Delta Shows International First Class Awards: Bookable, But…

by John Harper

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.

Update: SkyMiles International First Class Award Ticketed and Confirmed on China Eastern

As of today, 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.

China Eastner 777-300ER First Class. Source: China Eastern

Could it be!? Can I now use my SkyMiles to book this private suite on China Eastern’s Boeing 777-300ER!? Image by China Eastern

This result which came up in a “Delta One” award search on this afternoon:

Delta SkyMiles first class international awards

Delta is showing first class seating open on a China Eastern Flight.

This flight, China Eastern 298, is also showing first class seats, but not business class, available through

Delta China Eastern first class SkyMiles award

Earlier, 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. 

Delta international first class awards

Error message when trying to book this connecting itinerary.

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 nor ExpertFlyer were showing any award availability in business. 

Delta international first class business class SkyMiles award China Eastern

Delta somehow converted the available first class seat into a business class seat, even though none were available to other partners.

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.

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1 comment

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1 comment

FredM August 6, 2018 - 5:36 pm

ABD. Anybody-but-Delta as my frequent flying employees ask..


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