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Delta raises many Business Class award prices, lowers some Economy

by on Thu January 7, 2016 • No Comment


Effective for flights departing October 1, 2016 or later, Delta SkyMiles is changing many entry level award prices, which are the lowest price you will pay on Delta flights, and the only price you can pay when flying Delta’s partners.

While the One Mile at a Time blog reports changes to US – Australia prices, there are actually many more changes for flights departing the U.S.

Delta no longer publishes official award charts, but on it does display fare codes which indicate the lowest level price available, and there are clear changes for flights departing October 1 and later.

Most long haul Business Class destinations, with the exception of Europe, the Middle East, and India, are going up to prices that either match or exceed the highest American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus charge for entry level awards on similar flights. On the flip side, several long haul Economy Class destinations are going down in price, letting you pay less to suffer in coach.

The most popular awards within the U.S. and to the Caribbean and Mexico appear unchanged, as well as those to Europe. These changes come as Qantas lowered many award prices yesterday and American plans to increase many award prices come March 22.

Higher Business Class Prices

(one way, 000s of miles, departing the mainland U.S.)


Old: 70

New: 80

Southern South america

Old: 62.5

New: 75

Southern Africa

Old: 80

New: 95

Mid-Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, etc)

Old: 70

New: 80

Australia/New Zealand/Pacific

Old: 80

New: 95

Lower Economy Class prices

(one way, 000s of miles, departing the mainland U.S.)

Middle East  

Old: 40

New: 35

Southern Africa

Old: 50

New: 40

Mid-Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, etc) 

Old: 40

New: 35

US – Australia/New Zealand/Pacific 

Old: 50

New: 45


Sample prices

Here are some samples to show the changes.

US – Japan




US – Southeast Asia



US – Southern South America



Long haul coach fliers got a break. If you are okay suffering in coach on long haul flights, the changes are a win, and make SkyMiles more competitive with American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus for similar awards.

Middle East / India business class stayed the same. Surprisingly, India and Middle East Business Class award prices didn’t increase, and at 70,000 miles one way are remarkably competitively priced. Since these are the regions where Delta faces the most competition from the Gulf carriers like Emirates and Etihad, it may be keeping award prices in check to stay competitive for business travelers.

Europe business class fliers can rest. And if you’re headed to Europe breathe a sigh of relief that things haven’t changed, and could be on reprieve for at least several more months.

Ultra long haul business class fliers lose. The losers here are anyone saving for ultra long haul Business Class awards with SkyMiles. While they recently improved their award search tools to display more partner airlines, making more award space transparent to all, the cost of that benefit appears to be an increase in many award prices.

The increase to 75,000 miles one way for a US – Brazil / Argentina / Chile award is particularly egregious, considering the new higher American AAdvantage price is 55,000 miles one way.


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