Just a reminder – When you go, so do your Skymiles!

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’s Points for Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

photo credit aboutourkids.org

This week I have hundreds and hundreds of comments about why we love our Delta. However, I wanted to remind flyers that Delta has one of the worst rules about what happens to a flyer’s hard earned Skymiles when they die (but had the best in the past). Yep, when you go, so do your Skymiles.

Dear grieving widow or child, you cannot use your daddy’s Skymiles as they have now turned to ash and dust; so sorry to be the one to add one more bit of pain to you during your grieving time!

IMO this really is one of the most disgusting changes Delta has made in the past few years of enhancements devaluations.

A question most ask is, and also a reason for this post as a reference point, does Delta scour the obituaries and go looking for accounts to close down due to the unfortunate demise of the frequent flyer? No (I have been told).

This does mean if you DO HAVE the former frequent flyer’s number, and the password, you can book tickets from the account for anyone you want. In other words, if you happen to have a large stash of Skymiles saved up and you plan to spend them one day it would be very wise to put your frequent flyer number and password somewhere it can be found by those who love you just in case, cuz you just never know. I don’t plan to check out tomorrow, but I could get hit by a bus on my way to my next flight.

Bad value but you can cash out Skymiles.

Bad value but you can cash out Skymiles.

Now Delta does say they could cancel an award ticket booked this way – even in the middle of a trip! So, while normally this is a VERY bad value for your Skymiles,  you may look at cashing out for AMEX gift cards from the Skymiles Marketplace to lock in what you can (if your former loved on had access to it that is).

Other airlines, like American, have a small service fee to transfer miles to someone else when you die. I find it very disappointing Delta did not move to this kind of arrangement rather than just coldly telling us the points are for the frequent flyer and them only. Perhaps if more write in and complain about this policy they will think about changing it?

At least you now know and can make the proper arrangements!- René

Gold Delta SkyMiles®
Credit Card from American Express®
Click HERE for more info


. .


  1. Nice, real classy Delta.

    Dearly beloved, friends and family. We are gathered here today to celebrate the life and death of your dear (fill in the blank). They enjoyed life to the fullest and we remember them for all the goofy and elaborate travel we had with them. The points and miles obsession that made them who they are to us. Remember all the fun times we had together in far off places when they used Delta Skypesos to get us there in style. The wedding on the beach in Hawaii, the Summer we fell in love in Paris, the Mall of America trip or the trip to the old Hub in Memphis to see the King of Rock n Roll. Well The Real King has called them home and taken them from us this day. They will be gone but not forgotten but….. just don’t plan on ANY TRAVEL WITH DELTA on those millions of miles they left on the table.

    To quote a friend, Steve Runner. “Life is short but it should be long enough”. So earn and burn I guess. Thanks Delta for reminding us of how truly short our relationship is with you.

  2. I have a question about the old SWUs. I have 4 about to expire on 12/19. After a year of trying to use them, I’ve given up. What do you suggest? I’m Diamond, and will make Diamond again thanks to some cheap mileage runs to Anchorage and Stavanger. I love the new Global Upgrades, and I hate the thought of flushing these old SWUs. Any ideas?

  3. @Carol – The reasons you point out is why they were replaced – they were almost worthless. All I can say is keep looking for a fare class on a route you like and burn them. Sorry.

  4. About 1 1/2 years ago I helped a friend of mine get his wives miles from delta into his account. It was very easy. I had managed both of their accounts for years. We traveled together several times a year until she became very sick. I promise, if something happens to me or my husband, I will make sure our miles don’t go to waste. I will burn up his miles before Delta finds out. I will make sure he knows my password/pin number to do the same. I worked too hard for these miles. I think that is a crazy policy.

  5. When my motherinlaw died the rule was the miles went when you did. She kept all needed info in a notebook and told us to take a trip when everything settled down. We did, first class, used em all! Bottom line, when you die, don’t tell delta you’re dead!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *