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:
- In early January, China Eastern and China Southern awards became bookable through delta.com
- In late February, China Airlines awards became bookable through delta.com
- In early March, Gol awards became bookable through delta.com
- In mid March, Aerolineas Argentinas and Garuda Indonesia became bookable through delta.com
- In late March, Aeroflot became bookable through delta.com
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.
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.
Unfortunately Saudia’s business class product isn’t especially great, as the seats are angled flat.
Middle East Airlines, which is Beirut-based and mostly flies (relatively) shorthaul routes, is now also bookable on delta.com.
Award availability on MEA is generally excellent, though I guess that’s not all that surprising.
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)