Amazing Delta Award Availability To Aspen In Peak Season On New Flight

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Delta offers a great in-flight experience, friendly Flight Attendants, good meal options, and nice seats up front, yet they get beat up quite a bit in the points and miles community for having a low value proposition with their SkyMiles program.

The point of this post isn’t to argue for the value of the SkyMiles program, but to illustrate that you can get amazing value out of the program. For example, take a look at the Delta award availability on their new flight to Aspen during peak season for two seats in First Class and Coach Class. I think you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Availability From Atlanta

A quick look at award seats for two First Class seats from Atlanta shows the following by months.





A quick look at award seats for two Coach Class seats from Atlanta shows the following by months.





Availability From Minneapolis

A quick look at award seats for two First Class seats from Minneapolis shows the following by months.





A quick look at award seats for two Coach Class seats from Minneapolis shows the following by months.





Great Value From SkyPesosMiles

These flights are one way to get great value of SkyMiles. The Delta flights to Aspen regularly go for about $1,786 in First Class during January and February.


Bottom Line

The award availability from Atlanta to Aspen is simply amazing, while not so much from Minneapolis. The award availability isn’t amazing because you can find 2 First Class seats for the majority of the week, but that it is peak season and you can find low level availability for 2 in First Class requiring only 45,000 miles per person. Talk about a good deal. I was even able to find specific dates with 3 First Class awards available at the low level.

I’ve booked my flights in First Class using SkyMiles and DO NOT expect this availability to last long.



What dates are you looking at to book your award flights to Aspen?

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  1. I’m not mike, but I’d rather book something international than spend for domestic flights, even at low. 45000 to take a flight that I’d be OK with riding in back (and where UA has a better schedule EVEN FROM ATLANTA? Even with ASE as a high-fare destination, I’d rather spend $450+ for a coach ticket and fly UA for a few reasons.
    1) ASE deals with a lot of weather issues. I feel a lot more comfortable flying on a carrier with multiple daily flights, rather than one with 1 daily flight.
    2) UA actually has post-work departures outbound and mid-afternoon return departures for most markets, so you do not burn a day of vacation en-route. They also have earlier arrivals in the morning (even when departing from ATL)
    3) Why does Delta insist in serving ski destinations with poorly-timed flights out of ATL (EGE is another example)? Other than NYC it’s their furthest hub, and an unnecessarily long routing for anyone except in the SE.
    4) I have more valuable uses for the miles. I’d rather spend them on J longhaul than 3 hours in F on a CR7 which I’d likely get upgraded to anyway, even on an award.
    5) The schedule is really a dealbreaker. I’d rather hit up Utah, or take the UA or in some cases AA options into ASE, EGE, HDN. DL service to ski areas, other than SLC, is just not competitive unfortunately. I rarely have more than a long weekend to spend, and these midmorning flights mean wasting a day of vacation.

    Sorry to vent here, but for me the flights themselves are unattractive, and so are domestic miles redemptions.

    Also, if I was to book the flights, I’d rather burn up my DL reserve companion certificate. A large portion of my domestic leisure travel ends up being on separate PNRs from my wife, due to meeting at the destination, and our ski trips are one of the few chances we get to use this.

    A lot of idiosyncrasy and personal preference in-play, but for me these redemptions would not be attractive at all.

  2. Hi Matt – No problem at all. Great explanation of why the flights don’t work for you…but:

    1) If you fly on UA from ATL on the earlier flight, you’ll fly, yep, you guessed it, a regional jet (CRJ 700 or Embraer RJ-170)
    2) You don’t consider the extra time you’ll spend connecting, do you not value that time?
    3) The Delta regional jet First Class are just as comfy
    4) What about mis-connects with United in weather sensitive DEN…and there are only a few United flights a day to / from DEN and ATL.
    5) Not everyone enjoys waking up at the @ss crack of dawn to go on vacation, in a regional jet, with a connection, when a later flight would work just fine and still get you there before 1 pm, non-stop to your destination.

    The flights still make a lot of sense to me and I’m sure others as well, especially those with a large bank of Delta miles.

    Thanks for your perspective and reply.

  3. I think it’s a reasonable to very good option if you want to burn miles domestically and the schedule is OK for you. From a value perspective it’s tough to argue against a seat in F on flights that would run 450-550 in coach in a lot of markets.

    Regarding your points:
    1) I have nothing against RJs, especially in F or on short flights. The days of NWA Avros descending into ASE are long gone. It looks like the long segment would be in the E170 which is definitely fine with me. (Well, I’d actually fly out of MSP)

    2) I value arriving in ASE at 10:30 or 11 rather than noon more than I value sleeping in an extra couple of hours. I value even more the ability to depart as late as 630 (i.e. after work or maybe slipping out slightly early) and wake up in Aspen for a full day of ski vacation. I also value being able to stay in Aspen until a 330 or 420 departure, and still get back home the same day, rather than pack up early for the airport to make a 1245 departure.

    UA options give me 4-16 hours more *in Aspen* for the same amount of vacation time available. That’s much more valuable to me than sleeping in for a couple of hours.

    3) I’ve got nothing against regional first, but for short filghts it’s not a huge priority. My actual ticket would be msp-den-ase, but ATL-DEN-ASE wouldn’t be terrible either.

    4) ASE is the bigger issue than DEN imo. Last time I was there I watched everyone except UA cancel flights on a snowy day. With daily service that’d be somewhat of a concern on Delta. I’d take at least the 330 departure to allow for a generous 1:30 connection buffer in DEN plus an additional departure out of ASE afterward. With UA’s presence/dominance in ASE, when the going gets tough they’re the ones who maintain service.

    And anyone connecting to the ATL flight would have different options. UA has a ton, DL few.

    And in my case, I’d be connecting MSP-DEN-ASE, with a ton of frequency on MSP-DEN. Others might connect elsewhere.

  4. Park City is better any day of the week and you get a free lift ticket if you fly in that morning. Works great out of Vegas as SLC to Park City is only a 30 minute drive. Plus hotels are cheaper and quite a bit nicer in PC vs Aspen. Jerome is nice, but Montage and St Regis at Deer Valley trump it in spades.

  5. DEN is hardly weather sensitive. Between November 1 and March 31, less than 1% of Untied’s flights were cancelled, and those aren’t necessarily weather related. If the weather is bad enough to cause irrops at DEN, it was bad enough to knock ASE out hours/days earlier.

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