Through Tuesday, June 7, 2016, you can purchase a flight operated by Delta Air Lines one way within the United States for as few as 5,500 SkyMiles — plus a minimum cost of $5.60 for taxes and fees — and greater than 8,000 routes are on sale.
Additionally, you have a choice of Comfort+ seats as well as seats located within the main economy class cabin.
Although there are no award charts officially available to customers, a flight one-way within the United States and Canada typically costs a minimum of 12,500 SkyMiles; so you can potentially save up to 14,000 SkyMiles round-trip for a seat located within the main economy class cabin.
Examples of SkyMiles Versus Money
A higher dollar figure — derived from dividing the total cost of a revenue ticket by the number of SkyMiles needed for an award ticket on the same route on the same days — in each of the following examples means each SkyMile is more valuable.
Atlanta and Austin
A round-trip flight between Atlanta and Austin — leaving Atlanta on Thursday, November 3, 2016 and returning from Austin on Monday, November 7, 2016 — can cost as few as 15,000 SkyMiles in total plus $11.20 in taxes and fees.
The lowest price for a round-trip flight for that time period is $357.10. Compared to that airfare, each SkyMile would be worth $0.0238.
Los Angeles and Oakland
A round-trip flight between Los Angeles and Oakland — leaving Los Angeles on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 and returning from Oakland on Friday, November 4, 2016 — can cost as few as 11,000 SkyMiles in total plus $11.20 in taxes and fees.
The lowest price for a round-trip flight for that time period is $187.20. Compared to that airfare, each SkyMile would be worth $0.017, which is not as good of a deal.
Los Angeles and Miami
A round-trip flight between Los Angeles and Miami — leaving Los Angeles on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 and returning from Miami on Saturday, November 5, 2016 — can cost as few as 20,000 SkyMiles in total plus $11.20 in taxes and fees.
The lowest price for a round-trip flight for that time period is $322.70. Compared to that airfare, each SkyMile would be worth $0.0161, which is even worse of a deal.
The flight must occur between either one of two periods of time:
- Tuesday, August 23, 2016 through Wednesday, August 31, 2016
- Friday, September 9, 2016 through Wednesday, November 16, 2016
In addition, this offer is not available on flights between Los Angeles and Kansas City during:
- Thursday, October 6, 2016 through Monday, October 10, 2016
- Thursday, October 13, 2016 through Monday, October 17, 2016
The state of Hawai’i is not included as part of the sale.
Select Terms and Conditions
Tickets must be purchased at least 21 days in advance.
Promotional redemption amounts are subject to availability and seats available at promotional Award prices are limited. Pay with Miles tickets are not eligible for promotional redemption amounts. This offer is not transferable.
Tickets are not refundable except in accordance with the cancellation policy of Delta Air Lines. Fees may apply for downgrades, reissued tickets, and itinerary changes.
Changes to award tickets must be done at least 72 hours prior to the departure time of the flight being changed. Award tickets booked within 72 hours of departure are not refundable and cannot be redeposited or reissued unless prohibited by local law or within the risk-free cancellation period. No changes will be permitted to the originating flight of award tickets booked within 72 hours; but changes to the return are permitted if the return flight is not within 72 hours and the change is done at least 72 hours prior to flight departure. Fees apply for any changes; and taxes and fees will apply. Voluntary changes to award tickets after promotion has ended may result in an increase in mileage costs.
Other terms and conditions apply.
Whether the sale rates for award tickets are a good value depends on your personal threshold. For example, if your threshold is that the value of each SkyMile is two cents, then the aforementioned Atlanta and Austin itinerary will exceed your threshold; while the Los Angeles and Miami itinerary will fall short of your threshold and therefore will not be a good use of your SkyMiles.
Every route is different in terms of the cost using money versus using SkyMiles; so the results will be rather inconsistent. You will need to examine each flight you are considering flying as a passenger on a case-by-case basis.
Although award tickets are on sale, the use of SkyMiles on a number of domestic routes are not much of a bargain. You are more likely to get more value out of your SkyMiles by redeeming them at regular rates on award tickets for international flights.
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.