SURPRISE! Delta SkyMile Increases in Value Overnight!

No matter who your favorite airline is, one thing is for sure: Delta SkyMile kinda sucks. For years bloggers have been bashing Delta for (1) removing award chart, (2) inflating their redemption rate without notice, (3) charging a leg and an arm to redeem Delta’s long-haul business product, and most recently (4) putting restrictions on ticketing within 72 hours of departure.

Man, I feel I can go on and on forever criticizing why Delta’s frequent flyer program doesn’t make any sense. However, today there is a strangely good news from Delta: It has actually lowered the redemption rate between America and Asia! This means that Delta’s SkyMile has just gone up in value. Let’s take a closer look.

It used to be the case that between US and China a one-way ticket in economy costs 40k miles, while a business class redemption would normally cost 95k (or higher if Delta thinks the ticket is in high demand). Starting today we see the rate going down to 35k and 85k for economy and business class, respectively.

In terms of award redemption between US and China, this puts Delta almost on a par with United, which costs 80k miles for a partner award. Traditionally SkyTeam has dominance in Southern China and a substantial presence in the entire Southeast Asia. Thus it should come as a very good news to those who have tons of Delta miles, especially thanks to the generous sign-up bonus recently by Amex Delta credit card.

With the entire industry moving towards to mileage devaluation, Delta’s move is certainly laudable. So kudos to Delta! Though one concern I have is that again this change happens overnight and without any announcement. Hopefully this adjustment does not turn out to be another “glitch”, which we’ve seen quite a lot recently …


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