You’ll soon be able to redeem Delta miles for private jet flights again

Mar 22, 2021

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Although Delta SkyMiles have been devalued several times over the last few months, members have a new redemption option to look forward to: the ability to redeem miles for private jet flights.

Shortly after Delta Private Jets’ merger with Wheels Up was completed last year, SkyMiles members lost the ability to redeem miles for private flights. However, Delta’s website noted that members should be on the lookout for updates about the airline’s new partnership with Wheels Up “soon.”

While details are still scarce, recent developments suggest that we’re inching closer to the return of this unique redemption option.

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Wheels Up is planning to merge with the blank-check company Aspirational Consumer Lifestyle Corp. so that it can go public. As a part of the process, the company recently released a regulatory filing revealing details about its partnership with Delta. It mentioned information about existing benefits available to Delta flyers, as well as new ones, including “the ability for Delta customers to redeem miles for Wheels Up products and services.”

Related: The cheapest ways to get the private jet experience

Wheels Up
(Photo courtesy of Wheels Up)

The recent filing isn’t the only hint that Wheels Up flights are becoming more accessible. In the past, you needed a Wheels Up membership (which starts at $2,995 for new members) to book flights. However, earlier this year, the company quietly opened its mobile app to non-members, allowing anyone to book charter flights, albeit at potentially higher rates. Features like Shared Flights, empty-leg Hot Flights and Shuttle Flights are still reserved exclusively for members.

Wheels Up didn’t provide further information on the program when we reached out, but assuming this comes to fruition, this will open up a unique opportunity for many American Express cardholders. Since Delta is a 1:1 transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, this would mean that you’ll be able to redeem points earned with cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card for private jet flights. However, these redemptions likely won’t come cheap. When Delta Private Jets redemptions were still possible, you needed to redeem a minimum of 2.5 million miles for a $25,000 in flight credit. This translated to a value of 1 cent per mile, which is just under TPG’s valuation of 1.1 cents apiece.

Related: You don’t need to spend $250,000 to fast-track Delta Diamond status

Other benefits of the Delta-Wheels Up partnership include the opportunity to fast-track Delta Gold, Platinum or top-tier Diamond Medallion status, earn Delta award miles upon paying annual dues, get discounts on select Delta fares and more.

Featured photo by yoh4nn/Getty Images

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.

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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.

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