Delta’s New Economy SkyMiles Award Chart Analysis

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Earlier today, we broke the news about how Delta Award Redemption Charts Were Released, but didn’t get to go into much detail, so now going back and taking a look at them here’s a rundown on their Economy Redemptions.

Delta Economy

First, if you haven’t already you can view the 2015 Award Chart Here. Delta is claiming that of the 44 Award level pricing changes, more than 95% are decreases, which is true but most of those increases come from high level awards and only by 5,000 miles so nothing too significant in my opinion.

Delta’s New Economy Class Award Chart:

Delta New Economy Award Chart

Delta New Economy Award Chart

Here are a few different economy awards I want to highlight:

When it comes to domestic awards within the continental United States, Alaska and Canada, Saver awards are still staying at the 25,000 level. The 2nd tier to be added is a 35,000 level. The standard award pricing level of 40,000 is staying as the third tier.

Domestic Economy Award Pricing

A new 4th tier is added at 50,000 miles, and their peak awards are increasing from 60,000 to 65,000 SkyMiles as Level 5 pricing.

Again, it’s hard to tell what type of awards would be available since you can’t book these yet. It would be great if most of these flights would price at Level 1, but I know that will not be the case.

As a reminder, one-way awards will now be allowed, so the cheapest one-way would be 12,500 SkyMiles as they are half the required miles of a round-trip. Also, like now their will be mixed awards so if the outbound is available at Level 1 and the return is available at Level 3, it would price at the average of 32,500 miles, so even though there are 5 levels in reality, there will be a lot more combinations that just these five.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 4.35.30 PM

Moving on to Hawaiian awards, there are no changes to the current mileage levels, but just a new Level 2 at 55,000 miles and a new level 4 at 75,000 miles. Saver awards of 45,000 convert to Level 1 pricing, Standard award pricing at 65,000 miles converts to Level 3 pricing and Peak pricing of 90,000 miles converts to Level 5 pricing. Again, not that exciting here.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 4.37.15 PM

Caribbean/Mexico awards don’t really change in pricing either. They just get new Level 2 and Level 4 prices which are averaged in between Level 1, Level 3, and Level 5.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 4.40.23 PM

When it comes to Europe/Southern South America awards, there are no changes to the lowest price awards or highest price awards either. Saver awards that were 60,000 miles become Level 1 pricing at the same amount of miles, and Peak awards of 130,000 stay the same in Level 5. New Level 2 and Level 4 tiers are added.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 4.42.05 PM

Looking at Middle East and South Asia Subcontinent awards, the prices for Level 1 awards actually decreases from 85,000 miles to 80,000 miles. It’s only a 5,000 mileage decrease but again the real test will be to see if there will be much award space at this low level. Level 3 pricing also comes down from the standard award prices from 130,000 miles to 125,000 miles.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 4.44.21 PM

Looking at North Asia and Southeast Asia award pricing, there are no changes to Level 1 pricing. Standard awards come down 10,000 miles for North Asia to 110,000 miles and drop 5,000 miles for Southeast Asia to 125,000 miles. For Peak awards to North Asia, they drop from 10,000 miles to 15,000 miles and for Southeast Asia they drop 5,000 miles to 170,000 miles.

Delta Air LinesBottom Line

I think people were expecting the worst when it came to the new award charts from Delta, and from what I have seen that is not the case. Most of the prices are either staying the same or decreasing.

However, with the devaluation on how you’ll earn SkyMiles now, I do not feel these award charts are proportional in that fact.

For instance domestic awards are still 25,000 miles to begin. To show good faith, I would have liked Delta to drop the first level down to 20,000 SkyMiles, because if you really look at all these award prices, I suspect that they looked at all the award types that were redeemed last year, and lower those that were redeemed for the fewest number of times.

Most general members aren’t redeeming for Middle East or North Asia awards. They are redeeming for domestic, Hawaii, Caribbean, Europe and even Southern South American none of which decreased in value for the lowest level prices.

What are your thoughts on the new award chart, specifically when it comes to Economy Redemptions?

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  1. I guess the real test will be redemptions. We should take a set of award screeen shots for a few key markets for 3/6/9/11 months from today and compare them 3/6/9/11 months from March 6 or 7th of next year and see how it looks in terms of Low/Mid/High vs 1/2/3/4/5 and see if Delta is even close to living up to its promise. My guess is that low awards will continue to be swept very quickly in popular markets to the point we wont feel much of any benefit.

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