Delta SkyMiles for Free Flights

How much does Delta Airlines SkyMiles need for Free Flights?

For frequent flyers and aviation enthusiasts, few things are as rewarding as earning enough airline miles for an award ticket to jet off somewhere for free. Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles program allows travelers to do just that – rack up miles and redeem them for flights to destinations across Delta’s global network at a fraction of the cash cost. With a bit of strategy, it’s possible to quickly accumulate a SkyMiles balance robust enough for international vacations in business class or multiple domestic trips each year. Here’s how you can take advantage of Delta SkyMiles Free Flights to earn free flights.

How do I earn Delta SkyMiles to get free flights?

There are several ways to earn Delta SkyMiles to redeem for award travel. The primary way is by actually flying with Delta Air Lines or its partner airlines like Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, etc. You’ll earn miles based on the distance flown and your fare class. However, one of the fastest ways to rack up SkyMiles is through credit card welcome bonuses and everyday spending on co-branded Delta credit cards like the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.

Delta SkyMiles to get free flights

These cards frequently offer elevated welcome bonuses of 50,000-100,000 SkyMiles or more after meeting minimum spending requirements. You can also earn miles through travel/retail partners, transferring points from other flexible currencies like American Express Membership Rewards and more.

How many SkyMiles do I need for a free flight?

The number of SkyMiles needed for an award ticket depends on your travel dates, route, fare class, and whether you have elite status with Delta. In general, domestic one-way economy awards start at 5,000 SkyMiles, while domestic round-trip economy awards start at around 12,000-16,000 SkyMiles. For international travel, a one-way economy award to Europe can cost 32,000+ SkyMiles, while one-way flights to Asia start at around 35,000-40,000 SkyMiles. Delta also has dynamic award pricing based on demand, so popular routes or peak dates can cost significantly more miles. Having elite status provides a boost by making lower-tier award levels available. No matter your destination, using SkyMiles can save you hundreds or even thousands compared to purchasing an equivalent cash ticket.

Related Topic: Delta Airlines Vacation Packages

How do I book Delta SkyMiles Free Flights?

Here are the steps to book a free flight with Delta SkyMiles:

Booking Online:

  • Go to and log into your SkyMiles account.
  • Click on “Book a Trip” at the top of the homepage.
  • Select the “Shop with Miles” option.
  • Enter your travel details like origin, destination, travel dates, and number of passengers.
  • On the next page, you’ll see flight options that can be booked with SkyMiles. The mileage cost will be displayed next to each flight choice.
  • Select your preferred flight option and click “Add to Trip.”
  • On the next page, review the trip details and mileage cost. Then, click “Complete Booking.”
  • You’ll be prompted to pay any taxes/fees using a credit/debit card. The miles will be deducted from your SkyMiles account.
  • Complete the booking, and you’ll receive a confirmation email.

Related Topic: Check Delta SkyMiles

Booking by Phone:

  • Find the dates, route, and mileage cost for your desired award flight on first.
  • Call Delta Reservations at +1 (800) 221-1212 or +1-844-499-2038.
  • Provide the reservation agent with your SkyMiles number and the details of the award flight you want to book.
  • The agent will check availability and walk you through the booking process.
  • You can pay any taxes/fees with a credit/debit card over the phone.
  • Once ticketed, you’ll get a confirmation code/number for your itinerary.

Here are a few tips:

  • Book online if possible, as it’s easier to compare options and pricing yourself
  • Call if you need to book a complex itinerary, have trouble finding award space, or need to apply for an upgrade
  • Check first to ensure award seats are available before calling
  • Have alternate dates/routing in mind in case your first choice isn’t available

Booking well in advance generally yields better award availability and lower mileage costs. Also, don’t forget to calculate cash ticket costs to ensure you’re getting good value from your SkyMiles redemption.

Related Topic: Delta Airlines Group Travel

What is a good value for using Delta SkyMiles?

Generally, you’ll want to aim for at least 1 cent per SkyMile in value when redeeming for free flights. This means a 25,000 SkyMile domestic award ticket should cost around $250 or more if purchased with cash. International business class awards can provide significantly more value, often 4-5 cents per mile or higher, versus astronomical cash rates. Domestic economy awards can be lower value per mile, but using miles lets you avoid paying cash. Periodically, Delta runs promotions offering better than normal redemption rates as well. Utilizing Delta’s pay-with-miles option by purchasing during fare sales can optimize your SkyMiles, too. Regardless of the redemption, getting at least 1 cent per SkyMile in value is considered the baseline for a decent award redemption with Delta.

Can I upgrade or change my Delta SkyMiles Free Flights?

Yes, it is possible to make changes or upgrades to Delta award tickets, though fees and additional miles may apply. For domestic awards, you can typically make unlimited changes up to 72 hours before departure for just $150. International awards incur higher change fees. However, you may need to pay additional miles if your new dates or routing is more expensive. You can also apply outright ticket changes or upgrades using additional SkyMiles or by applying regional or global upgrade certificates earned through elite status. Upgrade availability at the time of booking or closer to departure is never guaranteed, though. Delta SkyMiles Free Flights also allows free same-day standby for domestic flights if space opens up. While not free, the change/upgrade options provide flexibility for modifying SkyMiles award tickets when plans change.


By exploiting Delta’s credit cards, travel alliances, and periodic promotions to raise your SkyMiles balance swiftly, then patiently redeeming for premium international awards or taking advantage of flash sales, you can see significantly more value from your miles.

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