When (hour) do award tickets become available?

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by KyRoamer, Sep 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    I want an award ticket for August 1, 2012. It should be available on September 5. When? 12:01 am EDT or later in the day?
     
  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I've never actually tested to see when Delta's schedules actually come online.

    It's now September 5.

    But for the general lesson, check tonight to see what time a day gets added to the schedule. Repeat a couple of times, and report back.

    That said, I'm not sure it really matters. This is one of the most persistent fallacies, that the best time to book awards is the moment that a schedule opens. People stay up until midnight, then they don't get the seat they want and think "drats! Someone already beat me to it!" But that's not quite how this works.

    Airlines want to release those seats as (saver / low) awards that they don't expect to sell for cash. Sure, they may load some award seats when the schedule opens but 11 months out they only have a rough idea of what seats are going to go unsold.

    They may not add a single award seat on a given flight when the schedule opens.

    As time passes, as the date of travel for a given flight approaches, airlines adjust availability. If flight sales exceed expectations, they may withdraw award availabiltiy. When award availability disappears, it does not mean that someone booked the award. The airline may have decided not to offer the seat as an award anymore, thinking now that they might sell that seat. Or they might add more award seats, especially if a flight is selling below expectation or circumstances have changed to make them beieve that they won't sell the seat.

    Different airlines take different approaches, some do add award seats right when the schedule loads. Others may add it a few weeks or a month later. And others wait until the last minute to do so.

    Delta seems to add some as the schedule opens but their best premium cabin international award availability is much closer to departure (this is one of the reasons for the outcry over Delta's new 72 hour rule for changes/cancellations, since it prevents members from converting medium or high availability to low availabiltiy when low space opens at the last minute).
     
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  3. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    At 12:05 AM EDT the Delta agent was able to see and book flights for me. I now have two award business class tickets for mid summer trips to Helsinki and back from Moscow for 100,000 miles each. On the short hour trip / from Atlanta I had to take coach as no seats had been released. I will keep checking.
     
  4. cfischer
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    cfischer Silver Member

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    Saturday mornings when they load schedule changes is a good time to check for award seats.
     
  5. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Good to know because I am going to try on Friday to change trip back to allow a stopover. If I strike out Friday, I will try early on Saturday.
     
  6. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    I
     
  7. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    I always have a problem with my Delta travel --- I make long trips to Europe about 2 months -- if I can find the outbound I can almost never find the return at 100k biz level.
    I find the best I can hope for is 100k level out bound and 200k return most of the time -- I JUST WILL NOT go for the 300k level ---- now if they had true one way I could book one leg at a time -- or if they allowed changes on a r/t to one leg I would spend the $150 change fee when a cheaper leg opened up --any thoughts ?
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Maybe it's an elite thing, but they have always been able to change one leg at a time for me, including adding domestic flights later to an itinerary. I've had success by finding the low segments I want and then calling the DM line.

    Sent from my iPad using milepoint
     
  9. Delta Points
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    Delta Points Silver Member

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    I fly to Sweden 3x times a year r/t always for 100k. Here is the way to play:

    1. Use the leg by leg search to find what you want 100k biz over the pond. Then call to book and spoon feed rep all the legs you want. Let them help if find better but (2)

    2. see how many legs you can add from your home airport with min legal connection times. closer the better.
    3. sit back and wait for schedule change.

    This way you can change for free to the exact flights you want and the 100k rule is out the window. It is now a schedule change rule.

    For example for next summer I have azo-msp-ord-cdg-got. Now there is not way I will fly that. I will get soon what I want that is azo-dtw-ams-got. I just have to wait for a regional jet to change to illegal connection and I am golden.

    Another trick is just book it so close it is almost and illegal connection. Say 30 is legal and you book 31 min in ATL. Then you can call back the next day and say something like "I only have 31 min in ATL, you and I both know there is no way I am going to make that connection. Is there any way under the schedule change rule we can change that to..." and bingo you have what you want!

    Hope this helps. Works for me!
     
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  10. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    thanks for your input , basicly you are saying give them enough rope and they will hang themself with sked changes -----

    what is the rule on how much of a sked change can an airline make that will "not" allow me to claim the sked change rule --tks
     
  11. Delta Points
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    Delta Points Silver Member

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    Yep you got it. You have to know the rules if you want to play the game!

    As to how much, 30 min is the min domestic and 45 for international. Now as I say, like the great new 72 hr rule, much is up to the rep you get. Get a nice rep and they can do anything they want within reason. Keep in mind you can get a change the wrong way and have more time not less. But that is the reason for as many legs as you can get from the start as close to one another as you can. Ups your chance that it will work in your favor.

    Worst case you have a ton of "bumpertunities" as I call it to get bumped on a bunch of legs!

    ;)
     
  12. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    Like MSPeconomist said, you should be able to make such changes. I don't think it's a service they only offer to elites.
     
  13. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    It's an elite thing:D
     
  14. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    it is a elite perk ---
     

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