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Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by traveller99, Mar 5, 2013.
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I read this story. I find that no airline is great for "lowest" awards to anywhere. I will say, DL gives miles away like water, so it comes to this: easier miles, more for an award? or harder to get miles and cheaper awards?
What I find useless - SWU. What a waste. I will use miles to upgrade only internationally.
Whether it be SWU or mileage for the upgrades, you are forced to play the availability game. At this point, the cost of international M is making my future use of SWUs questionable.
DL states they "have 3 levels", which is a true statement. You just can't find one of those tiers.
Timely, as I have removed approximately 43.798% of my hair by pulling it in frustration over the past couple of days trying to find award space for a mid-December flight to EU. Why o why is a triple connection with a 21hr layover even an option, let alone one of the top "Best Matches"??
Because DL SM is best in class No surprise here. Jeff told you himself in 2008. He meant it then, and more so now.
Because it's the "best match" for Delta, even if not for you! It definitely helps to re-sort the results by price in miles.
Why? So you can be depressed at the beginning of the review of "options"?
Because sometimes low redemption options don't show up on the first page of results. I've had quite a few searches with 20-25 total results, 7-8 of which were low points, with only 1 or 2 -- or even once or twice, none -- at low availability on the first page of "best" results.
Agreed, and the first thing I do is re-sort by "miles per passenger". Still, most options, best or not, are abysmal.
And it just makes me so sad when I spend an entire morning searching for two tickets and the best DL can do is a quadruple connection plus an overnight in Rome, and then I do ONE search on united.com for three tickets and I get a simple, beautiful itinerary on the first try.
I'm in ATL, so I have about as many non-stop flight options to Europe as anyone, and it's even frustrating for me. I went on and booked a trip for December because I didn't want to run the risk of seats filling up. And as it was, ATL-MUC was already full for all of December except for the 24th and 25th.
And quite honestly, it's not even the limited availability per se that frustrates me the most. It's that the search engine and calendar are so horribly broken that availability shows up and disappears randomly.
I am currently looking at booking at least one awards ticket for this fall and have run into some of the same issues. One minute I find 60k, the next click, gone, next click it's even more, next click there's that 60k again. I am also having a huge issue with ticking the flexible travel dates box and NOT getting the calendar. Though, I am finding 60k fares for a few cities. Our travel plans are pretty flexible as to what city we will fly in/out from in EU.
I most likely will be booking an awards ticket for my partner then paying for my ticket so I get the MQMs. Someone once told me to book the award ticket in his name first (or put on hold?) then purchase mine in my name. Any pitfalls I need to be mindful of would be greatly appreciate.
It shouldn't be a problem at all to put his award on hold, buy yours, then ticket his.
A reminder that I have to give myself when looking at TATL flights is that the calendar is only ever showing DL metal. So there could be connecting options in AMS or CDG with DL metal US-AMS/CDG and KL/AF intra-Europe. Best solution to that situation is to search for space to AMS and CDG on the days you are considering. Space within Europe shouldn't be too hard from there, but you might end up with a layover of a few hours in AMS and CDG. Theoretically you should be able to pick up any of the TATL flights on KL or AF, but something is going on with that space, and it isn't usually bookable even if you find it showing available. At least business wasn't. Coach/Economy might be bookable.
And of course the biggest hurdle is any domestic space that you need. Are you going to try to fly from Asheville, or are you willing to drive or buy separate tickets to ATL? Clearly if you are willing to buy a ticket to ATL for the award ticket, you wouldn't need to do that for the paid ticket as well. You could do the paid ticket all the way through.
Feel free to PM me if you want a second set of eyes looking at the dates and cities you're considering that are behaving stupidly.
Will likely drive to either CLT or ATL as adding AVL leg usually adds cost.
I don't question people having trouble finding low fare awards. I find them hardest to find domestically. Oddly, to fly in J internationally, I can usually get he lowest level awards, even if the layover is a bit longer than I'd prefer.
Also, it is key to remember, DL wants to burn miles so as to lower liability carried as aware inventory. After all, giving away seats - even as loyalty rewards- does cause DL to lose $ by not selling the seat. That has to be taken into account by rev. mgmnt. You could also make the case - if they can sell a seat for 50K miles instead of 25K miles why should they not? Basically, it is a version of selling a seat for 500 instead of 250. Same principle at work.