Travel News

You Could Earn More Skymiles From Your Luggage Than Your Flying

Written by Charlie

Delta has today announced a new policy that takes after Alaska Airline’s great policy regarding luggage – 20 minutes for your luggage to make it to the pickup zone or you get miles. Specifically, you will receive 2,500 Skymiles if your bags do not reach the carousel in 20 minutes. Check out below why you may earn more miles from this program than the miles from actually flying!

Delta’s Bags On Time

This is a nice move on Delta’s part and I hope they continue it after what I assume is a trial period (this current promo only runs through March 31). It has been a long time since I have checked any bags when traveling alone but when I used to, it was a regular occurence to find my priority-tagged bags arriving after all the general members’ bags. Not really what Priority was meant to be!


Your bags could earn more Skymiles than you do! / Arina P Habich /

Unlike Alaska, if your bags are delayed past the 20 minute period, you will need to go online to fill out a form regarding your delayed bag. Here is the form to submit that information. The details of the program are as follows (see the link for full terms):

  • Eligible for flights between February 17 – March 31
  • Only valid on paid tickets
  • Only valid on domestic/Puerto Rico trips
  • The destination leg has to be a Delta-operated flight (not Delta Connection)
  • Must be a Skymiles member (general Member is fine)
  • Only one request per incident – so, if they delay 2 bags, you will still just receive 2,500 miles
  • Must submit form within 3 days
  • Does not apply for lost bags

You Could Earn More Miles From Late Luggage Than Flying

With Delta’s new Skymiles program for award miles (based on amount spent instead of miles flown), it is completely possible that you may earn more miles from your bags not arriving within 20 minutes than you did for the flight itself.

For instance, if you paid $350 for a flight from New York to Los Angeles (roundtrip), you will only receive about 1,600 Skymiles (after deducting taxes) as a general member. If your bags do not come out for 20 minutes, you would earn another 2,500 miles – 900 miles more for slightly delayed bags than for actually flying! In other words, your bags could earn you more Skymiles than your time in the airplane seat. Pretty funny if you ask me – or pretty sad, not sure which.

HT: One Mile at a Time

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

1 Comment

  • More like, getting your pizza(s) 30 minutes or less. Over time, Domino and franchise operators faced too many law suits, due to delivery drivers getting into accidents. So in IMHO, Delta should be expecting an increase in workman comp claims by luggage handlers.