ALWAYS understand Delta.com works AGAINST you not for you! (another post on how to find SAVER level Delta seats)!

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no saver level seats to hawaii sept

Most airlines websites work. If you search for seats at whatever level award you want at whatever class of service, it shows you. You may not “like” having to take extra legs or overnight or whatever, but you clicked the low level or saver button and this is how you get done what you want at the number of miles you want.

how to find saver seats delta to hawaii (4)

Delta.com really does not work this way. Delta.com picks what it finds and it is most times NOT the lowest award level seats that can be found from points A to point B. I have so many posts about this in the Essentials tab E7 and this is yet one more.

delta award chart fall 2014 hawaii

The saver business seats to Hawaii after June 1st this year should cost between 80-90,000 round trip depending on 1st class or full flat seats. Notice the search at the top for business class seats from Grand Rapids to Honolulu Hawaii does not have ONE SINGLE saver business seat all month. Sorry, you will have to pay more miles. Or do you? Is Delta.com working against you? You bet it is. Look at this if I search on the 13th just part way.

how to find saver seats delta to hawaii (5)

My search yielded saver seats 1st class GRR to LAX at 50k that is the round trip (25k each way or 50k round trip).

how to find saver seats delta to hawaii (6)

If I am willing to overnight in LA and then if I search for saver seats from LAX to HNL on the 14th I also find saver seats for 90k that is the round trip cost for full flat business seats (45k each way or 90k round trip).

how to find saver seats delta to hawaii (7)

So go to the advanced search and multi-leg search tool and select it,

how to find saver seats delta to hawaii (8)

and then at that page I plug in the search from GRR to LAX for the 13th and LAX to HNL on the 14th. Then search for those flights I found before at saver level,

how to find saver seats delta to hawaii (1)

thus I grab the the first low level seats I wanted from GRR and then next one is the one from LAX).

how to find saver seats delta to hawaii (2)

Once I plug them in and go to price it out notice that the price does correctly price out at 90,000 points total for the trip as Delta does not allow one way trips but always prices round trip price. But, as long as on the return I can find seats the same way for either 80,000 or 90,000 saver level and also plug those in at the multi search page the total trip will price out 85-90,000 round trip. Much better than the price Delta.com found for me just looking on EITHER the 13th or the 14th from GRR to HNL.

how to find saver seats delta to hawaii (3)

Some things to think about. You must have less than 4 hours between connections or it counts as a stopover domestically and I have now already used that on the outbound with my LAX overnight. If you have another stopover on the way back Delta.com will add 25,000 to the ticket or another ½ of a business class ticket to the trip and then you will price from 110,00 to 115,000 round trip as you have a round trip plus another segment as part of the trip.

What you should take away from this is the simple fact that Skymiles have value. Also that it takes a lot of work to squeeze that value out of our points. Lastly being a PM or DM has huge value so you can keep working an award ticket once you find something that will work for you!

You may be thinking to yourself this is a royal pain and not worth your time. You may say: “I will just pay the higher miles fee at 135,000 miles vs. the 90,000 per ticket as I don’t have the time for all this“. OK I can respect that your are busy but you are talking about spending 45,000 more per ticket worth at least $450 as a Skymile is always worth that much with Pay with Miles. I suggest you please consider using ADAM to do this work for you. His small fee will cost MUCH less that burning this many extra miles – René
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17 comments

  1. I keep reading about how Delta has enhanced our saver reward flight selection process and lounge access. What next, are they going to enhance our flight credit card processing experience like Target?

  2. @AlohaDaveKennedy – I hope and think DL is better at CC security than Target et al. I have promised Delta I would not say ONE THING negative about Delta IT for a YEAR if they were to fix the award calendar btw (I don’t think it is ever going to happen).

  3. Great post, Rene. I certainly don’t mind doing this to get low level award seats. You are very good at explaining how to do it.

    My biggest concern is that DL will devalue the award chart again, or worse yet, get rid of it altogether and go with all “pay with miles.” If they switch to that, it would be a “currency (mileage) devaluation” so drastic, that it would be on par with the devaluation of the currency (i.e. inflation) that Germany went through after WWI.

  4. @Don in ATL – everyone keeps saying that (ie not just you but most bloggers). I don’t see it. Why? Delta is so upsetting elites already that they are starting to bolt for other airlines. I don’t me piddly little flyers, I mean the ones Delta NEEDS to keep. They have HAD IT already. If Delta wants to see their share price fall by 50% or more they should by all means go all rev based earning and spending. It would be a disaster!

  5. I was award searching Sunday AM and was amazed at how perceivably faster award search was and that the map didn’t seem broken. Makes sense lower search volume I’m guessing. Of course it seems to me that it points to a solution they haven’t felt like implementing.

    Question. If the final segment for award search doesn’t have low level seats then this method won’t improve finding saver seats. Example ATL to SCL (Santiago Chile). If ATL to SCL is the only flight to get to SCL and doesn’t have saver available one will not be able to find saver from another departure city. Is that a correct assumption?

    I find that revenue tickets can be had cheaper from SEA or JFK passing through ATL to SCL than flying direct ATL to SCL. Not finding that to be true for award tickets.

  6. @Andrew – if you toss in any mid or standard level or worse you bump up to the higher common denominator for that direction at points A-B but not the return point B-A. Yes, look at other options. Look at connections. Then hope for a schedule change to pick just the route you want for no extra points!

  7. Value? Hmmm. Besides the time you waste on your vacation, you pay another $100 minimum to stay in a dump overnight (room/transport/food) – where’s that cost in your analysis?. That’s at least another 10K miles at that 1cpp you say Skymiles are worth (if you assume your time is worth nothing – heck you’re on vacation, right?).

    Then where can I find that mythical return flight from HNL that won’t require another overnight? Looks like I’d need another night in another crappy hotel while I’m on “vacation”. Just what I need after a week or two of Mai tais – a jolt of reality. Thank you Delta!

    I can see why some are so enthused about Skypesos…

    FWIW, if anyone wants to offer me 1 cpp for my ~400K Skymiles, lets talk!

  8. Good post, will certainly help many members save miles when redeeming SkyMiles awards.

  9. @Paul – I think you are a perfect person to use Adam for booking 😉 BTW I collect hotel points in all programs for just such events. Plus, as already talked about in the comments, when a schedule change happens you can pick any route you want and often avoid the overnight! The key with Delta is to book as far out as you can! BTW, you don’t need to (against the rules too) sell your Skymiles. If you and a Delta AMEX GOLD or PLATINUM or RESERVE you can simply book ANYTHING you want on any flight at 1 cent each. EZ!

  10. Delta.com is pricing this out at 90K. Shouldn’t it be 32,500 ? MSP-SEA(40K)(stopover)SEA-JUN(25k)open-jaw ANC-MSP(25k)
    txs for all the tips.

  11. “Delta.com is pricing this out at 90K. Shouldn’t it be 32,500 ? MSP-SEA(40K)(stopover)SEA-JNU(25k)open-jaw ANC-MSP(25k)”

    Delta MSP to JNU (Juneau)are via SEA so is normal routing. Is the problem that SEA-JNU leg is on Alaska? Award availability is there for each leg, but no award availability on OW MSP-JNU. Worth a call to Delta?

  12. Thank you so much, Rene, for your low level seats post. The comment about it costing 25,000 more miles for a stopover in LA on the way home helped me to understand why my Australia itinerary for next February-March was not pricing out correctly. I couldn’t understand why the low miles itinerary was pricing at 185,000 instead of 160,000 for the saver business award. None of the reps pointed that out to me (I had originally built in a stop in LA to beat some jetlag before returning to the US East coast). So now (rookie that I am) I am the very pleased holder of 2 saver awards: DCA thru ATL and LAX to Melbourne with a 3 day stopover and then on to Perth with an open jaw returning from Sydney to LAX and then catching the non-stop Alaska airlines flight back to DCA. Could not get business on the US domestic segments, but have business on Virgin Australia on the segments from LAX to MEL, MEL to PER, and from SYD to LAX!

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