SkyMiles is the official frequent flyer program for Delta Air Lines, which is one of the largest airlines in the world. This program was initially created in 1981 as a Frequent Flyer Program, and it has been proving its members with various rewards for over 30 years now. Members of this program receive complimentary miles for eligible transactions that they make with Delta or one of their partners. Some of the different rewards that members can expect to receive include free airline tickets, cabin upgrades, luxury products, and more. Delta Airlines offers flights all over the world, with a total of 300 different destinations in over 60 countries. Those who sign up with SkyMiles can potentially receive a wide range of benefits. Members will earn miles for hotel stays, everyday purchases, and many other things. There are thousands of these members, and SkyMiles is generally considered to be one of the more lucrative and beneficial frequent flyer programs in the world.

General Information

SkyTeam
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Pros

  • No fuel surcharges ❸
  • Free hold until 11:59 pm ❶
  • Miles do not expire at all!
  • Booking tool is easy to use
  • Good number of partner airlines
  • Most airlines can be booked online
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades ❷

Cons

  • Not transparent award pricing
  • Fuel surcharge on some destinations ❸

Fees & Charges

  • Same-Day Change Fee ❺
    $50
  • Same-Day Standby Fee fee ❺
    $50
  • Cancellation fee ❹
    $150

Additional Information

Expiration: Miles expire 0 months since last activity.
For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
❶ Hold tickets until 11:59 pm the following day if you do not have enough miles in your account
❷ Elite members receive unlimited complimentary upgrades
❸ When origin points is United States, other destinations could have fuel surcharge imposed.
❹Award Tickets and mileage upgrades must be canceled at least 72 hours prior to originating flight departure time to redeposit the miles. Award Tickets must be reissued at least 72 hours prior to scheduled departure time. Miles for Award Travel are nonrefundable for flights canceled or changed within 72 hours of the original flight departure time. Please note that Award Tickets booked within 72 hours of departure are nonrefundable and cannot be redeposited or changed.
❺ If your requested flight is same-day confirmed eligible. Basic Economy (E) fares are not eligible to make same-day confirmed or same-day standby travel changes, regardless of Medallion or other elite status.

Transfer Partners

1,000
Amex points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
Instant
1,000
Amex points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
Instant
1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
1 day
1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
1 day
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
Marriott points
2.8 : 1
357
miles
42 days
1,000
Marriott points
2.8 : 1
357
miles
42 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
Hilton points
10 : 1
100
miles
4 days
1,000
Hilton points
10 : 1
100
miles
4 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
miles
42 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
miles
42 days

The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to SkyMiles®.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines And Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Air France Air France
SkyTeam
Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines
No alliance
Delta Air Lines Delta Air Lines
SkyTeam
Aeroflot Aeroflot
SkyTeam
Aerolíneas Argentinas Aerolíneas Argentinas
SkyTeam
AeroMexico AeroMexico
SkyTeam
Air Europa Air Europa
SkyTeam
Alitalia Alitalia
SkyTeam
China Airlines China Airlines
SkyTeam
China Eastern Airlines China Eastern Airlines
SkyTeam
China Southern Airlines China Southern Airlines
SkyTeam
Czech Airlines Czech Airlines
SkyTeam
Garuda Indonesia Garuda Indonesia
SkyTeam
Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
GOL GOL
No alliance
Kenya Airways Kenya Airways
SkyTeam
KLM Royal Dutch KLM Royal Dutch
SkyTeam
Korean Air Korean Air
SkyTeam
MEA MEA
SkyTeam
Saudia Airlines Saudia Airlines
SkyTeam
TAROM TAROM
SkyTeam
Vietnam Airlines Vietnam Airlines
SkyTeam
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Atlantic
No alliance
Virgin Australia Virgin Australia
No alliance
XiamenAir XiamenAir
SkyTeam
Great Lakes Airlines Great Lakes Airlines
No alliance
WestJet WestJet
No alliance

Program Review

Delta Air Lines is a major American airline with headquarters and its largest hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. This airline operates over 5,400 flights each day, serving an extensive domestic and international network that includes 319 destinations in 54 different countries on six continents. Delta is one of the five remaining legacy carriers, and it is the sixth-oldest operating airline by foundation date, and the oldest airline still operating within the United States. SkyMiles, which is Delta Air’s frequent flyer program, offers a number of rewards and benefits for members. If you fly Delta Air Lines or their partners often, you will definitely want to take the time to look into this program and everything it has to offer.

 

SkyMiles Program

SkyMiles offers those who fly with Delta Air Lines a way to earn points/miles that can be redeemed for complimentary flights, hotel bookings, cabin upgrades, and a number of other things. It is important to know that there is a difference between SkyMiles and Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). Regular SkyMiles can be used to redeem award airline tickets as well as other things, while MQMs are used to determine your qualification for elite status tiers within the program. There are a number of benefits associated with the various elite status tiers that you will learn about in this article.

 

Earning SkyMiles Points

There are lots of different ways to earn points through Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program. SkyMiles are earned according to the total cost of the ticket of flights, which includes the base bar, carries surcharges, and excluding government taxes and fees. You can earn as much as 75,000 SkyMiles on a single ticket. When you are booking a flight on Delta Air Lines, you will find that the number of miles you can earn per dollar ranges from 5 to 13. Members that use a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card to book their flight get 2 bonus miles for every dollar they spend. As you move up in the tier rankings, you will get more miles for every dollar you spend. You can also earn points on partner marketed flights as a member of SkyMiles. Those who fly with a Delta Air Lines partner will earn regular SkyMiles based on the price of the ticket, and you can earn as much as 75,000 miles per ticket. The amount of miles you earn for partner marketed flights depends entirely on the carrier. Partner carriers fall into four different groups: Group 1, which offers the most miles, while Group 4 offers the least.

 

Redeeming Mileage Points

Once you have accumulated a significant number of SkyMiles, you will of course want to know how to redeem them. There are lots of different ways to use these points to your advantage. You can redeem your miles for free flights on Delta Air Lines as well as participating partner airlines. You also have the option of using your miles for cabin upgrades and various items in the SkyMiles marketplace. When you have enough SkyMiles accrued, you can book an award ticket on Delta or one of their partners. You can only redeem reward flights through Delta.com or a Delta Air Lines ticket agent, whether it is in person or over the phone. You will be able to make changes to your departure airport, arrival airport, route, date, and time, provided the mileage remains the same and the changes you make are at least 72 hours before departure time. You have the option of using your miles to a book a flight on Delta Air Lines, all SkyTeam Global Alliance Partners, and other SkyMiles partners. You can book your awards flight on the official Delta website by simply filling out a form that details your travel plans (department/arrival locations, number of passengers, travel dates, etc.) Once you have filled out this information, click the Find Flights button to find flights that you can use with the miles you’ve earned as a SkyMiles member.

 

Routing Rules

As of 2015, Delta no longer allows stopovers or open jaws for award tickets. 

 

Redeem on Upgrades

Those who become SkyMiles members will be able to upgrade their cabin class on a flight with points they have accrued in this program. You will first need to book your flight on Delta’s website, then select your Main Cabin ticket. If your reservation is eligible, you will automatically see the option to Upgrade with Miles in your Trip Summary. All flights in the reservations must be within the U.S., and flights must also be on Delta or a Delta Connection carrier.

 

Booking Fees & Charges

There are some booking fees that you might encounter as a SkyMiles member, including a $200 fee for changing flights, and a $150 fee for reinstating award tickets. There is absolutely no fee for booking a flight too late.

 

Elite Levels

It is important to understand that there is the basic SkyMiles membership and then there is the Medallion elite membership. Those who initially sign up for the SkyMiles program are in the first category by default. After you have accrued enough Medallion Qualification Miles or Medallion Qualification Segments and Medallion Qualification Dollars in a given year, you will qualify for the Silver Medallion status or higher. The more miles, segments, or dollars you accrue, the higher your status will be.
The MQM requirements for each tier are as follows:

  • 25,000 for Silver Medallion status

  • 50,000 for Gold Medallion status

  • 75,000 for Platinum Medallion status

  • 125,000 for Diamond Medallion status

 

Benefits of SkyMiles Program

While it is true that Delta Air’s frequent flyer program might have some strict rules regarding stopovers, there are still plenty of other benefits to consider. One of the best things about this program is that it is so easy to earn miles/points when flying to your destinations through Delta or one of their partner airlines. There are also lots of different benefits associated with moving up the Elite Status ladder, including priority waitlist status and preferred seating. This means that you will receive waitlist status when your preferred class of service is not available. There are numerous seats set aside in the Main Cabin for eligible passengers, including Delta Medallion members. Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members have access to frequent traveler security lines in select airports all over the world. These members also get to take advantage of priority boarding.