Happy New Year! Now that it’s January 1, 2015, Delta’s 2015 Sky Miles program is in full swing! Many travel enthusiasts have left Delta and switched to American Airlines. While that may work for now, I have a feeling that eventually American Airlines will switch to earning miles based on revenue and not distance flown. I have no plans to leave Delta (yet) since MSP is my main hub. Delta owns the Twin Cities for having the most non-stop flights to popular destinations.
Positive changes to 2015 Delta Sky Miles program
Not all news is bad regarding the 2015 Sky Miles program. As Rene at DeltaPoints.com pointed out in December, Delta’s Pay with Miles option WILL earn MQM miles. What this means, is starting today if you decide to use the Pay with Miles option at checkout when booking your Delta flight, you will earn ALL of your Sky Miles for that flight.
Pay with Miles is not the best use of your Sky Miles, but if you don’t have the full 25,000 miles required for a Level 4 flight or 32,500 miles required for a Level 5 flight, the pay with miles option is your next best option to bring your ticket price down.
As you can see in the picture above, Pay with Miles is not the best option. 25,000 miles only gets you $250 off your ticket price ($0.01 per mile). While you will earn MQM miles when you use the Pay with Miles option, I’d much rather spend 25,000 miles and find a Level 4 award ticket!
I just booked a $350 award ticket to Boston in February, and it took 25,000 miles. I just had to pay $11.20 in taxes. While I won’t earn Sky Miles on this award flight, it was “free” and took less miles.
For travel on or after January 1, 2015 (regardless of ticket purchase date): Pay with Miles tickets are eligible for MQMs and MQSs. In addition, Pay with Miles tickets will earn mileage and MQDs for the portion of the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges remaining that is paid in currency after miles are applied to the ticket total.
It’s also worth noting that Delta’s Pay with Miles option has no blackout dates and no restrictions. You can use the Pay with Miles option any day of the year on domestic and international flights.
Reminders regarding Delta’s 2015 Sky Miles program
- Medallion qualifications are still based on distance flown. This means that in order to reach Gold status, you still have to fly just 50,000 miles per year.
- Earning Sky Miles is based on revenue. This means that mileage runs will no longer work to collect massive amounts of Sky Miles based on cheap tickets. Mileage runs are only good for working towards medallion status now.
Have you completely given up on Delta? What are your thoughts on the Pay with Miles option? Let me know in the comments below!