The big boy legacy airlines are constantly battling for a larger share of the lucrative business travel market. One way they compete is through business rewards programs, most of which your average frequent flyer may not have heard of or paid much attention to, in attempts to incentivize businesses to choose them.
The idea is that when employees fly on behalf of their company, employees continue to earn the normal rate of miles in the standard rewards program while the business is able to get a piece of the pie through the business rewards program.
Business rewards programs tend to lag behind their standard consumer counterparts when it comes to partner airlines, particularly on the redemption side.
United’s Perks Plus, for instance, does not allow for any partner redemptions. American’s business program, Business Extra, only enables redemptions on partners British Airways and Iberia. Delta’s SkyBonus does, on the other hand, offer more robust partner options.
Delta now has further enhanced SkyBonus through the addition of two new partners, Virgin Atlantic Airways (earning and redemption) and Korean Air (redemption only), supplementing Delta’s network of existing partners Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Alitalia, Aeromexico, and Virgin Australia. Calling eight airlines as redemption partners is an important differentiating factor for Delta relative to its business program competitors.
Redeeming Delta SkyBonus Points
As a general summary, points in the Delta business rewards program, SkyBonus, may be redeemed for flights as either round-trip travel or one-way upgrades. Neither option is as straightforward as booking a typical Delta SkyMiles redemption.
For booking round-trip awards, a SkyBonus member first must redeem points for a certificate corresponding to the desired award prior to applying the certificate on delta.com. For booking one-way upgrades, a SkyBonus member must call SkyBonus Reservations at 877-832-5211.
Further details around earning and redeeming flight awards and other offers are available in a more in-depth SkyBonus post here.
Eligible businesses should not overlook airline business rewards programs where they can be supplementing consumer rewards program earning and redemption.
The addition of Virgin Atlantic and Korean Air as partners to the Delta business rewards program is a step in the right direction for Delta to bring additional value to businesses through bolstering an already leading partner network.
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