2015 How to book low level Delta awards & saved award charts! The “old ways” still work just fine!

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rene in delta BE seat 777

One of the best things about being a Diamond is I can book and re-deposit my awards all I want. For those of you who are not Platinum or Diamond you need to look at the mightily schedule change and book out as far as you can to game it to get free changes (I always did this before I made it to PM).

Now on to low level awards. I have updated my Essential Tab and included links to screen shots of the old award charts from Delta and you may want to bookmark that page for future use. Also, please take a look at all the E7 posts in the Essential Tab on how to book low level awards as the info is STILL 100% VALID and TESTED TODAY as you will see!

ord to got in may15 direct

Let me give you an example. If I look at the above seats Delta wants me to take from Chicago (ORD) to Gothenburg Sweden (GOT) in business class the lowest it is finding is 105,000. OUCH! We know it should be 62,500 one way in business low level. Anything over that and I am saying NO!

bos to got may15

Now if I search on DELTA.dumb from Boston (BOS) to GOT I do find low level awards in business class. But I have to get to BOS to get those seats. So…

ord to bos may15

I search for low level awards in business from ORD to BOS. I find them at 25,000 and that is the right price for a low level domestic award in business. Perfect! This will mean 25k+62.5k=62.5K total (i.e. it will all price out as a one way low level business class award)

multileg search error on delta-com

Oh, but wait you say. When you plug that in now in 2015 into the multi-day search you get an error unlike before when it priced out right. Yes, I agree, as you see above. That is when you have to call Delta and be ready to HUCB again and again if you need to until you get a good rep.

My first rep was worthless and could not make it work or did not know how. The next rep was perfect, found the route, saw all low level ORD to BOS (via ATL) and from BOS to GOT. There were some issues with her system, but the rep found a way. End result:

my one way low level award to sweden may

Yep! All done and booked at low level 62,500 each! I guess there still IS value in Skymiles if you know how to find it – nothing new there. So kids, we have the tools, we have the skills, we have tenacity not to let Delta rob us of our Skymiles (even though they now are HIDING the Skymiles charts from us). It us up to us to make it happen. I did – will you? 😉 – René
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32 comments

  1. At the end of the day, removing the award charts my actually HELP the informed miles/point buff, since no one else will be aware of what is possible.

  2. For your ORD-ATL-BOS-AMS-GOT itinerary that you fed to the 2nd agent, did they quoted you a higher price initially and then you pointed out that all segments are in low and they agreed and manually adjusted the price to 62,500?

  3. @M – Yes. The rep had to tell the computer not to price higher but to do them right. Then it worked just fine 🙂

  4. your ams-got leg is “ARPT” not “OPEN”

    maybe you don’t have it yet?

    Or maybe that was the problem?

  5. Well done, Rene! What I’m finding when I call to get a rep to manually force a low level award when all the segments are low level is that more and more of them are telling me that the new rule is that it has to price out low level as a “point to point” ticket when they plug it into their computer, no matter that each component is low level. Thank God there are some older, more experienced reps who remember they can do this and want to please customers. But I think someone is trying to train the reps not to do this, because I keep getting the “point to point” line from many reps, that I’m sure someone is trying to train them that this is now the rule.

  6. I would be tempted to pay with miles as that way it would at least me some miles, both redeemable and for status re-qualification.

  7. @Rene: I booked a flight in economy using miles for a domestic business trip to MKE. It said I’d get miles when I booked. I also have confirmed first-class upgrades for each segment. I guess I’ll find out this week if they actually post mileage or not.

    I also received executive platinum status from A.A.

  8. Sorry Rene, but only in the fantasyland of points and miles bloggers are things are unchanged. When you can no longer construct a multi-leg low level award without speaking to multiple agents is contorting reality to suit a conclusion that is not justified by the facts.

    Even you as a DM get a competent DL agent only 1 in 2 or 4 times. What about the PMs, GMs, etc? Needle in a haystack, more than likely.

    This is actually as big a story as the disappearing award charts. I mean, you can identify a low level award by the fare class showing on DL.com, but even if you find one, it’s harder than ever to book it.

    Sorry, friend. Most of us in the real world can’t play these endless games to utilize our miles. It’s just not worth the effort anymore.

  9. @FNT Diamond – I also have a 1st class PWM ticket up soon and will blog and report. Often (heck most times) info on Delta.dumb is flat out wrong as we know!

  10. @Royce – Agree with you. Also why I today burned 700,000 Skymiles. I have NO trust anymore with Delta. They have shown that as of Friday with the dumping of the award charts. But for those who want to burn, with work, you still can for now! SO BURN BABY BURN! 😉

  11. The sad thing is that hey make you jump,thru all those hoops so you can get what they openly advertise is available when you sign up.
    I smell a class action law suit!
    Your post is excellent!

  12. I agree with jerry that someone will try to put together a class action lawsuit but I seriously doubt it will go anywhere except maybe make money for some lawyers. Since deregulation, the rules have been written entirely in the airlines’ favor. It’s those of us who have been “loyal” from the beginning who are suffering because we played by the rules and enjoyed the “perks” while they were generally in our favor. Too many people collected too many miles and the airlines had to keep reducing the “benefits” lest too many miles were used instead of cash. But there has to be a reason the Amex/delta partnership was renewed for $2,000,000,000 . . .

  13. Had the same “action lawsuit” thinking. While they can change skymiles at a whim legally, they can not knowingly and publicly market products and services with the intent to deceive or false advertisement – Example: Jan-Nov they’re promoting GM, especially benefits gift as a DM. Then Dec they announce major, major changes to GM. That alone is probably worth legal pursuit. The best thing that can happen to delta FF is for American and United to get their act together and start competing with Delta.

  14. So – I just got my new 2015 Platinum card. It says it is valid thru 1/16. My old one was good thru 2/15. Did Delta reduce me by one month going forward? It would not surprise me, but thought maybe you would know, or already knew this.

  15. I am trying to book flights from CVG to AMS thru EWR and back again AMS to DTW to SDF, because it gets me where I want to go and each leg prices out as low level award seats (domestic in coach; international in business). I receive the familiar error message when I try to sew it all together via multi-city search. No surprise, after reading your blog. My frustration is that each of the 4 reps I have called (I am Diamond/ Diamond Line) have priced the itinerary much higher than the low level award SkyMiles. The reason each gave me was the requirement for “point to point” as one of your readers mentioned above. My question to you is: is there any hint or suggestion I can give my rep I can get the low level 62,500 International trip, as published in the award chart that Delta so proudly trumpeted in late 2014? Your rep obviously found a way to circumvent the ‘point to point’ restriction. Is my only recourse HUCA? Should I ask for a supervisor? I earned these miles, I just want to spend them on a family trip wisely and not get ripped off 🙁

  16. @JWD – Yes HUCB is often best but try other times. Try Saturday night or Sunday AM early as you get better reps. Yes ask for a supervisor to over-ride as clearly the low level award should be there. They CAN make it work if they want.

  17. Royce said what I’ve felt like for a long time but been afraid to write. Sometimes I read what you do, Rene, to save some miles and I exit out of the blog. But then I always come back to the blog like a bee to honey.

  18. If I’m looking at a domestic ticket, and I am going ORF-DTW-ALB on 7/31, I can find a 12.5k ticket from ORF-DTW and a 12.5k ticket from DTW-ALB. Is there a way to book this at a combined total of 12.5K? The return is also 12.5 per leg. My hope was to book a 25k ticket, but it is pricing out much higher on delta.com. If I call the CSR and ask for the specific flights, won’t the mileage amounts ADD together vs only take the max? This is the part that confuses me most. On your international example adding a domestic leg didn’t increase the miles needed. But is that true for domestic? Thanks!

  19. @Liam – If less than a 4 hour connection domestic it should price 12.5. HUCB until you get someone who will do it correctly.

  20. Thanks – I’ll give that a try! Any special wording to use with the rep? Obviously to me it is hard to argue 12.5+12.5=12.5.

  21. @Liam – Just mention Delta.com is giving you troubles and can they please help as this should price out right – right?

  22. Before I call, I want to make sure I understand correctly. I’m looking at the following:
    7/31 ORF-LGA-BTV
    8/3 ALB-ATL-ORF

    On the 7/31 flight each leg shows a 7,500 mile option
    on the 8/3 each leg shows a 12,500 option.

    Even if I booked these as 2 tickets, my total should only be 20,000?

    Just making sure – a call to DL is next! Thanks for teaching me the ways!!!

  23. @rene, thats my plan, just confirming that I should be able to do that, a 2-leg one-way at 7,500 total and then a 2-leg one-way home for 12,500.

  24. @Liam – If both outbound legs are both showing 7500 they should total 7500 and same for return.

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