Delta has an award sale for economy awards booked by November 3, 2014 and flown between December 3, 2014 and February 18, 2015 within the United States, Caribbean, and Americas.
The discounts are nice, especially to Southern South America (Chile, Argentina, Brazil):
There are a ton of restrictions:
- Blackout dates: December 19 through December 24, 2014, December 26, 2014 through January 5, 2015, January 16, 2015, January 19, 2015, February 13, 2015 and February 16, 2015
- Blackout cities: Caracas, Venezuela; Cancun, Mexico; and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- Minimum Stay: Tickets to/from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile require a 7-day minimum stay.
Notably I don’t see a restriction that you must fly Delta metal, so the same deal may be available on awards on Alaska Airlines, AeroMexico, and Aerolineas Argentinas, the three key Delta partners in these regions.
- What are the best deals?
- What about stopovers and free one ways?
- Where can you search the relevant Delta partners?
- What is the award space picture on Delta flights?
- Why would I consider flying a Standard (ie not a Saver) award during this sale?
The best percentage discounts on Saver awards are on awards within the continental United States and to Southern South America at about 16%.
But don’t sleep on those Standard awards either. Delta notoriously releases very little Saver award space. But with this promotion, a Standard award is only 32,000 miles roundtrip within the United States, which isn’t terrible when that’s 32,000 Delta miles, which I generally find to be the least valuable.
Even better, if you book one way with Saver award space and one way with Standard award space, the price will average. (You’ll pay half of 21,000 + 32,000.) That makes a roundtrip only 26,500 miles, which isn’t half bad when one direction has Standard award space only.
Award space to Southern South America on the routes I checked was terrible, which is a shame because their summer is a lovely time to visit.
Green = Saver, Yellow = Standard, Blue = Peak on all charts
Here is Atlanta to Buenos Aires in December.
There are opportunities to fly one way in Saver and return in Standard, which prices at a reasonable 72,500 miles, which is half the Saver discounted price plus the normal Standard price. (Only reasonable because these are Delta miles. I’d hate to burn that many AA or US Airways miles for economy.)
Here is Atlanta to Santiago in February. You see the same pattern of little Saver space.
You can book a one week roudntrip for 50,000 miles.
The terms do not say anywhere that you have to fly Delta flights to get these discounts. I can’t shake the feeling that you DO have to fly only Delta flights, but it doesn’t say that.
- Alaska Airlines: great award space within United States and Mexico, searchable on aa.com and bookable by calling Delta
- AeroMexico: amazing award space to Mexico and beyond to South America, searchable on airfrance.us and bookable by calling Delta
- Aerolineas Argentinas: possibly phantom award space on airfrance.us, search by calling Delta
Please leave a comment if you try to book a partner at the sale price.
Stopovers, Free One Ways
You have a few days to book cheaper Delta awards in the western hemisphere for winter travel.