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

August 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.

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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.

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 photo by Getty Images

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
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  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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    $125
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    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

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

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  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees