80,000 point round trip Delta business trip to Europe? Plus Skyteam is NOT playing nice!

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I tricked you a tiny bit with the title of the post, but I wanted you to see one more option for you to think about and wanted to get your full attention.

First some updates. There is still a bunch of bad blood between Delta and the rest of Skyteam. I got one of the BEST Chisholm reps EVER on the phone this week and I have talked to a bunch of them and they all are so good. The issue, as you can guess, is the Delta IT stinks even for them (the rep even said that Alitalia is becoming her new best friend for Skymiles to Europe – can you imagine)! I worked on finding one way legs myself to save the rep’s time but again and again got:

“one of your flights just sold out”!

This result is totally FALSE. The truth is KLM is currently sending phantom results to Delta’s computers so the results are what we see. Maybe not really Delta IT’s fault, but at the same time just dumb that Skyteam cannot play nice with all their toys. I think, with the addition of MQD’s and no MQD credit for some Skyteam flights, this is going to go from bad to worse. It is good that Delta is a southern company as watching Delta is more and more like watching NASCAR – it is not if – but when a fender bender is on the way!

Rant over back to my ticket for this fall to visit mom. Back in the day, NWA had the great Cash and Points where you could pay for a ticket one way and use points the other way. So, say a trip to Europe on low level points, you could say pay $500 to fly coach to Europe then 50,000 to fly business back (I love this as sleeping in business is kinda a waste to me, but for Lisa, it is the other way and would rather be awake in EC coach).

With Skymiles, remember you can mix-n-match low, mid & high level awards. You can also book coach one way and business the other if you want. A low level round trip coach ticket to Europe costs 60,000 points. A business trip will cost you 100,000. So, say you want to, like I just booked, fly coach to Europe and business class from Europe, the total price is 30,000 points outbound (1/2 the round trip price in points) and 50,000 points for the return, costing you just 80,000 points total for the trip.

Being a Platinum Medallion with Delta I can change award tickets all I want until 72hrs before flight with no cost and no additional points if in the same low level space. It would cost more points to upgrade to business round trip, but only points. I also, to get the low level seats, will have to overnight in Paris on the way home. But, this is not such a bad problem to have. I have never seen the Eiffel tower at night so we will stay at the Sheraton CDG on 4800 SPG Cash & Points plus $90 and take the train into the city for dinner before our flight home the next day. Not bad at all! – René

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  1. Do you know what Delta’s cancellation policy is for award tickets near the time of booking is (I’m just a silver)? I know you can cancel paid tickets until midnight the next day, but I don’t see anything on their site about canceling award tickets.

  2. @Amanda S – you must cancel more that 72hrs before departure. Inside 72hrs you can not cancel (there are reports of one time exceptions or one time move to another date but ymmv).
    Now what if you book a ticket inside the window. Does it qualify for the 24hr risk free cancel policy?
    Once the T72 rule came out, it was NO! You were done. That seems to have changed according to this FT post:
    So, I would be very careful and if you are going to book inside 72hrs before flight, please plan on using the ticket. – Rene

  3. I am not sure how, but a few months back I booked a flight from Europe to the west coast US in business for only 95,000. I originally booked in coach BRU-JFK-PDX PDX-ATL-BRU for 110,000 miles. I called later to see if any space in Business opened up. I was able to change to business on all sections and to my surprise the rep on the phone reduced my ticket to 95,000 miles. I have never been able reproduce this flight from Europe to the US in business for less than 100,000 since. So, it may not have been 80,000 miles but it was less than 100,000 all in business (and lay flat seats on both TATL flights too!).

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