Delta Now Lets You Redeem Miles For SkyClub Drinks

Filed Under: Delta

If there’s an airline which is aiming to commoditize their mileage currency, it’s Delta. That might sound a bit counter intuitive, given that they also don’t have award charts, and therefore their miles aren’t worth specific amounts.

But their long term goal seems pretty clear — they want their program to be as revenue based as possible, whereby each mile has a certain value regardless of how you redeem it. That value seems to be one cent per mile, and we’re seeing that gradually being implemented across many aspects of the program.

Delta has just added another mileage redemption option which further reinforces this valuation.

Via TravelSkills, Delta will let you redeem your SkyMiles for premium beverages in the SkyClub, at the rate of 100 SkyMiles per $1.

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This program has just started at the Delta SkyClub San Francisco (which is spectacular, possibly the most physically stunning lounge in the US), and plans to roll it out to the 34 SkyClubs which accept payment for drinks by the end of March 2016.

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Delta SkyClub San Francisco Airport

Of course SkyClubs have a complimentary selection of alcoholic drinks, including the following:


In terms of the premium drink selection, here’s a sample from some of their more popular clubs, including the ones in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle:


As you can see, you can purchase imported beers, champagne, premium wine, and specialty cocktails.

Via TravelSkills, here’s how the payment process will work:

“Customers who opt to pay with miles will be prompted by the bartender to scan their SkyMiles membership card or boarding pass and enter their SkyMiles account password at checkout on a payment device,” a Delta spokesman said.

Bottom line

While I’m of course against airlines reducing the value of miles, I’m all for them adding more redemption options. In the case of Delta, adding more redemption options inevitably leads to miles getting less value, as they do more to peg each mile to a certain dollar value. But if that’s going to be the case, you might as well be able to use them to drink away your SkyMiles sorrows in the SkyClub. 😉

Would you redeem SkyMiles for premium drinks in the SkyClub at the rate of one cent per mile?

  1. I used to say I’d never purchase a drink in the skyclub but on my last trip I saw a lady enjoying a bottle of champagne, which seemed really appealing at that moment. I’m much more likely to part wih some skymiles rather than actual money though, so maybe next time.

  2. I would prefer to have a few glasses of bubbles before a flight, it does seem to make miles worth less though.

  3. I’m not sure why you see otherwise, but I view this reward as quite *aspirational*, if you will. It certainly is better than the crime that is redeeming 30,000 miles for a domestic roundtrip in the holiday season which our grandmothers love to commit. Sure enough, us mileage geeks are always eyeing the likes of CX, EK, EY in a premium cabin, but I’m certain that is not how my parents are spending their miles.

  4. good to know in case i’m ever stuck on DL. i have about 10,000 skypesos only, so i’d be fine parting with them for half bottles of perrier-jouet at 2200 a pop.

  5. Wow-thanks so much for this important and interesting update! I think there are some of us who would gladly wait for more substantial news/reporting if there is a current paucity of such…I know, a bit snarky just before Christmas…

  6. @Abdelrahim Abdallah: If those round-trip flights would otherwise cost over $300 a piece, then they’re still a better deal than this.

  7. Now that they’ve enhanced the free drinks in the skyclub i dont think i’d ever pay cash or miles for a cocktail there. Stoli and their ‘craft beer’ usually do the job for me.

    My only annoyance. They have a bloody mary listed on their cocktail menu for $8 which has grey goose in it. The bartenders however seem to have a hard time comprehending when I order a ‘free’ bloody with stoli (which imho is more than comprable to grey goose, especially in a bloody mary)

  8. @Abdelrahim Abdallah redeeming 30k miles for a domestic round trip during holiday season hardly seems like a crime if you can do it. Tickets during the holiday season are generally more expensive – domestic tickets can easily run over $500. At that price it’s actually one of the better redemptions you can make with skymiles.

  9. To me, it would make more sense to let me pay for drinks on the airplane using miles. Why allow it one place and not the other?

  10. The redemption rate for booze is 2¢ per mile. Not sure if this was an error in your article or if they just improved the rate since then.

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