This is actually not a joke! Delta’s Level 1 (Saver) availability to Europe this summer is fantastic…and not just on their partners but on DL metal as well. Delta had promised that with all the negative SkyMiles “enhancements” in 2015, we would also receive better award availability. It seems that they told the truth, at least while checking for summer awards over the last five days. I’ve noticed stellar availability, particularly in Business to Europe as well as on domestic flights (my searches have all been NYC based). Economy availability is quite similar.
Non US/European destinations are somewhat better than 2014, though not nearly as good as Europe (Australia and South Africa are both still very difficult to find DL Level 1 availability) though connecting partner flights can be found. Side note, if you plan to visit South Africa, use your SkyMiles to fly Virgin Atlantic to London and then connect with them onwards to Jo’burg from LHR.
Just how great is the availability? Look at these three one-way examples from JFK (Delta low level pricing to Europe is 62.5K each way or 125K r/t):
Rome – Award availability has always been pretty great with partner Alitalia, but now even Delta flights are available at the “low” level.
The calendar has low level availability for the better part of July – August, including DL’s own flights.
Madrid – This was a difficult city in the past to find a low level DL flight without connecting via Air France, Alitalia, KLM, or Virgin…now DL metal is available.
London – Ever since DL acquired a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, availability has been good…though usually not on DL’s own metal. Now, there’s low level availability on one of the two carriers for the better part of June, July, and August.
Take the good with the bad? I’m sort of impressed that they’ve kept their word…for now. This is currently a great time to burn some SkyMiles and plan a spring or summer trip to Europe.
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