How to book 100,000 point low level business class seats to Europe on Delta again!

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I am not a gambler; that is unless I am calling Delta Air Lines. Then, I play the game we all play, that is “call center roulette!” There are so many days that I need to go back and re-read my very first blog post I ever wrote. The reason I say this is that I just booked a low level business class trip from home to Sweden for my wife and I.

During the process I had two different reps tell me it was IMPOSSIBLE to do what I wanted to do. I was told there has been a change in the way KLM assigns award seats to Delta and if I could not use Delta.com to search from point A to point B then there were NO seats, even if I could find them some other way on Delta.com. Rep #1 seemed very knowledgeable and almost threw me off my “game”! But we all know the drill, hang up and call back if you don’t like the answer right?

I was told by rep #2 the same  story,  if I could not find inventory direct all the way from point A to point B on Delta.com then they would not be able to book it. The “old way”, if you found all the Delta parts you want over the water, you could then call and have the reps look for KLM seats intra-Europe and grab the rest for you. I was told this way was “wrecking havoc with KLM inventory” and so this was no longer possible by any Delta reps! This was a NEW policy implemented over 6-weeks ago –  uh oh not good!  Now here is the deal, I could find, searching one way segments, business seats on  delta.dumb  AZO-DTW-EWR at low level and EWR-AMS-GOT at low level but could not put them into one trip on Delta.com.

So in frustration at this possible NEW rule I did not know about, I reached out to  Gary @ View from the Wing. His advice was perfect and so correct. Most Delta phone reps don’t know their jobs and that is why we must call back again and again and play “call center roulette.” He suggested putting segments on hold on Delta.com. I did just that and held them ALL in 3 ONE WAY segments (outbound and return) in individual PNR’s all at low level business seats.

Time for call #3. This rep seemed good. I asked her to please look up all 3 PNR’s and put them into one trip. In about 10 min, and with a call to the help desk, she did just that. She did the impossible! How in the WORLD did she do this I asked? What did she have to ask for from the help desk? The answer was almost too simple to believe; the help desk simply told her “price them as booked“! So thank you Gary for your wonderful bit of advice as I now have two 100k tickets for just points and $87 (billed to my Delta AMEX Reserve card naturally)! And again please take my advice from my first blog post ever, if you don’t like the answer you get call back again and again and again and again!

I will tell you I am not happy to AZO-DTW-EWR-AMS-GOT, but this far out, we are talking spring 2013 here, there will be no less than 5-10 schedule changes to this trip and I have no doubt I will end up flying SBN-DTW-AMS-GOT on the exact flights that right now would have cost me 325,000 Skymiles each!

“Are we learning yet” (me included)? – Rene

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22 comments

  1. Totally agree. It took three tries for me to get a low level ticket IAD-MAD (stopover) -TFN-CDG (stopover)-IAD, but I got it! I didn’t have any luck tweaking it though, so am on Tenerife a day longer than planned.

  2. I don’t have time for this nonsense so next week instead of taking DL 200 to Johannesburg in Business on Delta, I will be on a South African Star Alliance Flight…$12,000 dollars down the tubes Delta…even your Diamond elites are wising up and moving business to programs that actually have award availability

  3. @FC – If you put in an email in your account settings, and or you cell phone or text, they will notify you at all of these. Then you can call them for help! – Rene

  4. “Price them as booked” doesn’t make sense as a response from the help desk. You cannot price itineraries booked in separate PNRs. So the agent probably had to rebook all the segments into one pnr (overbook them if they aren’t available when combining the itineraries). I believe the DL policy is to follow dynamic availability (availability is based on actual departure and arrival cities) but as we all know – policies can be bypassed. Which is why your third call was the charm. BTW -It sounds like the first 2 agents actually did know what they were talking about.

  5. I did just that and held them ALL in 3 ONE WAY segments:
    could u please tell me what 3 one ways u held

  6. Rene,

    What airport is AZO and how far from you? I am curious on “how far out” an airport you will play schedule changing roulette with….

  7. I cannot wait to hear the rest of the story after Delta cancels one of the flights and you re-book your preferred flight! Great read!

  8. @THEsocalledfan – Kalamzoo is just over 1 hr from my home. SBN is about 25 min away. But, I would also think about GRR ( 2 hrs ) or FWA about 1 hr. I have done as far away as IND ( 3 hrs ) and MDW ( 2.5 hrs ) and once even SDF ( 5 hrs )! – Rene 🙂

  9. My wife would hate me if we did a crazy routing on an award, so booking with the hope of the schedule changing and then getting what I really want kind of scares me. I know there are ways to maximize the possibility of getting a sufficient change, but what do you feel is the percent chance this would happen on any given itinerary?

  10. @thrashsoundly – with enough time and legs and as little time as possible between connections, almost always! But you never know 100%. I have only ONE time in years had to fly one way crazy. All the others have worked! – Rene

  11. DL conditions say “Your origin, destination and travel date must remain the same.”

    So how do you achieve a swap of AZO for SBN?

  12. I have seen routing changes including additional legs in order to make it in time, but never change of destination. Good to know!

  13. I’m having the same road block. The KLM one ways are low level but the agent isn’t allowed to pull it from inventory. It doesn’t appear that I can put each segment on hold as I’m booking 5 tickets and I don’t have the miles to reserve each one way separately for 5 people. Suggestions?

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