Delta Air Lines: Looks like yet another SkyMiles devaluation

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Delta SkyPesos may have hit yet another low.

It seems that Delta has raised the prices on partner awards to approximately the same, stratospherically-high levels as its own flights. Over the weekend, Thrifty Traveler, reported that they were seeing significant increases in Delta’s SkyTeam partner awards, sometimes several times what they had been up until now. Partners affected include Virgin Atlantic, Air France/KLM, Korean Air and more.

Delta Air Lines’ Partner Prices “Keep Climbing”

“Keep Climbing” is one of Delta’s slogans and that’s what’s happened to its partner awards over the last couple of years. Partners awards used to be the best place to find value with SkyMiles. That changed when Delta went through two devaluations in 2020 and 2021 and continued when the airline killed several of the remaining sweet spots in early 2022.

Now, it seems like Delta is finishing what it started. Business class awards that previously cost in the neighbourhood of 100-120,000 Delta SkyMikes are now appearing on the website at 330,000 miles…each way. Even economy seats that previously hovered around 30-40,000 miles are pricing out at 55-75,000 miles. There’s a chance that this could be some sort of system glitch, but given Delta’s recent history, it’s more likely that they’ve taken yet another axe to the “value” of their dynamic award chart. This time, it represents an increase of 80-200% on many partners’ international flights.

Let’s look at an example that Thrifty Traveler points out, a KLM flight from Minneapolis (MSP) to Amsterdam (AMS).

A couple weeks ago, I was looking at this exact route and prices were at 35,000 SkyMiles in economy and 120,000 SkyMiles in business. Now, the flight has skyrocketed to 64,000 SkyMiles in economy and a whopping 330,000 miles in business.

The same thing can be found on Virgin Atlantic flights.

Virgin Atlantic’s flight from New York (JFK) to London Heathrow (LHR) now prices out at absolutely extraordinary levels, with 250,000 SkyMiles required for a one-way flight in business. Previously, this flight would have likely cost 35,000 SkyMiles in economy. Now, however, the flight is priced at 58,000 SkyMiles.

The only routes that seem to be unaffected by these changes are those routes where Delta doesn’t either have any service (Like IAD-CDG) or cities that they don’t fly to at all (like Taipei).

Quick Thoughts

I suppose that this could all be a tech issue that’s causing partner awards to price like Delta’s, but it seems highly unlikely, especially since they seem to only affect partner awards on routes that Delta operates also. This seems to be yet another salvo in the battle to reduce the value of SkyMiles to rubble and we shouldn’t find it surprising that, after the series of devaluations over the last two years, the airline chose to take another swing at partner awards. While there are still a few lower-priced destinations left, I wouldn’t expect them to stay that way long.

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Nate

This is why I have had zero interest in any of the Amex Delta cards for years, they are such a use ’em or lose ’em currency. Ironically, I think an Amex Delta was my first card when I lived in ATL, so funny how that turned out.

Too bad for those whom are living at Delta hubs.

mbh

Damn, and I just burned another precious credit card slot for another DL Amex. I guess I’ll find some use for those pesos. After all, I’m in ATL, so for better or worse, it’s usually DL if I want to travel domestically. (Harry, does being a “free agent” really work in ATL?)

[…] (情報源はFrequent Milerより) […]

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Sky rubles

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Dave

Have you looked at TK?
Looks like massive devaluation as well.

Jerry

Lost in the discussion are the Skymiles flash sales everyone used to write about. It was possible to get 2 cpm with these sales. Seems like they have quietly disappeared as well. Skymiles have turned into fools gold.

NK3

I have not seen a great advertised flash sale in a while, but there are still reasonable to good unadvertised redemptions that come up for domestic economy flights. Of my next 10 domestic tickets, 8 are on Delta, and 7 of the 8 are SkyMiles tickets. On all of the 7 I got >1.5 cents/SkyMile. A couple did reach 2 cents/SkyMile. And these are all tickets I would have paid the cash fare if the SkyMiles price was not decent.

Lee

For what it’s worth, it appears that AA might be doing something as well. We know that a one-way trans-Atlantic cash fare can be the same or greater than that of a round-trip. As for an award ticket, one-way in business might be 110k points and a round-trip about 220k points. But, recently, I’ve noticed that (at least some) one-way award tickets are being priced at the same number of points as a round-trip. Not certain if this is an artifact of dynamic pricing (doubt it) or a potential realignment.

As things evolve, I think the comment of Mantis might be generalized. That is, use points earned on non-US carriers for awards on trans-Atlantic flights. And, use points earned on domestic carriers for awards on domestic flights and non-trans-Atlantic partner routes. For example, Europe to the Maldives or LAX-DOH.

Mantis

I gave up on using skymiles for partner awards or intl F/J flights long ago. They are basically for domestic economy only for me, Ill use all my other points/miles for F/J.

Frank

Yeah, a Korean Air flight used to be 50k one way and now it’s 100k.. terrible

Gene

@ Tim — Well, it is time for me to finish what I started and burn thr rest of my SkyMiles. So sad that Delta is soo greedy and dishonest. We won’t be renewing our Reserve cards, either.

Harry

I go back to 1982 with Delta (ATL area) and normally in their corner on blogs. However, this weekend I booked myself and P2 a trip using an ecert 1st class ticket. Before booking I planed my itinerary before signing-in. With that done, signed-in, went and click on the ecert to do my booking on to flights and the paid ticket for me went up $200. Boy I like blew a gasket. Before Delta asked if I would do a survey which I said yes. When I finished booking, I let them have it on all fronts. I have half million Sky pesos which I had ready figured would be domestic use as like all say, across the pond is crazy. No more Delta.I’m loyal to no carrier or really hotel either.