Next year Delta is only going to award miles based on the cost of a ticket.
Right now though you can earn the actual miles flown on Delta plus 5000 miles for your next flight.
The only catch is you have to credit the flight to Delta’s Skyteam partner Alitalia, registering for your new Alitalia Millemiglia account by November 28 and taking that flight within 3 months of enrolling.
- The first 2000 miles comes with your first mileage-earning in the account.
- The next 3000 miles comes with crediting your first flight with Alitalia or one of their partners
A single flight can fulfill both requirements.
Next year, of course, you can choose to credit Delta flights to Delta earn miles based on the cost of your ticket — or credit to a Delta partner and earn miles based on distance (and the fare class purchased).
One option is Alitalia, another is Alaska Airlines. Alitalia only awards 100% of flown miles on K fares or higher (L, T, U, X, V, and E fares earn 50% of flown miles). That’s not great, Alaska is a better option for many, but Alitalia is an American Express transfer partner meaning you can top off your Alitalia account if you have Amex points.
As I recently explained in the Best American Express Transfer Partners By Destination, Alitalia has some very attractive awards:
- North America-North Asia 90,000 miles roundtrip in business
- North America-Southeast Asia 95,000 miles roundtrip in business
- North America-India 100,000 miles roundtrip in business
- North America-Southern South America 75,000 miles roundtrip in business
- North America-Tahiti 90,000 miles roundtrip in business
And Alitalia does offer a double miles option to redeem for most seats on its own metal, something few non-US programs do or charge even more for (Air France limits premium cabin extra miles redemptions to their own elites, British Airways doesn’t offer it, Singapore does but requires too many miles for it).
Of course Alitalia’s telephone call centers are a mind numbing experience. (Remember, Hang up, call back.)
Non-U.S. frequent flyer programs offer a lot of value if you take the time to understand them. That’s why they are my devaluation Plan B.