Delta has been running sale after sale on award redemptions recently. Make no mistake charging fewer miles for a ticket is better than charging more miles. But there’s been tremendous euphoria in the blogosphere about how valuable Delta SkyMiles have become. That’s just falling for Delta’s hype and doesn’t make sense at all.
When they call 27,000 and 28,000 mile awards a ‘sale’ that just underscores how little sales make sense in the context of Delta which no longer respects members enough to publish regular prices.
There are occasional values, and even rare occasional sales on business class. But it’s almost always coach routes where flights are empty.
Sure they’ll run sales for just 5000 miles one way but you’ll often find these are for flights you can buy for less than $90. In other words you’re still not getting 2 cents a mile in value from Delta even on these 5000 mile sales.
Award sales mean more value but no, they are not ‘crushing the competition‘ as I read this week. If you can take advantage of a sale that’s fantastic for you but my point here is about value of the program overall to members.
Delta has been driving value to those who:
- want to fly economy as their reward (they still charge as much as 100,000 miles one way for business class to Europe at the saver level)
- will choose where to go based on Delta’s sale
- can act quickly and spontaneously in making their booking whenever a flash sale comes up
Most people start with the destination and look for the reward. They book well ahead, around their lives and schedules. And heaven forbid they want their reward to involve greater comfort..
To be clear these award sales are nice. They provide more value than Delta offers without the sales. That doesn’t mean that they are offering great value, or better value than competitors, overall or for the majority of members.