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Is it safe to book a Mediterranean cruise now for May 2005 and hope I can get flights on my FF miles by then?

Is it safe to book a Mediterranean cruise now for May 2005 and hope I can get flights on my FF miles by then?

Apr 20th, 2004, 08:37 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 172
Is it safe to book a Mediterranean cruise now for May 2005 and hope I can get flights on my FF miles by then?

I have enough miles with Delta to get free flights for this trip for May 2005. One of my incentives for doing this trip is the free flight. Should I go ahead and book the trip and then hope I can get the flight with my miles. I mean I have an entire year....
drummer0002 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 08:57 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Do you have the miles now? Or will you have it by June of THIS YEAR? If yes, why not just wait until about 330/331 days prior to departure and call Skymiles to see if you can get the seats first?

If not, then don't count on getting FF seats on a flight to Europe.

Is there any reason why you have to book your cruise this much in advance?
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 09:06 AM
  #3  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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yes, I have the miles now.
I want to book it early because I am getting a great deal on it.
what is the deal with 330/331 days before departure? is there a trick to this?
sorry I am new to this, I have never cashed in my miles before.
drummer0002 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 09:29 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Most airlines open up their reservation system 330 or 331 days prior to departure, so that's the earliest you can book.

The thing is that most airlines allow very few seats (or even no seats - read the thread about American Airlines in the Europe board today) on flights to popular destinations like Europe, Hawaii or the Caribbean for the minimal FF points. Most have much less or no restriction if you want to spend double points.

Therefore, if you absolutely want to cash in your FF miles for tickets to Europe, you should find out exactly what date do those tickets open up from the airline, and call perhaps at 12:01am. Have backup plans like alternative airports ready when you call. If they don't have them for that day, ask about flights for the day before, or call back the next day for flights the next day, etc, etc...

Airlines will open up more flights much closer to departure date if there are seats left, but I don't think that'd work for you since you'll need to book the cruise in advance.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 09:33 AM
  #5  
cfc
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Word to the wise: be prepared to be flexible about dates of departure and return, i.e. be prepared to have to get there a day or two before the cruise departure and wait a day or two after return.

Here's why: the number of seats that Delta (or any other FF airline) permits to be booked with miles is very limited, especially in the late spring and summer. They will not open those seats for award travel until something like 330 or 350 days ahead of time, at which point there will be a big demand for those bookings, and they will go quickly -- people tend to pounce on the phone at midnight, day -330, for some flights. If you are limiting yourself to one pair of dates, you may be out of luck in getting the award seats for those flights. So you may have to travel a day or two or three (or more) before and after your cruise dates, and you still have to pounce on those seats.

Verify with Delta exactly how soon you can book your award flights -- elsewhere on this thread someone explains whether you can somehow reserve your return flight at the same time you get your outbound flight, even if it's sooner than that 330-day cut-off.
cfc is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 09:38 AM
  #6  
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thank you so much for your advise, this helps a lot.
drummer0002 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 02:41 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If there's no award space available on Delta metal, you can try partner airlines like Air France, Alitalia, etc. When calling Delta, choose the partner award desk option. I find the agents at partner awards most knowledgeable. They can piece together an itinerary using segments on multiple airlines.
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