A Great Consumer Benefit: Delta’s SkyMiles No Longer Expire

You can parse this one however you want, but the outcome is the same:  Delta has eliminated the expiration date on SkyMiles, a move that benefits every consumer.  More importantly for infrequent flyers, it’s one of the few moves I’ve seen an airline make recently that also benefits travelers who are not Elite members.  There is no catch or compromise.  I have no idea whether other airlines will follow suit (I’m guessing not – even though this is a great benefit, no one is going to fly Delta because their miles don’t expire.  The expiration date was 18 months from your last activity, so the date would extend any time you flew).  Even so, it’s pro-consumer and it’s hard to argue with that.

(On a side note, the frequent flyer community seems to refer to SkyMiles as SkyPesos because they are seen as a devalued currency.  I prefer to use SkyKilometers, as it always seems to take 1.6 times as many SkyMiles as you’d expect to actually redeem an award).


  1. I actually had 24000 Northwest miles left over from the late 90’s when I was platinum elite or whatever they called it, and I just used 1000 AMEX points with it to score a roundtrip ticket DTW – MCO. I don’t know much about travel and I may be the anomoly, but I was happier than a Priest at recess.

  2. Thak you Delta. I just lost 41K miles at USAir. I’m not highly motivated to use USAir either – even though trips to MCO, England, and Kenya are in the future. USAir is the least preferred now.

  3. Hi Stew,
    Sorry about losing the miles. Remember – you have to have any activity to keep the miles active (it doesn’t just have to be flights). You could buy a magazine subscription with miles, or buy something through their shopping mall and credit the miles to it. There are lots of ways.

    And while I don’t have particular love for US Airways, their miles are pretty useful on other Star carriers.

  4. Don’t underestimate those ‘tricky’ Delta folks. Remember… they ‘reserve the right’ to make changes to the ‘Skyscrooge’ program at any time. This expiration elimination is a probable sign that they will continue to devalue their miles even more. I was recently quoted 600,000 miles for an up front seat to Europe 10 months from now. There’s a difference between ‘illusionary’ and ‘real’ benefits. If the new United/Continental FF program shows a genuine respect for loyalty, you can be sure us Platinum and ‘Rhine Stone’ frequent flyers will make a grand exodus!

  5. Oh, I don’t know. I was just offered a BCN – EWR segment in BusinessFirst on CO for 20,000 miles plus $400. So you can use a reasonable amount of miles and they did make the seat available but you have to pay a lot of actual money, too. Now I know that this isn’t a bad deal compared to buying the seats outright, but for mileage redemption it’s robbery. A $400 service charge? Per segment? Really?

  6. Hi Avi… with Delta you can’t upgrade unless you purchase an upgradable fare… which is 3 to 4 times as much as most coach fares; THEN, if inventory releases the seat you can shell out the 40,000 miles. I’m going to Europe tonight and will be sitting in the back, even though I did almost 200,000 eqm’s last year! They’ll be filling up those business class seats with non-revs as I look on; knowing their ‘free lunch’ is on me. Does it get worse than that???