Saudia & MEA Awards Now Bookable On Delta.com

Several weeks back Delta announced some positive changes to the SkyMiles program, including that they’ve added more partner airlines to their online award search tool. This is great news, given how challenging it can be to ticket SkyMiles awards on partner airlines by phone. And this comes after Delta added a functional award calendar late last year, which has been awesome.

But adding partner award availability online has actually been a process over the past several months:

It looks like we can add another two airline to the list. Saudia & Middle East Airlines awards are now bookable on delta.com.

As a reminder, Saudia’s US destinations include Los Angeles, New York, and Washington.

Saudia-Award

Back in the day there was a virtually unlimited amount of business class award space available on Saudia through SkyMiles, though something seems to have recently changed in how they code awards, and it has led to a substantial decrease in award availability. So unfortunately award space on Saudia isn’t great, though it’s still sometimes available.

Saudia-Awards-1

Unfortunately Saudia’s business class product isn’t especially great, as the seats are angled flat.

Saudia-Business-Class-1

Middle East Airlines, which is Beirut-based and mostly flies (relatively) shorthaul routes, is now also bookable on delta.com.

MEA-2

Award availability on MEA is generally excellent, though I guess that’s not all that surprising.

MEA-1

Bottom line

Kudos to Delta for finally getting serious about adding partner airline award availability to their website. Given that you can no longer hold Delta award tickets, it makes things a bit easier at least when you can ticket awards instantly online. My guess is that this is part of SkyTeam’s overall efforts to simplify online award bookings.

While Saudia and MEA aren’t the Middle East’s premier carriers, they have a useful route network for travel within the region.

(Tip of the hat to Delta Points)

Comments

  1. Lucky, I flew with Saudia on a 777 a couple of months ago and the business class product was not what you pictured above. I am not sure if it was a new plane or it went through an upgrade. It was exactly the same configuration and type as Royal Jordanian’s 787 business class, only it was even more upgraded. I think the screens were bigger but I’m not sure, but the seat controller did have a screen on it (RJ’s didn’t have one), there were hooks for hanging your coat on the back of the seat in front of you (RJ’s didn’t have those), and the seats were fully flat, full leather, and surprisingly comfortable – much more comfortable than your average business class seat. I was surprised because I hadn’t read about it anywhere.

  2. A lot of Saudia’s longhaul routes also only operate once or twice per week, so that may be part of the reason for the limited number of dates with award seats available.

  3. Is it just my impression or Delta just gets together with the least desirable airlines in the world? MEA, Saudia, Gol, Aerolineas Argetinas, Garuda, China Eastern and Southern, Aeroflot!!!! WT…!!!

  4. @Santastico FYI Garuda is ranked a 5 star airline according to skytrax. Aeroflot is actually ranked as best in eastern Europe. (Beating both LOT and CSA (also a Delta partner)). China Southern is a fast growing and fast improving airline. The rest are either mediocre or crap

  5. @Santastico

    yeah, what’s wrong with Garuda? you don’t like Loewe? (not that Delta skypesos would help you get that…)

  6. Ben,

    I flew Saudi biz last November, and must say quite an experience. Sad to hear availability has dried up. It was angled flat just as you stated; certainly a lot better than the old school recliner stuff, but not as good a Delta biz full flat.

    I know I have challenged you to do more SkyTeam flying and you have responded, but I’d love you to take a Saudi routing sometime you need to transit the middle east. (Gary has always pointed out how it is a great way to use SkyTeam miles that many overlook.) Now that Delta has one ways, would seem logical with your love of other carriers in the region. Food and service was actually very good on Saudi. Videos suggesting it is okay to beat your wife, was not very enjoyable though, but don’t worry, they are only in Arabic with no subtitles so they don’t think you can understand the message.

  7. @Mattias @ Lantean: Maybe Garuda has changed but I used to go to Indonesia a lot on business and Garuda was pretty scary. There were many times where my company preferred to get a private plane for us to fly internally in Indonesia rather than allowing us to fly on Garuda planes. Also, just read Lucky’s post from yesterday about his experience at Jakarta’s airport. I’ve been there several times. I can guarantee you it is not the best customer service you will get at an airport. 🙂

  8. @Mattias: Being ranked as best in eastern Europe by beating both LOT and CSA does not make Aeroflot any more attractive to me 🙂

  9. @Santastico – but they also partner with KLM, Air France, Korean Air and Alitalia.

    Let’s not also forget that United partners with Egypt Air, Ethiopian Air, LOT, Shenzen Airlines and Croatia Airlines while AA partners with Royal Jordanian, S7, Malaysia and Iberia.

    Not everyone can link up with only Emirates, Cathay & Singapore.

  10. @Santastico

    yeah, they changed a lot in recent years… i flew Garuda on intra-Indonesia flight in coach and it was way better than anything you’d get in coach within the US (not that it means much).

    GCK airport is just old… but the new airports in Indonesia are actually nice too.

  11. I’m having trouble finding an updated list of ALL the airlines you can now book at delta.com, can someone please post one?

  12. For what it’s worth, not all Saudia flights are working on the Delta online award calendar — looking for flights to NBO and ADD even on days when I know there’s a flight, it returns with an error, while flight calendars to JNB, DEL, CAI, US destinations, etc. are available. Any thoughts as to why?

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