Thank you Delta, I just redeemed a 25,000 mile award!

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by gleff, Mar 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Y'all know I'm a big critic of Delta, I even coined the phrase Skypesos. Though I do like them for their V Australia partnership (best business class availability North America - Australia non-stop) and Air France business class availability can be decent (check out IAD-CDG after June 8 or thereabouts when it goes A380, often 6+ business award seats per flight).

    But I have to give them props, unsold seats do open up last minute.

    I gave a domestic coach ticket to someone so they could attend a funeral. Booked this afternoon, travel is DCA-DTW-DCA roundtrip on Wednesday. Had my choice of most flights both directions. Paid fare was ~ $1140 roundtrip. BWI would have been much cheaper, ~ $450, but he doesn't drive and that would have been real tough for him to do same-day.

    So 25k miles, non-stops, granted just to Detroit and back but it's good to have a stash of miles all over.

    Now, I could have used US/UA for the same trip and there was availability there too. But I admit, I was glad to be able to help and especially using my Delta miles. I'm generous, but I'm not that generous. (ok, I'd have given him UA miles for the ticket too, but I was glad to be using the Delta miles).

    Thanks, Delta! :)
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    Some of us have noticed that additional award seats, especially for close-in travel dates, tend to appear on Saturday morning. I've successfully looked then when I was trying to improve my connecting flights for a bunch of SQ FC award tickets over the last year. In those cases, I was looking for better timed FC low award inventory between MSP and either LAX or JFK. For every trip, I got what I wanted, either at some random time several months in advance or a week or two before the trip. I was amazed that this was ultimately not a problem at all.
     
  3. Exiled in Express
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    Exiled in Express Gold Member

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    I redeemed one today as well for also travel within 10 days. With that restriction Delta has better availability than American and no close in award fees. Such travel rarely suits my travel needs but if I want to keep status I will not be doing more award travel this year.
     
  4. samonyc
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    samonyc Silver Member

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    After searching since January for any of several BE TATL award options and getting progressively more expensive results, this weekend—Saturday afternoon in fact—I finally found some JFK-LHR options for 100,000 miles. Alas, the date was too far out to commit. Famous last words? And the tax on that award is awful.
     
  5. techguru
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    Gary, even pesos have an uptick in valuation in the currency markets..although I have to say almost 1mm redeemed in the last 6 months all at the low level ... so hard for me to complain.

     
  6. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    Try a redemption going the other direction so that you get hit with the IOS in the process, too. The UK's air passenger duty is universally despised, yet the government clings to it. At least they're not increasing it this year.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    What were the fees for LHR in BE?
     
  8. samonyc
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    samonyc Silver Member

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    About $250, I think, but that seems typical for LHR. The tax hasn't been so bad for other destinations, just the redemption rates!
     
  9. The Points Guy
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    Gary- I used 25,000 Skymiles last fall to go JFK-IAH for the FT Awards. Tickets were $800+, so I was happy to snag the low level award and get upgraded 6 days in advance. DL isn't as bad as people make it out to be- you just need to know how to work it (like any other mileage program).
     
  10. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    You're correct. Delta isn't as bad as it's sometimes made out to be. But it isn't just like any other mileage program. It takes more work for less with Delta, most of the time.

    As I say, Delta is decent for Air France business... great for US-Australia... a good program to have points in if you want Tahiti..

    But for someone just ringing up an airline and wanting them to find an award, I'd take United any day over Delta.. :)
     
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  11. tassojunior
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    tassojunior Silver Member

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    My experience has been that out of DCA Delta is about as good as others for domestic 25K rewards.

    Overseas and J or F is another story.
     
  12. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Today they helped someone make it to a funeral. So today was a very good day for Skymiles. And I do thank them for it.
     
  13. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Amen!
    I'm always grateful when any airline can help someone in a pinch. Nice reminder to keep a stash of miles for those emergencies,
     
  14. DeltaExpert
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    You just need to be a DeltaExpert ;)
     
  15. RSSrsvp
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    RSSrsvp Silver Member

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    The fact that DL no longer has those last minute redemption fees for awards is a major plus for emergency situations like gleff had when when making a decision to redeem his miles.
     
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  16. DeltaExpert
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    Delta is one of the leader's in this way by not having last minute redemption fees!
     
  17. MSPeconomist
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    Actually, I liked it better when the close-in award ticket fee waiver was only for elites. It made me feel that we almost had some enhanced inventory for types of award tickets, such as BE, where elites otherwise don't have any additional inventory.
     
  18. RSSrsvp
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    RSSrsvp Silver Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong but on Y award tickets there is a box you check that says the award is for you (a Medallion) which gives you greater availability of award inventory.
     
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  19. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Sure, as an elite I want more benefits than those who aren't elite. But I don't want non-elites not to have benefits. I just want more added to the elite pool when previously elite-only benefits are given to everyone else :)
     
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  20. MSPeconomist
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    True and your elite level does make a big difference, but I don't want Y awards, I want international BE awards and here there's no special inventory for elites.
     
  21. RSSrsvp
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    I totally agree with with you about B/E awards but we are veering OT with this type of discussion. This topic is really about a 25k domestic award that gleff managed to score at the last moment.
     
  22. MSPeconomist
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    I agree as a matter of fairness, but as a DM, I'm more concerned with the award inventory that affects me and here the BE seats don't depend on status.

    However, IIRC there was a time about a decade or so ago when one needed to be elite to do international upgrades with miles on DL; I'm not sure whether it was an explicit rule or just the reality of how their priority system worked then.
     
  23. MSPeconomist
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    You, Gleff, and DeltaExpert mentioned the lack of late ticketing fees for DL award tickets as a nice industry-leading benefit and I pointed out that it's in fact the opposite of a benefit for me compared to the past when the fee waiver was only for elites. Perhaps that comment should have been in a separate thread but it wasn't.

    As always, whenever we discuss aspects of FF programs, it's a matter not only of the size of the pie but also how the pie is divided up; some win and some lose from many changes.
     
  24. NYBanker
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    I don't think this was ever a rule. Anyone could book into Z (business class swu or miles upgrade) if capacity was available. DL had (and may still have - i am not sure) the y/b/m fare restriction on int'l upgrades, even for swu's.
     
  25. GUWonder
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    In recent weeks, something seems to have improved at least slightly in some markets with DL award availability at the traditionally-standard, most-marketed award price level when it comes to coach travel. Rather suddenly I was finding it relatively easier -- even when using general SkyMiles Member level accounts -- to get same-/next-week roundtrip travel from the likes of MSP to the Caribbean (including places like PLS) at 35k miles roundtrip in coach.

    Still not impressed by DL's domestic award availability, but anytime it's possible to use miles at the traditionally-standard, most-marketed award price level with DL, that's a win. I am far more impressed by gleff and his routinely helping out someone at a time when it's really needed.
     
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