Delta SkyMiles Members wanting a little extra leg room or the premium Delta experience can now purchase that upgrade using miles instead of cash on Delta.com after booking their ticket. Delta is an industry leader in offering this simple self-service option via its website, with the same functionality coming to its award-winning Fly Delta app in early 2019.
Using miles for upgrades after booking builds on the functionality Delta pioneered with post-purchase upgrades last year that allows customers to buy a premium seat online using either the same or a different method of payment from the one they used to buy their ticket.
Sandeep Dube, Senior Vice President — Customer Engagement & Loyalty and CEO of Delta Vacations, said expanding the use of miles is about providing SkyMiles Members with more flexibility and an easier way to choose the experience that best meets their needs.
This new option, made possible by Delta's ongoing digital investments, will give Members traveling for business or leisure the ability to use their personal miles to upgrade their experience whenever they fly — and miles can be used to upgrade a single leg or multiple legs of a journey.
"Whether you're just starting to build your SkyMiles account, or you've been collecting miles for years, Delta is making all of our Members' miles more valuable by offering more ways to use them for Delta purchases, big and small," he said. "Our ultimate goal is for SkyMiles Members to have the choice to use miles anywhere they can use cash with Delta, and to be able to make those transactions available in digital channels."
Delta already offers SkyMiles Members the option to redeem miles for items digitally, including award travel, gift cards, Delta Vacations, SkyMiles Experiences and in Delta Sky Clubs.
Here's how it works after a ticket has been purchased:
A customer can log in to Delta.com to buy Delta Comfort+, First Class, Delta Premium Select, or Delta One as an add-on, or ancillary purchase, as available — regardless of where or how the original ticket was purchased. The customer can select a premium seat on any individual segment of their journey, or the entire trip, and use miles or a different method of payment for the transaction. Only flight segments operated by Delta are eligible for purchasing upgrades after booking a ticket, subject to availability.
Delta already offers customers the option to upgrade using miles or cash during the booking process on each leg of the trip, based on availability.
Dube added that with more customers than ever earning miles for activities other than flying - like using their Delta SkyMiles American Express Credit Card, grabbing a Lyft or staying at an Airbnb — even Members with lower balances will find their miles more valuable as the global airline expands the ability to use them.
This latest customer offering is part of the innovative investments Delta is making in its SkyMiles program, which was recently named a Best Travel Rewards program by U.S. News & World Report. Industry-leading partnerships with brands like Lyft and Airbnb allow customers to engage with Delta by earning miles for everyday activities, while the award-winning Delta Sky Club experience continues to be a reason Members choose to fly Delta.