Delta Air Lines has upgraded its award options and now allows booking premium economy seats on transatlantic routes operated by its England-based partner Virgin Atlantic.
Passengers can already begin booking these award seats on Delta.com but cannot start booking them over the phone until Dec. 1.
These premium economy seats offer passengers priority boarding, leather seats with extra legroom, access to outlets, upgraded dining options and amenity kits.
You’re probably interested in how many miles these premium economy awards cost, aren’t you? Well, they aren’t cheap. For example, a round-trip flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to London Heahtrow Airport (LHR) comes to 110,000 Delta SkyMiles and about $256 in fuel surcharges.
In comparison, Virgin Atlantic requires just 55,000 Flying Club miles for the same round-trip route – half the miles Delta is charging. If you’re paying cash, depending on the month of travel, Virgin Atlantic charges between $1,200 and $2,000 for its Premium Economy seats based on a round-trip booking.
Although Delta no longer publishes its award charts, a round-trip in economy can be booked for 60,000 SkyMiles at the lowest redemption level, and business class can be booked for 140,000 SkyMiles at the lowest redemption level.
As you can see, Delta is selling these partner premium economy seats at award redemption rates that are closer to business class than to economy class. Not exactly a great deal. The redemptions are double the price of main cabin seats, which does not necessarily mean the level of comfort is also doubled.
Virgin Atlantic does not officially belong to the SkyTeam alliance, but they are partners with Delta Air Lines, which owns 49 percent stakes in the British airline. Delta itself is in the midst of adding premium economy cabin seats (Premium Select) to its aircrafts that will be available on international flights next year. Unfortunately, it is likely the redemption rates on those seats would be just as high, and that’s at the lowest level.
What do you think of the pricing level of these premium comfort seats?
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