What You Get for 2.5 Million Delta Frequent Flyer Miles


Want an upgrade from the commercial air-travel experience? That’s an easy one: Of course you do. We all do.

Got more Delta frequent-flyer miles than the Secretary of State of a first-world nation? Now we’ve limited our universe of prospects to the travel world’s 1 Percenters. The few. The brave. The perpetually jet-lagged. But they do exist, albeit in a universe far removed from yours and mine.

For them, those dissatisfied and mileage-flush few, Delta has a new proposition: Redeem your SkyMiles miles for travel on Delta’s Private Jet service. A $25,000 pre-funded travel card, normally only available for sale for a minimum of $100,000, can now be had for 2.5 million miles. (The card may be used to pay for Delta commercial flights as well as private flights.)

From Delta’s public announcement, “With our fleet of more than 70 Wi-Fi equipped aircraft positioned throughout the country, Members who redeem miles for a Jet Card will have access to the luxury and convenience of flying on their own time and schedule. This is an incredible travel benefit for SkyMiles Members.”

No doubt flying private is an incredible travel benefit. The larger question is whether redeeming 2.5 million frequent-flyer miles for $25,000 worth of that benefit is a good deal. That amounts to getting 1 cent per redeemed mile, which is decidedly lackluster value. You could easily get a better return-on-investment cashing in miles for commercial flights.

But perhaps such quibbles don’t resonate with the 1 Percenters. Maybe the mileage-rich really are different.

Reader Reality Check

Good deal? Bad deal?

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.

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