Thursday, February 21, 2008

did you know you can use Delta SkyMiles on Continental?

Sometimes a little digging can uncover a real gem.

Flying out of my hometown is usually an expensive proposition. We don't have a lot of carriers, and we always have to fly through some other city to get to our final destination. Getting from here to Dublin has been running between $1000 and $1200 per person. If it were just me I would probably have sucked it up and paid it, but Myron is going too and there's no way we were going to spend that kind of money on airfare so we started looking at other options.

We use both our Delta SkyMiles American Express cards for everything we can, so we can accumulate miles to cover the airfare for trips. It's worked well for us; we haven't paid for a flight to go skiing in Tahoe in years, and we're going to Anguilla in August (for my birthday) using airline miles. Delta wants 100,000 miles per international ticket, so that would have been 200,000 miles. I only have about 60,000 and Myron had about 180,000. It would have cost $230 for me to transfer 20,000 miles to him so he could book both tickets, and there were additional transaction fees on top of that. All told it would have been nearly $350.

That sounded like a deal to me but Myron thought it was a little steep, and he didn't want to give up all our miles in one go. Being the obsessive travel junkie that he is, he started looking at Delta partners to see what they offered. He was surprised to discover that you can use Delta miles with Continental. That's awesome because Continental only charges 75,000 miles per international ticket! Myron had enough miles to cover everything and we ended up only paying $50 apiece in transaction fees. Just by doing some digging Myron saved us a total of 50,000 miles, which is enough for two domestic round-trip tickets.

We're flying out on Saturday, May 31st and returning on Saturday, June 7th. We'll see you in Dublin.


  1. I just heard today that all the girls in Dublin are running around in miniskirks and short shirts at freezing temperatures.

  2. Alliances are your friend :-) I have redeemed millions of miles over the years, and find that redemptions are often better on partner airlines.

    You can use skymiles on Northworst too, but I wouldn't recommend it, even if it is half the mileage :-)

  3. Could any post in the history of Mika-dom show just how out of touch Mika is? THAT response on THIS site!?!??!

    And I'm sure he doesn't even get the irony.

  4. Chris,
    Flying out of Tallahassee is probably worse than flying out of Charleston. With luck, my wife and I can use this tip to save 50,000 miles when flying to Italy next summer.

  5. @Mika - I can only assume you don't read my blog.

    @Ed - It's just weird to me that it works like it does. I go to Delta's SkyMiles site, choose a Continental flight, and purchase the ticket using Delta SkyMiles. At Continental's rates, not Delta's. I was surprised it worked that way. I could possibly understand going to Continental's site and booking the flight with Delta SkyMiles, but in either case I would expect to be bound by Delta's terms, not Continental's. It's probably a loophole in the system, or perhaps it's by design. Either way I'm glad I found it. :-)

    @Nate - I literally laughed out loud! :-D

  6. Good to know how that works. I've 'known' that you can use miles as an award on any skyteam member, but never quite how to do it.