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Gone With the Wind – Delta Eliminates Their Mileage Upgrade Award Chart (Mostly)

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Gone With the Wind – Delta Eliminates Their Mileage Upgrade Award Chart (Mostly)

Jason StaufferGone With the Wind – Delta Eliminates Their Mileage Upgrade Award Chart (Mostly)Million Mile Secrets Team

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Recently, Delta added the option to use miles to pay for an upgrade both online and to their mobile app.  But now, without announcement, they went ahead and did away with Mileage Upgrade Awards in the Americas.

Getting rid of Mileage Upgrade Awards won’t directly impact that many people.  But it is another step toward Delta doing their best to make their miles worth closer to 1 cent each for everything since that’s about what each mile is worth for most upgrades.  And that’s what they’re worth (1 cent a piece) if you have a Delta card and can use the Pay with Miles feature to purchase flights.

On the plus side, it makes it easier to understand what, at a minimum, these limited-time (ending on April 3, 2019) increased AMEX Delta card bonuses are worth:

It’s easier to upgrade with Delta miles, but is it better?

Delta Eliminates Their Upgrade Award Chart

In the past, finding and booking a Delta Mileage Upgrade Award wasn’t an easy process.  And even if you could pull it off it wasn’t always a great deal since you’d have to buy a more expensive fare class to be eligible for the best upgrade award prices in the first place.  But Delta doesn’t tack on extra fees for Mileage Upgrade Awards, which is better than most other airlines.

All of that said, if you were one of the dedicated miles and points deal finders, then the elimination of the upgrade award chart hurts because getting outsized value when upgrading with miles is becoming a thing of the past.

Now that anyone can easily use their miles to upgrade any flight, the travelers hit the hardest will be Delta’s most loyal customers.  I imagine that as leisure travelers start burning their miles for upgrades, Delta elites will start seeing far fewer complimentary upgrades.

Currently, I plan on using my Delta miles almost exclusively for their frequent award sales.  But my fear is that long term Delta turns their miles into more of a cash back currency where they’re just worth 1 cent each for everything.

It’s also worth noting that The Points Guy is reporting that Delta Mileage Upgrade Awards are still available for flights operated by Virgin Atlantic, KLM/Air France, and Aeromexico.  But to book these awards, you’ll need to call Delta.  If you need help with that, check out our step-by-step guide to upgrading with miles.

How do you feel about these changes?  Have any Delta elites out there noticed that it’s been tougher to get a complimentary upgrade?

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Hat tip:  View From the Wing

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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