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Please help - How to redeem Delta/AmEx miles to Europe for less

Please help - How to redeem Delta/AmEx miles to Europe for less

Old Aug 30th, 2005, 06:55 AM
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Please help - How to redeem Delta/AmEx miles to Europe for less

From Delta & Flyertalk websites, to obtain a r/t Award Economy Class ticket US/Eur/US is 50,000 miles. When I tried to book 2 tix from SFO/ATH/SFO, Delta wants 100,000 miles each. I have over 175,000 in the acct. to save for upgrade to first class next year. But we decided to use it now before Delta file Chapter 11! Delta has one of the shortest length of flight time and the best schedule that I like, which arrives ATH around 10:15 am. and departs ATH at 12:05 pm. with only one stop at JFK. Most airlines such as United/Luft, or BA/AA will arrive late afternoon and depart very early morning. We do not want to arrive in a new city after dark nor leave the hotel at 3 am.

Our departure date is not flexible. We can only leave SFO on Fri., Nov. 4, 05 to attend our sonís Sun., Nov. 6 Marathon Run in Greece. Our return date can be anywhere from 11/18 Ė11/25. My question is where can I find out how to obtain these 2 tickets with Delta by using only 50,000 each instead of 100,000? I know many will tell me I should book it 9 months ago, but we just decided to go only recently. Our other option is to buy the tickets right out at about $950 each and save our miles for next year. I thought I ask the experts here first before I call Delta and put on hold forever! Thanks in advance.
teatravel is offline  
Old Aug 30th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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You simply cannot be picky about routes and dates when you want to use standard FF award tickets.

Call Skymiles and tell them you want to get there for 50K miles, whichever airline and routing allowable. And the dates that are okay to you. They can book you on Air France, KLM, NW, Continental, Alitalia, Czech among others.
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 09:41 AM
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Ditto everything rkkwan said.

Are you checking availability on delta.com? If so, their website only lists availability for Delta operated and not partner operated flights. If there are no Skysaver seats on the Delta operated flights, it will automatically return Skychoice seats at 100K each.

You can call Delta's partner award desk and see what they can come up with on a combination of other airlines, but you'll need to be more flexible with your routing.

I just checked AF SFO-CDG and KL SFO-AMS and there's no award availability on either nonstop flight on 11/04. There are a lot of other possibilities though if you're willing to make 2 connections or more.

For example, I was able to put together the following itinerary for 2 passengers in economy class traveling on 11/04 -

DL632 SFO-ATL 7:12am-2:37pm OR DL371 10:05am-5:33pm

connecting to KL622 ATL-AMS 6:20pm-9:05am+1

connecting to AF1341 AMS-CDG 10:30am-11:45am

connecting to AF1832 CDG-ATH 1:25pm-5:40pm

This is just an example and I'm sure the partner award desk can come up with other (possibly better) routings. Your return should be less of a problem as you have a range of possible dates.

When redeeming miles, you have to take what you can get. The majority of the time, it's not going to be the most direct or convenient flights. If flight times/routing are critical, then you should purchase your tickets. Good luck!
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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Thank you rkkwan & Patty for the info. That is exactly what I need to find out. I will call Delta and also check with other alternative airlines to see what is available. So far Delta has the most desirable schedule at this point with SFO/JFK/ATH on Fri., 11/4. Leaving SFO with Song 2095 at 7:15 am, arrives JFK 15:38, leaves JFK 17:30 and arrives ATH on Sat. at 10:15 am. We choose to return on 11/24 leaving ATH at 12:05 pm, arrives JFK at 16:00. Leaves JFK (Song)at 18:50 and arrive SFO 22:48. I am sure the 2 hours layover will give us enough time to make the connection, assume there is no delay on both ways. We want to minimize to just one stop each way! It looks like we may have to shell out $$ for this trip and save the miles for upgrade. Thanks again.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 04:09 AM
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As mentioned above, the most desireable times, connections, etc will be very unlikely to have 50,000 availability - and may never have has any - can underatnad why you want non-stop and humane departure times, but Delta wants to sell those seats to someone, not give them away for free.

If all else fails, fly someplace else in Europe and pay for connecting flight rather than entire flight - you may be able to get award ticket at lower mileage amount if you open up search to more of Europe - of course, after you check cost of connecting flight.
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Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:26 AM
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I don't understand your big concern about chapter 11. United has been in chapter 11 for a couple years now.
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