Most of the time with Delta you search for ONE WAY awards segment by segment to find low level seats . For example. Let’s say you want to go from a city that has no direct flights to Europe like South Bend (SBN). I do check this way first but most of the time it comes up 200k or more. So I will search this way for a whatever class seat I want coach or business from:
Atlanta (ATL) – CDG
Chicago (ORD) – CDG
Miami (MIA) – CDG
Now once you have found any flights that work on the day you want the next step will be to start to search for a flight from your city to, in this example, ATL and you want to search for COACH only on the domestic part except for the last ATL-CDG flight ( this is if you are looking for business seats – you will see later if domestic 1st is available you will get them). Now as I have talked about HERE you may not want to search for a direct flight as they may come up only MID or HIGH level. This next part will make your head hurt but check this out. Chicago (ORD) to ATL would cost 40,000 miles mid level and would “bust” the low level flight from ATL-CDG.
But if I one way search from ORD to LaGuardia (LGA) and then LGA to Trudeau (YUL) and then YUL to ATL all low level here is what I find. Keep in mind you can have up to 8 legs total on a round-trip so I can use all these and it SHOULD price out 100k for this trip and as you can see it does.
Now please don’t tell me that there are DIRECT flights you can find for these routes on the date I picked. This is to be instructional and demonstrate the concept. Also, as I can see your head spin and your eyes get big whey you tell your wife/husband you are going to fly all day long 2000+ miles when there is a direct ORD-ATL. And if you were paying close attention you would see I wanted to fly SBN not ride a bus SBN-ORD before this trip. But once the schedule change happens you have a TON of power. More than likely I will be able to request SBN-ATL-CDG or whatever I want to get there and miles do not matter as I am now under the schedule change rule.
Once you have the outbound trip, you can start to work on the return the same way. When you have it all, call Delta, give them the flights one by one and let them put it into one trip.
I plan to edit this and put it up in the Essentials tab so let me know what you think of this and any clarifications I need to make! – Rene
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.