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A big drawback of the Delta SkyMiles program is the inability to officially book a one-way award ticket at half the cost of a round-trip (RT) ticket. You see, if a Delta member wants to book a one-way award, they are required to book at the round-trip price. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this post we’ll illustrate how a Delta SkyMiles member can book a round-trip flight at less than the cost of a one-way flight in a premium cabin and illustrate how a true one-way award ticket can be booked on a Delta flight for half the price of a round-trip award.
There are a few gimmicks to lower the overall mile requirement of a one-way award, but in general, Delta SkyMiles members still have to pay a “round-trip” award price.
Gimmick 1: How To Lower The Cost Of A Round-Trip
One of those gimmicks to lower the overall cost of a one-way award ticket is to book a mix of First Class and coach. This will mix the point requirements of Coach Class and First Class for an overall lower mile First Class award ticket than a round-trip First Class Flight. Here is the illustration assuming all low level availability:
- First Class Domestic Award (round-trip) – 45,000 SkyMiles
- Coach Class Domestic Award (round-trip) – 25,000 SkyMiles
- “One-Way” First Class Award with Coach Class throwaway return flight – 35,000 SkyMiles
Let’s assume this person wanted to fly in First Class from the east coast to the west coast one-way. Without using the gimmick above, they would have shelled out 45,000 SkyMiles for a one-way ticket. But if they use this gimmick, they’d only shell out 35,000 SkyMiles.
In the end, this flyer will save 10,000 Delta SkyMiles by adding on a throwaway award ticket in Coach. He or she will get a one-way ticket at a lower cost than a round-trip award ticket in First Class. Not ideal, but it takes less miles out of the members account than if that person had booked a one-way First Class award for 45,000 SkyMiles. That is a good trick to know, but not ideal. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Again, these tricks are the basics. If you’ve been reading Points, Miles & Martinis Delta Secrets you should know this already 🙂
Gimmick 2: True Delta One-Way Flight Award At Half RT Price
Here’s an easy way to book a one-way flight on Delta metal for the true low level award ticket pricing. It isn’t hard, but takes a bit of preparation.
Step 1: Get An Air France Flying Blue Account
You can sign up for an Air France Flying Blue account here and select the “create my account” button.
Step 2 (optional): Add the Air France Flying Blue Account AwardWallet Account
Then you might as well add it to your AwardWallet account so you can track it along with all of your other loyalty programs. If you don’t have an AwardWallet account, it is a great tool to track all of your loyalty balances in one place, you can sign up for a new account through my referral link here.
Step 3: Find One-Way Delta Award Availability On Air France
Search AirFrance.us for a one-way award ticket. There is a good chance you’ll find a date that has a one-way flight at the low level. In this example, there are plenty of dates with Coach Class available at the low award level designated by the 12,500 mile requirement in the picture below.
Step 4: Get Some Air France Flying Blue Miles
The first thing you’ll need to book a Delta one-way award flight using Air France Flying Blue account is availability. Second, you’ll need miles in your Flying Blue account. Luckily American Express offers a 1:1 transfer into Air France Flying Blue almost instantly. So all you’ll need to do is link your Flying Blue Account to your American Express Membership Rewards program and then complete the American Express transfer option to an airline account and complete the transfer. If you don’t have American Express Membership Rewards points, you can always pick up some through some of the American Express credit card offers that provide Membership Rewards points including:
Step 5: Book Your One-Way Award On Delta With Air France at 1/2 Price
Once you have found the low level award availability and have Flying Blue miles in your account it is time to book your flight. Simply select your coach or First Class seat for a discounted amount. While the Air France one-way coach flight is actually half of the Delta coach flight price, the First Class award only saves the member 3,750 miles in this case. Still, it is good to have options, especially ones that save miles for the exact same seat.
I think Delta offers a great product domestically. They have friendly flight attendants, inflight entertainment, inflight wifi, and you can find some nice internationally configured planes on domestic routes if you look close enough. However, their SkyMiles loyalty program doesn’t allow for one-way award redemption. So if you are looking for a one-way award flight on Delta it is good to know the few work-arounds that I’ve shared above.
Have you ever booked a one-way award flight on Delta? How many SkyMiles did you fork over for it and did you think it was worth it?
Next time you are thinking about flying Delta, come back to Points, Miles & Martinis for Delta Secrets or check out our tricks page for a few tricks.
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