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delta-skymiles-changes-logoYesterday Delta announced some major Delta Skymiles changes.  Here’s the full announcement on and there is also links to analysis from View from the Wing, One Mile at a Time, MJ on Travel, The Points Guy and Mommy Points.

Here are some of the highlights of the Delta Skymiles changes

Further dynamic pricing of awards

The worst of the Delta Skymiles changes for me is the further dynamic pricing of awards.

We know your miles are important, so we want to provide the most notice possible regarding Award price changes. For travel on or after June 1, 2016, the number of miles needed will change based on destination, demand and other considerations. But most Award prices will remain unchanged. To see the best availability and deals, search at least 21 days prior to departure and use our Award Calendar by selecting “flexible days” when searching for a flight.

Delta removed its award charts back in February, and since then there hasn’t been any reliable way to know what an award “should” cost (and that’s the way Delta likes it!).  We do have the last copies of the Delta award charts, but those are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

On the flip side, they did announce additional awards for 7,500 or 10,000 miles one-way

Welcome more mileage possibilities this summer. Compared to last year, we’ve increased Award availability by more than double at the lowest prices to make it easier for you to use your miles. You’ll also find One-Way Awards to select U.S. and Caribbean destinations starting at just 7,500 miles (plus taxes and fees) now through February 2016. Plus, you can continue to enjoy 10,000-mile (plus taxes and fees) One-Way Award Tickets to select U.S., Mexican and Caribbean destinations with a 21-day advance purchase.

It’s now easier to upgrade

delta-skymiles-changes-airplaneAnother of the Delta Skymiles changes is that it will now be easier to upgrade on transcontinental flights.

Starting July 21, 2015, Platinum and Diamond Medallion members can use Regional Upgrade Certificates, in addition to Global Upgrade Certificates, to move up to a seat in Delta One™ on transcontinental flights between John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Personally, I have no elite status, and I prefer to book award travel rather than paying for travel, so this isn’t a big deal for me, but I know it’s a positive change for many Delta business flyers

Earning miles for upgrading

You’ll also now earn miles if you spend dollars or miles to upgrade your seat or class of travel

A better seat now equals more for your SkyMiles account. Effective for travel starting July 21, 2015 whenever you purchase Preferred Seats, Delta Comfort+, and paid upgrades to the premium cabin, you now will earn miles and Medallion® Qualification Dollars (MQDs).

Delta Skymiles changes: the rest

Read the full announcement for all the gory details – there are also things like:

  • Talks of the partners that you can now book flights on using
  • You can use the Delta mobile app to book travel (yay?)
  • You can earn more Delta Skymiles by
  • There will no longer be a cap of 250,000 Skymiles that you can transfer in from American Express

I definitely don’t like the direction Delta Skymiles is heading, but it’s certainly not surprising.  For people who don’t travel a ton for business, the only thing I care about are the award redemptions, and the dynamic pricing model isn’t a good thing.


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