Delta Sky Miles Award site help

Old Jan 24th, 2013, 11:40 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,755
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Delta Sky Miles Award site help

I am new to DSM and want to book a trip to Europe in the fall. They claim not to have blackout dates, just Low, Med, and High travel. I can't seem to figure out any way to check which dates/flights are Low, Med, and High on a calendar, only by tediously putting in dates and choosing specific flights. I am flexible within a couple weeks of departure dates. Any suggestions on how to find the award for the least amount of miles? Thanks!
LBloom is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2013, 12:59 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,786
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
Delta's award search function/calendar is known for not working. It used to be you could join Air France's program (you still can) and use their search AF/KLM and other Skyteam airlines (you don't have to earn miles or credit miles to them to be a member). Then you try to recreate the exact low mileage flights on Delta's site by selecting those flights. If you still couldn't get them to show, you could call Delta to book it.

A couple of months ago that changed because AF had some different tiered awards for AF Flying Blue members only. Delta is in the process of aligning their awards with AF/KL. You can read about this alignment process here:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...alignment.html

It won't be finished for a month or two.

For TATL flights, search the connection first to see if there is a low award. Hub to hub (exTW/AMS, ATL/CDG). Once you find low across the pond, you can then search for your connections. It's tedious unless you want to sign up for a paid service like CVS or Expertflyer.

If you are searching business awards, this thread is about it, but some of the info on the first sticky page is old and doesn't work exactly that way. You'll need to read later parts of the thread.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...ss-awards.html
kybourbon is online now  
Old Jan 24th, 2013, 05:03 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,782
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Delta's Internet site has gone through several makeovers without untangling the frequent-flyer awards process. I spent last week trying to sort out an itinerary from the US midwest to Europe. Sometimes it showed me no results; other days the amount of points required bounced up and down. Finally I pulled it together, at a relatively low points level -- only, at check-out, to be informed that the system had a problem and asking me to phone Delta with an itinerary number.
Even the phone conversation took some time. But I was startled to find myself in first class for the return trip, instead of the steerage seat I had bid on.
So maybe the best bet is to phone the SkyMiles number in the first place. It will help if you have picked out the flights you want, with their numbers and alternative choices, to help the phone agent along. There is an extra charge for the call, I believe.
Southam is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2013, 05:30 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,786
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
>>>There is an extra charge for the call, I believe.
kybourbon is online now  
Old Jan 28th, 2013, 05:20 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,755
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
WOW! This is like the stone age compared to USAir web site for mileage award. Thanks for the tips/tricks!
LBloom is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2013, 06:02 AM
  #6  
DRJ
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,004
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Finding "low" Delta fares is easy. Choose departure and return dates and press the "my dates are flexible" key. "Low" fares are green in the calendars. Switch your dates to green squares and press "find flights".
DRJ is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2013, 06:19 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,786
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
If that worked, it would be easy, but Delta's calendar rarely works. There are dozens of threads about the broken calendar on the various ff, points or flying boards.

http://www.askmrcreditcard.com/credi...-still-broken/

http://upgrd.com/matthew/the-delta-o...ly-broken.html

http://creditshout.com/blog/why-is-d...-still-broken/

http://thepointsguy.com/2011/05/delt...nd-low-awards/

***In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported on a survey of frequent flyer award availability and found that Delta ranked the worst among the majors with a mere 13% success rate in finding affordably priced awards. Delta even admitted its problem and promised to change, but observers have not noticed anything yet.
Fortunately, people who enjoy finding ways to travel for free have discovered all sorts of tricks to get around Delta’s faulty (or purposefully crippled) SkyMiles program and get to destinations using the fewest SkyMiles possible.***

http://www.moneycrashers.com/redeem-...miles-rewards/
kybourbon is online now  
Old Jan 28th, 2013, 10:02 AM
  #8  
DRJ
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,004
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My calendar works every time. I booked a 60,000 skymile trip SAV-MXP 24 Sept-9 Oct last week. Just don't look for low mile deals in July.
DRJ is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2013, 09:41 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,853
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm trying to use their website now and it is like water torture. I am going to get rid of my Amex skymiles card over this, it is so difficult to try to use your miles. It wasn't this bad just last year, even, it has gotten a lot worse.

I'll have to read those links but the calendar doesn't even appear when I try to use it. The javascript is void, there is no calendar. And the website does not retain your info in the boxes to try different flights, and then reverts to insisting you want RT when you want multicity if you want to start over. The only solution is to log out and log back in ro get it to allow you to do a multicity.

But as for low, med, high, the miles you need are sort of obvious that they indicate that, I'm not sure what that problem is. YOu just can't tell until you choose flights. And regardless of what they say, there most certainly are flights that are blacked out that FFs cannot book. I know that for a fact as when I search the flights for award travel, some options are never shown but if I just try to buy a ticket, they are shown. Maybe the whole date isn't blacked out, just a lot of the flights on a date, so the dregs are left. Maybe MXP is just a lot easier to book, I don't know, I'm trying BCN and CDG.


I think I did find the calendar when trying several weeks ago but that doesn't really help that much, anyway. Even when I tried the dates they marked low, I couldn't get flights.

Maybe I'll try calling, when I looked to book, after going through the whole process, instead of telling me what the miles were, they gave a notice that one of the flights I picked "had just sold out" and wasn't available. I know this is a lie, I got that notice on many flights on many dates, they shouldn't be showing flights if you can't book them.
Christina is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2013, 08:07 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 36,786
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
>>>when I looked to book, after going through the whole process, instead of telling me what the miles were, they gave a notice that one of the flights I picked "had just sold out" and wasn't available. I know this is a lie,>>I'm trying BCN and CDG.>>I am going to get rid of my Amex skymiles card over this, it is so difficult to try to use your miles.
kybourbon is online now  
Old Feb 14th, 2013, 09:53 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,853
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm using Delta FF miles that you get from using your Amex Skymiles card (you transfer the points over to your Delta FF account, that's all you can do with them). Maybe you don't know it, they have a special Amex card where you accrue skymiles, it isn't the same thing as Amex awards, it is a Delta Amex. I even read those links which advise you can view possible flights by signing up for the Air France FF program. Which I tried, but it won't allow me. SO I call their customer service and they route me to a woman who seems to be working for the Sky Alliance and she says I can't sign up for an AF FF acct because I already have a Delta Skymiles account. I said, why not, they are two different airlines, I don't like Delta nor their website because you can't use it very well to book flights and you can't book Air France flights on it. She said, yes you can, the flights that would show on Delta's FF system are the exact same flights as on Air France. I said, no they are not -- I know this for a fact, I have been on it dozens on timees recently trying all kinds of dates and never once does an Air France flight show as a possibilty She said I was wrong, they do. I know she is wrong, they don't.

And I just went to look based on info DRJ gave and none of it is visible on any screen I see. There is no calendar visible anywhere that you can look at nor does any screen have something you can click that says "my dates are flexible." When you are within the awards section trying to book a ticket, there is nothing to click like that, and even when I just tried to book a regular ticket by money, there is nothing visible like that. But the calendar isn't the biggest problem for me, I just don't like it that you cannot book any Air France flights, and they don't show all the flights available, the ones they show you when you are using award points (even before you choose any flight) are very limited in terms of the real possible flights on that date.

So now I just used the regular Air France flight booking section to find flights I want and I think I'll call up Delta to see if I can ever get them.

I am switching just to a regular Amex card with no fee over this, though, that has travel awards. I figured it out, and it is a better deal. YOu can get one of those with no annual fee and they give you a $100 travel credit for every 7500 dollars you spend on the card, then you can just apply that to any flight ticket you want. Now I'm paying $95 a year and getting options for around 95,000 pts or miles of flights I don't really want (long connections, change when I want nonstop, etc.). So I'm spending $95,000 to get a ticket that is worth around $1200 retail. Those same purchases would have gotten me about 13*$100 of fares paid on the other Amex, or a $1300 ticket but without any of this hassle, and I could pick a better flight and schedule. No, I didn't spend $95K a year on this card, it actually has taken me several years to accrue those points (and I think some were bonuses for various things, but most of it was from actual spending).

So I'm going to dump this Delta Skymiles Amex when my current year is up.
Christina is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2013, 10:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,853
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
okay, I just went to Delta's site again to make sure I had that box checked about what is "most important" (price or schedule). I assume that's what people mean when they say you should search by schedule. I thought I had checked that before, and I think I did. Anyway, I did again and again no Air France flights show up at all in the possibles for either direction even though there are several, I know (as I can buy the ticket).

And I did find that "my dates are flexible" box and the problem is it is not on the multicity tab search, only the RT or one-way tabs. The calendar doesn't work on the multicity search, either. But even when I search one-way, it won't show any Air France flights.
Christina is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2013, 12:39 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,406
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having an Air France Flying Blue membership is no longer useful for finding award space on AF that's bookable through Delta Skymiles. Since the latter part of last year, AF has created a new level of "classic" awards which are only available to their own Flying Blue members. Award availability bookable by partner members is very limited but does exist.

To find space on AF that's bookable through Delta, I use a expertflyer.com which is a subscription service. To me it's easier and faster than delta.com. You can sign up for a 5 day free trial if you just want to use it temporarily. I just did a test booking of AF award space I found on EF and was able to hold it on delta.com without issue.
Patty is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2013, 02:25 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,853
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, well then I won't bother trying to get their FF acct as I don't fly them enough to want to accrue miles that way.

I did finally call Delta Skymiles and talked to a real person who was actually very nice. He explained that none of the flights I wanted on KLM or AF were available to me with Delta skymiles, only Delta flights were. They must have really changed their program in the last year because I was checking flights about a year ago for a similar itinerary and had no problem getting Air France options on Delta. And it wasn't any farther ahead of time.

I guess it is that classic award thing. Because the Delta customer service guy told me while there are some seats available on AF flights, they are very very few and they go far in advance. So now at least I know what I'm dealing with and what the problem is and have to figure out if those Delta flights with the bad connections and layovers are worth using my miles on or should I keep them for something else. I still think I'm going to get rid of this card and just get the basic no-fee Amex travel awards where you get money and I can buy my own tickets. As I said, I did the math, and it works out about the same but is easier.

Thanks Patty for the tip but since the guy told me no AF seat was available on the dates I wanted, I guess that is it. That isn't much of an alliance as far as I'm concerned. What dates did you check to find that AF award on that website, was it real far in advance, like 9 mo to a year? just curious
Christina is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2013, 03:06 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,406
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They must have really changed their program in the last year because I was checking flights about a year ago for a similar itinerary and had no problem getting Air France options on Delta.

Yup and there's a long thread about it on Flyertalk http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1386662

I was checking the LAX-CDG route and starting about mid-Nov to early Dec almost every flight is available, then back down to almost nothing for a few weeks around the holidays and in Jan availability opens back up again.
Patty is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2013, 04:02 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,022
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And when you are all booked, made your flight be sure you double check they credit any miles correctly. I just went through a hassle with them on a flight to egypt where they credited me with 750 miles for a round trip when the miles was closer to 15,000. And on discovering that I also found they had only credited me for 1 way trip to Italy last year when I flew there twice RT with them.
It was a hassle but I got it fixed but I should have checked a week or so om my return and I didn't. Don't make my mistake in thinking they would credit it correctly.
JoanneH is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2013, 04:15 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 617
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This all makes for such depressing reading. I am hoping to book two tickets for 2014 with Delta Skymiles as soon as the dates are made available later this summer.

The amount of research and angst involved in trying to use Delta Skymiles is aggravating. I have done so in the past with success -- and a ton of advance planning -- but for some reason, I feel apprehensive this time around.

I think I know most of the tricks (search by schedule, not by price, find your transatlantic flights first, etc etc) but I'm hating that tricks are involved at all.

Why can't Delta's program be more like United's -- which is simple and straightforward ... and just more generous, I guess.

Sorry. Rant over.
pavot is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Cimbrone
Air Travel
8
Dec 28th, 2010 04:34 PM
debp
Europe
9
Aug 27th, 2010 02:56 PM
Barbara_in_FL
Air Travel
5
Sep 20th, 2009 09:44 AM
Linday
Air Travel
7
Jul 1st, 2005 01:46 PM
sk84fungirl
United States
6
Jun 29th, 2004 06:16 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -