A reader comment should be a wake-up call for Delta flyers!

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Last week I had a post about my once again 100% perfect track record of finding and booking 100k low level seats to see my Mom in Sweden, one of the main reasons I fly, during peak summer travel season. In the comments a reader, Michael, asked for some advice about booking seats to Paris from Los Angeles.

Now I had just had a “back and forth” with another reader about finding seats and was a bit tired and so I responded back that I “don’t run an award booking service” and suggested he look at PM&M. This was sorta a shameless “plug” for my good friend, who btw does have an excellent & very reasonable award booking service, and as a way to exit the conversation. I got a terse comment back and, feeling duly shamed, I sent a personal note back with some ideas that I hope helped!

But now on to the point of today’s post. Many now-a-days say it is a myth to start looking for seats 331 days out and you are just as likely to find seats at any time as they release award seats sporadically throughout the year. I say that is BUNK with Delta Air Lines Skymiles seats for so many reasons. Here is a laundry list to consider & why I ALWAYS try to book as far out as I can:

1) Low level seats are more plentiful on Skyteam flights since they do release seats 331 or sometimes even LONGER than that (I have found AF as long as 335 out for some reason).

2) The Might Schedule Change rule! The longer you have with more segments, the greater your chance that there will be a change again and again and again that can make it so you can get the perfect or near perfect flights you want.

3) Seat selection. You know, even in business, there are better and worse seats. When the plane is empty, you get to pick anything you want. And always check Seatguru to pick the best ones!

4) Planning. If you can lock in dates, you can work around them. If, like the aforementioned reader, you only have 7 weeks to go, then moving dates around can be hard. But, if you are looking 10 months out, moving a day early or staying a day late is simple!

5) Changes to Skymiles. Oh this is a hot button topic. No one knows what is next. It may be nothing big for 2013 or it may be huge. But, lock in now and you are set no matter what happens next year.

Really I could go on an on about this all day long, but I think you get the idea and I hope you see my point. I know the value of my Skymiles and with some work and effort you can too! – René

PS – @Michael sorry again for being short with you – I’d had a long day! 🙂


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  1. I remember reading your thread about offering to help Michael I paid someone to do the Booking for me.

  2. @Jon – if it happens, we will be hearing about it soon. Or, they way Delta does things sometimes, not until the end of FEB in 2013! Grrrrrr 🙁

  3. Rene, I have learned so much from reading your blog. I will soon be making flight plans for summer 2013 and am counting on the inevitable schedule changes so I can eventually get my preferred routing!Thanks for all you do.

  4. Deltas award calendar seems to be broken for NYC to Bankok, November 19th to December 7th for example. I can find plenty of low level award dates on the calendar, it should be 80,000 round trip but when I click ” find flights”, they are 125,000! 45,000 miles more expensive than the award chart description of low- level pricing. Am I posting this in the wrong place? I apologize if I am. Anybody else notice this or know how to work the award calendar in a reasonable way?

  5. @Skweaky – seach one way to Bankok from NYC and mayke sure you can find each ONE WAY at the low level. Then, you should be able to pick those two dates and it should show right. If not, HOLD both ONE ways and call Delta and have them do it. Rene

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