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It Just Got a Lot Easier for Delta Loyalists to Fly to Africa

Aug. 16, 2018
4 min read
It Just Got a Lot Easier for Delta Loyalists to Fly to Africa
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Delta's getting serious about its efforts in Africa. After complementing service between New York (JFK) and Accra, Ghana (ACC) — which TPG himself flew and reviewed — with year-round service between JFK and Lagos, Nigeria (LOS), the carrier has announced a codeshare partnership with Kenya Airways on flights to and from the African carrier's hub at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

That's of particular interest to Americans seeking easier access to Africa, and the timing works out well given the impending launch of Kenya Airways' first-ever nonstop flight to the Americas in October. That flight, operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, will take passengers between Nairobi (NBO) and New York (JFK), and we'll be onboard the inaugural service to bring you a review.

Coastline in Ghana (Photo by Dana Jo Photography)

So, what exactly is the benefit of a codeshare, and why should Delta loyalists care? Starting this month, Delta's code will be placed on Kenya Airways' flights from Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Accra to Nairobi, "enhancing connectivity and providing customers with a one-stop seamless travel experience from the United States." In addition, Delta will place its code on Kenya Airways' services to more than 10 cities across Africa, including: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Lilongwe, Malawi; Maputo, Mozambique; Johannesburg, South Africa and Djibouti City, Djibouti.

For flyers, it'll make it easier to search for routes to Africa. You can search for Delta flights as you normally would, and now you'll see more connection options on flights coded as Delta but flown by Kenya Airways.

While Kenya Airways is not currently listed as a "preferred partner" — a list that includes AeroMexico, Air France, China Eastern, GOL, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia — adopting a codeshare agreement may be the first step in upgrading the relationship to preferred status. If that were to happen, you'll also see Kenya Airways offering elevated benefits for Delta's Medallion elite members, like complimentary upgrades. The two are, however, both members of the SkyTeam alliance, which means that frequent flyers can earn and redeem miles on both airlines, while Elite Plus travelers benefit from SkyPriority services.

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Bottom Line

Mountains in Hoedspruit, South Africa (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

The codeshare agreement should help synchronize schedules between Delta and Kenya Airways, and it should populate more routing options to Africa when using the Flying Blue award search calendar. We'd also expect more Kenya Airways flights to appear within Delta's own award search engine, but given the poor redemption value of SkyMiles to Africa, we doubt that'll be a preferred avenue to exchange points for flights.

Be sure to check out our guide to booking award flights with Delta SkyMiles, as well as our guide to searching SkyTeam award availability.

If you’ve taken a look at your elite status progress and are in need of an MQM boost, consider adding the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express which provides an additional 10,000 MQMs after reaching a certain level of spend.

For avid Delta flyers, be sure to pore over our guide to choosing the best credit card for Delta loyalists.

Featured image by Getty Images

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.