Booking tickets on partner airlines such as Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, or Korean Air through Delta’s website has long been considered one of the finest methods to use Delta SkyMiles.
These partner reward redemptions were almost always a better price and more stable than flying Delta, whose award rates were erratic and frequently through the roof. Now, the value of some SkyMiles awards may follow Delta’s tagline, “Keep Climbing.”
According to Thrifty Traveler, who broke the news first, it appears that Delta Air Lines increased the value of its SkyTeam partner points without warning to match its own flights.
Although it’s possible that this is just a technical or related short-term error, it comes after the airline decided to stop offering partner sweetspots earlier this year and a raise in partner award prices in 2021. Furthermore, Delta has positioned itself so that it is not confined to a specific price model by doing away with the disclosure of its reward schedule.
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Delta Airlines History
Today is Delta’s 97th birthday. What began as a crop-dusting operation is now one of the world’s largest airlines. Mississippi Delta gave Delta its name. Huff Daland Dusters started crop-dusting in 1925.
This agricultural endeavour resulted from military and commercial investment to restore pest-damaged crops, threatening the cotton industry and economy. The Huff Daland Duster sprinkled 1,800 acres in Mississippi in 1924. By March 1925, Huff Daland Dusters owned 18 planes.
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina signed dusting contracts. Collett Everman Woolman persuaded investors to buy Huff Daland Dusters in 1928. In 1929, Delta flew from Dallas to Jackson. Delta went to Atlanta and educated pilots and mechanics throughout WWII. Delta Air Lines Inc. won the war.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Delta flourished utilizing a hub-and-spoke model, running its first international flights to the Caribbean and becoming the first airline to fly the Douglas DC-8 and Convair 880 jet aircraft. 1966-old His compassion for Delta workers was well-known. He couldn’t remember each employee’s name as the company grew.
Delta’s 747-100 launched in 1970. Short-lived. Delta returned the aircraft to Boeing in 1974 because it was too big. Delta’s 747 returned after 2008’s Northwest merger. Delta began London and Frankfurt service in 1978. Early 1980s recession cost Delta millions. Over 7,000 employees and families donated $30 million to acquire The Spirit of Delta, the first Boeing 767.
The plane is housed at the Georgia Delta Museum. Delta bought Pan Am’s transatlantic routes and timetables after its 1991 bankruptcy. 1997 saw 100 million passengers onboard. Delta, Aeroméxico, Air France, and Korean Air formed SkyTeam, which serves 195 countries with 19,000 daily flights.
Delta replaced 727 and MD-11 planes with 767, 737, and 777 variants throughout the 2000s. Delta expanded Atlanta services and cut personnel in 2004 to avoid bankruptcy. It declared bankruptcy in 2005 and rebuffed US Airways’ takeover offer. By 2007, Delta had a new livery, logo, and was profitable.
Delta and Northwest Airlines united to form the world’s largest airline until American Airlines (A1G) and US Airways merged in 2013. After Northwest, Delta remained. Delta achieved record earnings in the following decade and added lie-flat beds and first-class cabins. The airline bought 49% of Virgin Atlantic for trans-Atlantic access.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 550 aircraft were parked and the airline shifted to cargo-only flights, removing passenger seats from the main deck to carry vaccines between the US, Europe, and Asia. Delta retired the MD-88, MD-90, and 777 to save money.
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Delta Airlines Profit
Delta plans to invest over $2 billion through 2013 to improve the customer experience, including installing new full-flat beds and in-seat video on all widebody aircraft, adding more First-Class cabins to Delta Connection regional jets, renovating and adding new Delta Sky Clubs, and adding more First-Class seats on domestic mainline flights.
Completes NWA’s Airport and Reservations system integration. Haneda Airport in Tokyo approves flights. New York-JFK to undergo a $1.2 billion repair and expansion. Fly Delta app offers mobile luggage tracking first. Delta buys a refinery in Trainer, Pa., to produce jet fuel for its fleet. Airline with its own refinery.
Delta acquires a 49% interest in Virgin Atlantic, increasing its access to London and trans-Atlantic markets. Delta One, First Class, Delta Comfort+, Main Cabin, and Basic Economy are introduced. China Eastern purchases a 3.5% interest, boosting its presence and consumer choice in Asia’s largest market. Delta Studio offers world-class in-flight entertainment.
Longtime Delta president Ed Bastian is named CEO, following Richard Anderson. Delta’s profit-sharing programme is the largest in U.S. history. The airline donates 1% of its annual net income. 241 days without a mainline cancellation.
Delta’s adjusted pre-tax income is $6.1 billion. Delta is the only airline on Fortune’s Best Companies To Work For list, based on workplace culture ratings. In an unprecedented transborder cooperation, invests 49% in Aeromexico. First A350, fleet’s new flagship, is delivered.
Seoul-based joint venture with Korean Air. More than 60,000 employees get new Zac Posen-designed uniforms in Passport Plum, based on employee feedback. Atlanta-Shanghai nonstop flights begin. North America’s first Airbus A220 joins its fleet, operating U.S. routes.
Delta Partner Award Prices Skyrocket
Some SkyMiles awards may now be “Keep Climbing”-worthy. Delta Air Lines raised the value of its SkyTeam partner incentives without notice, Thrifty Traveler said. It follows an increase in partner award rates in 2021 and the airline’s decision to remove partner sweetspots earlier this year. Without a published reward table, Delta has no established pricing model.
This includes Air France/KLM, Korean Air, and Virgin Atlantic flights. 120,000 in partner rewards. Delta Flying business class now costs 330,000 SkyMiles each way. 35,000-mile bus tickets to Europe now cost 65,000 a way. This pricing implies a significant depreciation. Delta has not yet responded to TPG’s request for comment.
Delta’s dynamic pricing model implies award prices change like cash prices. SkyTeam award prices have been more stable since the airline’s award tables were retired. SkyTeam partners’ pricing are currently dependent on Delta’s flights. Before this devaluation, this Economy flight was likely worth 35,000 SkyMiles. Flights now cost 56,000 SkyMiles.
This is the same price as the cheapest Delta flight connecting through MSP (MSP). Virgin Atlantic will soon join SkyTeam. Virgin Atlantic’s BOS-LHR pricing is equivalent to Delta’s personal flight. Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights have astonishing prices. Delta flights are priced the same as partner-operated flights in all three cases.
The award charges we analyse don’t alter for partner flights not operated by Delta. Delta doesn’t travel to Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), thus China Airlines award costs remain intact. Delta Air Lines charges the same poor prices for SkyTeam rewards as for its own flights.
Assuming all of this is purposeful when Delta sells SkyMiles, partner award prices may reduce, but that’s just speculation. TPG has contacted Delta. SkyMiles are cheaper now for people willing to fly partner airlines.
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