Delta miles can now be redeemed for Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy.

This is the first time miles issued by one of the big three legacy carriers–American, Delta, United–can be redeemed for Premium Economy. Unfortunately, it’s a bad deal you should avoid.

How to Book Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy with Miles

To book Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy with Delta miles, start on the delta.com home page and perform a search for your cities and dates, while selecting “show price in miles.”

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On the results screen, select “Delta Comfort+” for your cabin.screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-5-40-46-pm

Your results should look like this, as Premium Economy is widely available and prices at 55,000 miles (with no fuel surcharges) one way when available.

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If you book, you’ll fly a product that looks a lot like domestic First Class in terms of the seat and the amenities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kEjCa7Ac-8

Why It’s a Bad Deal

Don’t use 55,000 Delta miles to book Premium Economy when Business Class on the same flight costs just 70,000 Delta miles.

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Same Flight: 70,000 Delta Miles in Business Class

Or you can use 57,500 United miles between the United States and Europe.

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US to Europe on United Flights: 57,500 United Miles

I’d rather pay 2,500 to 15,000 miles for a flat bed and all these extras.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17gXnTkTWvU

Why Premium Economy Hasn’t Been Available, But Will Be Soon with AA and United Miles

American airlines haven’t offered Premium Economy until just recently when American Airlines added one to its 787-9 planes. (No, United Economy Plus, American Main Cabin Extra, and Delta Comfort Plus don’t count. Those are just coach seats with a few extra inches of leg room.)

Delta is adding Premium Economy next year.

Since United is a copycat. Its premium economy can’t be far behind.

Since these airlines didn’t offer premium economy, you couldn’t book premium economy on their partners that do have the product. Since they are adding the product, I expect AA miles and United miles to soon be able to book Premium Economy on their own planes and on partner planes.

Booking Premium Economy with Arrival Miles

You have always been able to book Premium Economy on any airline with Arrival miles. That’s because “miles” earned on the Arrival Plus are worth just over a cent each toward any travel expense, including any airfare on any airline.

Right now, New York to London for Spring 2017 is pricing at $1,065 roundtrip in Premium Economy, which would be around 100,000 Arrival miles after 5% rebate.

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The identical Virgin Atlantic flights that are 110,000 Delta miles roundtrip are 110,000 Arrival miles roundtrip too (before 5% rebate.)

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Bottom Line

You can redeem 55,000 SkyMiles each way for Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy. Expect to see a similar deal soon to redeem SkyMiles for Delta Premium Economy and AA miles for AA Premium economy.

These deals aren’t very good compared to Business Class redemptions.

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