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Delta’s SkyMiles program is one of the most popular rewards programs for frequent flyers even though using their miles can be hit or miss, especially since they don’t publicly publish an award chart. But you can still use Delta Skymiles to fly the world. And for a limited time, there are increased offers on the Amex Delta cards, so here’s are some examples of redeeming Delta SkyMiles for flights.

Whether you’re traveling with a family of four or just a party of one on business, there’s nothing to the process of making a reservation. Check out these good and bad examples of Delta award bookings.



Domestic Delta SkyMiles Options

Travel to any domestic destinations in Alaska and the Continental US begins at 5,000 miles on one-way tickets, but you’re most likely going to find Delta domestic awards in the range of 7,500 Skymiles – 12,500 Skymiles one-way. The domestic Delta hubs and key markets are: Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia.

I prefer and recommend trying to keep domestic economy awards under 25,000 miles round-trip.

Austin to Los Angeles for Under 10k Delta Miles
Austin to Los Angeles for Under 10k Delta Miles

But Delta won’t always have the deals you’re looking to book. For example, if you and one companion are traveling from New York to Albuquerque in July of this year, totals can range from 32,500 miles to 60,000 miles one-way.

Tip: The site always lists the lowest fare or fares in red! They may include more connections, but the value often outweighs any inconveniences.

Once you select a fare, the site will list your fastest option as well as the lowest fare. Connecting airports and selected upgrades are also featured on the page.

As with any rewards program, a number of miles to book the Delta One/First cabin is significantly higher than other levels. Travelers who are cautious about using their miles or flyers without the necessary number for their trip can also pick the miles and cash feature. This will give you the chance to pay for part of the flight and reduce miles necessary to complete the ticket.

Using Delta Skymiles for Award Flights to Hawaii

Award flights to Hawaii can exceed 100,000 miles. Delta One/First Cabin totals have been known to reach over 200,000 miles. Ouch.

Tip: You can knock down miles spent to domestic numbers if you’re willing to use the miles and cash option. Be prepared to pay more than you planned, but substantially less than you would pay on an average ticket for the same flight.

I would prefer to fly to Hawaii in economy for only 22,500 miles each way.

LAX to HNL Delta Skymiles
LAX to HNL Delta Skymiles

Whether you’ve chosen domestic travel in the continental US, Alaska or Hawaii, your last screen before the confirmation will be the same. Take note that your departure and return flights match the quoted rates. It’s also important to note how many stops you’ll encounter along the way.

International Flights

Redeeming Delta SkyMiles for international flights can often seem tricky compared to their domestic counterparts. It can be bad, but not always. For example, seats on a standard non-stop one-way flight from Los Angeles to London in July can be found for 35,000 miles and $5.60 on their partner, Virgin Atlantic.

LAX-LHR 35k SkyMiles on Virgin Atlantic

Another example is to fly for 30,000 miles one way to Europe like from Atlanta to Paris:

ATL-CDG SkyMiles
ATL-CDG SkyMiles

Tip: Try booking one leg of the journey at a time. You may save on the trip and find a better flight that will meet the time and day you wanted to travel. Picking flexible dates helps the system find flights that limit the number of miles needed for round trip journeys.

Delta Partner Airlines

Partner Airlines are an important part of the Delta Skymiles program. Delta is a part of the SkyTeam alliance, so you can use Delta Skymiles to fly any airline in the same alliance. For example, Virgin Australia flights can be booked with Delta Skymiles.

LAX to Sydney, Australia

Conclusion on Redeeming Delta Skymiles

Who doesn’t love award travel? People all over the world are looking towards rewards programs to help them make the most out of every excursion. With so many frequent flyer programs out there, it’s hard to keep up with how to maximize bookings. Delta’s SkyMiles program offers a range of options for frequent flyers, but does have some limitations, and can be frustrating.

I still accumulate Delta Skymiles, so I have flexibility. And the current limited time offers make it so easy to earn Delta Skymiles. It’s also worth mentioning that you can transfer in American Express Membership Rewards to Delta Skymiles and that there are no close-in booking fees for Delta awards. That’s nice!

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Examples of Redeeming Delta SkyMiles for Flights
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