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Delta CONFIRMS lower award prices as a “transatlantic fare sale” for Medallions and…

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’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. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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Well I have good news and more good news (and some bad news). The first good news is that the lower award prices that I first blogged about today was no glitch or error and is in fact a sale. I reached out to Delta and was told:

“There is a transatlantic fare sale going with a one day presale for Medallion / cobrand [Delta AMEX cards]. It will be open to all as of tomorrow.”

So we can rest easy and, as of tomorrow, you don’t have to be an elite or hold a Delta AMEX card to get the lower award pricing. However, some of the best seats may have already been snatched up by those able to book today!

Now the bad news from all of this is that it is “just” a sale. Had this been a real change it would have been, well, beyond amazing. I mean, think about this for a bit.

Before, that is PRE-SkyMiles 2015, elites and Delta AMEX card holders got greater access to LEVEL 1 or Low Level awards, that is, it was displayed more for those most loyal to Delta. Had this sale been a change it would have gone WAY BEYOND this as then loyalty would not just be rewarded with more LEVEL 1 seats, but seats at a better award price than what is available to those who are not as loyal to Delta. That, my friends, would have been a game changer and a mega reason to stay loyal to Delta.

Now don’t get me wrong, an extra day to get deals before everyone else is nice. Very nice and I thank Delta for this. But maybe TELLING us about it rather than us needing, as always, to sleuth it out would have been nice. I guess it is sorta hard to break bad habits.

Anyway, now you know what I know and let’s see how long before all the best seats are all booked up! – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’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. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

14 Comments

  1. Pingback: A Word on Delta's Discount Award Prices - MJ on Travel

  2. Don in ATL Reply

    I’m going to stick with my narrative that the very negative stories in the mainstream media got to DL. Their answer, they had to stop the bleeding — ASAP, so they decided to have a sale to take some of the wind out of the sails of us critics and the press. I think what DL learned (from the adverse publicity) was that they moved too fast on increasing the mileage levels needed for awards this time. So when everything settles down and they get back on their march to higher award levels again, they will be more careful and do it more slowly next time (the boiling the frog analogy). If you do something slowly enough, the public doesn’t notice as much, and people don’t get all riled up as much.

  3. I see the motive for the sale a bit differently. Delta has sold a lot of miles in the past, and desperately wants to get them off of their books as cheaply as possible. January and February are low-season months with many planes flying with unfilled seats. Delta sees an opportunity to get people to use their miles in a way that doesn’t cost them revenue seats during higher volume parts of the year.

    I doubt that this sale has anything to do with PR. They’ve already made it clear that they don’t care about public opinion, especially among their frequent flyers. It’s entirely about doing what is best for Delta’s bottom line. That fact the we benefit from this is an afterthought to them.

  4. Jake from MSP Reply

    Eh I don’t buy it.

    Their IT is famously bad and I think they’re up to something.

    If they truly wanted to thank their elites and cardholders, they would have announced it via email.

  5. Don in ATL Reply

    Hmmm…….. three very different theories about this award fare sale. @Jake, I too wondered why no email announcement. I guess time will reveal more clues or answers.

  6. Pingback: Delta award sale to Europe! Round trip business for 87K; economy for 42K - The Frequent Miler

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  9. How long is the “sale” for? I’m trying to do a transfer to get enough for business class, as I have been in solid redemption mode all year. I’m 4,000 short, and have initiated the transfer, but it is not instantaneous.

    • @Marlene – Delta has not said. If Membership Rewards they are instant. If SPG that takes about a week.

  10. Hey Rene,
    What’s your thoughts for me using Miles PLUS Cash (I have the Delta AMEX Res.) for Delta One International during this “sale”? My rational its still less miles (via the current promotion / sale) than “normal” AND I would earn MQM’s (correct?) which at this point is important for me staying GM for next year. As you have wrote about many times GM still means something.
    For example ATL to AMS using Miles and Cash via BE is: 67,000 + $437.40 VS. 87,000 and getting NO MQM’s
    So is it worth it for the MQM’s? which I would assume I can earn as well. I’m sure you have a logical way to look at it.
    Thoughts?

  11. Pingback: Why Delta? You said it no longer matters but you still have the box? Is there a reason? - Delta PointsDelta Points

  12. Pingback: A new way for medallions to MISS a Delta upgrade? Plus I like the Delta award security e-mail's! - Delta PointsDelta Points

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