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Delta FF tickets - getting the dates you want

Delta FF tickets - getting the dates you want

May 4th, 2006, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1
I have successfully used my Delta FF miles on several occasions: economy class to Madrid, economy class to Paris, Business Class to Rome and to Hawaii. We currently hold first class seats to Boston for October (going to New Hampshire for "leaf peeping"). When traveling to Europe, we travel in the Fall or Spring-the "shoulder"-because prices are lower, the cities less crowded and Delta has greater availability (same for Hawaii). We travel on Tuesday or Thursday (Monday and Friday are busy days). When going to Europe we always call 331 days in advance at 12:01 Eastern time (even one time when I was recovering from "skin eating" bacteria and my right arm was totally bandaged!). I ALWAYS ask for a supervisor when I get one of the foreign call centers: a supervisor is usually in Atlanta, has authority to grant your wishes and late at night they have passed the worst part of their working day. Be sure that you start at the FF desk, 1-800-323-2323, where they only deal with frequent fliers and do it all day long.

Believe it or not, we have our greatest trouble getting domestic flights rather than overseas. Maybe I just plan sooner for the European flights.
gsrunyan is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 8
I found Delta to be wondrfully easy to work with--in fact, they were fantastic. Each agent I talked to went thru SOME hoops to get me to russia and back. Since I am going into Moscow and out od Kiev that made it more difficult. I HAVE to fly on specific dates and I was able to get business and first class on all but SFO to Atlanta but am waitlisted for that. I was originally on 4 planes coming back--including air france but Delta called 2 weeks ago and asked if I would prefer routing from Kiev to JFK and then on to SFO! Retaining my FC tix. I couldn't say yes fast enuff. And I got a refund for something or other when I went to change my ticket. I have only kudos for the Delta agents.
1sharyn1 is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6
In Feb 2005, I was able to book a flight from Houston to Athens using Delta FF miles, calling only 3 weeks before departure, and I had a choice of partner airlines and flight times! I had printed out the schedules for all of the partner airlines, so when I called, the actual booking went quickly and easily. Athens in February is very off season, but I had the opportunity to visit my daughter while she was studying abroad, and it turned out to be a very nice time to visit. The weather was very pleasant and the historical sites were not crowded.
We also got 4 FF tix on Continental for July when we called in January. We flew into London but had to return from Amsterdam, so we bought cheap tickets from Glasgow to Amsterdam on one of the British carriers.
loves2travel49 is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 192
So sorry that I'm so slow to respond to all the good help. I did call Delta partners, was put on a waiting list, but most imortantly, was booked on a flight from SLC, LA, Paris,and then to Heathrow. Whew!
Although I've had several agents the last few days tell me the ff flights have not opened up yet, this agent said she was pretty sure they were snapped up at midnight on the 2nd, and I called in about 12:02! Anyway, we have seats. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get home. 331 days will be May 17th. Wish me luck and thanks so much for all the help.
Brockbank is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 09:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 66
Patty and others who advise to print potential itineraries from various partner airlines before calling Delta: what online source do you use for this?
Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions.
RSSmith is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,983
For schedules go to www.skyteam.com and don't forget on a multi-airline award, you can also use Alaska Air (non-Skyteam partner).

And read through this very helpful thread on Flyertalk http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showt...ferrerid=18562

It gives a link and instructions on how to use the Northwest Japan site where you can check award availability online for Delta, Continental, Northwest, Alaska, Air France, KLM, and Czech Air (it's missing the ability to check Alitalia). After you enter your departure and destination cities, date, and number of passengers, there's a drop down menu to select the airline you want to check (PerkSaver allows you to check standard award inventory on Northwest and KLM, do not select PerkPass - this is Northwest's double miles/no capacity controls award and you won't have access to these seats). I find that I get better results by checking individual segments, i.e. I start with just the transatlantic city pairs in one direction. Once I find availability, (if necessary) I work backwards to locate space from my home airport to the transatlantic gateway city, then locate the intra-European connection, etc. (intra-Europe availability is generally very good, the hardest part is getting across the Atlantic). Then I repeat the same process for the return.

For the most part, I've found the availability displayed on the Northwest Japan site to be the same as calling Delta partner awards (you'll still need to call Delta to book your ticket, but this site allows you check availability yourself prior to calling and is far superior to delta.com). Only on very rare ocassions have I found a flight showing availability on the Northwest site which isn't available through partner awards or vice versa. If you don't want to mess with all of this, then just call partner awards, but the more advance homework you do, the better your chances of success.

Further down in that same Flyertalk thread is a listing of all Skyteam transatlantic city pairs. Good luck!
Patty is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
Yesterday, we booked 3 Delta FF seats to Europe in June. We've been trying for months to get seats. We're very flexible about the dates, and it finally worked!
padams421 is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,844
Patty, it's one thing to be helpful but you're giving too much away.

Remember, we're competing against each other for the limited numbner of award tix.
scrb is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,983
Patty is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 27
June 2004 trip to London -- booked 331 days prior--had to change dates three times to make it work

June 2006 trip to Greece -- booked Skysaver seats 4 months prior--plenty of dates to choose from

Go figure!
SLKB is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4
We're leaving for the UK and Italy next week and booked the FF seats last July. This will be our third trip in six years for a party of four and we always call 331 days out and generally have good luck. It also helps to have a good agent to work with by phone. I've actually hung up on agents before as you can generally get a sense when they answer the phone if they'll be helpful or not.
edhill is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
I've called less than 60 days out as seats open up all the time.. we've done 3 Business class trips in 4 years doing that!
jody is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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kybourbon is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 550
You can book the internationals online now. Not sure when that happened - booked the one I just got back from on the phone last June - the 331 day just after midnight deal. But I booked Amsterdam for Sept. online and it was much easier. (Though most agents have been cooperative, there have been a few that will just give you the first thing that comes up, with bad connections. Then I've had to call back a day or three later and get someone "fresh" to see if something better was available. On occasion, I've had so much trouble understanding them that I've decided to call back later.)

I always found it better to go online and get a sense of the schedules before I called the first time. If I didn't like the routing, I could suggest another. And I've had to be flexible with dates to get to Europe and Hawaii (and never gone June-Aug.). In the past I've estimated about 4 hrs. total phone time, including holding to get an agent, and up to 4 separate calls. Working out the Amsterdam trip took about 10 min. on the Delta site.

I'm most annoyed with the Saver/Choice deal, however. I've noticed that more and more flights are Choice, which is really just a way to up the mileage ante without being so obvious. When you do your mileage reservations online, you can see the true picture laid out before you - multiple options but only one Saver routing, if that.
polly229 is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 550
I just realized that you probably can't book on partner airlines online. So back to the phone. Rats!

And now I've just read on another thread that now they have a policy of only holding flights for two days on a partner. So much for the 331 day trick. I think if this is true, it's time for people to start yelling. They've reversed unpopular policies before.
polly229 is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,983
The 2 day award hold is for both partner and Delta operated flights now. It went into affect for partner flights in February of this year and for Delta flights in April.

You can still book 331 days out. You just have to ticket your outbound and call back to add your return. They're supposed to waive the reissue fee if you're just adding the return.

Of course the downside is that you have to decide whether to take the outbound without knowing what your return options are. There's also the possibility that you won't be able to find a return, although with the number of partners and flight combinations available across the Atlantic, I think you'd be able to find something, just perhaps not your first (or second or third ) choice.

You're correct that delta.com only supports award bookings for Delta operated flights, at least for now.
Patty is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 06:11 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5
The thing that has helped book two sky saver Europe vacations at peak season was to research their Delta partner airlines and be flexible on possible airports inbound and outbound, because not all agents check the partners, and not all agents check all the partners. If you can brain storm with the agent to check different partners or airpors and be flexible on dates will increase your chances. If you feel your agent is a "dud" just call back it is not worth the time waiting. If you want good connection call a minimum 6 months prior or earlier as noted in other posts.

ephelan is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3
Book as close to 331 days out as possible.
Try to collect enough FF Miles to book on Business Class (less competition for seats). Made reservations for Frankfurt Germany in Aug/06 for June/07 trip and got
two non-stop Business Class tickets for
a total of 180,000 points. We use the Delta AMEX card for virtually everything
(gas, food, r/x drugs, cell phone, insurance, some utilities, etc.)
jbcrwentz is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 380
I booked Delta FF for this summer, flying July 10 and returning July 31. I spent about 2 to 2-1/2 hours on the phone with the travel partners desk and they were able to get me and my daughter there and back on 50,000 miles per ticket (tickets were booked the last weekend in February). I was flexible on my dates, giving them a range of several days for going and coming, told them where I wanted to arrive and left myself open on where I returned from. I am flying open jaw to Budapest, returning from Amsterdam.

These are my dad's FF miles and they were o.k. with that as well and there was no charge for my using them.

I do have a question. The agent said something about waitlisting me for a direct flight from from AMS to ATL, but she didn't do it for some reason that she didn't share. I am going to Hartford and then ATL and finally to BHM.

Does anyone know if there would be a fee for me to try to be waitlisted for that more direct flight either on that day or the next day...or to get booked on it directly if it is now available? If there isn't a fee, or only a very small one, I might be interested in researching that possibility.

Kellye is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 205
this post was started nearly a year ago - but thought i'd give me input anyway.. i was able to book 5 50K FF awards with Delta on Dec 31st for a trip to Europe this June. The only way we got these was bc a new service from ATL - Prague had just opened the week before - and apparently many weren't aware. So, we're flying into Prague to get to Paris and out of Milan via Prague to get home to ATL. Who cares -- we were able to have the whole family travel on FF miles in June! So, lesson is to listen for new service announcements from airlines!
VeeBee is offline  

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