Travelling within Canada is notoriously expensive, since Canadian airports have among the highest fees, and airlines charge exorbitant fuel surcharges.
For example, if I wanted to use Aeroplan points on a round-trip ticket from Montreal to St. John’s, Newfoundland in coach, I’d be paying nearly $190 in taxes and fees! This is hardly the free ticket that I’m expecting.
However, Delta and WestJet recently partnered for the accrual and redemption of miles. This means you can use Delta SkyMiles for award travel with WestJet.
Delta doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on WestJet awards, so you can travel within Canada at low cost!
How to Use Delta Miles on WestJet
You can search for WestJet award space on Delta’s website, although the flexible dates tool works poorly for WestJet flights. You can also use the paid tool ExpertFlyer to search for award space. For complex awards, you’ll need to call Delta to book after finding the award space online.
Note that WestJet does not have a Business Class cabin, so you can only book coach travel using Delta miles.
Delta charges 15,000 miles for a one-way coach award on WestJet for travel from the United States to Canada or domestically within Canada. Since Delta doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on WestJet, your costs will be low. For example, a one-way ticket from Toronto to Vancouver costs 15,000 Delta miles and ~$36.
In contrast, Aeroplan charges 12,500 miles and ~$85 for the same ticket, since they collect fuel surcharges on Air Canada awards.
Is This Worth It?
Domestic long-haul awards on Aeroplan cost 12,500 in coach one-way, and short-haul tickets cost 7,500 miles. In contrast, Delta miles redeemed on WestJet cost 15,000 miles regardless as to the number of connections or distance travelled within North America.
In general, for short-haul travel, you’re better off using Aeroplan points, even though fuel surcharges are excessive. However, for these tickets, make sure to check the revenue fare, since it might make more sense to buy your ticket than waste Aeroplan points on a mediocre redemption.
For a round-trip ticket from Montreal to Toronto in coach, Aeroplan charges 15,000 miles and ~$170 in taxes and fees:
For travel on WestJet using Delta miles, it costs 30,000 miles and ~$74:
However, if you look to the revenue cost of the ticket, you’ll be far better off just paying for your flights:
In almost all cases, I’d suggest that using Delta miles for short-haul travel is a bad deal, since it requires double the miles Aeroplan would charge – the cash equivalent value for those miles is greater than the cost of the additional fuel surcharges.
In this particular case, revenue tickets are the better deal, costing around the same as the fuel surcharges and fees on the Aeroplan ticket!
It may make sense to use Delta miles on WestJet for long-haul domestic awards. Aeroplan charges 25,000 miles and ~$170 in coach for a round-trip ticket from Montreal to Vancouver, while Delta charges 30,000 miles and ~$66 in taxes and fees.
So for 5,000 more miles, you’ll save $104 in taxes and fees. Delta miles are substantially easier to earn than Aeroplan miles, so you can’t assign an equivalent value between an Aeroplan and a Delta point. However, getting around 2 cents per Delta mile is a pretty darn good use of otherwise low-value Delta miles.
You’re able to redeem Delta SkyMiles on WestJet for 15,000 miles for a one-way award in coach from the United States or domestically within Canada. Delta doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on award tickets, unlike Aeroplan. However, Aeroplan charges half the miles for a short-haul award, and 2,500 fewer miles on long-haul travel.
In most cases, you should avoid using Delta miles on WestJet for short-haul awards where low-cost Aeroplan tickets or revenue fares are available. But on long-haul awards, the savings gained by not paying fuel surcharges (vs. what you’d pay on Aeroplan) may be worthwhile.
Have you ever used Delta miles to fly WestJet?