Award Sale: As Low as 5,000 Delta SkyMiles for Redemption

uring a sale called The Great 48 Escape, as low as 5,000 Delta SkyMiles are needed for one-way award travel based on a required round-trip itinerary — meaning that this sale includes origins and destinations within the contiguous 48 United States for award travel — but you must purchase your ticket at least 14 days in advance of your intended departure date by Thursday, August 6, 2015; and all travel must be completed by Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

If you prefer paying for your travel with money instead of SkyMiles, you are in luck as well: the sale also includes airfares as low as $74.00 each way in either Basic Economy or Main Cabin classes based on the purchase of a based on a required round-trip itinerary.

In both scenarios, taxes and fees are not included in the price; and most of the same rules and restrictions apply regardless of the method with which you use to pay for your trip. For example, your itinerary must include a Saturday night as a minimum requirement.

Be aware that award tickets priced at 5,000 SkyMiles each way are limited to a number of select short-haul routes. Even if a flight between your intended origin and destination is not 5,000 SkyMiles or $74.00 each way, it may still be a deal at 7,500 SkyMiles or 10,000 SkyMiles each way; or as high as $174.00 each way — again, based on a required round-trip itinerary.

Blackout Dates

  • All Markets November 28, 2015 to November 30, 2015
  • New York – Kennedy, New York (JFK) to or from New Orleans, Lousiana (MSY) October 11, 2015 to October 12, 2015; and November 28, 2015 to November 30, 2015

A Silver Lining?

With all of the doom and gloom surrounding the recent news pertaining to the latest perceived devaluation of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program from Delta Air Lines — specifically this part…

We know your miles are important, so we want to provide the most notice possible regarding Award price changes. For travel on or after June 1, 2016, the number of miles needed will change based on destination, demand and other considerations. But most Award prices will remain unchanged. To see the best availability and deals, search at least 21 days prior to departure and use our Award Calendar by selecting “flexible days” when searching for a flight.

Miles needed to upgrade will increase, and to provide greater access to these upgrades, we’ve expanded the eligible types of fares.

…I thought I would spread some good news, as my experience suggests that Delta Air Lines is correct with the statement “We rarely have deals on both fares and Award Tickets” — especially to offer award tickets as low as 5,000 SkyMiles each way, as the new minimum redemption is currently 7,500 SkyMiles each way:

When we announced the SkyMiles 2015 program we committed to making more award seats available at the lowest prices and compared to last year, we’ve increased Award availability by more than double at the lowest prices to make it easier to use your miles. You’ll also find One-Way Awards starting at just 7,500 miles (plus taxes and fees) now through February 2016. To see the best availability and deals, search at least 21 days prior to departure and use our Award Calendar by selecting “flexible days” when searching for a flight.

Could a sale such as this one represent an initial “silver lining” of sorts in the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program which may open the possibilities for additional — and better — opportunities for its members? Perhaps not as much in the near future; but I am being cautiously optimistic: for if the dynamic pricing of the redemption of SkyMiles may benefit Delta Air Lines, there may also be circumstances where you can benefit as well — starting with sales such as this one.

Terms and Conditions

For more information regarding additional fare rules, fees, and baggage charges which may apply, please see these terms and conditions.


Granted, many of the flights used as examples for the sale are for short distances to take advantage of spending a minimum of 10,000 SkyMiles round-trip — such as between Seattle and Portland or between Cincinnati and Memphis — but that is better than spending 25,000 SkyMiles, as that used to be the minimum amount redeemed for a round-trip award ticket in the past…

…especially as earning SkyMiles seems to be more difficult than ever with the change to earning SkyMiles based on revenue instead of distance if you are not regularly paying for travel seated in the premium class cabin; and it is with that point you have to ask yourself whether or not spending $74.00 or $99.00 for a short flight each way is a better value than spending 5,000 SkyMiles each way.

Then again, there was a time where you were also able to redeem SkyMiles up until the last minute for a flight without having to pay more in terms of miles or dollars. That was a valuable aspect of the SkyMiles program which differentiated it from its competitors, in my opinion.

On those aforementioned short-haul routes, I would more likely than not spend the money rather than the SkyMiles; or — better yet — perhaps save some money and drive the few hours between the origin and destination to avoid being subject to the policies and procedures of airport security checkpoints…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “Award Sale: As Low as 5,000 Delta SkyMiles for Redemption”

  1. Nick says:

    I don’t view limited cheap award tickets to places I probably don’t want to go, for fares that would only be $75 as a silver lining. More like A Delta marketing ploy.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I would initially agree with you, Nick — but who am I to judge?

      Someone would want to go to those places for various reasons: piqued interest; family and friends there; etcetera…

      …and before anyone thinks otherwise, I am not in any way suggesting that any of those places are not worth visiting.

  2. Markj says:

    Despite all the uproar about Delta I am a Diamond Medallion since the program came out and I am flying more domestically on miles in economy this year than all the prior years together. I am finding 2-4 cents in value per mile and, amazingly, my upgrade rate is running nearly 100%.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Someone always somehow benefits from changes to frequent travel loyalty programs, Markj — no matter how badly they may be perceived by the majority of frequent fliers.

      I am glad that your upgrade percentage is close to perfect; and I hope that the trend continues indefinitely.

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