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Delta is offering awards to London for 22,500 SkyMiles each way this winter. That is a 7,500 miles discount off the normal price.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 6.14.50 PM The details are a little sketchy (just like Delta’s lack of an award chart) because those listed on the promo page are incomplete and incorrect:

Origins & Destinations | Round-trip Award ticket and sale fares for travel from select U.S. cities to London-Heathrow International Airport (LHR).
Fare | $906-$986 round-trip or 45,000 miles round-trip (plus taxes and fees) *Additional fees/restrictions/baggage charges may apply.
Purchase By | January 18, 2016
Travel Period | Travel must begin between February 1 and March 24, 2016.
Advance Purchase | 14 days
Minimum Stay | Saturday Night
Blackout Dates | See city-specific Blackout Dates.
Other Rules | Tickets must be purchased at delta.com.

The US cities with discounted awards to London are not listed.

The page makes it sound like you need to book a roundtrip, but one way awards do price at 22,500 SkyMiles, as seen in this calendar of award space between New York and London.
Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 6.17.30 PM The page doesn’t list exact dates for the discounts, only saying that “[t]ravel must begin between February 1 and March 24, 2016.” The discounted awards go at least through the end of March, though, as this 45,000 mile roundtrip that returns on March 30 shows.Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 6.22.43 PMOne thing that is clear is that the discount only applies to Delta metal. Flying partners like Virgin Atlantic still costs 30,000 miles each way.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 6.17.54 PM

Good Deal?

Booking one way to London for 22,500 SkyMiles + $5.60 is a very good deal. Yes, you could book the same award for 20,000 American Airlines miles from October 15 to May 15 each year, but I value 20k AA miles higher than 22.5k Delta miles, so I’d rather book the discounted Delta awards.

Booking a roundtrip is not nearly as good of a value because of the very high taxes for departing Britain on an award–about $183 one way.

Therefore I’d recommend booking a one way Delta award to London, a low cost carrier’s flight to somewhere else in Europe, and an American Airlines off peak award home for 20,000 American Airlines miles plus taxes.

Bottom Line

Delta is currently discounting awards from unnamed American cities to London. The awards cost 22,500 miles one way in economy. They are a better deal going east. Avoid booking them west because of the high taxes to depart to Britain.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

1

Delta has devalued its miles with no notice (again.)

Effective immediately, awards for travel from October 1, 2016 on are going up in price to:

  • North Asia in Business Class
  • Southwest Pacific in Business Class
  • Africa and South Africa in Business Class

However, awards for travel from October 1, 2016 on are going down in price to:

  • South Pacific in economy
  • Southwest Africa in economy
  • Middle East in economy

Delta no longer publishes an award chart, so we know about these changes by comparing the old award charts to prices published on Delta’s award calendars for travel from October 1, 2016 on. This is another blow to the value of SkyMiles, which are already the least valuable of any major mileage currency.

Let’s dive into the changes.

North Asia

China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea, Micronesia, Philippines, Taiwan , Russia East of the Ural Mountains, Guam, Saipan

Was: 35k/70k each way in economy/Business
For Travel after October 1: 35k/80k each way in economy/Business
Change: 10,000 more Delta miles each way in Business Class to Northern Asia

Southwest Pacific

American Samoa, Australia, Christmas Islands, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis, Futuna Islands

Was: 50k/80k each way in economy/Business
For Travel after October 1: 45k/95k each way in economy/Business
Change: 5,000 fewer Delta miles each way in economy to Australia/New Zealand, 15,000 extra miles in Business Class

Middle East

Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen

Was: 40k/70k each way in economy/Business
For Travel after October 1: 35k/70k each way in economy/Business
Change: 5,000 fewer Delta miles each way in economy to the Middle East

Africa (most of it, at least)

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Libya, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Was: 40k/70k each way in economy/Business
For Travel after October 1: 40k/80k each way in economy/Business
Change: 10,000 more Delta miles each way in Business Class to most of Africa

South Africa

South Africa is a separate region from the rest of Africa.

Was: 50k/80k each way in economy/Business
For Travel after October 1: 40k/95k each way in economy/Business
Change: 10,000 fewer Delta miles each way in economy to South Africa, 15,000 more miles in Business

Other Regions

I have only covered award price changes for awards originating in the continental United States. There are other award chart changes. You can check out the full FlyerTalk thread that is uncovering them here.

Bottom Line

Delta miles have again gotten less valuable if you like to fly in Business Class. In economy class, a few awards have gotten cheaper. As usual, Delta gave no notice of the devaluation.

Award price changes are for travel October 1, 2016 or later. Booking date is irrelevant.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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I tweeted this deal first from @MileValueAlerts. Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter and follow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I tweet from @MileValueAlerts only a few times a month because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.

Travel from Los Angeles to Lima, Peru for $289 roundtrip on Delta from January through May 2016.

Contents:

  1. When are the $289 fares?
  2. Mileage Earning
  3. Why Peru?
  4. Best Credit Card to Buy the Ticket

$289 Roundtrips from Los Angeles to Lima

Search on ITA Matrix by calendar of lowest fares for acceptable trip lengths. Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.10.15 PM

There are $289 roundtrips available between January and May.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.04.05 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.04.50 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.04.54 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.07.10 PM

Hover over a date with $290 roundtrips. Select the number of nights you’d like the roundtrip to be.Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.04.19 PM

You cannot book on ITA Matrix. Instead note the dates and search on your favorite booking site.Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.08.52 PM

I couldn’t bring these up on delta.com, but I brought them up on Kayak, which then sent me to delta.com where they suddenly were bookable.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 10.09.43 PM

Mileage Earning

Delta has revenue-based earning of miles, so you’ll earn a measly 1,450 Delta miles for these roundtrips, more if you have status. These are V class fares. Look into crediting them to a partner to earn more miles.

Why Peru?

Peru is one of my very favorite countries in the world. See my series of the Top Ten Things to Eat, Do, and See in Peru.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

Buy your ticket with the Citi Prestige® Card, since it comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will offset part of the purchase of this ticket, leaving you only $39 out of pocket.

Even if you’ve already used your $250 credit for this year, the card offers 3x on all airfare purchases.

See my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like its annual $250 Air Travel Credit, 50,000 point sign up bonus, and access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels.

My second choice would be the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, which comes with 40,000 bonus Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 5.54.18 PM

You could redeem 28,900 Arrival miles to get a free $289 ticket on any airline. You’d still earn Delta miles on the flights, and you’d even get 1,450 Arrival miles back upon redemption. More on redeeming Arrival miles.

Hat Tip The Flight Deal

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Hawaii is one of the best places in the world to visit, and judging by the number of inquiries I get about booking awards to Hawaii, it’s clear that many people agree. There are a number of cheap ways to get there that I’ll list in order.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 10.15.24 PM
Waikiki at Sunset

1. Allegiant Air $314+ roundtrip (ending 8/2016)

Allegiant Air is an ultra-low cost carrier that flies from Las Vegas and Los Angeles to Honolulu. The flights are as cheap as $314 roundtrip, but a carry on will cost $50 roundtrip and a checked bag is $70 roundtrip. Additionally if you want to select your seat or board early, you have to pay extra.

If you live in one of the cities serviced by Allegiant, don’t mind a middle seat for five hours, and can travel with only one carry on, $364 roundtrip to Hawaii is the best deal in my opinion–better than burning 25,000+ miles on the trip.

You can always pay for your Allegiant flights, bag fees, seat fees, and food with an Arrival Plus. Then you can redeem Arrival miles to remove those purchases from your statement.

Here’s my review of paying $90 extra to get a “Giant Seat” up front from Los Angeles to Honolulu when I flew Allegiant.

Allegiant has announced that it will terminate Hawaii service in August 2016.

2. Avios Award: 25,000+ Avios and $11+ roundtrip

I love that British Airways Avios has a distance-based award chart. For 25,000 Avios and $11, you can fly roundtrip on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines planes from the West Coast to Hawaii. Here are the possible routes.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 6.21.15 PM
1: Seasonal

 

Avios are also a reasonable option for anyone who lives close to one of the airports mentioned in this section, since a short hop flight only adds 4,500 Avios to the price each way. That means Tucson to Los Angeles to Lihue roundtrip would be 34,000 Avios and $11.

Avios can be used for oneway awards at half the price of a roundtrip award, which means that if you can’t get the Avios deal both ways, it’s still a good idea to go one way for 12,500 Avios and use another one way deal.

See here for an Anatomy of an Award post for a step-by-step breakdown of the time I booked a oneway award from Honolulu to Los Angeles with Avios.

3. Korean Miles Award: 25,000+ Korean Miles and $11 Roundtrip, First Class from 45,000 Korean Miles Roundtrip

Korean miles can book a roundtrip in Delta economy from anywhere in the United States to any of the four major Hawaiian islands for 25,000 Korean miles. A roundtrip in Delta First Class is 45,000 Korean miles.

You just have to find Saver award space on Delta flights on delta.com and transfer your Ultimate Rewards or SPG Starpoints to Korean miles.

More info on the process: SkyTeam Partner Awards for Way Too Cheap with Korean Miles

Korean miles can also book Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines Saver award space, but the price is higher: 30k/60k Korean miles roundtrip in economy/First.

4. Singapore Miles Award: 35,000+ Singapore Miles and $11 Roundtrip, First Class from 60,000 Singapore Miles Roundtrip

Singapore miles can book United economy from anywhere in the United States to any of the four major Hawaiian islands for 17,500 Singapore miles each way. One way in United First Class is 30,000 Singapore miles.

You just have to find Saver award space on United flights on united.com and transfer your Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points, or SPG Starpoints to Singapore miles.

More info on the process: Guide to Booking United Flights to Hawaii with Singapore Miles

While it’s ideal to use one of the three previous options to book an award to Hawaii, you might not live in a place that can take advantage of Allegiant flights or Avios awards and Delta is notoriously poor for releasing award space (which means Korean miles are useless.) The best bet on this list is definitely United opening up award space, which you can then book with Singapore miles.

Getting the Miles

Singapore miles are a partner of every transferable points program. Cards I like that earns points that transfer:

What Wasn’t On the List

  • United miles
  • Delta miles
  • American Airlines miles

Flights on those airlines can be booked cheaper with Singapore, Korean, and British Airways miles respectively.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

0

Delta is having a “Pre-Black Friday Award Sale” for roundtrip awards that cost 20,000 miles roundtrip:

  • booked by November 30, 2015
  • flown January 5 to February 24, 2016 excluding February 12-16 and 19
  • with a Saturday night stay

Delta lists “sample cities” on the sales page, but not a complete list of discounted city pairs.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.12.11 PM

I did a sample booking from Cincinnati to Las Vegas for January. I searched flexible dates to see more options on one screen.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.03.53 PM

There were quite a few options to enjoy the 20,000 mile roundtrip price.Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.04.22 PM

Good Deal?

Go search from your home airport to your preferred destination to see if there are any 20,000 mile roundtrips. But before booking, consider alternatives.

British Airways Avios

Avios awards flying American Airlines or Alaska Airlines start at 9,000 Avios roundtrip. Of course, starting next year, the cheapest domestic Avios awards will be 15,000 Avios roundtrip.

United

United segments under 700 miles flown with Saver award space cost only 10,000 miles each way.

Arrival

If Delta is releasing award space for 20,000 miles roundtrip, cash tickets may be very cheap. If the cash ticket is under $200, it will cost fewer than 20,000 Arrival miles. Here is how Arrival miles work.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® comes with 40,000 bonus Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 5.54.18 PM

Bottom Line

Delta is offering cheaper domestic awards for flights next January and February if you book this week. Even at the discounted rate, there may be an equal or better deal with Avios, United miles, or Arrival miles.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

4

Which airlines has the best miles and frequent flyer program? United, American, and Delta are the big three legacy carriers that most directly compete with each other in the United States. For that reason, I publish charts that compare their award prices.

I have updated my charts to show the prices that United, Delta, and American Airlines will charge for awards booked March 22, 2016 or later. Until March 21, 2016, American’s awards will be cheaper and can be found here.

Economy

All charts compare the cheapest possible award you can book with the airlines, called Saver, MileSAAver, or Level 1. All charts show the price in thousands of miles.

The economy chart has an extra column because American Airlines has off peak dates for economy awards that are cheaper than their normal MileSAAver awards. The asterisk next to the Europe off peak award is because, come March 22, it will be the only off peak award bookable on American Airlines partners. All other off peak awards must fly American Airlines planes only.

The slashes in the American column show the price for flying on American (cheaper) and partners (more expensive.)

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.15.33 PM

American’s devAAluation has put its economy award prices roughly in line with Delta’s and United’s. The biggest steals I see are American Airlines off peak awards to Central America and Hong Kong.

Business Class

The slashes in the United and American columns show the prices for flying that airline (cheaper) and partners (more expensive) except the slashes in the American cells for flights within the United States and Canada show the price for flying First Class on a two cabin plane (cheaper) and Business Class on a three cabin plane (more expensive.) The slashes in the Delta column show the price for flying First Class (cheaper) and flat bed Business Class (more expensive.)

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.35.39 PM

Again American’s changes put it right in line with its competitors. American miles are still cheaper to Northern South America, Japan, and Korea.

First

Delta doesn’t have a column because Delta miles cannot be used to book three-cabin First Class. To book SkyTeam First Class, transfer Ultimate Rewards or Starpoints to Korean miles. Slashes show the price of flying that airline (cheaper) and the price of flying a partner (more expensive.)
Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.16.13 PM

It is almost always cheaper to use American Airlines miles to fly one of its awesome partners’ First Classes than it is to use United miles to fly one of its partners’ First Classes, but both charts are terrible. The only possible value I see is paying 80,000 American Airlines miles to fly JAL’s very awesome First Class to Japan or Korea.

Bottom Line

Of course we all thought that American Airlines would devalue its charts roughly in line with United’s and Delta’s, but I didn’t realize how closely American had copied its competitors until putting this post together and seeing that the airlines have nearly the same prices on all awards originating in the continental United States.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

1

There is fantastic flat bed Business Class award space for two people on Delta flights to Europe next summer for the Level 1 (on the former, now deleted chart) price of 62,500 SkyMiles each way. That’s a fantastic value with Delta miles, which are the least valuable major mile.

To search for direct award space on Delta flights next summer for two people, I performed searches that looked like this–notice that I ticked “Non Stop” and “Delta Only.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.22.46 PM

To Europe

New York to London: 32/35 days at Level 1 Price
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.22.58 PM Atlanta to London: 27/35 days at Level 1 PriceScreen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.23.21 PM

Detroit to London: 20/35 days at Level 1 Price
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.23.36 PM

Detroit to Munich: 22/30 days at Level 1 Price (doesn’t operate on Saturday)
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.24.25 PM

From Europe

There is great space at the Level 1 price leaving London, but the taxes of about $300 per person make that a bad deal for me. There is good space on other routes too. Ignore the taxes of 178 euros. I searched one way, and Delta adds fuel surcharges to awards originating in Europe (roundtrips and one ways). As part of a roundtrip or open jaw from the United States, there would be no fuel surcharges.

Rome to New York: 27/35 days at Level 1 Price
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.25.03 PM

Other Routes, but Not All

There are other routes not mentioned in this post that have good award space. Find one that works for you. This isn’t, however, some general free-for-all on all Delta award space to Europe. Some routes have little-to-no award space to/from Europe in Business Class.

Amsterdam to Atlanta: 5/35 days at Level 1 Price
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.29.13 PM

 

Connections

You can connect in Delta economy or Delta First Class to these flights for zero extra miles as long as you find Level 1 award space on the domestic flights (12,500 for economy and 25,000 for First). You can connect on Air France, KLM, or other European SkyTeam flights throughout Europe in economy of Business for zero extra miles also if you find Saver award space. Here’s how to search segment-by-segment.

 

Bottom Line

Delta miles are the least valuable because of a slightly expensive (secret) award chart and a general lack of availability. However, right now there is great availability in Business Class for two passengers to and from Europe. Jump on it because it probably won’t last.

Hat Tip View from the Wing

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

2

Korean Air releases amazing award space on its flights. Here is a post focusing on how Korean releases more First Class award space than any other airlines, and award space is similar in all cabins.

Despite both being in SkyTeam, Delta miles cannot book Korean First Class, which is one reason to focus on Korean miles. However Delta miles should be able to book all the Business and economy award space on Korean flights, since partners generally release all their Saver award space equally to all partners.

At the moment, this isn’t the case. Korean is blocking most of its Business and economy award space, making it unavailable to people with partner miles.

Example

On February 1, 2016, Korean has made nine Business Class award seats available to people with Korean miles on each of its two daily flights from Los Angeles to Seoul. (This is common for Korean.)

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.13.46 AM

The space would cost 62,500 Korean miles + $104.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.13.55 AM

I would expect Delta to have access to all 18 of those seats and to charge 70,000 Delta miles + $24. However, Delta does not have access to any Korean space on February 1, and only has any Korean Business Class space from Los Angeles to Seoul on 10/35 days. (I didn’t search each day on koreanair.com, but I bet they have released space on 34/35 or 35/35 days.)Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.14.24 AM

On days when Delta does have access to space, it often has access to one seat in Korean Business Class.Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.14.41 AM

By contrast, on that day, Korean is releasing nine Business Class seats on both flights.Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.14.53 AM

I have been very specific in condemning Korean in this post and not Delta. Why?

Because Flying Blue miles also don’t have access to the Korean space in this post. On airfrance.us, I’m not seeing any Korean longhaul Business or economy award space at the moment.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.16.13 AMAirfrance.us is showing Korean shorthaul space.Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.19.24 AMThe blocking of Korean space isn’t limited to Business Class. Korean economy is also widely available with Korean miles, but not with Delta or Flying Blue miles. There are 18 economy award seats between Los Angeles and Seoul in Korean economy on January 27.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.30.43 AM

There are two seats available with Delta miles.Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.31.33 AMOn most days in January, there are zero seats available on these flights with Delta miles. With Korean miles, economy award seats on the route are much more available.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.31.12 AM

Bottom Line

Korean is blocking partner access to its amazing economy and Business Class award space (and it was already the only real way to book Korean First Class space.) Hopefully this is a glitch and not permanent.

Hat Tip The Points Guy

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

2

Until November 17, 2015, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is offering 50,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and a $50 statement credit after your first Delta purchase during the same period.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 4.02.12 PM

The normal bonus is 30,000 miles and no statement credit.

Contents of this article:

  • Offer details
  • My valuation of the offer
  • Are you eligible for the bonus?
  • Best uses of SkyMiles

Offer Details

The Gold card is the “standard” airline credit card.

  • 50,000 bonus SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, 1 mile per dollar on other purchases
  • Free checked bag on Delta flights for you plus eight companions on the same reservation
  • $50 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase in the first three months
  • Priority Boarding on Delta
  • 20% off Delta onboard purchases
  • $95 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months

Offer Valuation

Delta miles are the least valuable major miles because of an expensive award chart, surcharges on several foreign partners, no stopovers allowed, and limited availability on Delta flights. I value them at about 1.3 cents each.

That makes the Gold offer worth $700 to me, $650 for the 50k miles and $50 for the statement credit.

Are You Eligible for the Bonus?

You can only get American Express personal card bonuses once per lifetime, so if you’ve ever had the personal Gold, you cannot get that card again with a new bonus.

Having had a Gold Business card or a Platinum Delta card or Delta Reserve card does NOT affect your eligibility to get a Gold personal card.

Check out Issuing Bank Rules for Approvals and New Bonuses for more information.

Best Uses of SkyMiles

SkyMiles are routinely trashed, mostly by people who don’t book many awards and just heard someone else say SkyMiles aren’t very valuable. I’ve booked a lot of awards with SkyMiles through my Award Booking Service, so I can say that they are fantastic to several places.

Now that you can book Delta awards one way, 50,000 miles are even more valuable because that’s enough or almost enough for:

Bottom Line

Delta’s limited time offers on its Gold card is worth checking out even if SkyMiles are the least valuable major miles. Fifty thousand bonus miles are nothing to sneeze at.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

3

Delta operates a daily flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu and back on a 767 with flat beds in Business Class. Surprisingly, the flight actually has decent award space, and you can book it for 30,000 miles one way or 45,000 miles roundtrip.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 2.09.59 PM

That’s a steal since Delta wants 50,000 SkyMiles one way for the flight.

I talked about United’s flat bed award space to Hawaii from the East Coast yesterday.

The Flights

The flights to look for are DL611 and DL612.

The flight from Los Angeles leaves at 8:30 AM, too early for most (all?) connections.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.08.22 PM

 

The flight from Honolulu is a day flight that lands in time for redeye connections to the East Coast and possibly other nearby connections.Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.16.00 PM

 

You know that these flights feature flat beds because of the flat bed icon next to “View Seats.” You can also check by clicking View Seats. This 1-2-1 layout is the layout of Delta’s flat bed Business Class.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 2.05.24 PM

Award Search

You can search awards space on delta.com very easily. You’ll want your search to look something like this.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.07.15 PM

Here’s how to interpret the results calendar:

  • Every day that says “50,000” has award space in flat beds
  • Some days that say “40,000” have award space in flat beds

So in this calendar, the eight days that say “50,000” have at least one award seat in a flat bed. The two days that say “40,000” may. We will need to click on them to find out.
Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.07.21 PM

The reason this works is that although Delta deleted its award chart, it still uses the prices on them. The Level 1 price for Delta flat bed Business Class to Hawaii is 50,000 miles. The Level 1 price for Delta recliner First Class is 40,000 miles and Level 2 is 55,000 miles.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.12.06 PM

Putting aside the weirdness that Delta Business Class is better than Delta First Class, the only seats that can be priced at 50,000 miles are flat beds.

Booking the Award

Don’t use Delta miles to book flat beds to Hawaii. Delta charges 50,000 SkyMiles one way and 100,000 roundtrip for its Level 1 award space. Any award space that prices out like that is equally available to partners, and some of Delta’s partners charge way fewer miles.

30,000 Flying Blue Miles One Way (40% off)

Air France Flying Blue charges 30,000 miles one way for this award space.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.10.11 PM

The only problem is that if you search airfrance.us for award space from Los Angeles to Honolulu, the option to search Business and First Class disappear.Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.12.28 PMFor the most part, the Business Class award space shows up anyway. If space you found on delta.com doesn’t show up online in the search results, book with Flying Blue miles by calling 800-375-8723. I priced out this roundtrip in flat beds online for 60,000 Flying Blue miles + $11.Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.18.38 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.18.45 PM

Flying Blue miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points. The transfer takes about 4.5 days, and there is one wrinkle to transfers, that I had to add 00 before my Flying Blue account number.

You can earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi Prestige® Card or Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, each after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Or you can get both cards for 100,000 bonus ThankYou Points. That’s almost two roundtrips to Hawaii in flat beds.

45,000 Korean Miles Roundtrip (55% Off)

Even better if you want to fly a roundtrip, Korean SkyPass charges 45,000 miles roundtrip for this award space. You cannot book one way SkyTeam awards with Korean miles.

You will have to call 800-438-5000 to book the award.

The cool thing is that you get two stopovers, in addition to the destination, on roundtrip SkyTeam awards. That means you could stopover in Los Angeles both ways to fly the flat beds even though the flight times are not good for same day connections. Or you could stopover in Los Angeles one way and somewhere else on the return.

Korean miles are a 1:1 instant transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, and a 1:1 (or 20,000:25,000) non-instant transfer partner of SPG Starpoints.

Connections

Flying to Hawaii, I don’t think same day connections are available, since the flight leaves at 8:30 AM. Flying to the mainland, there are definitely connections available that would cost zero extra Delta, Air France, or Korean miles. Connecting to any Business Class Level 1 award space on delta.com should cost zero extra miles.

Theoretically you could connect to a flat bed from Los Angeles to New York for zero extra miles, but in practice, there is no Level 1 award space (would show up as “32,500” one the chart.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.22.35 PM

Bottom Line

Delta flies once daily Los Angeles <-> Honolulu with a plane with flat beds. The space is good in those flat beds and can be booked for 30,000 miles one way or 45,000 miles roundtrip, which is 40% to 55% less than Delta charges for the same award space.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

1

Update 8/20/15: Delta now advertises this fare sale and says the deals must be booked by tomorrow August 21, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 3.45.16 PM

This page also lists some of the fare sale city pairs, though definitely not all.

——————-

Yesterday, Delta started selling awards to Europe for 21,000 miles each way in economy and 43,500 miles each way in Business Class. These are huge discounts off the “normal” price of 30,000 miles each way in economy and 62,500 miles each way in Business Class. (Though “normal” is tough to say since Delta deleted its award charts.)

At the time, the awards were only open to Delta elites and credit card holders. Now these discounted awards are bookable by everyone.

I did a lot of searching this morning, and I think I’ve sussed out the rules for these discounted awards to Europe.

  • Who can book the awards?
  • Where can you book from?
  • Where can you book to?
  • Which partners can be booked at discounted rates?
  • What dates are discounted?

Now Open to Everyone

Yesterday Delta said that elites and credit card holders were getting a one day pre-sale. That pre-sale has ended, and everyone can access the discounted awards in this post without even signing in to delta.com.

Discounted Region

The only discounted awards I see are to Europe. It would be nice if other regions were included in this deal! Let’s see if Delta adds other regions.

Discounted Routes & Partners

Yesterday, screen shots of discounted partner awards (flying KLM and Virgin Atlantic) surfaced. I cannot recreate those today. In fact, I found no discounted partner awards in my many searches. Please leave a comment if you can find a discounted partner award today. Until we find a discounted partner route today, it looks like the sale is for Delta-operated flights only.

Not all Delta flights/routes can be booked for the discounted prices. I’ll give a lot of examples of discounted routes in this post, but let me first give some routes on which I found no discounts:

  • New York to Madrid
  • Atlanta to Madrid
  • New York to Rome
  • New York to Nice, France
  • New York to Barcelona
  • Los Angeles to London

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.47.33 AMScreen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.47.36 AM

The warm-weather lover in me notes that, other than Los Angeles to London, those destinations are in Southern Europe, which would be the most pleasant place to visit during this Fall and Winter sale.

If the route you want to fly isn’t mentioned in the excluded or included section, a search will quickly reveal if it has discounted award space.

Let us know the excluded/included routes you find in the comments.

Discounted Dates

Across all the routes I searched, the discounted awards all fall between October 20, 2015 and February 29, 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.14.08 AMScreen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.16.09 AM

Let me know if you see discounted awards outside those dates in the comments.

Discounted Prices

If you fly all Delta flights during the discounted dates on included routes, you can get the following award prices:

  • From the Eastern and Central time zones plus Alaska to Europe for 21,000 SkyMiles each way in economy
  • From the Eastern and Central time zones plus Alaska to Europe for 43,500 SkyMiles each way in Business Class
  • From the Mountain and Pacific time zones plus Hawaii to Europe for 24,000 SkyMiles each way in economy
  • From the Mountain and Pacific time zones plus Hawaii to Europe for 50,000 SkyMiles each way in Business Class

I am not 100% sure that the break down is by time zone, but all the examples I found fit that pattern. If you find a discount that doesn’t fit that pattern, leave it in the comments, and maybe we can improve our understanding of the pricing.

Other Notes On Pricing

These awards are available one way. Roundtrip awards cost double. Mixing a discounted award with a partner award leads to the price you would expect. For instance, here is New York to Paris roundtrip in Business Class. One way is at the discounted price on Delta flights (43.5k) and the other is on a partner (62.5k). The total price is the sum: 106k.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.15.47 PM

Delta awards originating in Europe, whether one way or roundtrip, include fuel surcharges. Here is Paris to New York for 43,500 SkyMiles + $335 in Business Class.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.04.11 PM

Examples

Here are the screenshots from which I drew the above conclusions.

Atlanta to Amsterdam for 21k/43.5k

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.14.01 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.16.47 AM

JFK to London for 21k/43.5kScreen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.17.14 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.19.03 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.19.10 AMScreen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.20.03 AM

Detroit to London for 21k/43.5kScreen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.25.05 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.25.10 AM

Charlottesville, Virginia to London for 21k/43.5kScreen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.25.35 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.25.39 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.26.06 AM

Los Angeles to London for 30k/62.5k

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.26.50 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.26.54 AM

Minneapolis to London for 21k/43.5kScreen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.27.12 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.27.17 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.27.56 AMSalt Lake City to London for 24k/50k

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.29.16 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.29.37 AM

Houston and Dallas to London for 21k/43.5kScreen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.30.40 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.30.45 AM

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

13

For a few years, Virgin Australia Business Class award space to Australia has been a gimme. I would often find 12 Award Seats (half of which were Business) to Australia over Christmas and New Year’s on Virgin Australia flights. You can book Virgin Australia award space with Delta miles.

Economy award space on Virgin Australia flights is still widely available, but Business Class award space is almost completely gone on Virgin Australia’s two American routes, Los Angeles to Sydney and Brisbane. This is terrible news, and I don’t think it’s a glitch.

Current Award Space Picture

Virgin Australia is still generously releasing economy award space. I searched for two passengers on direct flights from Los Angeles to Sydney in economy during February.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.37.10 PM

Award space is available every day, and this is almost all Virgin Australia space, not space on Delta’s flight.
Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.37.16 PM

But search the same route on the same dates in Business Class, and you get this calendar. There is no Virgin Australia award space, which would show up at 80,000 miles.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.37.33 PM That is a shocker because Virgin Australia Business Class space, as recently as a few weeks ago, was available nearly every day.

But this isn’t some glitch. If you search this week, you will see there is one day with Virgin Australia award space in Business Class.Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.38.06 PM

So the space can show up, but it just hasn’t been released by Virgin Australia on very many days.

It hasn’t even been released for next Summer, which is 11 months away and the Winter down under. Again no space:Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.38.55 PM I also searched the Los Angeles to Brisbane route, which I assume has less demand.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.39.48 PM

Again, the only Virgin Australia space I see is one day this week. Space is basically all gone on this route too.Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.39.51 PM

In fact, most of my Los Angeles to Brisbane searches returned not a calendar, but an error, because there was literally no award space on direct flights on that route.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.40.06 PM

For kicks, I checked Sydney to Abu Dhabi, and again there is not really any Business Class space on Virgin Australia. This seems to be a concerted effort to release basically no Business Class award space on their longhaul flat bed product.

I did find space between Sydney and Bali, but it is operated by a 737, which does not have longahul Business Class.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.42.48 PM

Just Blocking Space to Delta?

I thought maybe Virgin Australia was just blocking award space in Business Class to Delta miles, so I signed into my Virgin Australia Velocity account and searched there.

Every day I searched had results like this:

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.49.36 PM

It looks like Business Rewards (basically Saver Business Class award seats) are not being offered to Velocity members either.

Bottom Line

Virgin Australia went from a glut of award space in Business Class from the United States to Australia that you could book with Delta miles to basically none.

This is not a glitch, and this affecting even members of the Virgin Australia frequent flyer program. Hopefully this terrible trend reverses.

Right now there are NO good options for Business Class awards to Australia or New Zealand that don’t transit Asia. Qantas, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Delta, American, and United are also very stingy with Business Class award space from North America to Australia and New Zealand.

Hat Tip to an email from Michael K. that made me investigate the drought of award space more systematically than I had been.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

5

Update 8/19//15:

The glitch is fixed. One way search results now include partners as they should. Here’s a screen shot of Los Angeles to Sydney in February 2016 in Business Class. I can assure you that none of those days with 80,000 mile Saver seats are on Delta flights. 😉

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.19.08 PM

——————————–

Virgin Australia, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Air France flights are not displaying on delta.com on one way searches. You can search them as part of roundtrip awards. You can book them by calling Delta at 800-323-2323.

Let’s take a look at the problem with Virgin Australia award space. The other partner space is behaving similarly.

For a few years, Virgin Australia has offered more award space to Australia than any other airline. I’ve seen Virgin release as much as 12 award seats on a single Virgin Australia flight during the Christmas and New Year high season, and all that space was a rare good use of Delta SkyMiles. Delta charges:

  • 50,000 miles one way in economy from the United States to Australia/New Zealand
  • 80,000 miles one way in Business from the United States to Australia/New Zealand

Virgin Australia award space always prices at these “Saver” levels, and Delta doesn’t collect fuel surcharges on Virgin Australia flights.

Virgin Australia flies from Los Angeles to Brisbane and Sydney, and from those two cities it connects all over Australia and New Zealand. Connections to Los Angeles on Delta or Alaska flights and connections within Australia and New Zealand do not increase the miles price.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.09.33 PM

Virgin Australia Business Class features a flat bed and is being updated by early 2016 to an even nicer product.

Award Booking Trouble

Run a search in March for Los Angeles to Sydney one way in Business Class, and you will only get options for 175,000 SkyMiles.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.00.59 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.01.06 PM

These are all the Delta flights. Virgin Australia flights don’t show up in the search results.Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.01.15 PM

If you do a roundtrip search though, Virgin Australia award space shows up and is bookable for 160,000 miles roundtrip.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.21.13 PM

If you want to book a one way award, you can search roundtrip to find your award space and then call Delta at 800-323-2323 to book. I confirmed that the agent could see the Virgin Australia award space in Business Class from Los Angeles to Sydney on March 3rd for a one way booking.

Bottom Line

Virgin Australia, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Air France flights are not displaying on delta.com on one way searches. You can search them as part of roundtrip awards.

I am fairly confident this is a glitch and that one way award searches will show partner award space again soon. But with Delta you never know.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

10

Update 8/11/15: The deal is now open to everyone. I have uncovered many of its secret rules.

—–

Delta Points got the following statement:

“There is a transatlantic fare sale going with a one day presale for Medallion/cobrand. It will be open to all as of tomorrow.”

So credit card holders and elites could book August 10, and everyone can book August 11. I’ll update when I can book the awards. I’d love more details on what the restrictions on the cheaper awards are.

——

Delta Points reports seeing Delta awards from the United States to Europe for 21,000 SkyMiles one way. The normal minimum price is 30,000 miles each way.

He also reports Business Class awards on Delta, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic for 53,000 SkyMiles one way. The normal minimum price is 62,500 miles one way.

Then FlyerTalker “steveholt” found 87,000 mile roundtrips from New York-JFK to London in Business Class for the week of Thanksgiving. Delta Points found Newark to Amsterdam for the same price.

Unfortunately I can’t pull up any of these deals. Searching the same routes and dates brings up only 30,000 and 62,500 mile awards for me.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 9.30.17 PM
My Atlanta to Amsterdam Search Results

The working theory is that the discounted awards are only available to Delta elites who sign into their accounts before searching. I do not have Delta elite status. If you have Delta elite status, post your search results in the comments that are cheaper than Delta’s former award chart.

For now this sale is unconfirmed by Delta, so it is a possible glitch. I don’t think it is a glitch though. I think it is a step toward revenue-based pricing of awards. Many of the cheap awards found are at particularly cheap times to travel–for instance those 87,000 mile awards are in Business Class over Thanksgiving, which is a famously cheap cash ticket.

We will see if Delta gives us more details about which routes and dates are available for discounts or whether Delta says nothing. The latter is a strong possibility because one effect of not having an award chart is that you don’t need to explain price increases or sales. There are neither since there is no award chart as a basis for comparison.

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

0

I tweeted this deal first from @MileValueAlerts. Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter andfollow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I tweet from @MileValueAlerts only a few times a month because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.

Travel from Houston to Managua, Nicaragua for $172 roundtrip on Spirit Airlines this Summer and Fall. Travel from Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Miami to Managua for $246+ roundtrip on Delta this Summer and Fall.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.24.18 PM

Contents:

  1. When are the $172+ fares?
  2. Why Nicaragua?
  3. Mileage Earning
  4. Best Credit Card to Buy the Ticket
  5. Copa Baggage Policy

$172 Roundtrip to Managua

Sample Dates: Houston to Managua, September 2 – 10, on Spirit

All of the flights in this post are roundtrips on Delta from American and United hubs (Gotta love competition!) except this Spirit fare out of Houston.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.20.28 PM

There are similarly cheap fares out of Houston the rest of the month.
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.19.48 PM

Search on ITA Matrix by calendar of lowest fares for acceptable trip lengths.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 12.09.58 AM

Philadelphia

$247 roundtrips from August until November

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.14.40 PM

Dallas

$247 roundtrips from August until November
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.16.19 PM
Charlotte

$246 roundtrips from August to November

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.17.16 PMChicago

$326 roundtrips from August to November

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.18.24 PM

Miami

$247 roundtrips from August to November

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.21.10 PM

Select the number of nights you’d like the roundtrip to be by hovering over a date on the calendar.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.21.23 PM

You cannot book on ITA Matrix. Instead note the dates and search on delta.com or spiritair.com.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.22.35 PM

Why Nicaragua?

In the Spring of 2008, I went for a week and a half to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Lago Nicaragua was the highlight. I rented a Vespa and cruised around Isla Ometepe, composed of two volcanoes. I stayed at an awesome hostel and hiked one of the volcanoes to the crater lake on its summit.

I could easily have passed a relaxing week on the island. The views are stunning. Getting around on a scooter rental is fun. And the prices are dirt cheap.

If you want to go to Ometepe, go soon before the proposed Nicaragua Canal cuts through the lake.

I didn’t like Managua at all. Frankly, it scared me a bit.

I did not go to Granada, Nicaragua, a well-preserved colonial city. I think I would have really liked Granada based on my time in the similar Antigua, Guatemala.

You can also easily cross the land border to Costa Rica and see the Monteverde Cloud Forest like I did when I was in Nicaragua.

Mileage Earning

To non-elites, Delta offers 5 miles per dollar for tickets, so these tickets will barely earn 1,000 miles!

Spirit’s program expires miles after 90 days, so don’t invest much in that program.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

Purchase your ticket with your Citi Prestige® Card, since it comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will cover the purchase of this ticket. If you haven’t used the credit yet, buy this fare with your Prestige, and you will receive an offsetting credit on your next statement: a completely free ticket!

Even if you’ve already used your $250 credit for this year, the card offers 3x on all airfare purchases.

See my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like it annual $250 Air Travel Credit, 50,000 point sign up bonus, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

My second choice would be the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which offers 3x on all travel and gas purchases and also has no foreign transaction fees. The card comes with 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

Delta and Spirit Baggage Policy

Delta allows one free personal item, one free carry on, and charges $25 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second. Having a Delta credit card will get you a free first checked bag.

Spirit allows one free personal item and charges $35+ for a carry on bag and $30+ for a first checked bag. There are $9 discounts available for members of its $60+ per year “$9 Fare Club.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.47.37 PM

Hat Tip Secretly Flying

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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