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Delta Doles Out 10K SkyMiles in ‘Summer Goodwill Gesture’ (But Not to Everyone…)

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Check your Delta SkyMiles accounts, travelers: You might have just woken up to 10,000 bonus SkyMiles if your flights earlier this summer were disrupted.

With no announcement and little fanfare, Delta began depositing 10,000 SkyMiles into select travelers' accounts late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. The airline is labeling these bonus miles a “Summer Goodwill Gesture” – a way of apologizing for some of the delays and cancellations flyers have faced after a rough start to the summer for Delta.

delta skymiles goodwill gesture 

But not everyone is getting these bonus miles. It seems Delta is focusing on travelers whose flights earlier this summer were significantly delayed or canceled. By Wednesday afternoon, Delta began emailing affected customers with yet another apology, saying: “While we cannot recover the time lost and anxiety caused, we are automatically depositing 10K miles to your SkyMiles account as a commitment to do better for you going forward and restore the Delta Difference you know we are capable of.”

It's not immediately clear what the threshold is for which delays and cancellations merit this SkyMiles bonus. Will travelers who experienced a 30- or 45-minute delay earlier this summer get 10,000 miles? Does it have to be at least two hours? We're just not sure.

delta letter 

Delta just started doling out these bonuses late Tuesday and it may take some time for them to hit all accounts, so it's probably worth checking back later today and throughout the week.

And just because you already got a few thousand SkyMiles from Delta earlier for your flight troubles doesn't mean you won't receive this bonus – we've heard from several travelers who have gotten both. On the other hand, even some flyers with Delta status who have faced flight troubles this summer still haven't seen any bonus SkyMiles – though that could change.

delta a321 interior 

While airlines have been flying more smoothly lately, this summer has been rough for air travel as the latest surge in travel demand has stretched carriers to the breaking point. Yet despite the mass delays and cancellations that have affected tens of millions of Americans over the last year, there's no legal requirement for airlines to compensate passengers in the U.S. Instead, it's up to airlines to decide how to do right by consumers – and they often turn to bonus miles or vouchers to apologize.

Delta is increasingly playing catch-up after a particularly rough start to the summer. There was a Memorial Day weekend meltdown, during which the airline canceled more flights than the entire summer of 2019. Again in late June, Delta canceled more than 700 flights in a single weekend – some days, scrapping more flights than every other U.S. airline combined. The airline avoided a July Fourth disaster due in part to an unprecedented move: letting travelers change their flights for free heading into the weekend.

Still, it's clear that Delta feels it needs to send a message to its loyal flyers. CEO Ed Bastian told investors last week that a series of changes to crew scheduling, boarding procedures, and route network cuts should help stabilize the airline through the rest of the summer and into the fall.

“I'd like to sincerely apologize to those who have been impacted by cancellations, delays, and long wait times,” Bastian said during last Wednesday's quarterly earnings call. “Restoring operational excellence is our top priority.”

A plane sitting on top of a runway 

Read more: Delta Sheds Light on What's Gone Wrong This Summer & How They’ll Fix It


Bottom Line

Not every Delta flyer is benefitting – at least not yet. But Delta is saying sorry for a rough start to summer flying by handing out 10,000 bonus SkyMiles to select members.

Check your SkyMiles account – and check back later this week if you haven't received anything.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below 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.

7 Responses

  • I checked today and I received 25,000 Skymiles – and I didn’t fly this summer! No explanation, just says Bonus. It’s on my Delta Platinum card. Wasn’t expecting anymore large bonus points from them, so this is exciting! Made my day!

  • Got the miles, but still get no response fron Delta on feedback left or the problem they compounded by trying to change travel routes after first leg of trip…and while being able to board original leg.
    Still have no refund of upgrade that was downgraded as we did manage to get closer to our destination..which also resulted in not all miles for miles traveled.

  • I’m surprised to have received the miles. I had received a vague email several weeks ago about Delta intending to make up for a cancelled flight, but there was no mention of points, vouchers, or any plan at all. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Wow, what about the travlers in January that arrived to their destination 2 days late? I’m still waiting for a mere $300 refund from January… other travelers received $10,000 to give up Seats!! I guess I’m extremely confused as to how Delta handles situations… perhaps there is an extreme amount of discrimination taking place!! The best way is to have a normal business practice for each situation… it makes things soooo much easier for all involved!!!

  • I got 7500 miles “customer relations bonus” June 16 for a crazy day of flights when they separated are flying duo and instead of me having two flights home I suddenly had three, one of them literally racing across JFK airport trying to catch a flight.

    I have spent countless hours on the phone with Delta trying to fix other flights for this summer that they have thrown into a blender as well.

    Nothing in this round though

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