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Alitalia is an airline that’s constantly on the brink with its finances.
So news over the last couple of weeks that a change in ownership structure may be coming isn’t a surprise.
One of the possibilities is that Air France / KLM acquires Alitalia. If that happens, Alitalia will join the ‘Flying Blue’ frequent flyer program.
That’s fine for Delta SkyMiles® members on the surface – Air France / KLM is a partner of Delta’s so you will still be able to use your miles on Alitalia flights.
But there is a big drawback.
Air France / KLM hides a lot of its award availability from Delta SkyMiles® members. That means it can be tough to find an award flight on Air France and KLM using Delta miles.
Right now, Alitalia flights (there are only 5 destinations in the U.S.) are pretty easy to use for award travel with Delta miles. That’s because Alitalia gives Delta SkyMiles® members access to the same award seats as its own frequent flyers.
But if Alitalia merges with Air France / KLM it’s likely finding award seats with Delta SkyMiles® on Alitalia will be harder, the way it is on Air France and KLM now.
If this happens, it won’t happen for a while. Deals take a long time before they hit frequent flyer programs. But it’s yet another reason to use your Delta SkyMiles® as quickly as you can. Not to mention Delta increased the price of business class awards to Europe by 25% for flights June 1, 2014 and later.
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