Delta Now Charging Fewer SkyMiles for Some Flights to Asia

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There’s a spot of good news this week with Delta SkyMiles. The airline is now charging fewer miles for some award flights from the US to Asia. Specifically, flights from the US to China, Taiwan and other parts of North Asia are now pricing out for fewer SkyMiles on SkyTeam partners China Eastern, China Southern and China Airlines

Delta is notorious for sudden price hikes on award flights, made even more frustrating by the airline’s lack of an award chart. Further, SkyTeam partner airlines have gotten the worst of it, as Delta increased the cost of many partner redemptions last spring while keeping prices on its own flights flat.

That makes this latest price decrease notable. An economy award is down 5,000 SkyMiles to 35,000 for a one-way ticket, while a seat in business class has dropped 10,000 SkyMiles, to 85,000. That’s a surprising development for flyers who are used to bracing for overnight hikes on SkyMiles. It also puts flights on partner airlines more in line with Delta’s own award redemptions to Asia.

Thrifty Tip: Delta’s SkyMiles program often gets a bad rap. Read our guide on Understanding SkyMiles and learn how to maximize the value of your miles. 


SkyMiles to Asia

New one-way economy award pricing from San Francisco to Taipei, Taiwan


Our Analysis

Delta’s history of sudden award changes, not to mention some erroneous award changes that are later fixed, makes it difficult to know if these changes will stick. The lack of an award chart makes it impossible to know for sure. 

Since it’s possible this is a mistake that could soon be corrected, we recommend you book soon if you’ve been saving those SkyMiles for a trip to China or elsewhere in Asia. Just as with an error fare, hold off on booking a hotel or other services for a while to ensure your ticket is honored. However, if these lower prices hold, it’s great news. 


Bottom Line

It’s all too easy to bash Delta and SkyMiles, but this is undoubtedly a solid development. These decreases may not be earth-shattering, but at a time when every airline in the world is making your miles less and less valuable, any redemption decrease is worth capitalizing on and celebrating.


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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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