Delta and United have announced that the airlines will be ending their frequent flyer and lounge program partnership within the next several months.
Because the two airlines have unique newsletter mailing schedules, and because both desire to provide adequate notice to members of the change, the exact dates of the partnership termination differ. Mileage Plus members will no longer be able to accrue miles on Delta flights beginning midnight, Sept. 15, and must have all award reservations booked and ticketed by that date also. SkyMiles members will have until Oct. 15 to accrue miles on United flights and book award tickets.
Award travel on either airline must be completed by Feb. 29, 2004 — the same date on which reciprocal lounge access benefits will end.
To most frequent travelers, this news comes as no shock. With both airlines fostering new partnerships, and with both serving as centerpieces for competing alliances, it had long been rumored that this relationship was nearing an end.
So, if you’re a SkyMiles or Mileage Plus member, should you rush to redeem your miles before the partnership ends? In short; no. The Delta and United partnership was always limited to redemption on domestic routes only, and each airline’s route system and ongoing airline partnerships affords flyers plenty of domestic options.