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Delta Will Let Passengers Do This "Both in the Air and on the Ground," Starting Today

This new initiative is particularly enticing for frequent travelers.

Flying to a new destination is a mixture of stressful and exciting: You've got to consider what to pack, how early to get to the airport, and the fastest way to get through the dreaded security line. Depending on which airline you're flying, there are additional sets of rules—but also certain amenities. Exclusive airport lounges, in-flight entertainment options, or a free checked bag are among convenient perks, but Delta Air Lines is adding something new to the mix to entice passengers. Read on to find out what the airline will let you do "both in the air and on the ground," starting today.

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Frequent-flyer programs have become more important.

delta app on smartphone
rafapress / Shutterstock

If you travel often, you're probably part of a frequent-flyer program with your preferred airline. These allow you to earn miles which you can then put towards the cost of future flights. According to CNBC, these programs have only become more vital for airlines, especially due to the travel freeze during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delta offers its own program, SkyMiles, which boasts approximately 100 million members worldwide, according to CNN Business. The Points Guy estimates that each Delta SkyMile is worth about 1.41 cents, and you earn them when you fly with Delta or its partner airlines. But that's not the only way to accrue SkyMiles. According to CNN, you can also earn miles via credit cards that are Delta-branded or by engaging with one of the airline's many partners, like Airbnb, Lyft, Instacart, and Ticketmaster, among others.

Now, the airline has announced its latest company partnership, and you might visit one of these stores daily.

Delta is giving you more ways to earn miles.

woman on phone drinking starbucks
Farknot Architect / Shutterstock

If you're a coffee addict, you'll be thrilled to learn that your morning jolt of caffeine can help you earn free travel. In a joint press release on Oct. 12, Delta and Starbucks announced a partnership, giving you an additional opportunity to earn SkyMiles and Starbucks Rewards.

"We're continuing to evolve Delta's SkyMiles program to give our customers valuable, premium experiences not just on the days they travel but in their everyday lives as well," Prashant Sharma, vice president of loyalty at Delta, said in the release. "Through this new partnership with Starbucks, we can deliver more moments and interactions that matter, both in the air and on the ground."

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Here's how it works.

Starbucks coffee logo in front of the shop

If you're already enrolled in both Delta SkyMiles and Starbucks Rewards, you're in luck, as you can easily link your accounts online at or and start earning immediately. If you're only a member of one of the two, you can join the other program and then follow the same process to link your accounts. Both loyalty programs are free to join.

With a linked account, you'll earn one mile for every dollar that you spend on "eligible purchases" at Starbucks, which excludes alcoholic beverages, taxes, and gratuities. You can also earn free beverages, as you earn double "Stars"—the term Starbucks uses for its rewards—when you make a purchase on the same day of a scheduled flight with Delta. Typically, you earn one Star for every dollar spent at Starbucks.

There's an incentive to link your accounts sooner rather than later.

Delta airplane airplane interior with person deplaning.

You might not feel like there's a huge rush to link your accounts, but Delta and Starbucks are looking to sweeten the deal. According to the press release, if you do so between Oct. 12 and Dec. 31, you'll be rewarded with an extra 500 SkyMiles and 150 Starbucks Stars (after you make a purchase).

According to Starbucks' website, 150 Stars is enough to earn you a free "handcrafted beverage." When you make it to 200 Stars, you can get a free salad, lunch sandwich, or protein box, and 400 Stars can be redeemed for a packaged coffee item or merchandise up to $20 in value.

You'll need to drink a significant amount of coffee or travel frequently to get a comped flight, as they often require a significant number of miles. Numbers fluctuate, but CNBC reported that a roundtrip ticket from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles and back—leaving Nov. 4 and returning Nov. 14—would cost you 30,500 SkyMiles, citing Delta's website.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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