Well, the timing of Delta’s latest award sale couldn’t have been much better. They released the deal only hours after we published our guide to redeeming SkyMiles — thanks, Delta.
Rather than the usual economy class award sale, Delta is running a Delta One award discount on many routes from the U.S. to Europe. While I know it’s hard to trust that it’s actually a “sale” since Delta doesn’t publish an award chart, this really is a great way to use your SkyMiles.
Let’s get into the details.
What’s The Deal?
While the standard award rate for a round-trip Delta flight in business class — Delta One — is 164,000 SkyMiles, this deal allows you to book for only 128,000 miles. If you’re going to book Delta One to Europe, you might as well save 20% off the usual mileage cost.
To take advantage of this offer, you need to book by March 1, 2019 — that’s TOMORROW. You must travel between August 7 and September 5, so you have about a month.
Additionally, you must include a Saturday in your itinerary. This last bit shouldn’t be too much of an issue since overlapping a weekend allows you to take off fewer days from work.
To get the reduce award rate, you’ll need to book a round-trip award.
Eligible Routes And Surcharges
As with most Delta award sales, they’ve limited the options to select routes — though you can sometimes find the reduced rate from cities that aren’t listed.
If you’re trying to keep taxes/fees to a minimum, you’ll want to avoid London Heathrow — no surprise — as well as Glasgow. other than those two, the other options will be less than $150 for a round-trip award.
Here’s a list of the routes you can book plus their respective taxes/fees:
|Atlanta (ATL)||Brussels (BRU)||$57.23|
|Atlanta (ATL)||Dusseldorf (DUS)||$95.83|
|Atlanta (ATL)||Frankfurt (FRA)||$118.53|
|Atlanta (ATL)||Madrid (MAD)||$51.43|
|Atlanta (ATL)||Milan (MXP)||$63.83|
|Atlanta (ATL)||Stuttgart (STR)||$92.63|
|Boston (BOS)||Dublin (DUB)||$47.13|
|Boston (BOS)||London Heathrow (LHR)||$310.73|
|Detroit (DTW)||Frankfurt (FRA)||$118.53|
|Detroit (DTW)||London Heathrow (LHR)||$310.73|
|Detroit (DTW)||Munich (MUC)||$104.43|
|Raleigh-Durham (RDU)||Paris (CDG)||$129.73|
|Indianapolis (IND)||Paris (CDG)||$129.73|
|New York (JFK)||Berlin (TXL)||$95.23|
|New York (JFK)||Brussels (BRU)||$57.23|
|New York (JFK)||Dublin (DUB)||$47.13|
|New York (JFK)||Frankfurt (FRA)||$118.53|
|New York (JFK)||Glasgow (GLA)||$267.63|
|New York (JFK)||London Heathrow (LHR)||$310.73|
|New York (JFK)||Madrid (MAD)||$51.43|
|New York (JFK)||Prague (PRG)||$47.63|
|Portland (PDX)||London Heathrow (LHR)||$310.73|
|Salt Lake City (SLC)||London Heathrow (LHR)||$310.73|
Delta One Experience
Regardless of which route you book, you’ll have a lie-flat seat with direct aisle access. If you’re on one of Delta’s Boeing 767s, the business class cabin is arranged in a front-facing, staggered 1-2-1 layout. Some might find these seats a bit narrow, but they’re more than suitable for a flight across the Atlantic.
Other routes will be operated by one of Delta’s Airbus A330s which also have business class cabins with a 1-2-1 setup except they use a reverse herringbone layout. This provides a bit more privacy and space.
If you’re flying out of London Heathrow or New York, you can access to famous Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. Nothing against a visit to a nice SkyClub, but the Clubhouse is just on another level. It might even make the surcharges worth it!
Transfer Amex Membership Rewards Points
You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Delta if you need more in your SkyMiles account to book one of these awards. While you can’t hold awards with Delta, these transfers are instant so it shouldn’t be an issue. There will be a small fee to transfer your Amex points to Delta as is the case with any transfer to a domestic Amex partner.
If you want to be prepared for the next Delta award sale, there are plenty of Membership Rewards cards (Learn More) to help you earn the necessary miles. Of course, there are plenty of other fun ways you could Amex points once you have earned them.
Alternative Ways To Book
On some of these dates, you can actually book with partner miles. If you don’t have Delta SkyMiles in your account and will be transferring to book, we’d suggest considering a couple of other options for one-way flights from the U.S. — Virgin Atlantic Flying Club or Air France-KLM Flying Blue. Which one you choose really depends on whether it’s a non-stop flight.
If you’re booking a non-stop, you can book with only 50,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. This is a great option for two reasons. First, you can hold awards while you transfer points to your Flying Club account. Second, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and Citi ThankYou Points. Flying Club requires additional miles for connections so only use this option for non-stops.
While you can book these awards online, we’d suggest calling Virgin Atlantic (800-365-9500) to hold the award — they’ll give you 48 hours — while you transfer points so you don’t have to worry about the award space disappearing.
Alternatively, you can use Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles but the miles required will vary depending on the route. While Flying Blue has a Miles Price Estimator to find out how many miles you need, it doesn’t always have accurate rates for partner flights. Since connections generally don’t require extra miles, Flying Blue could be a useful option as it partners with Amex, Capital One, Chase, and Citi.
If you’ve never used Flying Blue before, we’d suggest calling to book (800-375-8723) after you transfer points into your account. Previously, some have had their accounts frozen trying to book online immediately after a transfer to a new account. If you get a friendly phone rep, you might even be able to get them to hold your award while you transfer points.
Whether you use Flying Club or Flying Blue, make sure you keep an eye on surcharges if you book a one-way award from Europe to the U.S. as the taxes/fees can be quite steep.
It’s no secret that Delta’s award rates are frustrating. However, this is just the kind of opportunity you want to take to get some great value out of your SkyMiles. Even if you don’t have any SkyMiles, it’s a solid opportunity to book a business class award with Flying Club or Flying Blue if you’re planning a trip to Europe.
Won’t some of the 777’s have D1 suites on some of these routes? I assume that refirb project will catch up soon to all the 777’s
I know Delta is retrofitting the 777s, but I don’t remember when they’ll be finished. I’d have to check which routes to Europe have the 777. So many are 767s these days. Honestly, I prefer the A330 to the old 777 layout. Be awesome to land one of these on a 777 retrofit though!
Just an FYI, you can open-jaw these awards and still take part in the sale. I was able to find LAS-DTW-MUC / PRG-JFK-LAS at the 128,000 + $56 price.
Great tip! I’ll add a note.
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