Delta Air Lines is out with news that it is making some updates to its SkyMiles program. According to Delta, “Beginning today, SkyMiles members will have access to a number of program improvements, including lower One-Way Awards, improved tools for Delta customers to book Award travel, and the ability to earn Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) on partner airlines.” (Logo image courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

delta air lines, skymiles, skymiles 2015 changes

Here are the details of the changes from Delta’s press release.

  • New One-Way Award tickets beginning as low as 10,000 miles plus taxes and fees, available through Dec. 31, 2015 for travel in select U.S., Mexican and Caribbean markets. Customers can now fly to several popular Award destinations with a 21-day minimum advance purchase.
  • Improved Award redemption by expanding the number of airline partners that SkyMiles members can select to redeem for Award Travel on Delta recently updated the Fly Delta app to give customers the ability to book Award travel from mobile devices. Since January, Delta has offer customers the ability to book SkyMiles Award travel through the Fly Delta app.
  • Customers can now earn MQDs, regardless of ticketing carrier, for travel on most of Delta’s airline partners, which will help them achieve Medallion status faster. SkyMiles members will receive retroactive credit of MQDs on eligible partner flights dating back to the beginning of the qualification year, Jan. 1, 2015. MQD earning varies based on carrier, percentage of distance flown as determined by Delta and fare class paid.

MJ’s Take

There’s nothing bad on the surface, and MQDs regardless of ticketed carrier may even be a good thing depending on who you are flying. I’ll take 10K one-way awards too. I’ve asked a clarifying question around the new 10K one-way awards with 21-day advance purchase, and will post if I get a response. Mainly, does this mean that awards purchased inside 21 days are priced at normal levels, i.e. as low as 12,500 miles? Overall, I’ll take these as positive developments. What do you think of the changes?

-MJ, March 9, 2015