Flying Delta and not chasing status? Why you might credit to Air Europa…

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UK-based blog Head for Points writes an interesting post this week about why you might want to credit SkyTeam flights to Air Europa (at least those readers who are not pursuing Delta’s easier-than-usual paths to elite status in 2021). That’s because there is a chance that Air Europa miles might become Avios in the future. To be clear, this strategy is a total gamble and you may end up with something the opposite of useful, but if you don’t fly nearly enough paid flights for the miles earned from flying to matter, this could be worth a shot.

Apparently, IAG, the owner of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and LEVEL had been working on a deal to purchase Air Europe pre-pandemic and according to Head for Points IAG is still going forward with the deal. Air Europa is currently a member of SkyTeam (and thus partners with Delta, so you can still now credit paid Delta flights to Air Europa). If the deal does go through successfully, IAG plans to take Air Europa out of SkyTeam. Since IAG’s other major airlines share the Avios reward currency, it would stand to reason that Air Europa’s mileage program would likely convert to being under the Avios umbrella. In other words, there is a fairly good chance that Air Europa miles will become Avios if (and only if) the acquisition goes through.

It would be foolish to credit flights to Air Europa expecting the miles to become Avios since it is possible that the deal won’t go through. Furthermore, there is no way of which I am aware to top up an Air Europa account for a redemption (it looks like they don’t even partner with Marriott). Miles locked up in Air Europa would be useless for most readers if they don’t someday convert to Avios.

Note also that not all Delta fare classes earn miles with Air Europa (H/T to NK3 in the comments). See wheretocredit.com for earning rates.

However, I know that in my case I rarely fly on cash tickets. When I do, it isn’t often on a SkyTeam airline. And while I have used some Air France miles before, we recently learned why it is a bad idea to credit flights to Air France. In my case, it is doubtful that I’ll ever redeem Delta miles for anything and I am not likely to book awards from any other SkyTeam program other than Air France. Whether miles earned from a rare paid Delta flight sit and languish as Delta SkyMiles or as Air Europa miles would make no measurable difference to me. Therefore, I could see myself taking a shot at this as though it were akin to buying a scratch-off lottery ticket (no measurable harm if I lose and maybe I’ll come out a couple bucks ahead). It is not a smarter play than buying that scratch-off lotto ticket, but it could be worth a shot if you value Avios at more than nothing. Read more about this at Head for Points.

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