Update: SkyMiles International First Class Award Ticketed and Confirmed

by John Harper

Delta Air Lines is allowing SkyMiles members to book international three-cabin first class awards, for the first time in at least a decade. First class suites on China Eastern are being ticketed and confirmed with SkyMiles.

We wrote yesterday that China Eastern First Class award space was appearing in miles searches on delta.com. When booking, I found that the call center actually ticketed me in business class. We now know that it is possible to book first class China Eastern awards using SkyMiles.

A Point Me To The Plane reader has successfully confirmed a ticket, booked yesterday, in China Eastern’s private first class suites, using 170,000 SkyMiles. In addition to taxes, Delta charges a $254 fare on China Eastern business — and now first — awards.

Delta SkyMiles international first class award ticket China Eastern

It has been over a decade since Delta allowed SkyMiles members to book awards in partner airlines’ international first class cabins. Delta has not offered international first class since 1999, when it scrapped the service in favor of a consolidated BusinessElite cabin (since rebranded Delta One).

This Diamond Medallion member booked the entire award online, and was able to request and confirm a private suite in China Eastern’s Boeing 777-300ER first class cabin between New York Kennedy (JFK) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG).

Delta SkyMiles award first class China Eastern private suite

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

A SkyMiles member has successfully used miles to book a China Eastern first class suite. Image by China Eastern

We don’t yet know if Delta is only making space on China Eastern available, or if it may be possible to book first class on other SkyTeam partners.

SkyTeam Partners With International First Class Cabins:
  • Air France (La Premiere)
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Korean Air
  • Saudia
  • Xiamen Air

It appears so far that first class seats, which appear in searches for ‘Delta One’ miles seats, are made available when there is no award inventory open in business class on the same flight. Delta China Eastern first class SkyMiles award

For those able to pull it off, this has to be one of the best remaining uses for the perpetually dwindling SkyMiles currency.

While the government-owned airline won’t win any 5-star service awards, China Eastern’s first class suites certainly best any business class product in the SkyTeam network. I would happily take a China Eastern First Class suite over a Delta One business class suite, any day.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if it turns out possible to book Garuda or Korean’s exceptional first class services using SkyMiles.

Korean Air First Class Delta SkyMiles award

Wouldn’t it be great to fly in Korean Air First Class using Delta SkyMiles? Pictured: the Kosmo Suite on the Boeing 747-8. Image by Korean Air

Let us know if you have success booking Delta SkyMiles international first class awards on China Eastern or another SkyTeam airline. 


The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Pete August 7, 2018 - 1:49 pm

It’s great the reader was able to do it but there are probably better uses for 170k skymiles than a OW tix on China eastern.

Delta allowing First Class Skymiles Bookings?! | MilesTalk – Frequent Flyer Miles and Points August 7, 2018 - 3:21 pm

[…] not get too excited yet, but it seems that Point Me to the Plane has successfully booked – and ticketed! – a First Class ticket using Delta Skymiles on China […]

john August 9, 2018 - 5:43 pm

I wouldn’t trust this since Delta says only first class on domestic MU awards is available. Did you confirm with China Eastern?


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