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Delta: booking award tix on line vs. telephone with agent

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May 4th, 2013, 08:40 AM
  #1
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Delta: booking award tix on line vs. telephone with agent

I've seen references to these approaches and also reviewed Flyertalk. I think I read a comment here in passing recommending talking with an agent in real time.

I usually work on line, so I got two Business elite tickets one way over SFO - CDG for March 2014 that way. However, they took 200k miles for both. Couldn't find a return on line (now that the 331 days window has opened for return tickets) for anything close to my remaining miles (125k) plus fees, and was thinking I might have to buy economy and upgrade.

However, I called the Skymiles line at Delta and after hangups, scrambling for my (new) password for my account, etc. etc. I got a live agent who was able to get me the returns, in business, VCE-CDG-SFO, for the miles I'd already paid. So SFO-CDG and then VCE-CDG-SFO coming back (what I wanted--open jaw). I paid only $83 in taxes per ticket.

One thing I always do now on telephone business calls is agree to take the survey at the end of the call -- it seems I've always gotten better service when I've done that.

Anyway most of the Delta skymiles threads were older so I thought I would post this to pass along my experience.
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May 4th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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I imagine that Delta has lower mileage "pricing".

My guess is that you jumped the gun and didn't wait for lower pricing.

Here's an award chart.

http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_...-s-canada.html

I honestly don't think that the survey is worth beans in terms of customer service.
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May 4th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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Thanks. It was a two-week wait time, and the on line is still showing the higher fares for the same dates.
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May 4th, 2013, 12:42 PM
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That on-line chart of Delta awards would be more useful if were accompanied by a definition of when low, medium and high periods occur. I've never been able to find a guide to when lower-level awards are available.
My recent points experience was similar to the original poster. Looking for an international itinerary that involved KLM, I spent weeks on-line getting conflicting results or none at all. A telephone agent sorted it out for me, with a fair amount of waiting that he said resulted from checking through KLM. I ended up with a far better ticket than I could find myself. No charge for booking through the agent, either.
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May 4th, 2013, 12:47 PM
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Interesting, Southam.

I did find that high-med-low chart finally -- when I was searching and selected either dates flexible or selected price over date -- it displayed the whole month in which I was searching. I'll see if I can find the link.
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May 4th, 2013, 01:07 PM
  #6
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Southam here's the award calendar -- I got to it from "award calendar" button on the left side of the search results screen.

https://www.delta.com/awards/selectF...#alerts_errors
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May 4th, 2013, 02:14 PM
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There is nothing to say when low/med/high "periods" occur because they are not arranged like that. The three levels vary by flight, time of year (for the specific city pair), time of day of the flight, current and anticipated load for the specific flight. One rule of thumb is that US-Europe flights at low level is all but impossible to find during the summer travel season.

IOW it is completely hit or miss as to when any specific award will be available.

That said, I've had little problem getting BE seats. Probably mostly good luck. But one tip is to be flexible in dates and time of flights. If you must take that Friday flight to Paris chances of a low award seat are slim. But if you look to midweek or shoulder season or even an otherwise inconvenient connection you may prevail.

I got a seat to SYD (return from DRW) in BE for October only 1 day removed from my targets. Had to concede a 12 hour layover in LAX and a coach seat on the return segment from ATL to my home airport. Not a bad negotiation.

OTOH, got two BE seats to SCL for next February on the preferred dates with no concessions at all.
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May 4th, 2013, 02:44 PM
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Thanks, annw, the link you copied comes back as "session expired." How very Delta of it. I'll look at the button you mentioned.
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May 4th, 2013, 04:49 PM
  #9
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Sorry; yes watch the left side margin area for the button.
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