Taking advantage of rotating flight deals can help you save big on your next trip – but they work best for flexible travelers.
What are SkyMiles Deals?
SkyMiles Deals are rotating discounted fares on reward flights with Delta Air Lines. Deals update each week and include flights all around the world. For the most part, these offers are for round-trip flights in the main cabin.
How to book a SkyMiles Deals reward flight
The easiest way to book a SkyMiles Deals trip is to visit the program’s web page and select your preferred route. Before you start planning your trip, you’ll want to check out the terms and conditions listed beneath each region. These will include the date you must purchase your ticket by, the dates that qualify for the reduced fare and any other restrictions.
Once you’ve found a trip that works with your plan, the flight search looks like booking a normal Delta reward flight. You’ll automatically be shown the lowest-fare dates in the qualifying period – but you can update the search to include only your preferred dates.
After you select your departure and return dates from the chart, you’ll be presented with flight times and be able to book as normal. You’ll also be able to see if there is a good deal in the comfort plus or first-class cabin – though the best prices tend to be in the main cabin.
How much can SkyMiles Deals save you?
Unlike many other frequent flyer programs, Delta doesn’t have an award chart. Reward flight prices can vary drastically, so it is hard to know exactly how much these deals are saving you. When we compared some of the current SkyMiles Deals to the cash price, however, we were able to find some great savings.
Take, for example, this deal for flights between Indianapolis and Paris that was available at the time of writing this article. If you book the SkyMiles Deals fare, you’ll pay just 40,000 miles for the round-trip flight.
The same main cabin trip booked in cash on the Delta site will cost you over $1,000.
By booking the SkyMiles Deals seat, you are getting a 2.64 cent mile value on the trip. Typically, we estimate the average Delta mile is only worth about 1.61 cents.
Not every SkyMiles Deals route currently available is this valuable. In fact, some deals we checked only saved a few dollars. However, occasionally you can find extraordinary offers if you are willing to do a little digging and keep flexible travel dates.
Restrictions with SkyMiles Deals
Unfortunately, there are quite a few restrictions to keep in mind when booking a SkyMiles Deals fare. Each region (Domestic, Latin America and Caribbean, Europe and Asia) has its own set of terms and conditions, often requiring that you purchase your ticket a certain number of days in advance and stay for a certain period of time. In addition, the deal might also require you to be there a certain day of the week or include blackout dates.
For example, the flight from Indianapolis to Paris mentioned above was required to meet the following criteria:
- Purchased by April 10, 2019
- Travel dates between April 25, 2019 and May 31, 2019
- Purchased at least 21 days in advance
- Must include a Saturday overnight
- Must not fall under blackout dates (May 3-7, 2019 and May 10-31, 2019)
In addition, the lowest listed fares for the region were only available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and flights departing Thursday through Monday were slightly more expensive.
These numerous restrictions can make it difficult to match a SkyMiles Deals flight to known travel plans. These offers are best suited instead for flexible travelers who can pick a vacation based on the best price – which could be out of reach for many.
Tips for maximizing SkyMiles Deals
- Compare the cost of the SkyMiles Deals flight in miles to the cash price of the same flight to ensure you are getting a good deal. Since Delta does not use a fixed award chart, it can be hard to know how much you are saving otherwise.
- Pay close attention to the terms and conditions of each deal. If you don’t include a certain day of the week or trip length, you might not find as good of a price.
- If you have flexibility in your travel dates, open your search to the entire duration of the deal to save the most miles.
- Choose a main cabin seat for the lowest price.
Due to extensive restrictions, SkyMiles Deals likely won’t save most travelers more than a few dollars every once in a while – when eligible days happen to line up with your plans. However, flexible travelers who don’t mind planning a trip around a great offer can save hundreds on both domestic and international travel with the program. Be sure to check the SkyMiles Deals page regularly to see if there is a savings that works for you.