Delta starts letting you pay bag fees with SkyMiles

Dec 17, 2019

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Delta Air Lines is running a trial that will give you a new way to use your SkyMiles.

Passengers departing from Columbus, Ohio (CMH) and Greensboro, North Carolina (GSO) can now pay their checked bag fees with SkyMiles.

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Delta currently charges $30 for most passengers in the main cabin to check a bag. The fee is waived for travelers with Medallion status, or those with a Delta co-branded credit card. Paying with SkyMiles will cost 3,000 miles on domestic flights, which, according to TPG’s valuations, is equal to $36. For this use, Delta is valuing SkyMiles at a cent a piece, so this isn’t a way to get the maximum value out of each point.

The airline said the test, which was first reported by Thrifty Traveler, is part of its ongoing effort to make SkyMiles a more versatile currency.

“This new option builds on Delta’s pioneering work to make miles even more valuable and providing more flexibility for purchases including air travel and upgrades, merchandise, Delta Vacations, SkyMiles Experiences and Delta Sky Clubs,” Delta said in a statement. “We will share more details about using miles as a form of payment for bag fees once testing is complete.”

For now, passengers departing from the participating airports have to use self-service check-in kiosks in order to use miles to pay for their bags, and only standard-sized bags are eligible for SkyMiles payment. Delta said it plans to expand the program in 2020, and will incorporate customer feedback as it does.

Featured photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy.

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