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Frequent flyer tickets advice

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We just procured a frequent flyer ticket(1) to china this coming October. Yippee!!! Unfortunately it is a coach seat, but it's free and one can't complain too much! We only had enough miles for one ticket, so one was purchased. It took us 2 1/2 hrs on the phone with the delta airlines representative, but happily we ended up as very satisfied customers. As in the past four years when we procured tickets to thailand, vietnam, and india, we reviewed the sky mile chart to determine how many points were required for the cheapest ticket. This year as in the past, we were informed that there were no available tickets at the lowest advertised rate. After speaking to two representatives we demanded to speak to a supervisor. This has happened on each occasion when we've attempted to use points for our tickets. Once we spoke with the supervisor and we explained our flexibility in choosing a date within a month's time frame, our tickets miraculously became available on the very dates that were our first choice. I believe that the supervisors have greater flexibility in opening up seats, so...the lesson is
1. Persistence pays
2. Do your homework first and make a spreadsheet of all available flights including partner flights
3. Most importantly...ask to speak to the supervisor when all else fails
And
4. Don't accept the fact that the only seats available require more of your precious miles!

Hope this helps some of you.

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