It’s often difficult to get good value from domestic award redemptions, especially with Delta. In the case of last minute, unexpected travel, though, your miles can be a life saver. Take this example, where I looked into flights from Detroit to Buffalo leaving tomorrow and returning the next day. The best non-stop fair available (on any airline) was $1,131 (after taxes):
By looking at award redemptions, however, I found that I could get the same flight for 25,000 miles and only $5 in taxes & fees:
If you have the miles available, and you need to make a flight like this, this is a great use of miles. Even buying miles from the airline (not usually a good deal) is worth considering in a situation like this.