Delta award discounts are becoming so frequent, if not exactly regular, that SkyMiles members may be left wondering which are the “normal” prices: the discounted rates, or the non-discounted rates. With the almost certain prospect of more award sales to come, it certainly makes ponying up the normal award price seem like an unnecessary extravagance.
Delta discounted domestic awards in November of last year, for travel between December 12, 2016, and June 23, 2017. That followed a similar award sale in July, for travel between August 23, 2016, and February 10, 2017.
And here we have yet another such sale.
Through January 13, Delta SkyMiles members can book roundtrip award flights to select destinations within the U.S. and Canada for as few as 10,000 miles in coach and 18,000 miles in Comfort+. (While Delta includes a list of discounted cities on the sale’s landing page, it is by no means comprehensive. In random test bookings, discounts were found to be available throughout Delta’s domestic network.)
Discounted travel can take place between January 24 and July 31, and must be booked at least 21 days in advance.
Award travel at the discounted rates is blacked out systemwide between February 16 and 20, and between March 30 and April 3. Additional blackout dates are in place for various city pairs.
Deal or No Deal
There aren’t many cities available for 10,000 miles roundtrip. Still, the few there are certainly do represent solid value. New York-Ft. Lauderdale, for example. But even the awards priced at 20,000 miles roundtrip can be significantly cheaper than their normal prices, which as all SkyMiles members know by now vary at the whim of Delta’s revenue-management brain trust rather than adhering to a preset award-price chart. And the inclusion of Comfort+ seating in this sale is a welcome upgrade.
As is always the case with flash sales, the snooze-you-lose booking imperative is a negative. But the travel window itself, at more than six months, is plenty generous, and should accommodate many travelers’ scheduling needs.
Definitely worth a look if you have Delta miles in hand and plan (or could plan) a trip in the coming months.
Reader Reality Check
How do you feel about paying Delta’s normal award prices, knowing that these sales have become an unpublished but regular feature of SkyMiles?
After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.