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Rundown of Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles for Canadians (updated June 11, 2016)

Delta Air Lines has a rewards program called SkyMiles. The program is known to have dismal reward redemptions because it requires a lot of miles for a reward flight.

Note that Delta Air Lines is a member of SkyTeam, which means that you can bank your Delta flights to any alliance member. Unfortunately, SkyTeam is not as well connected with Canada as Oneworld or Star Alliance. However, you can earn SkyMiles when flying on its Canadian codeshare airline partner, WestJet.

As a result, I do not really fly on SkyTeam flights as often as the other alliances, so I actually just bank all miles I earn on SkyTeam flights to SkyMiles because it does not have an expiry policy, so it keeps things simple for me. This way, I can channel my energy towards other alliances, but not have to miss out on earnings whenever I do fly with a SkyTeam member. The time when I would fly with SkyTeam is if I had to pay for a flight with cash, and it is significantly cheaper than with another airline alliances.

That being said, there are other ways to earn SkyMiles as a Canadian.

Earning Miles

American Express Membership Rewards

SkyMiles is a transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards program. You need to transfer a minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards, which will give you 750 Delta SkyMiles.

This is not a great rate of return, but if you ever need to top up your account for a specific upcoming reward flight, this is a great option to consider.

I would like to see the transfer increased to a 1 to 1 ratio like in the United States.

Car Rentals

You can also earn miles while renting a car. This is especially useful since not everyone rents a car frequently. So you are better off just banking your earnings towards an airline or hotel partner instead (if you can make more use out those miles and points). Below is a list of car rental companies that bank Delta SkyMiles directly:

  • Alamo Rent A Car
  • Carmel Car and Limousine Service
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • ExecuCar
  • Hertz
  • National Car Rental
  • Sixt rent a car
  • SuperShuttle

Hotels

Same goes for hotels. If you do not stay frequently with any one hotel chain, you are better off just banking those points directly towards an airline program that you do use more frequently. Below is a list of hotel chains that bank Delta SkyMiles directly:

  • Accor Hotels
  • Carlson Rezidor
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Hotel JAL City
  • Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • InterContinental Hotel Group
  • Langham Hospitality Group
  • MARITIM Hotels
  • Marriott International
  • Millennium Hotels and Resorts
  • New Otani Hotels
  • Nikko Hotels International
  • Okura Hotels & Resorts
  • Prince Hotels & Resorts
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts
  • Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces
  • Worldhotels

Redeeming Miles

Delta SkyMiles has been known to offer a horrible redemption chart, which isn’t even published. That being said, there are some sweet deals out there if you look carefully.

Check out this reward option:

Delta Air Lines Reward Flight

There are a few sweet spots if you dig through the options.

Direct Destinations Departing from Canadian Airports

You may have noticed the Delta Air Lines actually has a wide presence across Canada at a fair number of different airports. I hope that they continue to keep a strong presence as it really helps with the competition.

Below is an updated list, from last time, of Delta Air Lines flights that depart from Canadian airports (recent changes are in brackets or struck-through):

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

  • Delta Air Lines: Atlanta, Salt Lake City (added)
  • Delta Air Lines (Seasonal): Detroit
  • Delta Connection: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

  • Delta Air Lines (Seasonal): Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City
  • Delta Connection: Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma

Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)

  • Delta Air Lines: Atlanta
  • Delta Air Lines (Seasonal): Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Delta Connection: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia

Calgary International Airport (YYC)

  • Delta Air Lines (Seasonal): Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Delta Connection: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma

Edmonton International Airport (YEG)

  • Delta Air Lines (Seasonal): Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Delta Connection: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle/Tacoma

Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW)

  • Delta Connection: Detroit
  • Delta Connection (Seasonal): Atlanta

Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)

  • Delta Connection: New York-LaGuardia

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)

  • Delta Air Lines: Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Delta Connection: Minneapolis/St. Paul

Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)

  • Delta Connection: New York-JFK

Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport (YXE)

  • Delta Air Lines (Seasonal): Minneapolis/St. Paul (added)
  • Delta Connection: Minneapolis/St. Paul

Regina International Airport (YQR)

  • Delta Connection: Minneapolis/St. Paul

What I would like to see Going Forward

I don’t even know where to start. Better reward chart? More direct flight options departing from Canada? Re-introduce a co-branded credit card? Hope that SkyTeam members increase their routes to and from Canada?

It is an endless list. Obviously Delta Air Lines has some work to do in Canada. But I see this more as an opportunity to take over some of the existing market share.

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