Delta Air Lines’ website is showing first class awards on international carriers for the first time in over a decade; SkyMiles members haven’t been able to book international first class seats using miles since most anyone can remember.
As of today, delta.com is showing international first class award seats open on Chinese airlines. More specifically, available China Eastern first class mileage award seats popped up in a few different award searches I tested.
This result which came up in a “Delta One” award search on delta.com this afternoon:
This flight, China Eastern 298, is also showing first class seats, but not business class, available through ExpertFlyer.com.
Earlier, uscreditcardguide.com posted that international first awards were showing online, but ended at ticketing errors.
I also encountered an error, but when I called the Platinum Medallion line I was actually able to book this Delta One ticket.
After going through about a 10 minute search with an excellent Delta phone agent, I was actually able to book a Delta One fare on this flight, at 85,000 SkyMiles and the customary $277.90 China Eastern fare add-on.
Strangely, the reservation ended up being in China Eastern business class, even though neither Delta.com nor ExpertFlyer were showing any award availability in business.
It appears, given the above data points, that China Eastern is allowing Delta to put SkyMiles passengers in business class in lieu of first, when first class seats are available and business class seats aren’t.
It’s still not possible, however, to use SkyMiles to fly in a first class suite. Sigh.