Earlier this week Delta announced new Caribbean, Bermuda and Florida flights from New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airports. This was especially exciting for me as each December my family and I head to a different Caribbean destination using miles or points. In general, we tend to use AA or BA miles to fly on one of American’s non-stop flights down to one of the islands. Over the last year American announced the termination of both their non-stop JFK to Aruba and St. Maarten flights, however Delta has picked both of these routes up with this week’s announcement. This is good news but is there any low level award availability???
LGA to Nassau, Bahamas
I was actually able to find decent low level 35,000 SkyMiles economy class award availability for this route in December, January, and February. While finding any low level award availability on Delta can be viewed as a miracle, this isn’t the ideal time of year to visit the Bahamas as the temperature can range from 62-77F or 17-25C. In any case, these new flights are loaded and have award space available. The same was true for the business class awards priced at 60,000.
JFK to Aruba
This one was actually a bigger surprise, little to now low level economy seats but several dates with low level business class seats priced at 60,000 SkyMiles roundtrip and middle level economy class priced at 50,000 SkyMiles roundtrip in January and February. While 60,000 might seem like a lot of miles for the Caribbean, you need to keep in mind that these are SkyMiles and are often much easier (and cheaper) to accumulate than other points and miles. Using this rationale, 50k SkyMiles compared to 35k AA miles doesn’t seem like a horrible deal for that economy seat.
JFK to St. Maarten
This flight operates only on Saturdays and there was absolutely nothing but high level economy class award availability priced at 70,000 SkyMiles for January – April 2012. There was some medium price business class award availability priced at 100,000 SkyMiles. I think I’ll stick to the non-direct options for this route…
JFK to Punta Cana
This route was similar to Aruba, little to now low level economy seats but lots of dates with low level business class seats priced at 60,000 SkyMiles roundtrip and middle level economy class priced at 50,000 SkyMiles roundtrip in January, February, and March.
JFK to Montego Bay, Jamaica
Absolutely no low level economy seats but medium level economy class priced at 50,000 SkyMiles roundtrip was easily found on most dates. The award calendar also indicated low level business for most dates, however once I clikced on the flights they were displaying at the medium level (typical Delta award calendar problems).
In summary, these new flights provide additional non-stop New York-Caribbean award flight options and there actually is decent award availability on a few of the routes if you can be flexible. Of course, United and JetBlue also provide direct service on these routes as well, though I tend to save my United miles for international business or first class awards. Curious as to which airlines came out on top in the annual award seat availability rankings? Check out this previous post.