaJet Elite.

Boosting Your SkyMiles Balance

If you’re a little short on miles to participate in the auction, fret not. There are a variety of ways to earn Delta miles, from Delta-operated flights to trips on SkyTeam airlines to various non-travel partners. However, one of the best ways to boost your SkyMiles balance to score a few free trips is by adding one of these cards to your arsenal:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee; See Rates & Fees); 60,000-point welcome bonus after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months, though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a 100,000-point welcome bonus (you can transfer Membership Rewards points directly to Delta SkyMiles) Terms Apply.
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express ($595 annual fee; See Rates & Fees); Earn 8125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card ($450 annual fee,$550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020; See Rates & Fees); 40,000-mile welcome bonus plus 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

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Featured image of a Gulfstream G500 by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Business, click here.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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