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Delta allowing First Class Skymiles Bookings?!

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Let’s not get too excited yet, but it seems that Point Me to the Plane has successfully booked – and ticketed! – a First Class ticket using Delta Skymiles on China Eastern.

Why IS this exciting?

Delta is a rare program that has, for decades now, not allowed members to book partner First Class owning to their own lack of three cabin First Class sine (as far as I remember) a couple of decades. They have the Delta One branded Business Class product and that’s it.

You can book Business Class with Skymiles, but not true international Three-Cabin First Class, such as is offered by their Skyteam partners Korean Air, Air France, China Eastern, China Southern, and Garuda Indonesia. Other Skyteam partners, like KLM, don’t offer their own First Class either.

In his post, PMTTP reports booking a China Eastern flight one-way from NYC to PVG (Shanghai) for 170,000 miles. The ticket shows “A class” which is indeed the First fare bucket (you can confirm on Expert Flyer).

The option of First seems to be offered only on China Eastern and only on flights where First is available but Business is not.

Now, I tried my best to replicate this for you. But I searched A availability for two complete months on ExpertFlyer (November and February) and could not find a single day with an A class seat. So I could not replicate this myself. Still, PMTTP has screen shots in their post so if you have a need to get to PVG, by all means see if the option comes up.

Why is this not *super* exciting?

170,000 miles one way is still a LOT of miles compared to other programs. It only appeals to me because I’m sitting on a large Skymiles balance and they have become just so darn difficult to get good value out of. Sure, you can get some good deals on coach flights these days, but those mileage sales correspond to cash sales, meaning you are usually getting around 1.5 cents a mile or less. It’s hard to get more except with partners, when available. Remember, Delta used to have award charts, but no more. The price is now the price.

It also appears this only works on China Eastern for now, so no using it for Air France First (And Air France restricts availability to its elite members only anyway, though since Flying Blue updated (slash removed) their own award chart a couple of months ago, they do display Air France availability in First that just won’t actually book (200k one way US <–> Europe) so one *could* wonder if something bigger is afoot.

I’d be more interested in spending that many miles on a more luxurious product than China Eastern. Korean Air would perhaps be worth it in F.

Would you spend 170,000 Skymiles for a one-way First ticket to Asia? Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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