Delta Puts Domestic Coach Award On Sale For… 26,000 Miles

Delta is running an award sale they seem to have changed from offering a set of routes at a discount each month to each week.

Nevermind that Delta no longer offers an award chart. They don’t publish “regular price” so it’s unclear how they can offer a sale (a discount compared to regular price).

They’re offering ‘last minute deals for this weekend’ and suggesting that a 34,000 mile roundtrip coach saver award between New York and New Orleans is a ‘deal’. (HT: Your Mileage May Vary)

There are lots of Delta apologists out there, and some might claim that 34,000 miles is a deal because it’s last minute even though historically the very best time to snatch up saver awards at the lowest price was at the last minute when it was clear to an airline which seats would go empty.

Delta is also offering Domestic, Caribbean, and Latin America award deals. Here are the domestic deals they’re promoting:

Salt Lake City – Tampa is a deal or discount at ‘just’ 26,000 miles roundtrip. So much for the 25,000 mile award. Delta seems like they’re making a point here. They’re raising the cost by 1,000 and telling you it’s raining calling that a discount.

Three years ago Delta said they would no longer anchor to 25,000 miles for a domestic coach roundtrip. And they don’t.

Revenue-based redemption programs are never good for consumers. Award prices can be super low, but that’s only true when cash prices are super low. Revenue-based redemptions eliminate all of the leverage of miles, all of the possibility of getting outsized value for your points. Revenue-based programs are like sandwich shop punch cards. The commitment to SkyMiles continues, despite logic.

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, 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. More power to the Delta flyers. Like most Trump voters and voters who didn’t bother to vote, they’re getting pretty much what they deserve and that they pretend they love.

    For those who live in Atlanta or Cincinnati or Minneapolis or Detroit, there’s less choice, of course. For everyone else, we laugh at you.

    Delta’s vaunted “operational efficiency” premium is hilariously laughable. They have the oldest planes. Their food and service are maybe marginally better than on United, and a bit better than American. But overall, it’s just about the same as United and American, regardless of what they tel themselves to feel better about flying Delta and have worthless miles.

  2. Gary, I’m switching more of my flying over to Delta from American, and I just signed up for an additional Delta credit cards (Delta Amex Platinum) to help earn more MQM. And I live in a market that is not dominated by Delta (NYC). Why? Because the route network and flying experience are just better. I get much more value out of my AAdvantage miles, but the first priority is getting to my destination comfortably, on time and on my schedule. I also like how easy it is to buy up to First Class after reservations in a lot of cases. I will still fly AA and try to earn status with them, but Delta runs a good operation.

  3. @Mark, WilliamC should keep his politics to himself, but why wasn’t your critique at Bill’s odd introduction of politics into this story? WilliamC was merely responding.

  4. For the occasional flyer (just interested in redeemable miles), no reason to bank flown miles to sky pesos. I flew Delta international premium economy (one-way NRT-MCO) last year and banked it to Korean. Delta offered 3000 miles for the $600 ticket while I collected 7500 with Korean. No brainer, even if the 2 programs offered equal miles.

  5. @Bill – feel free to stay away to keep my upgrade rate higher if you’re a frequent flier. There’s simply no comparison between Delta and UA/AA where it matters most … the people. The operational efficiency is better as well, but the main difference is just flat out how pleasant it is to fly them vs UA/AA.

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