Surcharge Info on All Delta SkyMiles Partners

25
2314

The Delta SkyMiles program has a lot of drawbacks. One of the most annoying is that it charges fuel surcharges on award redemptions on several of its partners. For this post, I’ve compiled a list of SkyMiles partners that fly to the US, and I’ve priced out a roundtrip award from the US to their hubs in either economy or business class.

Delta miles can’t be used for three-cabin first class redemptions. Awards cost the roundtrip price whether you fly oneway or roundtrip.

I’ve noted which awards incur surcharges and how much those surcharges are. Hopefully you can use this list to guide your redemptions away from surcharging partners to save yourself hundreds of dollars. Tahsir and I use this information to save our award-booking clients cash.

I’ve also noted whether the award is bookable online or whether you have to call in. If you do call in, see my post on avoiding phone ticketing fees on awards.

Europe

KLM: no surcharges

Houston (IAH) to Amsterdam (AMS) roundtrip economy

60k miles + $58.50 taxes bookable online

Air France: no surcharge

New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG) roundtrip business

100k miles + $131.60 taxes bookable online

Notes: Departure taxes are incredibly high from France and Germany. Not quite as bad the UK, but not much better.

Alitalia: no surcharges

New York (JFK) to Rome (FCO) roundtrip business

100k miles + $43.10 in taxes + $25 phone fee

Aeroflot: ~$240 surcharges

New York (JFK) to Moscow (SVO) roundtrip business

100k miles + $259.40 taxes and surcharges +$25 phone fee

Notes: Aeroflot has incredible availability; it’s a secret weapon to Europe with SkyMiles.

Air Europa: ~$500 surcharges

New York (JFK) to Madrid (MAD) roundtrip economy

60k miles + $547.80 taxes and surcharges + $25 phone fee

Notes: Awful airline, awful surcharges. Avoid.

Americas

Aerolineas Argentinas: no surcharges

Miami (MIA) to Buenos Aires (EZE) roundtrip economy

60k miles + $73.15 taxes + $25 phone fee

Notes: Good luck getting to Miami with SkyMiles. Hopefully as Aerolineas Argentinas integrates into SkyTeam, this flight will be moved to Atlanta.

Aeromexico: no surcharges

New York (JFK) to Mexico City (MEX) roundtrip economy

35k miles + $70.76 taxes + $25 phone fee

Notes: Secret weapon to South America, connecting in Mexico City, with SkyMiles.

Asia

Korean: no surcharges

Los Angeles (LAX) to Seoul (ICN) roundtrip economy

70k miles + $47.50 taxes bookable online

China Airlines: ~$250 in surcharges

Los Angeles to Taipei to San Francisco open jaw economy

70k miles + $280 taxes and surcharges + $25 phone fee

China Southern: ~$330 surcharges

Los Angeles (LAX) to Guangzhou (CAN) roundtrip business

120k miles + $362.60 taxes and surcharges + $25 phone fee

Notes: A380s with fully flat business class beds serve this route, and there are usually multiple award seats daily. This is the easiest way to get to Asia with SkyMiles.

China Eastern: ~$360 in surcharges

New York (JFK) to Shanghai (PVG) roundtrip business

120k miles + $392.40 taxes and surcharges + $25

Australia

Virgin Australia: no surcharges

Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) roundtrip business

150k miles + $129.60 taxes bookable online

Notes: There is still availability over Christmas and New Year’s on a fully flat business class product.

French Polynesia

Air France: no surcharges

Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT) roundtrip economy

100k miles + $52.90 taxes bookable online

Notes: Air France reappears on the list to remind you of its LAX-PPT flight. See my article on how to get to Tahiti and French Polynesia with SkyMiles.

Air Tahiti Nui: ~$440 surcharges

Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT) roundtrip business

150k miles + $492.90 taxes and surcharges + $25 phone fee

Notes: American will let you book the same Air Tahiti Nui space without surcharges. See my article on getting to Tahiti with AA miles.

Note that for some partners, flying in economy incurs a smaller surcharge than in business.

Note that Delta doesn’t charge surcharges on any awards on Delta metal.

Best Options with SkyMiles

There are four surcharge-free options to Europe: Delta, KLM, Air France, and Alitalia.

There are two surcharge-free options to Asia: Delta and Korean.

There are three surcharge-free options to the Americas: Delta, Aeromexico, and Aerolineas Argentinas.

There are two surcharge-free options to Australia: Delta and Virgin Australia.

Delta has pretty awful availability to all those places except on its New York to London route. Virgin Australia, Korean, and the European partners have pretty good availability among surcharge-free airlines.

Recap

Delta charges fuel surcharges on many of its partners that service the US. Those surcharges range can reach as high as $500 per person, so you want to know which airlines to avoid if you are looking to stretch your miles without stretching your budget.

There are SkyMiles options to every continent with zero surcharges; you just have to know which partners to use and which to avoid.


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.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Another option to get to Australia is to fly on CZ via CAN from LAX. Is $330 surcharges on CZ are per leg? I want to fly on CZ A380, but now I am concerned if $1K in taxes (since I need 3 tickets) worth it to choose CZ A380 with respect to if I choose VA (on their 777) where taxes will be ~$300 for all pax.

  2. How did you not get surcharge on Alitalia? I went through ita matrix and flying blue and they all have surcharges from Bos/Jfk-FCO. Did I do something wrong?

    • Just because an airline charges fuel surcharges on cash tickets does not mean its partners will collect them on award flights. (but when a partner does collect them, they almost always match up to a cash ticket fuel surcharge.)

  3. Report from field: I’m in the middle of a trip on Delta biz award tickets. I got hammered with $250+ taxes for a China/China Eastern leg. I called Delta medaling line and tried to jump to a Korean Air routing that had just opened. Result: Delta system does not reprice down fuel surcharges on award ticket changes. International rep seemed like a vet so no HUCA. Maybe if I had re-ticketed before I started the trip….?

    • Sure: United charges no surcharges. American charges them only on British, and they can be up to $325 per segment.

  4. I thought I saw from Delta’s website that they charge fuel surcharges on Virgin Australia award flights. My wife and I would like to travel to New Zealand next year using Delta miles and are confused on the best way to do so as Delta does not service NZ. Thoughts?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.