Delta SkyMiles: Business class deals aren’t dead. Here’s how to find them.


It’s been a long time since Delta’s international business class award prices competed favorably with competitors like AA or United, but until a few years ago it was possible to find awards that were less than double the competition.  For example, where AA would charge fewer than 60K miles for a one-way business class flight to Europe, Delta would sometimes charge fewer than 100K.  In recent years, even that value has quickly evaporated for most flights.

At first, it was only Delta’s own business class flights that started at over 200,000 miles one-way.  Partner awards of under 100K each way were still available.  Last year, though, they seemingly killed even those opportunities (see: Delta devalues SkyMiles again).  Is anything left?  Actually, yes.  Most partner awards where neither the origin or destination touch the U.S. or Canada are still pricing with reduced rates when compared to the “SkyHigh” rates starting or ending in the US/Canada.  Below you’ll find a number of examples.  Note that all examples are for one-way prices.

This post has been updated to reflect a significant increase in Delta SkyMiles “saver” partner award pricing on flights to Asia and Europe from Mexico and South America. In general, business class flights are now 30-40% more expensive and economy flights have gone up 15-20%. Flights between Europe and Asia appear to be unaffected.
Greg and Nick flying Air France Business during the “Passing the GUC” trip.

Mexico to/from Australia business class for 120K

Example: Mexico City to Sydney via LAX

Mexico to/from South Africa business class for 110K

Example: Mexico City to Johannesburg on Air France

Mexico to/from Europe business class for 105K

Example: Mexico City to London via Paris on Air France

Example: Amsterdam to Mexico City via Paris on Air France

South America to Europe business class for 105K

Example: Colombia to Paris on Air France

Example: Brazil to Paris on Air France

Europe to/from Asia business class for 80-90K

Caution: Delta frequently shows phantom award space with Korean Air.  Before transferring miles to Delta or buying miles, double check that the award space exists via Air France’s website.

Example: Paris to Seoul on Korean Air

As you can see above and in the award calendar below, it’s also possible to book Europe to South Korea business class for 80K miles if you fly Saudi, but I think that the non-stop Korean Air flight is definitely worth the extra 10K miles.

Example: Seoul to Amsterdam on Korean Air

Example: Vienna to Taipei via China Airlines business class

Fly within Europe for 10K economy or 20K/25K business

For a better deal, but with Virgin Atlantic miles, see: Air France & KLM across Europe for less.

Example: Amsterdam to Bucharest for 10K economy or 25K business

Example: Paris to Lyon for 10K economy or 20K business

South Korea to/from Japan business class for 15K

Caution: Delta frequently shows phantom award space with Korean Air.  Before transferring miles to Delta or buying miles, double check that the award space exists via Air France’s website.

Example: Seoul to Tokyo on Korean Air business class

Many, many more…

Image shows airport served by SkyTeam airlines. Image courtesy of

The image above shows airports around the world that are served by SkyTeam airlines.  Since Delta is a SkyTeam member, you theoretically have the ability to use SkyMiles to book any/all of those flights.  And that image doesn’t even include Delta’s non-alliance partners like Virgin Atlantic.  As long as the route doesn’t begin or end in either the United States or Canada, and if awards are available, you should be able to find more reasonable prices like the many examples shown above.  Use to do your searches and make sure to click the “Shop with Miles” box.

Happy hunting!

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