Great value from Delta SkyMiles. Hurry!

Quick info: Delta is running an award sale for flights between the US and Europe.  Flight must take place between October 20 and February 29, 2016 and must be booked by this Friday (August 21).  The original Quick Deal about this award can be found here: Delta award sale to Europe! Round trip business for 87K; economy for 42K.

Delta SkyMiles

It’s ironic that in my post, The truth about Delta, I criticized Delta’s rewards program (while praising their operations and elite program), but now I’m writing a post about getting great value from Delta SkyMiles.  The key is that Delta’s award sale is about to end, so if you have the miles and the inclination to go to Europe during the fall or winter, I recommend jumping on it right away.  The sale ends on Friday, August 21.  By my calculations, that means you have until tomorrow (assuming you’re reading this on Thursday).

To me, the award sale is exciting stuff.  Business class in all of Delta’s transatlantic flights features true lie-flat seats, direct aisle access, good food (in my opinion), and a good selection of inflight entertainment options.  If I had a choice I’d prefer the reverse herringbone seats found on some US Airways transatlantic flights, but Delta’s seats are good enough (and their food is significantly better).

The discounted rates are only half of the attraction.  The real key is that Delta has opened up a surprising amount of award space on their own flights. It’s common to find saver level awards on Air France and Virgin Atlantic, but Delta’s own flights tend to be less available.  I was able to easily book three people in business class for 87,000 miles round-trip on nonstop Delta flights from Detroit to Paris for the dates spanning my son’s school mid-winter break.  It’s usually almost impossible to find three business class award tickets for a popular travel time like this, but I found plenty of availability.

To be clear: award availability varies tremendously by route.  I can’t promise that you’ll find what you want, but one way to increase your odds is to search for awards to various European destinations one by one.  Check Delta’s interactive route map to find options.

Travel within Europe tends to be inexpensive.  So, my strategy is to get to Europe cheaply with miles (done!) and then arrange our within-Europe travel separately.  Maybe we’ll spend a few days in Paris, then go on by plane or train to Portugal.  Or, maybe, Italy.  Or Greece.  Or Spain.  Or…  we have plenty of time to decide.

Now I’m off to look for awards for Thanksgiving break…

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. So I needed a 1 way trip from DUB to JFK, I booked for 30K miles thru Is that really a good deal? So hard to tell anymore.

    • i assume it’s coach… if you already had the miles it’s and OK deal.
      if you transferred MR points to Delta to book this it’s a bad deal because you could have transferred MR to Avios and they would charge you only 20k on Aer Lingus.

  2. So…ideally I’d like to have a “stopover” in London and then continue on to continental Europe.

    Is such thing possible with Delta tickets? I’m a Star Alliance/United guy.

    Ideally we would do, ex-USA, LON for a few days, then on to Europe, return home through Europe.

    Not sure if delta allows “stopovers”.


    • Unfortunately, unlike United, Delta no longer allows stopovers for free on award tickets. What you can do, though, is book a one way to London, then a one-way return from elsewhere in Europe (and make your own way in-between). Unfortunately, when you book a flight originating in Europe with Delta SkyMiles, the taxes and fees can be quite steep. Best bet might be to use SkyMiles to get to Europe then use United miles to get around and back.

  3. I am trying for find any flight to Europe, and I can’t find these good deals you are talking! I just want to have a vacation, and I don’t care if I go to Rome, Amsterdam or Prague. I need two tickets, what is the secret of finding them? My dates are flexible too. For example for Rome, I only see 60K miles per passanger, and it is with stops.
    I have 137K miles and my husband has 37K.

    • These steps may help:
      1. Start your search by putting in a starting point and end point where Delta has nonstop flights. Pick a Delta hub that you can get to easily as your starting point: Atlanta, Detroit, New York, Minneapolis,.. Use the route mapper to see where delta flies from that airport.
      2. Begin your search as a one-way search. Make sure to select flexible days. Also switch the view to the 5 week calendar

      3. Once you find good one-ways in each direction, try adding your home airport as the starting airport. If the price goes up, you may be better off paying separately to get to/from the Delta hub
      4. Book the overall flight as a round trip rather than two one way trips in order to save on taxes and fees

      • Thank you, I will keep looking! My home airport is DTW, Detroit, just like yours 🙂 What do you consider to be a good price in miles for a Europe trip, for main cabin and for business class?

        • Delta has nonstop flights from Detroit to Amsterdam (AMS), so that would be a good starting search. Also look for flights to Frankfort (FRA), Paris (CDG), and London (LHR). With this sale you should be able to find one-way business class flights for 43,500 miles each. Using the 5 weeks calendar display I see some flights available for 2 people in November and December for Detroit to AMS, but not a lot available for that route after January 1.

  4. Booked BOS-LHR roundtrip in Business around the winter holidays. 87,000 +$300 per passenger, total, with the current award sale. 5 tickets, same flights, all in Business! The flights I used still have 9+ Business seats available (flat-bed). Can also go economy for 21,000 each way. Drained the SkyMiles account… book away!!

  5. Thank you for your help! Great tips. Booked two tickets in main cabin in mid-October, 51,000 miles + $100 per passenger, DTW-FCO (Rome), and FRA-DTW. I plan to find some hotel deals along the way and visit some nice cities between Rome and Frankfurt.

  6. Pulled the trigger and booked 3 RT business class from DTW to CDG (Paris) for the week of Christmas (21st-27th). I’ve been sitting on 400k mile for awhile and last minute wife and I decided what the heck..spend Christmas in Paris. 87000 mile RTx3 plus $400 in fee’s. Also, another $425 for my little guy to travel on the lap. Looking forward to the trip.

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