How to Still Earn 1 Mile Per Mile Flown on Most Cheap Delta Fares

Czech is the fifth oldest airline in the world, and was second to fly jets. Four years ago it was bailed out with a 44% ownership stake by Korean Air. I haven’t paid much mind to Czech OK Plus since their 2012 devaluation but of course many other programs have devalued since then.


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Czech is a member of SkyTeam and all paid Delta flights other than Basic Economy E fares earn one mile per mile flown regardless of price of the ticket or fare class.

Interestingly Iceland is in the same zone as the US. You can fly Delta’s seasonal service between the US and Reykjavik for 35,000 miles roundtrip in economy (60,000 in business) when saver seats are available.

Delta charges 30,000 miles each way at the saver level for economy — in other words the same price for economy that Czech charges for business.

Here’s a search for 2 passengers in economy New York JFK – Reykjavik (dates in red for 30,000 are available):

The award chart has other nice values. North America – South America is just 75,000 miles roundtrip in business class (on, say, Aeromexico or Aerolineas Argentinas). North America – Europe as well as North Africa is just 110,000 miles roundtrip in business class.

Key rules for Czech OK Plus Redemptions:

  • Routing rules require you to take the most direct connection. You cannot transit the same city more than once in each direction. SkyTeam awards are round trip.

  • Open jaws are permitted at your destination and one enroute stopover is allowed. A roundtrip can have up to 8 segments.

  • You can book both economy and business on the same award (voluntary downgrade for certain segments) while paying the business class price. In contrast Air France KLM usually won’t allow this, and Delta will usually charge separate awards.

  • There are fees, though — EUR 36 service fee to issue the ticket, changes or redeposits are EUR 62, and fuel surcharges are added to awards.

  • No changes are permitted after departure except that you can change flight number and date of travel after the start of your trip but prior to your return flight.

Czech used to status match but that option may have ended 18 months ago.

The Czech OK Plus program is interesting but what makes it impractical for US members — even though you can earn 1 mile per mile flown even on the cheapest non-Basic Economy Delta fares — is that there aren’t a ton of other ways to earn their miles in the U.S.

They aren’t a transfer partner of any of the major bank programs and aren’t even a Starwood transfer partner. You can transfer Hilton, Choice, and Wyndham points to Czech but the ratios aren’t favorable.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I rarely pay for air travel so I haven’t paid much attention, but…

    I take it Delta basic fares do NOT earn 1 mile/$? What about AA and UA basic fares?

    Thanks!

  2. You overlook this scenario: You’re a top-level Delta diamond, who re-qualified for 2017 with 50,000 excess miles. Once you fly the remaining 75,000 miles to qualify for diamond (125,000 miles is the threshold) for 2018 you then credit the remaining 50,000-plus miles to Czech.

    Alternatively: You’re lucky enough to fly paid domestic first-class or international business-class enough that you skip crediting to Delta — after all, if you fly the front of the plane then elite status is kind of worthless — and instead credit to Czech.

  3. Czech miles expire after three year from the date of earning. We cannot extend even if we have any mileage activity in the account.

  4. I will not fly Delta ever again. They’re award booking is misleading. I booked a flight from Shanghai to SFO with United and the Delta partner flight on China Southern that looked like 12,500 pts from CSX to shanghai that was listed as available, delta did not have actual seats to give me. I couldn’t book the flight with points and needed to spend $360 because of Delta’s “website glitch” as a customer service rep called it. They said this “issue” is on their list of things to fix. I tried to get somebody to help me but nobody could. My family will never fly Delta again till this is resolved. I would recommend people stay away from booking Delta flights due to “website glitches” and poor customer service.

  5. What am I supposed to do with this? Credit my flights to Czech and then use their favorable award chart before the miles expire?

  6. I doubt this will work for many people — including me. I just bought a coach ticket to Europe on DL for about $250 + tax. As a general Skymiles member, I think I’d earn 1250 miles for this 8000 mile roundtrip. What’s a practical way (aka, miles I’ll eventually be able to use) to do better?

  7. Ignore the above complaints……………this is exactly the type of information I look for from Viewfromthewing. I have been a mileage hound for almost 25 years, I know the basics, I know the partnerships and I fly/stay accordingly. What I am looking for are unique and interesting tidbits. The fact that Czech earns 1 mile per mile, the fact that Iceland is considered a domestic ticket, the fact that (reader comment) Czech miles expire after 3 years no matter what……these are the things I am looking for. Thanks for a good article

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