Want to check a bag on your next Delta Air Lines flight? It will cost you $30. Or, if you opt for a new option, it will cost you 3,000 SkyMiles.
While the $30 fee for a checked bag has long been an industry staple, Delta is rolling out the ability to pay for baggage fees with SkyMiles this month.
Delta first tested this offer in late 2019 for flights departing from Columbus, Ohio, and Greensboro, North Carolina; however, this put the program on hiatus for much of the pandemic. Now the airline is ready to expand the trial.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s new free bi-weekly aviation newsletter.
“SkyMiles members with flights departing from most domestic airports can pay standard checked baggage fees with miles instead of cash when checking in on Delta.com, the Fly Delta app and at a kiosk at the airport,” according to the carrier. recently updated website.
This option will soon be available on bookings of up to nine passengers. It is expected to roll out in the coming days and weeks for flights departing from most domestic airports, according to carrier spokesman Drake Castaneda.
Earlier this month, Delta launched this alternative payment method for flights departing from seven key airports, although the airline declined to specify which airports.
That said, if you don’t see the option to pay with SkyMiles during check-in, you’re probably not alone. It will take some time for the carrier to roll out the technology nationwide, and Delta plans to share more information about this option early next month.
The final domestic airports to receive this feature will be hubs, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), due to the complex nature of baggage operations the low.
On departure, SkyMiles can only be used to cover standard checked baggage fees. Travelers cannot use their miles to pay for excess and overweight baggage fees.
Expect to pay 3,000 SkyMiles for the first bag. Compared to the $30 cash cost, it’s probably not worth redeeming your miles for well below the TPG valuation of 1.41 cents per point. It was not immediately clear how much Delta would charge for a second checked bag, which typically costs $40.
Of course, if you only have a few miles in your account with no particular use in mind, it might be a good idea to redeem them for bags.
Delta Medallions members, SkyTeam Elite members and premium cabin customers who are entitled to free checked baggage will continue to receive these benefits without interruption.
Alternatively, if you have a Delta co-branded credit card, you can get your first checked bag and up to eight additional travel companions free.
Of all the American airlines, Delta has perhaps been the most aggressive in blurring the lines between cash and miles. The airline has rolled out the ability to purchase upgrades and many other accessories with miles.
In fact, you can even buy a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne at Sky Club using miles. At 13,000 miles for a $195 bottle, it’s actually one of the best deals around.