Why Now May Be a Good Time to Plan a Trip for 2021

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Why Now May Be a Good Time to Plan a Trip for 2021
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Got miles? If you think that you will be traveling internationally next year, have a look at the new summer 2021 routes just announced by Delta Air Lines.

Now is a good time to use your SkyMiles to book travel for departures through mid-August (award travel can be booked 341 days in advance).

NEWS! Effective immediately (9/22/2020), Delta will no longer charge a $150 redeposit fee to cancel an award ticket on domestic travel (including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). A cancel fee of $150 will still apply to Basic Economy levels. Delta will also allow changes and cancellations on award tickets before departure for all SkyMiles Members, excluding Basic Economy mileage levels. This move eliminates the loss of miles on ticket cancellations made within 72 hours.

Delta Is Adding More Flights for 2021

Subject to approval and the ever-changing travel restrictions, Delta has planned from Atlanta for summer 2021:

  • Amsterdam – Winter, two times daily. Summer, three times daily
  • Paris – Winter, once daily. Summer, two times daily
  • Frankfurt – Winter, four times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • Johannesburg – Winter, three times weekly. Summer, five times weekly
  • London Heathrow – Winter, once daily. Summer, two times daily
  • Lagos – Winter, once daily. Summer, four times weekly
  • Munich – Winter, three times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • Barcelona – Summer, once daily
  • Dublin – Summer, once daily
  • Rome – Summer, once daily
  • Madrid – Summer, once daily
  • Stuttgart – Summer, five times weekly

From New York’s JFK airport for summer 2021:

  • Accra – Winter, once daily. Summer five times weekly
  • Amsterdam -Winter, once daily. Summer, two times daily
  • Barcelona – Winter, five times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • Brussels – Winter, five times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • Paris – Winter, once daily. Summer, two times daily
  • Senegal – Winter, three times weekly. Summer, three times weekly
  • Dublin – Winter, five times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • Rome – Winter, five times weekly. Summer, two times daily
  • Frankfurt – Winter, five times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • London Heathrow – Winter, once daily. Summer, two times daily
  • Madrid – Winter, five times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • Milan – Winter, five times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • Tel Aviv – Winter, two times daily. Summer, two times daily
  • Zurich – Winter, five times weekly. Summer, once daily
  • Athens – Summer, two times weekly
  • Edinburgh – Summer, once daily
  • Reykjavik – Summer, five times weekly
  • Lisbon – Summer, once daily
  • Lagos – Summer, three times weekly
  • Nice – Summer, once daily
  • Venice – Summer, once daily

More summer 2021 routes:

  • Los Angeles – Paris, Summer, once daily
  • Detroit – Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, and London Heathrow
  • Boston – Amsterdam, Paris, London Heathrow, and Dublin
  • Minneapolis – Amsterdam, Paris, and London Heathrow
  • Seattle – Amsterdam and Paris
  • Salt Lake City – Amsterdam and Paris

How to Use Your SkyMiles to Book a Trip

If you book your ticket with Delta SkyMiles and need to cancel (for any reason), the airline will waive the redeposit of miles, taxes and fees paid if you book on or before September 30, 2020 (quite possibly to be extended).

In normal circumstances, Delta waives the $150 redeposit fee only for its Platinum or Medallion status holders. Note: This no-fee redeposit policy also applies to previously booked trips using SkyMiles for travel through December 31, 2020.

How to Book Delta SkyMiles Award Tickets

  1. Select “Book” at delta.com or in the Fly Delta app.
  2. Check the box next to “Shop with Miles” on delta.com or “Show Price in Miles” on the app.
  3. Enter your flight preferences and select “Find Flights.”
  4. Our flexible Award calendar shows the lowest priced options for the dates you select.
  5. Choose your flights and complete your purchase.

Don’t have enough miles for the flight you want? Available on select flights, Delta’s “Miles + Cash” option gives you the flexibility to pay for a flight using a combination of miles and dollars.

How to use Miles + Cash

  1. Select “Book” at delta.com or in the Fly Delta app.
  2. Check the box next to “Shop with Miles” on delta.com or “Show Price in Miles” on the app.
  3. Enter your flight preferences and select “Find Flights.”
  4. Our flexible Award calendar shows the lowest price options for the dates you select.
  5. Choose your flight.
  6. Change the “Show Price In” setting from “miles” to “Miles + Cash.”
  7. Select your flight and complete your purchase.

Learn more about both of these booking options here.

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SkyMiles award levels to Europe are as low as 48,000 during off-peak seasons (this was the miles level when I searched Atlanta to London routes late 2020/early 2021). Using the Cash + Miles, it drops to 33,000 miles with an additional $476.45 for Basic Economy or 38,000 miles plus $576.45 for Comfort Plus seats.

Final Thought

In addition to more flights, Delta has committed to blocking all middle seats and limiting the number of customers per flight through January 6, 2021, along with requiring face masks. Delta says it’s also continuing to sanitize and disinfect the aircraft before each flight.

As more travelers focus on staying closer to home with domestic trips, you have a better than excellent chance to find available international seats using your SkyMiles points. And given the option to book your trip to Europe or Africa by September 30, 2020, without having to pay to redeposit points (if you must cancel) is a win-win.

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