Booking Delta FF miles 2007

Old May 26th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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Booking Delta FF miles 2007

We are trying to book International tickets using Delta FF miles for 2007. We have found seats for our outbound trip from Cincinnati to Amsterdam using their partner KLM, through Atlanta. In the past Delta has allowed us to hold the outbound portion for 2 weeks, then extend it, since our return is 3 weeks after our departure. We want to return from Vienna to Cincinnati. This year we are being told, that when using a partner airline, they are only doing a 2 day hold. The only way to keep this flight is to withdraw our FF miles within these 2 days, all 50,000 of them and "spend" them. If they can't book a return for us 3 weeks out, it's our responsibility to get home. They won't redeposit the miles into our account if they can't book a return.

This is very different than how they have booked tickets in past years. We have booked FF tickets for the past 7 years, and this is the worst policy we have seen.

Any suggestions?? My only thought now is to ask if we can't book a return, if we can pay the $50 penalty to redeposit the miles into our account. They didn't mention this option to us today.

Thanks for your help and any experience you may have had this year, I'd love to hear about.


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Old May 26th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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So, are you saying that there are no return flights available using FF miles? When I used mine in 2006 (booked in 2005 11 months out) I booked both flights at the same time. Is there a reason you can't do this?
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Old May 26th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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Dayle,
You can't book an award flight more than 331 days in advance. OP is trying to book outbound at the first possible date and add return 3 weeks later at the first possible date.

Images2,
I replied on your other thread on the airline board.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Hi Patty,

Yes, I just saw your reply. The new 2 day hold rule for Delta is Huge news for those of us who in the past could hold our outbound for 2 weeks, and even extend it. This a such an unwelcome change for booking FF tickets.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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I agree it's an unwelcome change especially for those trying to book at the earliest possible date. You basically have to ticket your outbound without knowing what your return choices are.

I don't personally book that far out so it affects me to a lesser degree, but 2 days is still a short period of time to get your other travel arrangements coordinated.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 09:07 PM
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Why aren't you just flying nonstop on Delta from CVG to AMS? When are you going?
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Old May 26th, 2006, 09:44 PM
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It just goes from bad to worse with the airlines, doesn't it? Time for people to start screaming, I guess. Delta has reversed unpopular policy changes in the past when enough people complained. Though that probably wouldn't happen fast enough for your trip.

Not saying it will work for sure, but we have played the "let me speak to your supervisor" game numerous times before and nearly always had success to some extent. Sometimes have had to go up a couple of levels and spend awhile on the phone. You might want to get a good book and settle in on "hold" while you move up the heirarchy and see if you can find someone who will make an exception for you.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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We are doing this trip on award travel, leaving April 21, 2007. Delta won't give us the direct Cincinnati to Amsterdam flight for award travel. We used to be able to book the direct flights, but last year it was impossible, and this year again they are telling us there is no availability. We usually use award tickets for summer travel, this is the first time we're using them for spring travel. April 21-May 13 is our hope. Does it seem unwise to use the miles for this time frame, returning from Vienna?
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Old May 27th, 2006, 08:27 AM
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I wonder if this is a case of FF seats not released yet or if it's tulips in bloom. I booked Orlando-Cincinnati-Amsterdam in Feb. for a Sept. flight. In fact, via Cincinnati was the only Saver option available - all the ones through JFK, which we usually have to use, were Choice.

In '03 we used miles to get to Venice. Planned to go in May but couldn't get flights. Could get plenty of choice in April, though. So when I started working on our '05 flight to Greece at 331 days, I figured we'd have to go in April. But couldn't get April, had to go in May. Go figure. I don't suppose Sept. is such a popular time for Amsterdam since I was able to get something 6+ mo. out. Maybe everyone wants to go to Amsterdam in the spring because of flowers. But I wouldn't think that Vienna would be terribly popular in mid-May, so you might have a good shot at getting back. (I assume you're trying to book open jaw, get from Amsterdam to Vienna on your own.) If they will let you redeposit for $50 if they can't get you home, it might be worth the gamble.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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There is no CVG-AMS nonstop on April 21. This flight is seasonal and probably doesn't resume until May. I couldn't check far enough out to find the exact date but based on recollection I think it starts in May.

I don't think your use of miles is unwise. I think you have a pretty good chance of getting a return flight in mid-May.

I don't think even a supervisor will grant you an exception to the 2 day award hold. I've noticed since the middle of last year that DL has been trying to tighten up award holds. Even then, it was getting harder to get an extra 14 day extension on top of the original 14 day hold whereas previously this request was easily granted. I had an agent go so far as to tell me to expect the hold period to change this year, so I wasn't surprised when I found out about it.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 06:07 PM
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You can pay the $50 fee to redeposit if you can't find a return, but I am not sure what happens to the taxes you paid when you booked.....

I agree this is a mess....
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Old May 27th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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Opps, hit post in error.

I have read on www.flyertalk.com that the 2 day hold is actually being driven by AirFrance/KLM. DL has adopted thier "tough" rules for all partner bookings to provide consistency. I am not sure this is correct, but it would appear that it is driven by something other then DL since I think the DL holds are still longer then 2 days (but maybe not 14 days anymore)
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Old May 28th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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When you redeposit an award, everything is refunded except for the telephone ticketing charge (only applies if you booked by phone but necessary for partner flights). I have had to send a fax request once when the taxes weren't automatically credited back to my card.

Not sure whether this change was driven by AF/KL or not, certainly possible, but award holds on DL operated flights have also been reduced to 2 days. This went into effect last month, 2 months after the partner award hold reduction went into effect.

At the same time, DL announced award fee waivers for their Platinum Medallion members, so the redeposit/reissue fees don't affect their top tier members.

Right now, DL is allowing a one time waiver of the reissue fee for non-Platinum members when you're just adding return flight(s) after ticketing. I don't know what they're doing, if anything, about the redeposit fee if you don't like the return options. I think it would be fair if they allowed a one time waiver of the redeposit fee as well.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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We booked the outbound tickets today. No exceptions allowed. They did find us a better flight from CVG to Atlanta, so that was an improvement. Because they made that change we could have held the tickets for 2 more days, but why bother! The new $10 booking fee per person was also new from last year. You are right, we can't book this flight on line so we had no option than to pay their booking fee. The taxes they charged us so far was only $5. I can't imagine the taxes are that low for the outbound flights. We'll try in mid June to book our return, but after our first opportunity to do this, we fly to Budapest for this years trip. I sure hope we can find a good flight home, otherwise we'll be waiting 3 more weeks to try, since calling from Budapest or Croatia, where we are also going would be quite expensive.

Thanks for your help.
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