Delta SkyMiles 2015 Worldwide Award Chart Details

Back in February, Delta announced the details of their 2015 SkyMiles program.

SkyMiles-2015-1

The new SkyMiles program included many changes. The most significant was probably that SkyMiles would begin awarding miles based on revenue rather than distance flown. Among US legacy airlines that was a first, and not surprisingly, United MileagePlus quickly followed.

But beyond the way they’re awarding miles, Delta also changed the way members can redeem SkyMiles. Some of the changes included:

  • The introduction of one way awards for half the cost of a roundtrip (as it turns out that came at the expense of stopovers, which they conveniently only announced later)
  • The introduction of additional award tiers — they’re going from three award tiers to five award tiers
  • The introduction of a functional SkyMiles award calendar, which is already live and awesome

Anyway, initially Delta didn’t actually publish their award charts for the 2015 program, which left a lot of us wondering how bad the rates would be. After some pressure, they eventually unveiled their award 2015 award chart in March… though only for travel originating in the US & Canada.

At the end of the day I care most about the redemption values at the lowest level, since that’s the cost at which you can redeem miles for travel on Delta’s partner airlines, like Alitalia, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, etc. The new award rates didn’t look half bad at the low level, which was good news.

But at the time SkyMiles only published award charts for travel originating in the US & Canada. Delta SkyMiles has now finally published their global award charts. If you check out their award charts by region you’ll now see that they list pre-January 1, 2015, and post-January 1, 2015, prices.

Here’s a chart comparing the current prices to the new prices:

Traveling Between:And:2014 (one-way)2015 (one-way)
Continental US, Alaska, CanadaContinental US, Alaska, Canada25,000 / 32,500*25,000 / 32,500*
Hawaii40,000 / 45,000*40,000
Caribbean30,00030,000
Mexico30,00030,000
Central America30,00030,000
Northern South America45,00040,000
Southern South America62,50062,500
Europe62,50062,500
Africa70,00070,000
South Africa80,00080,000
Middle East70,00070,000
South Asian Subcontinent70,00070,000
Northern Asia70,00070,000
Southeast Asia70,00070,000
Southwest Pacific80,00080,000
HawaiiCaribbean, Mexico, Central America42,50042,500
Northern South America55,00062,500
Southern South America72,50070,000
Europe72,50070,000
Africa80,00080,000
South Africa90,00090,000
Middle East80,00080,000
South Asian Subcontinent75,00080,000
Northern Asia42,50050,000
Southeast Asia50,00050,000
Southwest Pacific80,00080,000
MexicoWithin Mexico20,00020,000
Caribbean, Central America30,00030,000
Northern South America45,00040,000
Southern South America62,50065,000
Europe62,50065,000
Africa70,00080,000
South Africa80,00080,000
Middle East70,00080,000
South Asian Subcontinent75,00080,000
Northern Asia70,00080,000
Southeast Asia70,00080,000
Southwest Pacific80,00080,000
CaribbeanCaribbean30,00030,000
Central America30,00030,000
Northern South America45,00042,500
Southern South America62,50062,500
Europe62,50065,000
Africa70,00080,000
South Africa80,00080,000
Middle East70,00080,000
South Asian Subcontinent75,00080,000
Northern Asia70,00070,000
Southeast Asia70,00080,000
Southwest Pacific80,00080,000
Central AmericaCentral America20,00020,000
Northern South America20,00020,000
Southern South America40,00040,000
Europe62,50065,000
Africa70,00080,000
South Africa80,00080,000
Middle East70,00080,000
South Asian Subcontinent60,00080,000
Northern Asia70,00080,000
Southeast Asia70,00080,000
Southwest Pacific80,00080,000
Northern South AmericaNorthern South America20,00020,000
Southern South America40,00040,000
Europe72,50080,000
Africa80,00090,000
South Africa85,00090,000
Middle East85,00090,000
South Asian Subcontinent75,00090,000
Northern Asia85,00090,000
Southeast Asia85,00090,000
Southwest Pacific80,00080,000
Southern South AmericaSouthern South America20,00025,000
Europe87,50090,000
Africa87,50090,000
South Africa90,00090,000
Middle East90,00090,000
South Asian Subcontinent80,00090,000
Northern Asia90,00090,000
Southeast Asia90,00090,000
Southwest Pacific95,00090,000
EuropeEurope25,00025,000
Africa50,00065,000
South Africa50,00065,000
Middle East35,00042,500
South Asian Subcontinent40,00042,500
Northern Asia70,00080,000
Southeast Asia70,00080,000
Southwest Pacific80,00090,000
AfricaAfrica50,00040,000
South Africa50,00040,000
Middle East60,00070,000
South Asian Subcontinent60,00070,000
Northern Asia75,00080,000
Southeast Asia90,00090,000
Southwest Pacific90,00090,000
South AfricaSouth Africa50,00040,000
Middle East60,00070,000
South Asian Subcontinent60,00070,000
Northern Asia75,00070,000
Southeast Asia90,00090,000
Southwest Pacific90,00090,000
Middle EastMiddle East60,00040,000
South Asian Subcontinent60,00070,000
Northern Asia60,00070,000
Southeast Asia60,00070,000
Southwest Pacific85,00090,000
South Asian SubcontinentSouth Asian Subcontinent30,00040,000
North Asia55,00070,000
Southeast Asia50,00065,000
Southwest Pacific70,00080,000
Northern AsiaNorthern Asia25,00030,000
Southeast Asia35,00040,000
Southwest Pacific55,00065,000
Southeast AsiaSoutheast Asia35,00040,000
Southwest PacificSouthwest Pacific45,00040,000

And then here’s how they define each zone:

SkyMiles Award Zone:Countries Included:
CaribbeanAnguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and US Virgin Islands
Central AmericaBelize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama
Northern South AmericaBolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela
Southern South AmericaArgentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay
EuropeAlbania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (excluding Greenland), Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (The Former Yugoslav Republic of), Malta, Moldova (Republic of), Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (including Azores and Madeira), Romania, Russia (West of the Ural Mountains), San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (including Canary Islands), Svalbard and Jan Mayen Island, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Vatican City
AfricaAngola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Libyan Arab Jamahirija, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania (United Republic of), Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Middle EastBahrain, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates (composed of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras El Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al Qaiwain), Uzbekistan, Yemen (Republic of)
South Asian SubcontinentAfghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory; India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Northern AsiaChina, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea (Democratic People's Republic of), Korea (Republic of), Micronesia, Philippines and Taiwan (Province of), Russia (East of the Ural Mountains), Guam and Saipan.
Southeast AsiaBrunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos (People's Democratic Republic of), Macau SAR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Turkmenistan and Vietnam
Southwest PacificAmerican Samoa, Australia, Christmas Islands, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna Islands

As you can see, the change in rates aren’t horrible. Roughly a dozen zone pairs are going down in price, while about five times as many are going up in price. That being said, those regions going up in price aren’t going up by that much — usually just 5,000-10,000 miles, and in some cases 15,000-20,000 miles.

My bigger question with the new award chart is whether Delta will continue to impose fuel surcharges for all award travel originating in Europe. It’s great that they now allow one way awards, though it would suck if we had to pay fuel surcharges for all one way awards originating in Europe. My guess is that nothing will change in terms of fuel surcharges.

Bottom line

There’s no doubt the 2015 SkyMiles program is a net negative for most SkyMiles members. Of course it’s good news for some on the earnings side, including those that mostly fly short distances, as well as those that mostly fly on full fare or premium cabin tickets.

On the redemption side, though, I initially thought that the changes were a net positive. The introduction of one way awards is awesome. At the time we had no reason to believe stopovers would be eliminated, which does make the changes slightly less awesome. For travel originating in North America, redemption rates aren’t going up by much at all.

So on the redemption side — for those of us mostly collecting SkyMiles through means other than flying — I do still think the new program is a net positive, as I value one way awards more than stopovers.

How are you feeling about the 2015 SkyMiles program?

Comments

  1. Hi,
    Oneways are great but with deltas international award fee I don’t know.
    Will the international award fee stay for trips after 2015 ?

  2. I hope I’m misreading the chart. If a one-way within North America (the very first fare listed) is 25000-32,500 one way, does that mean Delta redemptions within North America have essentially doubled and we will soon be paying over 50,000 miles for a round trip within the US?

    I actually like using Delta for North America travel (assuming I’m connecting), being that their miles are so easy to earn (thank you SunTrust Debit card) and my spending induced Amex credit card Gold Elite status.

  3. Love that they announced the from-US chart with great fanfare earlier this year and said something about “only X pairs are going up in price while Y are going down in price!” (Forget whether X was less than Y but they were comparable.) And now of course the worldwide chart is much less favorable.

    And I agree with fuel surcharges likely staying the same — will be a handy way to squeeze cash out of US flyers who book two separate one-ways for convenience and get hit on the way home from Europe.

    Now if they would only get around to announcing how many miles one will earn flying partners starting in just 6 weeks…

  4. Lucky,

    I think you made a typo in the chart as it says (one-way) at the heading of both columns but the prices look like they are actually for a roundtrip flight. Otherwise, this is a massive devaluation going from what used to be 25,000 miles for a domestic coach seat at the lowest price while now it will be 50,000 because the prices in the chart are listed as one-way.

  5. When can you start booking one-way fares? January 1? Need to get to Asia since I have an EK F coming back ( through Alaska).

  6. @ Ralfinho
    Assuming you are right about the one way for premium cabin, then the 2014 column would be more accurately titled “each way on round trip purchase”. Because as we know, Delta essentially charges the same for one way and round trip (which would be twice the miles listed in the 2014 column). I love that he did the chart for easy reading but omitting that it reflects Premium seating bookings is a pretty big defect in the chart.

  7. I still think we don’t have any idea if the changes on the redemption side are a net positive or negative. If even the sparse low level awards become less available and the new effective lowest level is on level 2 or level 3, that is a way to effectively devalue without actually devaluing.

  8. What do you guys think of this? If you are a PM or DM and have fee waivers on award tickets, do you think you can book at RT now and change it to a OW and drop the return segment next year when the new rules go into effect?

  9. Lucky, I agree with you that the charts themselves don’t look terrible. But is it maybe too early to call it positive? The availability in the 5 tier to me is the key. Right now we are trained to treat Mid level as good, and Low as lucky. Going forward, what if it’s only level 3 and up that are regularly available? To have a published price for the goods that are not commonly available doesn’t really do us any good.

  10. Ok. So. I’ve been playing around with the award chart since it launched, and it seems it’s still definitely a DELTA tool. What do I mean by this? I clicked on a day that listed 240,000 miles as the lowest award seat available, but after I clicked on it, an award ticket for 160,000 was listed as available. I don’t know if it’s a glitch, but seeing as how this is exactly the way Delta’s calendar worked before, I’m willing to bet that this is totally on purpose.

  11. @Larry D — these prices become effective Jan 1 at which point Delta also starts allowing one-ways at half the price of a roundtrip.

  12. @Bgriff
    I appreciate your trying to clarify the second column which is clearly (and accurately) marked 2015 (one-way). Your defense of Ben’s chart shows you enjoy reading his blog. So do I !!! However, in my comment, I clearly stated that I was talking about the 1st column that is marked 2014 one way. You tried clarifying the chart by saying that these are the fares that go in to effect Jan 1, 2015. Well, not the first column. The first column reflect the current prices up until Dec 31. My point was that the first column is an artificially priced at 1/2 of the real cost of the one-way award ticket, because, the fact is that Delta currently charges twice that rate, since they currently don’t permit a one-way award (they charge twice the amount). Further, if Ben is using the miles needed for PREMIUM seats, then it should so be noted somewhere in the chart. Well, he’s probably having too much Krug with his father right now to remember such details.

  13. @ LXF — The best value for SkyMiles is still on partner awards, in my opinion, which remain at the lowest level.

  14. Hmm.. I believe they also broke up Russia into Europe and Northern Asia (at least, judging by pre- and post-Jan. 1, 2005 charts online) along the natural border (Ural Mountains). That makes a huge difference!

    Have no idea if it affects my family though as their city is in the Urals so who knows what Delta would charge. Using BA Avios is way cheaper anyhow.

  15. Why is it still not possible to book for 2 person at low? i recently changed credit card points to SQ for 4 people and it was easy. I’ve tried it on different airlines and i could find low awards for multiple persons… it’s only Delta that is impossible.

  16. @ peepshow — Where are you trying to go? In most markets it shouldn’t be any problem to find two seats at the low level.

  17. Lucky – Using Delta miles, what would be the best (we want to go 1st Class) way to book 2 round trip tickets to South Africa. When I look online, it appears Delta shows only Business Class. If it turns out to be a partner airline, do I call Delta to try to get it booked requesting a specific airline, class etc.?

  18. I have 60,000 points on Delta… just trying them out in 2016. I usually fly American or United. I also have the Amer Express Gold Card. Unfortunately, it’s 25,000 each way domestically (minimum) and 80,000+ for Europe in economy. This is twice as much as American and United. Both American and United also offer one way trips! I won’t be flying delta any longer. I’ll just use the miles for a domestic and drop them for good.

  19. I’m flying into Kona, Hi on the 20th of August this month and I’m wanting to rent a Jeep as my rental while I’m there. My questions are…. since I’m a skymiles member is it cheaper to rent it thru deltas skymiles membership or is it cheaper to just do it on my own upon arrival? ? Ty

  20. Delta has been raising the miles needed to travel. However as ticket prices and baggage fees have gone up it costs a lot more to get those miles. The miles needed to travel should have remained the same. Delta is gouging its loyal customers. For example not too long ago I used to fly to Costa Rica round trip for 35,000 miles. Then it became only for certain flights which could never be found. Now it is 30,000 one way. They make all kinds of promotions to get miles but quietly make those miles a lot cheaper in terms of what you can do with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *