Great News for Delta Mileage Runners: Vietnamese Airlines Can Now Fly to the US
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Vietnam Airlines voiced its support for a nonstop flight to Los Angeles (LAX) back in 2016. The only problem? International carriers need the Federal Aviation Administration’s blessing to fly from their home nation into the United States.
This week the FAA announced that “Vietnam complies with international safety standards and has been granted a Category 1 rating under the agency’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program.” In lay terms, that means that Vietnamese airlines that are able to secure the requisite FAA and DOT authority can establish service to the United States and carry the code of US carriers.
Vietnam-based Bamboo Airways — which our own JT Genter recently flew — has goals to fly to the US by 2021. Vietnam Airlines, already a member of the SkyTeam alliance, likely wants to do the same much more quickly.
Vietnam Airlines became the second operator of the A350 in 2015 after Qatar Airways and has expressed interest in using an A350-900 to fly between Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Los Angeles (LAX). If that transpires, it’ll become one of the longest flights in the world at 8,169 miles.
The news is of particular interest for Delta and SkyTeam loyalists. One of our favorite ways to overcome Delta’s lofty MQD requirements for top-tier Platinum and Diamond Medallion elite status is to book cheap business class fares on long-haul flights using SkyTeam partners. When booking on partners but crediting miles back to Delta, you earn MQDs as a percentage of distance flown rather than dollars spent.
Vietnam Airlines is indeed a Delta partner, with its latest mileage accrual chart shown above. While the carrier isn’t a Tier-1 partner, you can see that a hypothetical SNG–LAX flight would earn 1,633 MQDs (20% of 8,169 miles flown) if holding a business, premium economy or full economy ticket. If you’re able to score a discounted fare, you could spend less than $1,633 each way and yet still earn 1,633 MQDs toward Delta elite status. You can dive deeper with our guide to maximizing Delta earnings when flying on SkyTeam partners.
Of course, you’ll first need to wait for Vietnam Airlines itself to become cleared for nonstop travel into the United States, but it’s definitely a carrier worth keeping on your radar given Vietnam’s new ICAO safety rating.
Featured photo courtesy of Airbus.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
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.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- 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.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- 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