Yesterday I introduced a bunch of data related to Delta SkyMiles award availability and prices, focused mostly on the New York City market because, well, I’m biased towards where I happen to live. Several of you asked for other routes and markets and one of the more popular requests was for information about getting to Sydney on SkyMiles. I threw resources at that problem and came up with some data. I looked only at the Los Angeles to Sydney market because that’s the only place where Delta has service so it helps to temper the calculations and make for comparisons against partner inventory a bit easier.
Want to get to Sydney non-stop from LA? Be ready to pay more or demonstrate some serious flexibility. Fortunately there are some dates with a seat available at the 50k level in coach or 80k in business but only about 10% of the time. Most dates with the lower level award prices involve travel on Virgin Australia, not Delta.
If you’re willing to connect there are a few more options available at lower rates thanks to partners. Korean is actually one of the more generous partners for low-level award inventory to Sydney from Los Angeles for SkyMiles passengers.
China Airlines offers a decent bit of space if you’re looking to connect in Taiwan rather than Seoul.
But if you’re insistent on getting the non-stop flight and a Delta-operated trip the numbers are not so pretty. A whopping 274 dates for DL metal LAX-SYD come in at 175,000 points one way, the highest rate Delta prices that award at.
SkyMiles or SkyPesos??
Yesterday I raised the question, “Does this mean that SkyMiles really are shaking off their SkyPesos moniker?” And, quite frankly, I’m still not sure what the answer is. Partners help improve the value of any program and the data here shows that to be true again. The fact that Delta has integrated more partners into its online search options should make bookings easier for many members. And yet I’m still hesitant to declare victory for those members based on the limited premium cabin options, especially when looking at Delta metal. Yes, the data I have here is only a snapshot in time. But the lack of low level (or even anything other than the absolute highest level) premium rewards is disheartening. Of course this is only one route and the data is better elsewhere. A little bit, anyways. But I’m not yet completely sold that the program has completely turned the corner on award availability. Yet.
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