With all the recent focus on new programs, hotel bonuses, and bonus miles for non-flight transactions, it's easy to forget the traditional staple of airline loyalty programs: bonus miles for flights.
That's partly because the airlines have been flying full. During December—typically a lackluster month, except for the week around Christmas—American's flights were filled to 80.2 percent of capacity, Delta's to 80.1 percent, Southwest's to 80.4 percent, and US Airways' to 80.8 percent, a record for that carrier.
With traffic that robust, there's no compelling reason to sweeten the deal with extra miles or other incentives. In fact, among the largest airlines, United and US Airways currently show no flight bonuses on their websites.
Still, not all routes are equally popular. And January and February are among the weakest of the weak months.
So Delta's new triple-mile offer doesn't completely defy business logic.
It is surprising, however, that the routes targeted for added marketing focus—triple miles, no less—are to popular warm-weather destinations, including Miami and Orlando.
Between January 6 and February 15, SkyMiles members can earn triple miles for Delta nonstop flights on the following routes:
- Between Atlanta and Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando, or Tampa
- Between Cincinnati and Miami or Orlando
- Between Detroit and Fort Myers, Miami, or Tampa
- Between Hartford and Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
Triple miles for flying from icy Atlanta to balmy Miami? How fast can you pack your sunscreen?!
The only negative here is the narrow promotion window—five weeks isn't much time to plan and execute a trip.
Reader Reality Check
Sun, sand, triple miles?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.