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New Heights – Redeem Delta SkyMiles on Delta Private Jet

If you have a surplus of Delta SkyMiles, American Express Membership Rewards or SPG Points, here’s a new avenue to spend your hard earned rewards – beginning today, Delta will allow SkyMiles members to redeem points on travel with Delta Private Jets (DPJ).

For those less familiar with Delta’s private jet travel subsidiary, the company has been around since 1984. From their website:

Our more than 29 years of experience in operating business jets has earned us the reputation of a leader in the industry and global marketplace. Delta Private Jets has the longest-held ARG/US “Platinum” safety rating of any operation in the world.

Cushy interiors on the Light Jet CESSNA CJ3. Credit: Delta Private Jets

Cushy interiors on the Light Jet CESSNA CJ3. Credit: Delta Private Jets

With the new transfer partnership, SkyMiles members can transfer a minimum of 2.5 million miles for a $25,000 jet card. This gets you about 5 hours of travel on their smallest (“light”) jet. Non-SkyMiles  jetsetters would typically purchase a jet card with the pre-paid value, and the cost of the flight is deducted from your card as you spend it. The minimum purchase for a card usually is $100,000, which locks in your rates for two years, so transferring Delta points allows you to buy in at a lower entry point than typically required.

One of Delta Private Jet's Large Jets, the Gulfstream G4SP - one of many options for jet card holders. Credit: Delta Private Jets

One of Delta Private Jet’s Large Jets, the Gulfstream G4SP – one of many options for jet card holders. Credit: Delta Private Jets

The current fleet of over 70 jets includes the following sizes:

  • Light Jet (Up to 6 passengers)
  • Midsize Jet (Up to 7 passengers)
  • Super-Midsize Jet (Up to 8 passengers)
  • Large Jet (Up to 9 passengers)

“With our fleet of more than 70 Wi-Fi equipped aircraft positioned throughout the country, Members who redeem miles for a Jet Card will have access to the luxury and convenience of flying on their own time and schedule,” said David Sneed, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Delta Private Jets. “This is an incredible travel benefit for SkyMiles Members.”

It certainly is, for those who happen to have the miles to burn. And how many members is this exactly? According to Karen Zachary, Managing Director of SkyMiles – “Thousands”.

Delta SkyMiles members do not earn miles on Private Jet flights (even when paying out of pocket), however, jet card holders are given Diamond Medallion Status, granting them a slew of benefits when flying commercial.

To reach the minimum number of points to transfer, you’d need the following:

  • 2.5 million Delta SkyMiles
  • 2.5 million Membership Rewards (1:1 transfer to Delta SkyMiles
  • 2 million SPG Starpoint (5,000 bonus points for every 20,000 points transferred)

It will still cost you a pretty (points) penny to redeem, but for those who have the miles, it’s definitely a unique experience. United and American do not have a comparable benefit for their frequent flyers (though Star Alliance partner Lufthansa does offer a Private Jet service, but it doesn’t seem that Mile and More members can use points on this). While this new benefit won’t be affecting the average Delta traveler, it’s nice to see an option being added to their program, what with all the ongoing devaluation and disappearance of award charts.

Will you be redeeming your SkyMiles for a jet card on Delta’s private jet service?

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