Redeeming Delta SkyMiles for China Airlines Flights

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As a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, Delta Air lines SkyMiles can be used to book award flight on partner airlines. In 2017, Delta cancelled their only remaining Tokyo-Narita (NRT) to Taipei (TPE) flightas part of a new strategy. However, China Airlines, a member of SkyTeam, is Taiwan’s national airline and flies to several US cities.

While Delta does not sell flights operated by China Airlines, SkyMiles members can redeem award miles on these flights. Currently China Airlines flies from 5 US cities; New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Ontario (ONT), and Honolulu (HNL).

To book an award flight on China Airlines with Delta SkyMiles, it’s important to pick a valid routing. Delta has restrictions including maximum permitted mileage, blackout dates, and number of connections. An important thing to note with China Airlines award space is that it will not show connecting flight options. For example, if you want to search Los Angeles (LAX) connecting to Taipei (TPE) to Chiang Mai (CNX). You would search each flight separately to find available space and then call Delta’s Reservation Line to complete the booking.

While Delta’s SkyMiles award pricing is not fixed for flights operated by Delta, partner redemptions have a set value. Currently a one-way award ticket on a partner will cost 35,000 SkyMiles in economy and 85,000 SkyMiles in business class. With redeeming Delta SkyMiles, only economy, premium economy, and business class award bookings are allowed (no first class).

On the selection page, there will be several indications that the flight is operated by China Airlines. These include the flight number, CI 7 (CI is the initials for China Airlines) and the message “CI 7 is operated by China Airlines.” Delta will often show other award flight options that may connect through other cities and on different partner airlines as well. You can filter for only non-stop flights and select the China Airlines flight to be brought to a final summary page.

Depending on the destination in Asia and flexibility with travel, using SkyMiles to fly China Airlines can be an ideal redemption. China Airlines has consistently been rated a 4-star airline with SkyTrax.

They fly Boeing 777’s on three of the US routes except for Honolulu (HNL) and Ontario (ONT) which use the recently introduced Airbus A350. The feature modern herringbone lie-flat business class seats which are ideal for transpacific routes.

Love racking up the Delta Miles?

If you are looking for more ways to earn Delta miles, consider The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.

If you’re looking to redeem your Delta SkyMiles for China Airlines, we recommend using the Juicy Miles award booking service, who can help you redeem for the lowest amount of miles while searching availability on partner airlines.

Overall, China Airlines provides a great award redemption opportunity to use Delta SkyMiles for trips to Asia. Award space availability can vary depending on season of travel and class of service.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About Points, Miles & Martinis

Here at Points, Miles and Martinis, we love all things travel. We focus on topics relating to travel including destinations, airline, hotel, car rental and credit card reward programs. Our goal is to help people travel better. - See more at our About Us page.

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  1. China Airlines is not really Taiwan’s “national carrier.” The government no longer owns any shares in the company, and gives it no preferential treatment over EVA Air.

  2. The redemption rate is really devalued over the years. Back in 2015 I got a OW business class ticket on SFO-TPE nonstop for 70K miles and now Delta wants 180K miles for the same route on 2 stops!

  3. Good luck getting a DL agent who can piece together an itinerary involving CI with a connecting flight at TPE. I’m 0-3… and about to make my fourth try.

  4. When I book these awards through delta skymiles, China Airlines always says I have ZERO checked baggage on the ticket!!! Why does this happen? How can this be resolved. Calling Delta and China Airlines ends up with them both saying to call the other which is unending and solves nothing. Any tips appreciated!

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