Delta Continues To Massively Devalue Partner Award Travel Rates

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Delta took a short break from devaluing their miles while they devalued their elite status, increased elite status requirements, added club access timing rules, introduced top-tier elite lines to enter clubs, and restricted which elites can access clubs.

You didn’t expect that to last long though, did you?

Delta has been massively devaluing partner award travel over the past couple years. Plus they added hefty mileage surcharges for close-in bookings and continued to increase rates even as American taxpayers bailed the airline out. They can do it without warning as they removed their award charts back in 2015, a move that was later copied by United and one that I eventually expect from American as well.

The crummy thing is that Delta has no need to devalue partner award rates. All airlines book partner award travel on the cheap and there’s typically no non-saver award space for partners. However as Delta massively devalued award travel on their own flights, it created a bargain to book on partners. Delta has greedily closed that avenue for getting value out of Skypesos by alligining partner rates with their own absurdly high variable award rates. There’s no airline in the world attempting to pull off what Delta is doing to their mileage program, though airlines will certainly be watching to see how it goes.

For example:

  • In September 2020 Delta charged 30K miles in coach or 75K miles in business class for a JFK-London one-way flight on Virgin Atlantic.
  • By February 2021, the one-way Virgin Atlantic JFK-London coach rates went up to 55K miles within 3 weeks of travel, 40K miles within 21-60 days of travel, or 35K miles when booked more than 2 months before travel. The business rates went up to 195K miles within 3 weeks of travel, 170K miles within 21-60 days of travel, and 120K miles when booked more than 2 months before travel.
  • Now, the Virgin Atlantic JFK-London coach rates are variable and go up to 68K miles within 3 weeks of travel, or 56K-58K miles when booked more than 2 months before travel. The business rates went up to 375K miles within 4 weeks of travel, 350K miles within 28-60 days of travel, 280K-330K miles when booked more than 2-3 months before travel, and 225K miles more than 3 months in advance.


  • In February 2021 Delta charged 37.5K miles in coach or 85K miles in business class for a JFK-Tel Aviv one-way flight on Virgin Atlantic via London or Air France via Paris.
  • By April 2022, the one-way Virgin Atlantic/Air France JFK-Tel Aviv coach rates went up to 65K miles within 3 weeks of travel, 45K miles within 21-60 days of travel, or 37.5K miles when booked more than 2 months before travel. The business rates went up to 195K miles within 3 weeks of travel, 175K miles within 21-60 days of travel, and 130K miles when booked more than 2 months before travel.
  • Now, the Virgin Atlantic/Air France JFK-Tel Aviv coach rates are variable and go up to 68K miles within 3 weeks of travel, or 60K-62K miles when booked more than 3 weeks before travel. The business rate went up to 235K miles.


February 2021 rates to Tel Aviv:


February 2022 rates to Tel Aviv:


December 2022 rates to Tel Aviv:



And of course Delta does this without providing any notice.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised at massive devaluations when there are no award charts though. Thanks to Delta for reminding everyone why they should accumulate hybrid points and not airline miles like Skypesos where they can be devalued in the blink of an eye!

Will these changes affect your loyalty to Delta? Or will you fly Delta regardless of their mileage and elite program devaluations?

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18 Comments On "Delta Continues To Massively Devalue Partner Award Travel Rates"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


The only things Delta is good for is sometimes decent one way pricing from off-brand cities and mechanical issues even with new planes (A220). Although, they do try to hold the connecting flight for you.


1 of the reasons I rarely fly Delta


I only use delta for FLL>NYC as they are still the best airline on this route and only charge 4500 points each way if you book early enough.
I never flew delta international as they are always overpriced


At which point will you no longer recommend signing up for their cards?


I was able to open up three delta cards over time abd accumulate enough miles 300,000 for me and my wife roundtrip to fly to SJO-CDG-IST on air france. I guess it won’t be 75K each way anymore. Either way I suppose they can just be used for whatever gets the most value. Thats what I do in general. For example this year I’ve found good deals with miles on both economy and business class in American flying from SJO to various points in the US. definitely saved and got great value vs the cash fare.


Due in part to Delta having a government-approved waiver and favor to gang up against consumers with its revenue-sharing, joint-venture foreign airline partners, Delta has this financial incentive to decrease the amount of “cheap” mileage tickets that are issued (by Delta) for flights on those partner airline flights covered by such government-immunized arrangements. But in order to manage its financials for the “loyalty” program and to try to deliver to budget/earning expectations over time, they increment the devaluations of the miles over time as and how Delta management desires.

Too Many

Just walk away from DL. Don’t bother flying or earning Skypesos. Use them via Amex transfers only when a good pricing comes along. Don’t give/reward them your travel business. They can fleece others, but don’t be a sucker for them.


Oone of the worst airline miles in the market

Delta Down Bad

Dan, as someone who pays $200 a year for the delta Amex platinum card that gives an annual companion certificate for domestic flights booked through their site, do you think it’s worth downgrading to the $95 gold card or even closing my account completely?


Why close the card? Just downgrade to the no annual fee delta card

Delta Down Bad

I believe it’s a $99 annual fee after the first year. So I guess the question is if it’s worth an additional $150 per year for the companion certificate because closing the card does not seem like a wise move credit wise (from the age of credit aspect). It’s tough to say if its worth it because sometimes the rates on deltas site is more expensive than what you find on Expedia, etc.. so that also factors into the cost/benefit analysis.


honestly you know the answer to that. Do you receive 200 or more in value from the companion certificate or not?


We have concluded that the 2 for 1 certs are not worth it anymore for us. First Delta stopped flying from our city, 3 years ago. Delta kept saying they would come back after Covid, but that hasn’t happened. So we have to drive 44 miles to catch a Delta flight. Not a biggie, but airfares from Central IL are high and Delta is always the highest. Plus have you tried to use this cert? It requires a very specific booking class with seats that sell out very fast. We fly 2-3 times a year to Las Vegas. The 2nd passenger does not earn miles. So there’s a loss of 4k miles a trip. When would we could fly to Vegas for $300-400 for 2 people, the value was there. But lately we are lucky to get 2 seats for $500, while regular seats may only be $250-300 each. Bye, bye Amex Delta Platinum CC…

Ed A

I fly to Colombia 3-4 times a year and hardly ever go on Delta. You can blow out 60-70 k skymiles on a one way trip My wife and I just flew down to the beach in Cartagena from IAD for around 10k Lifemiles apiece in their “business class” seats (old plane) without the European style premium seats you would usually get.