TPG Readers’ Best Delta SkyMiles Success Stories

Jun 23, 2019

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We recently asked our TPG Lounge audience — and the members of our TPG Family group on Facebook — to share their greatest success stories with the Delta SkyMiles loyalty program.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity). 

Saving With SkyMiles in the US and Mexico

Several TPG Lounge readers said they’d been able to score great redemptions on domestic flights, while others used their SkyMiles for memorable vacations to Mexico.

“Domestic short-haul coach trips when they’re running a fare sale are insane. 10,000 SkyMiles round-trip to Los Angeles (LAX) from Austin (AUS)? 12,000 miles round-trip from Austin to Boston (BOS)? Yes, please!” — David O.

“We were trying to fly our family of four to Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell, Montana, and Delta wanted 70,000 miles per ticket in July. We flew to Salt Lake City (SLC) instead for 20,000 miles per ticket and went to Yellowstone National Park on the drive to FCA.” — Mike R.

“Family of three for 18,000 SkyMiles a person from Tampa (TPA) to Honolulu (HNL), round-trip.” — William D.Y.

Use Delta SkyMiles to take a dream trip to Hawaii. (Photo by M Swiet Productions / Getty Images)
Use those Delta SkyMiles for a romantic getaway in Hawaii. (Photo by M Swiet Productions / Getty Images)

“Just booked four one-way tickets from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to New York-LaGuardia (LGA) for 7,000 miles each, and a round-trip from LGA to New Orleans (MSY). I used Google Flights to find the best value first, then went through Delta to book it.” — John F.

“I scored a round-trip ticket between Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and Cancun (CUN) in January for 12,000 miles. Considering it would’ve cost that much or more on United or American Airlines for a one-way trip, it was a phenomenal deal.” — Garrett H.

Epic Trips to Europe

From first-class London vacations booked thanks to insomnia to reaping the rewards of being flexible with your dates, our TPG Lounge members have impressed us yet again with their mad redemption skills.

“My upcoming trip from Boise (BOI) to Bologna, Italy (BLQ) one-way in Delta One for 50,000 miles and Rome (FCO) to BOI in a mix of economy comfort and first class for 75,000 miles. I checked the rates every day for weeks, kept my dates and cities flexible — once you’re in Italy it’s easy to move around so I used five or six airports to check prices — and booked the way out as soon as I saw the low mileage. I didn’t book the way back until several days later when the rates dropped again out of Italy. Long story short: be patient, be persistent, be flexible and be prepared to move quickly.” — Kristen J.

“Delta One from New York-JFK to Edinburgh (EDI) round-trip for 90,000 SkyMiles versus 240,000 miles by leaving a day earlier.” — Holly C.

“Atlanta to Paris. First class was almost empty and the flight attendant gave us a jar of caviar to go.” — Nancy D.G.

“We got [tickets from] Los Angeles to Amsterdam (AMS) for 50,000 miles return for our honeymoon during tulip season!” — Lisa B.

“I just flew from Pittsburgh (PIT) to London-Heathrow (LHR) in business class for only 55,000 miles! I had been watching the miles, woke up around 3am two nights later, grabbed my phone and there it was! That was the second time I’d gotten a business-class ticket on Delta for fewer miles than coach and both times, it was by snagging my ticket in the middle of the night. I always book about 11 months in advance and my insomnia works to my advantage sometimes!” — Dena H.

Sometimes insomnia can lead to an amazing London vacation. Who knew? (Photo by mattscutt / Getty Images)
Sometimes insomnia can lead to an amazing London vacation. Who knew? (Photo by mattscutt / Getty Images)

“98,000 miles round-trip each from Spokane (GEG) to Paris (CDG) in Delta One Suites. It was my wife’s first international trip and I think it spoiled her too much. I’m not sure I can ever get away with economy in the future.” — Daniel T.

“New York-JFK- to London (LHR) round-trip for 44,000 SkyMiles in May after TPG posted about Delta having a flash sale. Delta also has a SkyMiles calendar and if you can be flexible, you can score some great deals.” — Dana A.

“We went to Zurich (ZRH) from New York-JFK in March and went skiing in Zermatt for 28,000 miles round-trip.” — Rachel J.

“I typically use the five-week flexible search option to look for trip possibilities. That’s how I found us a trip from Richmond to Bogotá for just 28,000 miles and a flight to Amsterdam for 34,000 in August when trips to Europe in the summer are typically far more expensive. It was only available for three days in July/August/September so without the five-week view, you’d never find it.” — Kal G.

Unforgettable Flights to Asia and Australia

Perhaps the most impressive redemptions happened when our TPG Lounge readers cashed in their SkyMiles for trips to far-flung countries like Japan, Singapore, China, Indonesia and Australia. Hey, if you have to fly that long, it might as well be comfy!

“Booked my flight to Tokyo for 65,000 miles + $66 in taxes and fees. Saved myself over $1,400!” — Tara W.D.

“95,000 each from Charleston (CHS) to New York-JFK to Shanghai (PVG) to Singapore (SIN) for my wife and me with China Eastern in J.” — Tom V.

“Two years ago, our family of four [flew in] business class to Seoul (ICN) from New York-JFK, then business class from Seoul to Denpasar, Bali (DPS) on Garuda Indonesia, and home from Bali for 170,000 miles each.” — Ed D.

“Charlotte (CLT), notoriously expensive to fly out of, to Tokyo for 40,000 miles each round-trip, plus $200 total in miles and cash. It normally would have been $1,400 to $1,800 per ticket.” — Rebecca W.

Tokyo is a fun city to visit all year long. (Photo by Duane Walker / Getty Images)
Tokyo is a fun city to visit all year long. (Photo by Duane Walker / Getty Images)

“Atlanta (ATL) to Minneapolis (MSP) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) for 50,000 miles per ticket. My wife and I went on the inaugural flight of the new route from MSP to HND and had ice sculptures, press conferences with the governor, free sushi and sake in the gate area before boarding and water hoses shooting into the air as we pulled back. The flight was less than half full so my wife and I each got our own row.” — Bill W.

“[We flew from] Boston to Sydney (SYD) in December. [It was] four people for 120,000 miles each one-way in Delta One.” — Claus W.

“Atlanta to Sydney for 50,000 miles over Thanksgiving, in the exit row.” — Alisha T.W.

“We used Delta SkyMiles on Virgin Australia to get back to Los Angeles from Sydney. My kids loved their business-class product!” — Debbie N.B.

Current Delta Offers

If any of the above sound appealing to you, time’s running out to get in on the current, limited-time welcome offers on Delta’s cobranded American Express cards. Here are three of these options:

  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.  Earn 2x SkyMiles miles on Delta purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. Enjoy perks like a checked bag fee waiver, priority boarding and 20% off in-flight purchases (in the form of a statement credit), and the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year (See Rates & Fees).
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $100 Statement Credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.  Earn 2x SkyMiles miles on Delta purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. Enjoy an annual companion ticket plus bonus MQMs for reaching certain spending thresholds along with the same in-flight benefits as the Gold Delta Amex, all for a $195 annual fee ($250 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020) (See Rates & Fees)
  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Earn 2x SkyMiles miles on Delta purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. The card comes with SkyClub access, an annual companion ticket in first class and bonus MQMs through spending and additional in-flight perks, though the annual fee is $450 ($550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020) (See Rates & Fees).

Featured image by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express, please click here.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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