Delta’s International Award Sale Details Revealed, Now Available to Everyone

Yesterday Delta started offering discounted awards on a handful of routes, on certain dates, for elites members. Apparently that was a ‘pre-sale’ and co-brand credit card holders could book as well.

Now the sale is open to everyone. It’s available on many although not all Europe routes.

Here’s Atlanta – Amsterdam for two passengers in economy:

Here’s New York JFK – London for two passengers in business:

I’m not really sure what the point of offering elites access to the sale a day early was, when Delta didn’t tell elites it was going on. If elites happened to be searching awards yesterday (or were reading certain blogs) they got to pay a lower price. If Delta had given members notice that would have been one thing of actual value, but most elites didn’t get to benefit from and weren’t even aware of this ‘special benefit’.

Key things to know:

  • Discounted awards appear available on Delta flights (not partners) between the US and Europe, between mid-October and the end of February.

  • The ‘normal’ price is 30,000 miles each way for economy and 62,500 for business. The discounted price is 21,000 miles each way for economy and 43,500 for business (with Western U.S. routes 24,000 and 50,000 respectively).

  • You can include domestic connecting flights at these prices, provided you can find saver availability on those flights which are permissible for inclusion with international flights.

Considering that Star Alliance member Aeroplan charges 45,000 miles each way for business class between the US and Western Europe every day (here’s how to avoid fuel surcharges on those awards and don’t forget that Delta adds fuel surcharges to awards that originate in Europe), I don’t see that as truly exciting or better than the competition.

It’s just a short-term offer that’s better than the usual pricing from Delta. As I wrote yesterday, that this seems exciting is what the 43rd US President called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Still, if you want to book awards to Europe during the fall and winter months (which is when most people don’t want to go, it should come as no surprise that’s when this is offered) now is a good time to use SkyMiles. There’s no word on how long this sale will last.

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. Just wondering how you got JFK->LHR with just $5.6 taxes. Mine shows 42,000 miles with $198.4 taxes. I can reproduce the same for Amsterdam though, with just $5.6 in taxes

  2. Not an elite but am a co-branded AMEX cardholder. I had access to this award inventory pricing yesterday.

  3. @Jason taxes on departure from the US are low, going the other way you’re paying UK departure taxes and also US immigration taxes.

  4. I with you in the confused camp as to why Delta did this with no notice to anyone. Maybe they wanted to be able to say “hey we offered you J awards to Europe for 87k skypesos” and hope not many people took advantage of. If they actually wanted this to be a peace offering to help combat the bad press recently, why not let people know? I get that Delta wants to gut their program and reduce the value members can get from their skymiles, but sometimes i think their marketing dept employees are just f$&#ing morons.

  5. Given Delta’s stance that what the computer prices is correct, I suspect that some programmer accidentally introduced a bug in the already insanely complex pricing algorithm, and Delta management just said, “Screw it. Call it a sale and fix the bug as quick as you can.”

  6. 43.5k for J is great with DL! Any idea how long the sale will be open for? Still need some miles to credit before I can purchase anything…

  7. Thanks again for the heads up, Gary. Just booked ATL-CDG for a nice long weekend with my wife. Even living in Atlanta it is sometimes hard to redeem these sky miles and it’s great to find a good use for them for once!

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