Some Good and Bad Changes Coming to Delta SkyMiles Program

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Delta announced changes to their mileage program and upgrade policies.  Some are good and some are bad!

Some Good And Bad Changes Coming To Delta SkyMiles Program
Delta Updated Their SkyMiles Program and Made Some Positive and Negative Changes

I’ll tell you what we know so far!

What’s Happening?

Link:  Delta SkyMiles Updates 

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

I’ve written about both good and bad changes to the Delta SkyMiles program this year.

Now there are more changes coming to Delta.

1.   Some Award Flights Will Cost More Delta Miles

Starting June 1, 2016, Delta will update the way they price award flights.

Delta says:

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.

I’ve written how Delta miles can be hard to use in some situations.  And now it seems like it may be even more difficult to use them!

Some Good And Bad Changes Coming To Delta SkyMiles Program
How Many Delta Miles Will an Award Flight Cost? However Many Delta Says It Costs!

That’s because Delta will price its award flights based on destination and demand in addition to “other considerations.”

Because Delta does NOT have an award chart any more, there is NO way of knowing how many miles you’ll need for an award flight beginning June 1, 2016.

2.   Get a Good Deal With a Summer Mileage Discount

Link:   Delta Flights for 7,500 or 10,000 Delta Miles

When you travel between August 4, 2016, and February 29, 2016, you can fly certain Delta routes for 7,500 or 10,000 Delta miles each way.  This can be a good deal!

Some Good And Bad Changes Coming To Delta SkyMiles Program
Some Award Flights Are on Sale for Travel Between August 4, 2015 and February 29, 2016. Book by July 28, 2015!

But you must book by July 28, 2015!

Routes that are on sale for 7,500 Delta miles each way include:

  • Cincinnati to Fort Lauderdale
  • Los Angeles to San Jose
  • Seattle to San Francisco

Routes that are on sale for 10,000 Delta miles each way include:

  • Atlanta to New Orleans
  • Atlanta to West Palm Beach
  • New York to Toronto
  • Minneapolis to Chicago
  • And more!

Delta says many other routes are on sale, but you have to search for flights to find out!  🙁

Some Good And Bad Changes Coming To Delta SkyMiles Program
Atlanta to New Orleans Is on Sale for 20,000 Delta Miles for a Round-Trip Award Flight. And Every Day in September Is Included!

Terms and Conditions

  • Only available for coach award travel
  • There are city-specific blackout dates
  • There are sale-wide blackout dates for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year
  • Must purchase at least 21 days before departure

3.   Upgrades Are Getting Easier

If you’re a Delta Diamond or Platinum elite status member, you can use regional upgrade certificates to fly in business class on cross-country flights starting July 21, 2015.

The routes you can upgrade on are New York to Los Angeles and New York to San Francisco.  This change mostly affects regular Delta flyers who are elite status members.

Also starting on July 21, 2015, anyone who pays to upgrade a flight will earn additional Medallion Qualifying Dollars and Medallion Qualifying Miles, which Delta uses to determine elite status levels.

Bottom Line

Delta continues to make changes to its SkyMiles program and the way they handle upgrades.

Starting June 1, 2016, the price of a Delta award ticket will depend on destination, demand, and “other considerations.”  Delta miles have already gotten harder to use, and this is another negative change.

On the plus side, Delta has summer promotional award flights for as little as 7,500 Delta miles each way.  You must book by July 28, 2015 and travel between August 4, 2015 and February 29, 2016.  This can be a good deal for some folks!

Some upgrades will be easier for elite status members beginning July 21, 2015.  On the same day, everyone will earn more miles when they pay for upgrades on flights.

What do you think of the new Delta changes?

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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