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).
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.