Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles is No. 2 among the top five U.S. airline frequent flier programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan took the No. 1 spot for its system of earning miles that “makes it easier for travelers to earn miles at a faster pace than with revenue-based earning programs,” according to U.S. News.
Delta SkyMiles is a revenue-based earning program, but it still managed to move up to the No. 2 spot from No. 9 two years ago because of its “competitive redemption rates for award flights and diversity of benefits, such as using miles for hotels stays, cabin upgrades, experiences and free flights,” according to U.S. News.
U.S. News said its methodology takes into account membership benefits such as free amenities, credit card affiliations and redeemable experiences, network coverage and how easy it is to earn and redeem free flights. It also factors in Airline Quality Rating scores, in which Delta ranked No. 2 for 2016 performance.
In a separate survey earlier this year, Delta ranked 10th of 25 airlines around the world for mileage award availability. That survey by IdeaWorksCompany found that 74.3 percent of queries for Delta SkyMiles award flights resulted in round-trip award seats. Southwest Airlines ranked. No. 1 in the survey with 100 percent of queries yielding award seats in the survey.
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2017-18 U.S. News Best Airline Rewards Programs
1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
2. Delta SkyMiles
3. JetBlue TrueBlue
4. Southwest Rapid Rewards
5. United MileagePlus