Why we aren’t using Delta’s mileage sale

Delta has been come under a lot of pressure lately for removing their award charts from their website.  I mean, seriously.  Who the hell doesn’t show you how much you’re paying for something until you’re at checkout?

Usually only lobster or expensive seafood is “market price,” but as of late, it seems that with Delta, even flights are changing prices at a whim.

from redlobster.com

from redlobster.com

So call me crazy for not wanting to jump on Delta’s recent “sale” on their flights, but the ratio of points to distance flown to value just isn’t there for us.

Delta Award Travel Sale

Delta Award Travel Sale

They’re putting over 13,000 flights on sale through the end of September. You can get flights for just 5,000 miles one way plus the taxes and fees. The problem that we’re running into is that most of these flights are short haul flights that don’t cost that much money to begin with. Don’t get sucked in by the lure of a “good deal” without doing your due diligence first.  Take a look at these samples fares to get an idea of what is available.

Seattle-Los Angeles

Delta is currently offering this flight for 5,000 miles plus taxes and fees.  So, what’s the normal price of the flight?

Seattle to Los Angeles

Seattle to Los Angeles

Yup, that’s right.  $58.  So if you used 5,000 miles you’d be paying also the fees of $17.17


Ok, so lets look at an east coast route now… How about Raleigh to Tampa?  That’s 9,500 miles plus taxes and fees.  And the price for this one?

Raleigh to Tampa

Raleigh to Tampa

Yup, a whopping $86.10. Using the 9,500 miles you’d still pay $19 in fees.

As you can see, these are horrible values, and the same seems to go for all the flights that they are offering at a discount.  At best, they’re running around 1 cent a mile in redemption and then you;ve gotta pay the taxes and fees on top of it.

So, don’t assume that every sale is a good deal.  The airlines, hotels, and credit card companies will always offer you a “Great Deal!” to try and get you use your hard earned miles, but you’re smarter.  Hold on to them for that reward you’ve been waiting for!


Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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