I have in comments and in emails been accused of being a “one trick pony” when it comes to the “mighty schedule change rule” in booking award tickets with Delta. Now I would not say this is completely a fair criticism but also I do agree that when you ever find something that works (unlike the award booking part of Delta.com) well with Delta you exploit it for all it is worth. To really take advantage of this you need to be Platinum or Diamond Medallion.
One of the keys to this, and one of the reasons I do mileage runs, as well as Delta AMEX Reserve “mileage runs”, that is spend $60,000 a year on the a card, to get 30,000 MQM’s, is so I can keep my status each year I can. The new MQD requirement goes out the window if we spend $25,000 on a Delta AMEX so no stress there. Remember, both the Delta AMEX and your status will give you access to a greater availability of Delta low level seats. It will also let you tinker as much as you want with award seats up to 72 hrs before flight. I mean you could have a ticket reissued 2 or 3 times a day if you keep finding better flights.
Are there ways to take this to the extreme? You bet and I do. Let me give you some examples. Say you have flights you do not like. I am going to simplify this just so you can see my point of this. What you do want is the direct flight from Paris to Cincinnati!
You would love to take the direct flight but for 325,000 points round trip that is just crazy! Maybe it is due to the fact that there are no seats open on that date. That must be why it is so much:
Oh, well, only one seat sold so far. Hummm… So Delta is clearly gaming us (and they complain that we are gaming them?) since only ONE seat sold; should there not be a few more seats open at 100k low level business? Well ok, it takes two to tango they say right.
Now keep in mind you can have up to 4 legs each way without Delta IT adding more points and making it two tickets. Let’s say you can only find seats from CDG to DTW to CVG at low level. OK, then why not see if you can find a low level seat from CDG – NYC – ATL – DTW – CVG. Try to get the flights as tight as you can book and out as far as you can. Again, if PM+ you can keep calling again and again to find better flights. If you happen to have a change so that the flights don’t work, just pick the direct flight for no extra points or cost that you wanted in the first place.
Clearly you can see the value of attaining Platinum Medallion status with Delta. It does make it a little simpler to get seats and it does give you the tools and options to get what Delta does not want to give you!- René
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