While I haven’t seen a formal announcement of this, Delta’s website lists the following on the Malaysia Airlines partner earnings page:
Effective May 1, 2014, Malaysia Airlines will no longer be a SkyMiles partner and SkyMiles members will not be able to earn miles for Malaysia Airlines flights through the SkyMiles program.
Meanwhile they have a similar note on the redemptions page:
Effective May 1, 2014, Malaysia Airlines will no longer be a SkyMiles partner and SkyMiles members will not be able to book new SkyMiles Award Travel reservations on Malaysia Airlines.
I can’t say this is really surprising. Malaysia Airlines joined the OneWorld alliance in February of this year, so it’s not unusual for airlines to reconsider their extraalliance indiscretions when that happens. 😉
This isn’t a huge loss because redeeming Delta SkyMiles for travel on Malaysia Airlines was usually not a great deal anyway. Delta imposes fuel surcharges for travel on Malaysia, and they can be pretty hefty at times.
For example, a roundtrip between Los Angeles and Tokyo on Malaysia Airlines will run you $420 in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.
As a reminder, Malaysia’s only service to the US is between Los Angeles and Tokyo (with continuing service to Kuala Lumpur), and operated four times weekly.
So I don’t view this as a huge loss, but they do have a pretty extensive route network within Southeast Asia, so if you’ve been looking to redeem SkyMiles for travel to one of the markets they serve, this might be a good time to lock in an award. And if you can redeem SkyMiles for travel before February 1, 2014, even better, since they’re making an interim award chart devaluation for travel after that date.
(Tip of the hat to Shrewd Travel)