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Starbucks Wants You to Drink Its Coffee So You Can Earn Delta SkyMiles

A new partnership between Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and coffee giant Starbucks could earn folks extra SkyMiles

A Starbucks sign looks down on two pedestrians.
Starbucks Sign
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for over 12 years.

A partnership between Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and coffee giant Starbucks could earn folks extra SkyMiles (aka frequent flier miles). And for people hoping to reach platinum and diamond status with Delta sooner rather than later, this new rewards partnership might be just enticing enough to embark on more frequent trips to their local Starbucks.

For every one dollar spent on eligible Starbucks drinks, people earn one Delta SkyMile in what a press release calls a partnership between “two of America’s most highly regarded loyalty programs.” But first people need to link their Starbucks Rewards program with Delta SkyMiles on either or On days people are taking a Delta flight, they can earn double the points in the new program.

Starbucks has long been the coffee of choice served on Delta flights, and most airports around the country, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, feature the coffee brand in multiple terminals.

The new loyalty program between Delta and Starbucks comes as the latter continues to face scrutiny over alleged labor violations and accusations of employing union busting tactics. Nationwide unionization by Starbucks employees began last December in Buffalo, New York, when two shops voted to unionize as Starbucks Workers United, the labor union representing the employees.

In response to ongoing unionizing, Starbucks corporate promised to raise wages for employees, which will likely not apply to unionized shops. Union organizers call it a veiled threat by the company to discourage other employees from proceeding with votes to unionize. Employees at a Starbucks in Augusta, Georgia, unionized in April, followed by two Atlanta Starbucks locations on Howell Mill Road and at Ansley Mall in June.

Starbucks also began closing shops around the country this year as part of a “reinvention” plan by the company in cities like Los Angeles, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Starbucks vaguely cited crime, racism, issues stemming from the pandemic, and a “growing mental health crisis” as some of the reasons for these store closures.