Delta miles are called SkyPesos for a reason. Sure, I coined the phrase, but it stuck. Because they’re worth less than other major mileage currencies. Sure, there are uses, Air France business class to Europe is reasonably available from some gateways. And so are business class seats on V Australia, especially Los Angeles – Brisbane (though Delta adds fuel surcharges to the awards).
But the hardest thing about using Delta Skymiles awards on these partners can often be the domestic segments on Delta getting to the international gateway.
Delta tends to be the stingiest with award availability. And when they do release seats, it tends to be quite close to departure (but don’t count on trading your ‘high’ award of a lower priced one at the last minute, there are no changes whatsoever within 72 hours of scheduled travel.
To top it all off, the Delta pricing engine is hopelessly broken. Delta’s award charts don’t matter to Delta.com. They’ll price out awards hundreds of thousands of miles more expensively than their award chart promises. After a little bit of poking around you can sometimes figure out why — because one segment is available at ‘high’ price, another at ‘low’, and instead of just pricing the award as ‘high’ they will charge high plus low. Or what should by all rights price out as a legal open jaw will price instead as two separate one-way awards. And since Delta doesn’t offer one-way awards, except at the full roundtrip price, they’ll price the award as though it were two roundtrips.
Yes, people, Delta.com is very broken. (Other issues include spitting up during the booking process, or returning no flight results when plenty of flights exist, only to start the process over and on the next try some flights may come up. Often times, calling Delta agents gets no better results.)
So I propose a game. What’s the most expensive Delta mileage award you can find?
I’ll start off, here’s an award for 720,000 miles. Can you beat it?
Feel free to click on the image to get an up close of the details, if you don’t believe Delta.com can price an award at 720,000 miles!
(HT: Steven S.)