How to Earn Miles

Earning Miles with Exception Fares

Certain types of tickets purchased through an agent, third party or part of a package, where the airfare price is frequently not shown when purchasing the ticket, are known as exception fares. Exception fares earn miles in a different way.

What is an Exception Fare? 

These unpublished fares come from travel agents, vacation packages or other third parties. You still earn miles with exception fares, just a little differently. Instead of earning based on ticket price, you earn miles based on distance flown and fare class paid.


  • Cruise fares
  • Bulk fares
  • Consolidator fares
  • Vacation packages, including packages with Delta Vacations®
  • Discounted or inclusive tour packages
  • Tickets where the ticket price is not disclosed (this does not necessarily include flights purchased from,,,,, or where the carrier is not disclosed before purchase)

How You Earn Miles on Exception Fares

You earn miles on exception fares based on a percentage of the distance flown* on your flight. The percentage is determined by the fare class of your ticket.

Use the following chart to see how many miles you’ll earn according to the exception fare rules. For example, if you are on a First Class ticket with an “F” fare class and fly a distance of 1,000 miles, you would earn 1,500 “redeemable” miles to your SkyMiles account balance.

Exception Fare Class (Delta 006 Ticketed Only)

Delta One®/First Class/Delta Premium Select - J, C, D, I, Z, F, P, A, G

Full Fare Main Cabin/ Delta Comfort+® - Y, B, M, W, S

Main Cabin and Discounted Main Cabin - H, Q, K, L

Deeply Discounted Main Cabin - U, T, X, V, E






*Miles based on a percentage of distance flown. For purposes of mileage credit, “distance flown” means the calculated distance between origin and destination, as determined by Delta in its sole discretion, regardless of the actual distance traveled on any individual flight.

How You Earn Toward Medallion Status on Exception Fares

To earn toward Medallion Status with exception fares, one-fifth of the miles earned will count as Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs – U.S.-based Members only). For example, if you earn 1,500 “redeemable” miles on an exception fare, you would also earn 300 MQDs on that fare. 

Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) are earned the same way you earn on regular tickets. 

More Miles for Medallion Members on Exception Fares

Additionally, Medallion Members earn even more miles on exception fares, just like on regular tickets. Here’s how it works:

  • Medallion Members earn a bonus percentage on top of the miles initially earned from an exception fare.
  • The bonus percentage amount is based on your Medallion Tier shown in the following chart.
  • For example, if a Diamond Medallion Member flew a distance of 1,000 miles in “F” class and therefore earned 1,500 miles on that exception fare, they would receive an additional 120% Medallion mileage bonus on top of the 1,500 miles earned – an extra 1,800 miles. In this scenario, the Diamond Medallion Member would earn a total of 3,300 miles.


Medallion Status






120% of miles awarded

80% of miles awarded

60% of miles awarded

40% of miles awarded


Certain tickets, including but not limited to bulk, consolidator, cruise, vacation packages (including some Delta Vacations packages), inclusive tour and other tickets where the fare is not disclosed, will earn miles and MQDs based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid as published at the time of travel.