There is no defending this one – Delta has obliterated Virgin Atlantic SkyMiles redemptions with latest no-notice devaluation! Beyond #KeepDescending #DeltaShame worthy change

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UPDATE: Was the extra fee a bug? Notice now at 8:30AM the total price!

Updated price with NO extra fee!

Why is the fee now gone? My guess is Delta did not mean to roll this fee out YET and over a holiday weekend. So, if you want to book under current price ACT FAST as my guess is the fee we see below WILL BE BACK SOON! HURRY – need help reach out to ADAM ASAP!


Really Delta? Really? #KeepDescending #DeltaShame

Yesterday, while enjoying really fast Gogo 2KU internet from Amsterdam in Delta One, I saw the news from Ben at One Mile at a Time and then the very detailed (and depressing) well written post from Gary from View from the Wing about the above – that is, the crushing “junk fee” they have added to Virgin Atlantic award flights.

And when it comes to the Delta SkyMiles team that lacks any morals and is not to be trusted we again have this as a no-notice change. Thanks Delta!

I would encourage you to read Gary’s post. It really says it all but there are a few things these two bloggers left out and I need to touch on.

I posted last year that SkyMiles had died (and AMEX just forgot to tell Delta). AMEX must have realized this as they are changing, as of 1JUNE17, the 50% points back for redemptions to 35% back. Still a great value and it put SkyMiles back on “life support” but still in critical care if you will.

Let me make this clear, as I always do, I do not actively collect SkyMiles nor have I for a long time now. I clearly take them when they are free or almost free but I have other goals with Delta and SkyMiles is not one of those goals – I just take them when they come my way cheap!

So on to why I say Delta has “obliterated” VS redemptions with this latest move. Look at the two screen shots below:

“Free” Award vs.

buy. The choice is clear!

They are for the same flights, but on the revenue one it is a code-share flight number. Let’s break this down. First off, I would not have have spent my SkyMiles on this award because with the 15,000 point up-charge (each way) vs. Delta One LEVEL 1 award pricing a ticket out of my comfort zone. I book LEVEL 1 (or lower) awards as when I do spend my SkyMiles I want real value and overspending is not real value. But look at the math on the above.

If you simply value a SkyMile at 1 cent each (many do) and I often do as it is the rock bottom figure you can spend Delta points when using PWM or Pay With Miles tickets (that do earn full elite MQM points that I care about) then the real cost for burning the miles and the fees means you are paying:

  • $2,931.46 (170,000 SkyMiles x .01 each + fees)

However, if you simply paid for the ticket (or used your non-Delta AMEX Platinum business card and spent Membership Rewards that today give you 50% or later give you 35% back) you are coming out way ahead vs. the award. Because worst case just paying for the ticket:

  • $3,207.95 (but, look at what you get back)

You would earn as a Diamond 32,208 SkyMiles (if you credited to Delta, that is) worth at least 1 cent each thus $323 back in value (plus a ton of elite MQMs). Guess what, if you do the math, this means buying the ticket is cheaper than the “free” award. Thanks Delta!

And the above simple math does not take into account if you used points like Membership Rewards to buy the ticket or another card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card that pays you 3x points on airfare worth at least 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel yielding even more back if you paid for the ticket vs. the SkyMiles award.

You see my point, I hope, that Virgin Atlantic as a SkyMiles business class award partner has now, in effect, ended. It is simply dead as an award in any semblance of value. – René





  1. I believe this is a test to see just how far they can push it. If it flies, expect it on DL metal too. I think the 85K one way award for Partners to Europe is similarly a test. Expect DL to move to 85K or even 100K soon. #KeepDescending.

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