Newbie Award Booking Questions: JNB - LAS

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by travelinmike33, Jan 30, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    I've only booked one award flight before, and that was a domestic US flight. I'm looking to book an award flight in Business JNB-LAS using Skymiles in April. I have a few days of flexibility in either direction. What are my chances of being able to get low-level availability? I'd love to get the AF A380 JNB-CDG involved in one direction or the other, but that would be gravy.

    Any hints? I have ExpertFlyer alerts for some flights, but I'm not sure when/if I should expect them to come available.

    Should I book a high-level award now and wait to change as lower-level is available? Should I book Economy now and switch to Business as available? Thanks.
     
  2. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    Very low to nil. If you want to go to JNB you have to snag seats well in advance if they are available. My opinion is to find a way to NBO and then look for NBO-JNB on KQ. Also note that what expertflyer shows on European Skyteam partners is not what Delta will let you book, usually Delta allows fewer low level redemptions on those flights.

    As for changing as seats become available, that works but unless you are PM or DM you'll be hit with a $150 change fee every time you make a change.
     
  3. Davescj
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    Davescj Silver Member

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    I would call DL directly. The agents are pretty decent (in my experience) working with you, but they will be literal. If you say JNB, they will not look at a departure NBO. Make sure you ask for a couple routes/options.

    Low availability - as noted - is not likely. If you don't' see it on line, it probably is not there. Remember, you may well end up on AF, KLM, or KQ, which have their own availability decisions. SO, while you can get the flights in J, med to high is much more likey.

    Another alternative - if you can get low availability - fly to LAX and puchase a ticket to Las Vegas (it is is pretty cheap, flight is only an hr so Y no big issue).
     
  4. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    CDG-JNB and v.v. is an easy get. Wide open in April right now per ExpertFlyer (there are a couple of days with no space, but OP indicated a bit of flexibility), and I've yet to see an AF seat show up on EF that DL won't book. (Sort by miles per passenger, as DL.dumb often hides the partner flights.) DL is not blocking, it's AF/KL restricting access. That's why searching on airfrance.us is no longer a useful trick, as they make more space available to FlyingBlue members than to partners (and not just DL). KL seats showing on EF are a bit more problematic, unfortunately.

    The difficult task is always to find TATL space. You're probably not going to find it on AF/KL. Search AZ on EF. I see a few routes with space open in April, and getting between PAR and MIL/ROM shouldn't be a problem with AF and AZ both flying. Do note that if you need to use MXP, you're probably going to have to fly CDG-LIN and then transfer to MXP. Instead of backtracking to Italy, I'd look at LHR. CDG-LHR is easy to come by, and LHR has some of the best TATL DL award space in J. I'm seeing a number of green days on the calendar between LHR and DL hubs (and I checked…there is space). After you find the TATL segment, then find a flight to LAS. Do note that if you're doing JNB-CDG-LHR-hub, you need to be able to get to LAS in one flight, since there's a four-segment-per-direction limit on award tickets.
     
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  5. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    I don't get this doom and gloom. I can find several dates in April where I can get to North America from JNB via CDG in low J. Getting from a DL hub to LAS might be a problem, but as you said, tickets like that can often be had cheaply.

    Calling is actually the worst thing you can do. They'll offer med/high on JNB-ATL and won't try anything creative. You need to do your homework, know where the space is, and feed agents the flights (or book using multi-city on DL.dumb).
     
  6. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    Was just thinking, if it is just one person then you can likely find some availability ex-USA on LAX-CDG on Air Tahiti Nui. I've found finding one seat on them availability is quite decent, 2 or more is where it gets harder.
     
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  7. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    DL can't seem to make up their mind if the TN flights between LAX and CDG are actually available for redemption. LAX-PPT is, but the CDG flights are a crapshoot lately from what I've read.
     
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  8. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    This is more of an Expert Flyer question, but when I searched JNB-CDG, I saw O class listed and if there were none available, it was listed as O0. So far every flight I've searched CDG-North America doesn't list O class (as seen below on AF 66 to LAX). Am I missing something?

    AF Expert Flyer.png
     
  9. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    Use Awards and Upgrades to search for O. On AF, any flight that's O0 will just not be returned. AF TATL space is tough to come by presently. Some months will have a bunch, but those either seem to be far out or close in.
     
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  10. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    I've been checking for a while, and I've gotten myself to JFK on the outbound, but can't seem to find a TA flight on the return. I have an expiring e-cert with Delta, so I'm probably just going to book a paid flight JFK-LAS-XXX (wherever I can depart to get back across the pond).

    My question is that I am finding availability to get back to LHR in econ instead of business. With Delta, would it be smart to book the flights I've found with the one leg in Y and hope that business opens up later? I remember reading something about having to cancel and rebook with DL if you need to make a change to an award itinerary. I'm PM so I don't need to worry about fees, but I'm not sure if I should "save my spot" on the other flights, or if I would lose them anyway if I had to make a change. Thanks!
     
  11. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    A good agent should be able to keep already ticketed space without problem. If they say they can't, HUACA. I've presently got a ticket that has been changed at least twice, but it still has my original NRT-ATL-OMA segments in there. There's been no space on those flights for months, so they've definitely been holding onto my seats.
     
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