Rookie Wednesday: NEVER book round trip Delta award tickets departing outside the USA (how to lower the fees to fly awards to the USA).

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

atl to lhr rt biz fees

This may not be the “best” choice of a city pair to display for this little rookie tip (due to the ridiculous taxes from London, England) but it still makes the points and works with many other countries as well. Let me first off HT reader Jack for this reminder.

Notice the above screen shot. It is a simple LEVEL 1 round trip business class award from Atlanta to London. The price, in points, is 125,000 round trip plus a rather high $304.80 in taxes and fees.

Most of the time we, that is Delta Points readers, are looking at tickets FROM the USA to other places on the planet. But a fair number of readers are from outside the USA and have to look at originating their trip outside the states. Take a look at the price of this ticket, again at LEVEL 1 business class award price, if we start in England and do a round trip to Atlanta.

lhr to atl rt biz award fees

OUCH. 551 Pounds and 46 Pence is a bunch more that 304 dollars and 80 cents US. How much more? As of today we are talking a grand total in dollars $783.84. Really? Yep, the same flights that cost you “just” $304.80 to start in Atlanta and fly to London cost you much more than double the other way. So what can you do to make this a little better? Simple, you take advantage of the new Delta one-way award.

lhr to atl oneway biz fees

Notice what happens if we book a one way FROM London to Atlanta. The fees are a grand total of 351.66 or in dollars $538.94. Still not cheap at all but hang with me here.

atl to lhr one way biz fee

And when we look at the one-way return ticket you are just paying a pleasant $5.60 for that leg. Thus, all in by booking two one-ways you are spending $544.54 vs.. $783.84 for the EXACT SAME FLIGHTS for a savings of $239.30 per ticket! Not a tiny amount of cash.

As mentioned, you can check this all over the planet and play with round trip vs. two one-way awards and see what benefits you the most.

open jaw example atl to lhr then man to atl fees and miles

Also, while the really beneficial open jaws of last year are gone (that is the shot of tacking on a “free” one-way award after or before your trip) you can still do an open jaw on trips with Delta awards now and save some money.

Notice if you do use the Multi-City search on you can fly into one city and out of another city and it does NOT price as two one-way trips but one round trip with an open jaw, that is, you, in this example, fly to London (destination) and then use the open jaw to fly home from Manchester (or another city if you want).

Bottom line is we have to now work with the tools Delta has given us and being able to save some money with trips starting outside the USA and with the one-way awards we can do just that! – René

PS – Don’t forget about the  60,000 point limited time  Delta AMEX offer!

Gold Delta SkyMiles®
Credit Card from American Express®
Click HERE for more info





  1. Good tip, Rene. I noticed that myself when I searched for a roundtrip in Delta One between FRA and somewhere in the US (I preferred ATL to max out time in front cabin ;-)).
    I found some nice dates with level 1 availability. And I noted that roundtrip came to about 500 Euros per person in taxes and fees. Then I checked for one-way awards on same dates. Yay, just around 300 Euros and the $5.60. Needless to say that I booked two one-way awards.
    A positive side effect: One award booked with my account and the other one with my +1’s account. Thus I could burn miles of our both accounts and we were together in both reservations.

  2. @Ralfinho – Oh yeah! BINGO! Great idea about being able to burn points from two accounts with two ONE-WAY awards. Thanks MUCH for pointing that out. – Rene

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