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Jan 27

Minneapolis in Winter (Coach) Or April In Paris (First)?

Somewhere in Atlanta, there’s a guy in Delta’s revenue management department who’s jumping up and down like it’s Christmas. Except for him, it’s something better: It’s a Super Bowl in a Delta hub.

Going to MSP? Good Luck.*

delta, super bowl

The NFL isn’t the only one to make money from the Super Bowl

A few years ago, Delta switched the way that they price mileage redemptions. Instead of your paying a fixed amount, the cost in miles would move up and down with demand. Well, there’s demand.

If you haven’t bought your airline tickets yet, well, you’ll pay for waiting. Let’s assume that you want to fly out Friday, spend Saturday getting lost in the skyways and then return on Monday. Those miles that you’ve so diligently been hoarding will come in useful for the 977 miles trip from Philadelphia to Minneapolis. Not very useful, though, with coach tickets running 150,000 miles for a non-stop flight to U.S. Bank Stadium. Think you’ll do better by paying out of pocket?

super bowl, delta

A flight to Minneapolis or a few new TVs to watch the game in your warm living room.

Not so much. To be fair, that’s the price for a non-stop flight. If you’re willing to make a 38 minute stop in Detroit (after leaving PHL at 6 am), you can go for the bargain price of $1,659.30 (Don’t forget the $.30.). But if you’re going to pay to sit in the good seats, you might as well take the non-stop. The connecting flight actually costs more.

Or Springtime in Paris?

delta one

Yes, I know I manipulated the dates to make the comparison look absurd. Deal with it. It’s the weekend.

Of course, if you’re not excited to be squeezed into a middle seat between two drunk guys on the way to 11-weather, you could spend a week in Paris. No squeezing there, though. You’ll be lounging in Delta One, drinking champagne and watching the finest movies that Delta’s in-flight entertainment has to offer.

So how many miles will that cost you? Turns out that your April trip to the Champs-Elysees could be even cheaper than the trek to the north. A two-stop flight will run you as little as 180,000 miles (plus taxes of $167.11). A one-stop starts at only a slight premium, 245,000 miles.

Kind of makes that big screen TV look good, doesn’t it?


*While ticket prices from Boston are similar, I did Philly because those fans might be a little more desperate. New England fans know that, even if they don’t go this year, they’ll have a chance again next year. And the year after that. And probably the year after that. We’re not worried.


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