Yesterday the 2015 Delta SkyMiles program launched. While overall it’s bad news for those that actually fly the airline frequently, for those looking to redeem SkyMiles, it was arguably a positive change.
One way awards became bookable for half the cost of a roundtrip, and Delta actually introduced a functional award calendar on their website, which makes it possible to search award availability much more easily. The only loss was that stopovers on roundtrip award tickets are no longer possible.
But it looks like there’s some more great news — China Eastern and China Southern award tickets are now bookable on delta.com.
Redeem Delta SkyMiles for China Eastern
China Eastern has a pretty extensive route network out of Shanghai. Their North America destinations include Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.
As you’ll see when doing an award search on delta.com, they have excellent business class award availability, with typically two business class award seats per flight.
There are fuel surcharges, though they’re not too bad, at ~$200 each way between North America and Asia.
Keep in mind that China Eastern has a fantastic new reverse herringbone business class product on their Boeing 777-300ERs, which they’re in the process of putting on their routes to Los Angeles and New York.
Redeem Delta SkyMiles for China Southern
China Southern’s hub is in Guangzhou. Their North America destinations from there include Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Vancouver.
Award availability on China Southern is also generally quite good, typically with two business class award seats per flight.
Much like on China Eastern, there are mild fuel surcharges for China Southern redemptions.
The Los Angeles to Guangzhou route is operated by an A380, which features a very good business class hard product. The business class hard product is the same on the new Boeing 777-300ER they’re flying between New York and Guangzhou.
With the business class hard products improving on the Chinese airlines, these are much more compelling redemption opportunities. And being able to search and book the space directly on Delta’s website is great news.
(Tip of the hat to Mac)