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