The above seats are from an international Delta 767 wide body jet. Delta has updated the leather with a newer look but you get the idea. All have IFE or in flight entertainment & power for your devices. Most of the time, here on the blog, I focus on ways to redeem your SkyMiles for DeltaONE or Business Elite seats to Europe and beyond. Personally I feel this is getting real value from your SkyMiles. But take a look at just one example for comparison.
If we look at buying flights from the New York area to London, England this summer for a week vacation we are talking $1,800 range in coach and $3,000-$5,000 in business class. Neither is really “cheap” but if either choice can be booked with “Level 1” (or even slightly higher) redemption we can find value from our SkyMiles and in the coach example we are getting nearly 3 cents each in value (that is a lot, by the way).
I thought I would point out that there is really is good availability from a number of Delta “hub” cities this summer in June/July/August. Just look at these searches for 2 people I found:
Choose either England or Sweden from the New York city area for 60,000 or Level 1 redemption on a number of open dates for a week (or so).
Atlanta, you would think you would have a TON of choices but the best seems to be England to score Level 1
Same goes for Minneapolis. Think England and then consider cheaper choices if you want to go onward to Europe.
And same goes for West coast folks, that is, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles – England is the place to go to find good space at either the lowest 60,000 point redemption or a tolerable 67,500 slightly higher price. Also note the Seattle dates are into September.
Salt Lake, like hub fortress Atlanta, England is for you and not as many choice dates at Level 1 open space, but still not bad.
Chicago is clearly NOT a Delta hub in name or practice but I thought I would toss it in for Midwest folks and even though most of the dates to Amsterdam and Paris are 67,500 redemptions, look at the taxes – they are low. So, even though you are paying a few more points you are saving on the tax side so one to consider.
Does this surprise you that this late in the year you can find this much space at the lowest level award from Delta? I am very surprised I have to tell you, but then again I spend most of my time looking for business class seats. There is some real value here flying coach for those who would rather spend their money at the destination rather than the travel experience getting there!
Some other important things to consider before we wrap this up. One of the EVIL things many credit card companies do is charge a foreign transaction fee, that is, some 1-3% (or more) of each and every charge to convert your charge from whatever currency the country is using to USDollars. Please don’t use a credit card that does this. The Delta Gold, Platinum and Reserve AMEX cards <– LINK no longer have this fee and I was pleased to see it go. With the strong US Dollar we are getting, for all practical purposes, very good value against the British Pound, the Euro and even the Swedish Krona.
Lastly, regular readers know Delta now “hides” their award charts from us online but they still use them to calculate the price of a ticket in SkyMiles. You can find copies of those hidden charts HERE on the blog – René
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