How I Turned 63,000 SkyMiles Into $2,700 in Delta Airlines Vouchers!

delta airlinesOver winter break the Michael W Travels family spent our time off in Austin, Texas.

This year I found it very hard to find any deals over the break so I decided to use my remaining Southwest points to get to Austin. This seemed like a pretty reasonable deal. For the return flight I had to choose between redeeming JetBlue points or Delta SkyMiles.

I decided to go with Delta Airlines for a couple of reasons. The main reason was that I (and probably many of you) don’t really value SkyMiles very much.

Regardless of this, I found the redemption to be a pretty bad deal yet better than spending cash. For 21,000 SkyMiles + $5.60 each, Kim, Lucas and I had our seats home on a direct flight with Delta Airlines. (Theo was free since he still flies as a lap baby.)

We all woke up very early to catch our 8:10am flight from Austin (AUS) to New York (JFK). Our flight was supposed to get us home by 12:50pm.

When I went to check-in at the kiosk a pop-up appeared. The pop-up stated that Delta Airlines needed volunteers. Along with this, it asked at what price you’d agree to a voluntary bump. The prices went up by a hundred for each choice from $200-$500.

I was definitely interested and Kim said she’d consider it. We put in our price at $400.

This wasn’t an agreement and we weren’t giving up our seats just yet. This was just the airline putting out feelers, so to speak.

Around 25 minutes before boarding I went to the gate agent to get a car seat tag. Then a moment later, an announcement was made- the airline was looking for 7 volunteers.

I was close to the podium and immediately headed over (to be first on the line) before I heard the actual offer.

Then another announcement was made. Delta Airlines was offering $900 per person in vouchers for agreeing to fly back to NYC on a later flight. Yes, you read that correctly, $900!

The deal got even sweeter.

  • I was told that we’d get to fly in first class on our flights home. (We’d have to hang around AUS until 12:55pm, arriving in Detroit at 4:50pm. We’d then leave Detroit at 7:55pm, arriving back in NYC at 9:20p.m.)
  • We’d each also receive two meal vouchers to use during our long day of travel.

Sold! I relayed the details to Kim and quickly handed over our three boarding passes.

We then waited for our original flight to board before receiving our $900 vouchers, $2,700 in all, good towards future flights. (The vouchers are good for one year from date of issue so I know we’ll have no problem redeeming them.)

The gate agent had to wait a while for our new tickets to get issued. With the delay, one fear I had did happen. The First Class seats on our flight from Austin to Detroit were no longer available. We did get to fly in Economy Comfort though.

Each food voucher we received was good for $15 so that came to $90 to use over the course of the day. We decided to limit our first meal to a two voucher, $30 budget. I think we added like $5-6 to cover tax/ tip etc…

delta airines
Our final flight of 2017!

When we got to Detroit, New Years Eve dinner was on Delta Airlines! We used our remaining $60 at P.F. Chang’s. I’ve never dined at the chain before but I will say that the meal was quite enjoyable! Our cost came to around $14 to cover tax & tip. Not bad at all!

We then took our seats in 1A, 1C & 1D for our final flight of 2017.

We were all exhausted from a long day of travel but it was well worth it- that’s how the Michael W Travels family rolls. While tweeting about some of our day, my friend Rene of Rene’s Points wrote, #Respect bumping with kids!!! My response was a no brainer: LOL-travel deals have no boundaries! 🙂

What I felt was a crappy redemption of SkyMiles became an amazing deal.

Any day I can turn 63,000 SkyMiles into $2,700 in Delta Airlines vouchers, I’ll do it. I just wont expect this kind of deal to come along again.

Have you ever agreed to a voluntary bump? If so, what kind of offer did you receive from the airline?

5 thoughts on “How I Turned 63,000 SkyMiles Into $2,700 in Delta Airlines Vouchers!

  1. Welcome to Austin! Hope you enjoyed it here! A few years back, I volunteered my seat from IND-AUS 3 times and got a $400 voucher on AA each time for a total of $1200. I was originally leaving on a Sunday morning and kept getting pushed to the next flight. Ended up not leaving until Monday morning. Stayed with a friend and didn’t have to pay for a hotel. Also got 3 meal vouchers for lunch & dinner in the airport.

  2. Yeah we had a similar situation a little over a year ago. Had redeemed 90,000 miles for four open jaw R/T tickets to North Carolina — ended up with $1600 in vouchers in exchange for taking a nonstop flight back to MSP two hours later. We parlayed that into two seats to Mexico, one seat to DC, and four seats to California all nonstop with a total out of pocket cost of about $80. End result was 11 R/T flights for 90,000 miles.

  3. Bob- Thanks! We really enjoyed our time, just wish we had a longer visit. Sounds like you did pretty well on your bumps too! 🙂

    Lance- Awesome! Did you get $1,600 each or in total? The way I’m reading it is that it was in total. Either way, awesome payoff for only having to fly back two hours later!

  4. Congrats Michael on the great deal. It warms my heart to hear of this type of positive outcome while flying with family. While traveling solo on business trips I often pickup business class upgrades when volunteering to take alternative routes/flights. One example was a trip to Taiwan from San Francisco via Tokyo. United offered business class to anyone volunteering to take a slightly later flight via Seoul. Sold! Much prefer the bubbly, meals and lie-flat bed. Happy New Year to all.

  5. Yorkshire Traveler- Thank you! We’re always looking for ways to save on travel so these vouchers will definitely help to fund another trip! Sounds like you really enjoy your biz class flights! 🙂

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