Delta SkyMiles Deals Are Getting Weirder and Weirder and Why It’s a Good Thing (Plus More Delta One Suites)

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Delta SkyMiles Deals

Here is a direct link to the newest March 2019 Delta SkyMiles Deals

For someone who rarely uses Delta miles, I write about them a lot. In fact, I write more about Delta than any other airline. I even wonder if it wouldn’t be a good time to rename my blog into something like — I don’t know — is Delta Points taken? Does anybody know? 🙂

All jokes aside, I’ve already aired my theory that Delta “SkyMiles Deals” or “Flash Sales” are not really deals or sales but rather their newish business model. Why? Because these “sales” often stay live beyond their expiration dates, and Delta rarely advertises the best deals, which, in my opinion, makes no sense when you run a “legitimate” sale.

Imagine coming to a store touting a $100 special only to find out that the advertised item costs $50. Yes, sure you will be thrilled, but how does it make sense to the store? As a store owner, wouldn’t they want to dangle the best possible deal in front of your face?

Of course, you can counter that there are all kinds of sales, including “secret” sales and “reverse psychology” sales and “it’s a great price because we told you so” sales, but that’s not what Delta is doing either. More often than not, they advertise either mediocre or laughably bad deals on their front page, while hiding real bargains buried inside their award search engine. Detroit to Munich for 66,000 miles in Economy? That’s your deal? Wow, what a door-buster!

What these new SkyMiles Deals are all about

This latest award flash sale couldn’t be a better illustration. Here is the gist.

Domestic Deals

  • Economy
  • Starting at 11,000 miles round-trip
  • Minimum Stay: Friday
  • Purchase by April 3, 2019
  • Fly May 1 – June 27, 2019

Latin America and Caribbean Deals

  • Economy
  • Starting at 28,000 miles round-trip
  • Minimum Stay: Saturday
  • Purchase by April 3, 2019
  • Fly September 1 – October 31, 2019

Europe Deals

  • Economy
  • Starting at 32,000 miles round-trip
  • Minimum Stay: Saturday
  • Purchase by April 3, 2019
  • Fly April 25 – May 31, 2019

Asia Deals

  • Business
  • Starting at 200,000 miles round-trip
  • Minimum Stay: 4 days
  • Purchase by April 3, 2019
  • Fly June 23 – August 31, 2019

Well, folks, Delta is lying through its teeth. True, the domestic sale does start at 11,000 miles, from what I can tell. Mostly the short West Coast and East Coast hops like Seattle to LA, LA to Vegas, or New York to Washington. But then…

The Latin America and Caribbean sale is supposed to start at 28,000 miles. Computer says no!

Delta SkyMiles Deals

Not only is the redemption to Punta Cana almost 30% cheaper, but the round trip and Saturday stay stated in the T&C aren’t even required!

But maybe it’s only cheaper for one-way travel, and the round trip will square things off at the advertised 28,000 miles? Nope!

Delta SkyMiles Deals
You can fly to Punta Cana for 10,000 miles one way or 20,000 per round trip: almost 30% cheaper than advertised on Delta 

In my last Delta writeup, Frequent Miler rightly pointed out that the cheapest prices applied to Basic Economy rather than Main cabin. Not this time though.

Delta SkyMiles Deals
The other classes of service are also priced well

To be honest, I find prices for all cabins reasonably appealing for a 4+ hour flight.

Let’s move across the Atlantic. The Europe sale is supposed to start at 32,000 miles, right? Well, not really!

Delta SkyMiles Deals
25,000 miles — normally a U.S. domestic award level — for a round trip to London

But this is nothing compared to Delta’s Business Class to Asia sale. The results I’ve come to in a course of my “investigation” are beyond weird. Really!

Delta Asia sale peculiarities

It’s worth repeating the terms and conditions for Delta’s Asia sale:

  • Starting at 200,000 miles round-trip for Business Class
  • Minimum Stay: 4 days
  • Purchase by April 3, 2019
  • Fly June 23 – August 31, 2019

200,000 per round trip, huh? Let’s take a look. What do we see?

Delta SkyMiles Deals
Incredible award space to Tokyo: 15% less than advertised!

What we see is that Delta is lying to us through their teeth. 🙂

  1. You don’t have to book a round trip flight.
  2. Your minimum price will be 15% cheaper than advertised.
  3. The sale is valid outside the advertised dates; it’s supposed to start on June 15, but in fact the whole month of June is available.

So, almost everything about this “sale” is off — in a good way off, that is. 🙂

But let’s dig in and choose a date. This date wouldn’t be any different from many others, because availability on this itinerary is quite good.

Delta SkyMiles Deals
Or, pay slightly more miles for a nonstop in a Delta One Suite

Delta adds a $120 fuel surcharge to its partner’s flight on China Southern. It’s not too bad and much better than the ~$180 you’d pay on another Delta partner, China Eastern, but then you might notice the other search result — 90,000 miles for a nonstop on Delta and no fuel surcharge.

The 90,000-mile award on Delta metal is a much better choice, IMHO. You’d pay 5,000 more miles, but you’d save $120 and fly nonstop, and it would still be 10% less than the advertised 200,000-mile “sale” (divided by 2, obviously).

And I left the best for the last. Whenever you see the words New Flagship it means Delta One Suites. Your extra 5,000 miles will buy you exactly that!

Want to ride Delta SkyMiles Deals in a Delta One Suite? Nothing Easier!

Delta SkyMiles Deals
Delta One Suites have a door — you won’t find many of those in a Business Class cabin

It appears that Delta prices its own flights 5,000 miles higher than partners’, but even so, these flights will cost you only 90,000 miles one way, 10% cheaper than the advertised sale. Better yet, it’s entirely possible to get a Delta One Suite to Asia for the same 90,000 miles, as long as you’re flexible and don’t mind a connecting flight.

Delta has delayed deploying its retrofitted 777 between Minneapolis (MSP) and Tokyo Haneda, but it doesn’t mean you can’t fly in a Delta One suite from MSP. You’ll just have to make a choice between the time (nonstop) and luxury (or should we say, more luxury). And you might even have a choice in connections.

Delta SkyMiles Deals
You might even have a choice of a connection

New York is also in the picture.

Delta SkyMiles Deals
New York to Tokyo via Seattle — in a suite

Of course, if you live in a hub where the new Flagship A350s are already deployed, you might not need a connection. Here is what I believe to be a complete list of current routes with Delta One suites to Asia. Do let me know if I’ve missed something.

  • Atlanta — Seoul
  • Detroit – Tokyo
  • Detroit – Seoul
  • Detroit – Shanghai
  • Detroit – Beijing
  • Los Angeles — Tokyo
  • Los Angeles — Shanghai
  • Seattle — Tokyo

UPDATE: Reader Jason commented that Delta will add 2 more Delta One Suite routes to Asia sometime in July 2019:

  • Seattle — Shanghai
  • Seattle — Seoul

So if you’re based in Seattle, the world is your oyster. This is
Delta One Suites availability between Seattle and Tokyo for 2 people in the heat of summer.

Delta SkyMiles Deals
There is very good suite availability for 2 from Seattle to Tokyo

More inside. 🙂

Delta SkyMiles Deals

Delta is a charade, wrapped in a conundrum, inside an entanglement

Hope you’ve enjoyed how I tongue-in-cheeked Winston Churchill, but we have a more serious matter at hand: you shouldn’t take seriously anything Delta tells you. For whatever reason, Delta sales are usually better than what they would have you believe. It’s not always the case, mind you, and it’s not true for all markets (sorry, Delta’s Atlanta prisoners), but if you look hard enough, you’ll often find it to be true.

These Delta SkyMiles Deals offer a couple of interesting values. The first is a round trip to Europe in Economy starting at 25,000 miles (I only found this rate for London, but I wasn’t looking long). The second is a good award space on Delta One Suites to Asia for 90,000 miles one way. That latter deal is not a spectacular value, but … with Delta’s regular Business Class pricing, it kind of is.

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8 Responses to Delta SkyMiles Deals Are Getting Weirder and Weirder and Why It’s a Good Thing (Plus More Delta One Suites)

  1. Jerry says:

    Delta TPAC 85k partner business is around for ages, so no surprises there, but 90k one-way on DL metal is pretty good value in this day and age.

  2. Jason says:

    Virgin Atlantic prices these Delta flights out at 120,000 miles round trip. Availability is harder to find though.

  3. Jason says:

    Also SEA-PVG will be served by an A330-900neo with Delta One suites starting in July. I believe SEA-ICN also.

  4. Michael Serr says:

    I’m Diamond but fnd it very difficult to get the advertised SkyMiles deals – ever. They advertise something and by the time I enter what I want the rate somehow changes (higher). I’ve never seen lower options before. Great to know they re there but somehow feels like either you take unnecessary hops or travel at insane times (like staying an extra day in a hotel but taking the first am flight out) to get the rates where it doesn’t make sense.

    • Andy Shuman says:

      Michael, thanks for your comment. I agree it can be difficult, and for some hubs more than for others. Try to search one-ways and RT separately to see if your results improve.

  5. Michael Wainstein says:

    I am looking and there must be any deals from Orlando because RT to London in the booking period is 350k miles! with 290k being the lowest deal. That is an outrageous amount of miles.

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