5 Reasons to Love Delta Skymiles

This morning I asked folks to come up with the best defense they could possibly muster for Delta Skymiles.

The best, so far, I think comes from Frequent Miler who offered several good arguments:

  1. For those who enjoy puzzles, Delta.com can provide days of enjoyment while you try to piece together a saver level award.
  2. With other programs, its tough to part with your miles since they’re so valuable. No such issue with SkyMiles.
  3. Pay with Miles. At 1 cent per mile value, only Delta can make a credible claim that this is a good deal.
  4. One way and round trip awards for the same price. Most people see this as a negative, but instead you could think of it as a free return trip with each one-way award!
  5. The fact that they make award chart changes effective immediately without prior notice is great. By pissing off their loyal customers, I hope enough of them will abandon Delta so that I can get upgrades and saver level awards more easily!

You know, I think I’m actually convinced!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I have used pay with miles several times. But, I’m pretty sure you have to have a Delta Amex credit card in order to take advantage of this feature.

  2. Of course, if one wants to look at SkyPesos as providing a free return for every one-way outbound award ticket, that’s possible only if you consider the one-way outbound award ticket to cost twice as much in SkyPesos as if you ascribe one-half the SkyPesos cost to the outbound flights and the other half of that cost to the inbound flights of the trip. Given next June’s devaluation, which already has some uncomfortably high SkyPesos costs for C awards, if the entire SkyPesos price is attributed to the outbound flights the one-way costs become stratospheric.

  3. I guess I don’t really understand the loyalty some people must feel to these companies. It’s a company screwing over loyal customers to maximize their profits in the short term – but somehow pointing this out is being a “hater”.
    Maybe I just don’t get the level of emotional investment. Or are these people employees? Delta doesn’t represent anything other than a for profit company folks.

  4. FM’s #6 was:
    “On a serious note, I do love that they allow stop-overs and open jaws on domestic awards. I use that a lot and actually do get good value from my miles.” 😉

  5. I don’t need your pity, but thanks.

    I pity you actually. It must be tough to have to copy every thought and term rick ingersoll had. But shill on my friend

  6. To Rene’s point yes I have redeemed a 25k domestic award (for four people) for a domestic trip with a stopover and an open jaw. It was a fantastic value, especially for a domestic trip. Of course there are times I only found 32.5k or 40k awards too.. then I just look to another program like United or US Air.. wait, they want 37.5k and 50k respectively. Grass isn’t always greener, and diversification in your points more often than not is a good idea.

  7. I would be sold if you can teach me how to get a domestic stopover at BTV, or price a low award ticket round trip BTV BRW or BTV ADK.

  8. Good airline, dreadful frequent flyer program. The one good feature is that points don’t expire, so that if I ever do find a seat someday the miles will still be there. My Delta balance has been static for quite some time now, since I put no effort into earning SkyPesos and there are no seats available to redeem.

  9. @Delta Points that was not his #6, that was his concluding thought, and I agree — there are ways to get good value out of these miles and I’ve written about those but it is much harder and with fewer options than if you’re working with competing currencies.

  10. There are some good points with Delta. The employees are great and I’ve always found them very helpful. Better than most on on-time flights and like last week when my flight back from Vegas was delayed 2 hrs. I would miss my connection and probably spend the night in MSP. I was alerted by text and ended up getting home 15 minutes earlier than my scheduled flight. This was made by a ticketing agent over riding the 1 hr check-in because flight was already boarding. Calling the GA and the GA waiting to close doors so we could make it and really nice FA on flight to DTW. Also I was only on a FF so no revenue from my wife or me but still great service. Negative is management like Mr. Anderson.

  11. Ps I have over 1/2 million sky peso’s to liquidate at sky mall. Probably more Amex cards seeing I don’t need anything else and this was a rare use of FF tickets. 1st time in 3 years.

  12. Agree with DaveS that the no-expiration policy is utilitarian,
    especially for families with young kids who don’t use credit cards
    to keep things artificially alive elsewhere. The miles will be there —
    being boiled slowly like a lobster via devaluations is (psychologically) better
    than losing them altogether suddenly. So they are good for “non-frequent-flyers” as long as they don’t go less than a penny a point. Non-FF’s
    rarely get much more than that anyway ‘cuz we often fly last-minute at peak holiday season, when there are few award seats anyway. So I like the known-value aspect.

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