Award Booking

banner add for delta amex gold card

Welcome to the Q&A Page for Award Booking !

Please check to see if your question has already been asked by another reader and answered below before submitting.

Please ensure that your question relates to Award Booking and if not, return to the main page HERE.


  1. Hi Rene,
    I read through a ton of your blog about this, but couldn’t quite find the exact answer of what I am trying to sort out. It’s a bit confusing so bear with me.

    I am working on a return flight from Sydney for November and ultimately need to end up in Lexington, KY (LEX). The flight deal we got is roundtrip EWR>SYD, so I plan to fly up to EWR the morning of departure. No problem. On the return (November 26th), I was hoping to hop off my itinerary in either LAX or DTW and get on a one way to LEX. While looking into this I opened a whole can of worms for myself.

    I looked up award flights and immediately thought it was absolutely insane that the one way from DTW>LEX is already at 20K miles for every flight listed that day. After tweeting at delta and asking them to explain to me how every flight happens to be at the “20K demand level” already. All they could tell me was the planes are small planes and it’s high season so those lower award fares are already gone.

    Fast forward an hour and I had searched through every flight from DTW to Akron through NYC for that same day (by the time I got to NYC I was too frustrated to keep looking). With every city that I searched, except TWO, the flights were all at 20K or above.

    One of the flights (DTW>MQT) was showing two flights. One for 12,500 (N) and one for 32,500 (NK).

    My question is, is it possible that ALL of those low tier reservations have already been booked up or is this another delta game where they are not actually posting the lowest award fares, but instead starting the fares out in the (ND) category as opposed to the (N) category (which I also realized the app is still showing the different categories despite them being removed from the website)? I just really find it hard to believe that there could be so much, er, consistency among all these different destinations and load sizes. Call me crazy, but it just doesn’t add up to me.

    Keep in mind this is also the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so I can only imagine what they’ve done with the fares for Wednesday and Sunday if this is really playing out the way it seems.

    I may be completely misunderstanding how it all works, but it sounds like to me the lowest tier (N) should always be available until sold out, then followed by (NL) until it is sold out and so on. Rather it seems these fares are starting at (ND) and increasing from there based on availability.

    Finally, if this is really happening is there anything that can be done to prevent this, or is this just another thing that they will likely be able to get away with? If they truly have the gall to do this then who’s to say they won’t continue to slide these “high demand” flights in here, there and everywhere.

  2. Hi Rene,

    I booked an award flight from SEA to MCO last Sept to fly May 16, 2016. At the time one of the options was to upgrade to Delta Comfort which I had every intention of doing after Jan 1( to take advantage of a CC credit). When I went back in to do this, I could no longer upgrade as Delta Comfort was now a class of service. When I called CS I was told I had no recourse other that to pay a change fee and rebook. IS there any way you can think of that I can rebook to Delta Comfort or even first class without paying the change fee? Thanks for your help.

    • @Louis – It depends on your current status. I know this stinks but a C+ seat is really not an upgrade no matter what Delta says it is. Again, sorry, but you booked a coach seat and that is all that Delta has to provide. Not saying this does not stink but that is the way it is.

      • Rene,

        Thanks for the quick response. The same day I attempted to change my Delta flight I changed a mixed BA/AA flight from TPA to FCO to a multistop flight on all AA. Took about 5 minutes on the phone with a rep and no charge since origination and destination did not change. I currently do not have status with either carrier.

  3. Hi Rene,

    Thanks for the reply. I have searched every flight into CVG/SDF/LEX and nothing is left in the low level category. If there are no low levels into the three airports I need, should I assume those are all “booked up” and I am SOL?

    I will get in touch with Adam to be sure I am not missing something, but just doesn’t seem right.

    Thank you!

  4. Hi Rene!

    I have a one way international biz/first award ticket booked. It looks like they just downgraded my plane from Dtw-cvg to a crj no first. I don’t care THAT much that I would have to rise in coach that final leg but do you think I can call and get a voucher or some miles? My fare class still shows First R.


    • @Max – You can try but I have a feeling they may offer to change you free to another flight that has 1st. It is worth an email and see what they say.

  5. Rene, just an update to above. On my second call I found an agent who talked to her supervisor. The supervisor authorized 5K miles per ticket. I said “no, thanks” and pushed for a 200 voucher per ticket and the agent agreed (not the supervisor). Not too shabby.

  6. So something weird is happening on the delta website. I have a Economy + middle seat and would prefer an Aisle back in “preferred” section and I cant pick it! getting this error:
    “You may only select seats that correspond with your purchased fare.”

    this is happening to a colleague of mine too. Have you seen this?

    Have you seen this?

  7. Rene, have you had luck recently with mixing in low-level international business awards with a domestic segment in coach low-level? A week or so ago, I ran into this: booked a A-B-C low-level business award 62.5K, the A-B being domestic. The layover at B was almost 5 hours, but the shorter connection didn’t have low-level business/first awards, but did shows 7.5K coach saver award – so I wanted to change the flight to the better segment in coach, expecting 62.5K still. Since the multi-search doesn’t work anymore, called the DM line and the agent understood the issue, spent a good 15 min or so working with her supervisor, finally came back saying they couldn’t get it to work. I’ve heard of ‘flights window’, ‘point-to-point’ etc. issues/excuses as to why agents can’t seem to do this anymore, but before HUCA thought I’d check with you… thanks!

    • @skdelta – Yep HUCB and keep at it. Someone will make it work as long as all legs are LEVEL 1.

  8. I can not figure out how to upgrade on transatlantic flights once my guc are used up. I’m a solid diamond with 150k – 200k Mqm per year plus 40k dollars. I have the reserve Amex.

    Can buy guc’s or what. I don’t want to pay real $s for seat fare.

    I did finally figure out the delta desk at CDG to apply upgrades coming home. It was easy but had to know about the process. Thank you for posting one.

    • @Todd – After 1JUNE you can spend a stupid amount of SkyMiles to upgrade from cheap fares but will often be as much as a LEVEL 1 business class award ticket so why bother!

  9. Rene,
    I am a GM. I booked two award tickets from CVG-FLL for mid July 2016.
    At time of booking, return award tickets were 42500 miles each in class N.
    Two days later i checked and the same flights, one same days, in same N class are now available at 27500 miles each. I emailed Delta Best Fare Guarantee but no help because 2 days after booking. I emailed Delta general feedback and so far no help there either. I was overcharged by 30000 miles on two award tickets. Any advice?

    • @CVGFlier – Does not apply to awards. It is up to you to keep checking and find a better price. If there is a schedule change you can change free and get the miles back.

  10. Hey Rene,

    Question about booking award travel 6+ months in advance. I am trying to get my wife and I a business ticket from the states to Phnom Penh in early December, the problem is that the flights we want only have 1 seat left at the 80k miles (one way) due to how far in advance it is. At first I thought it was the connector to ATL that was limited, so I just booked myself a flight and tried to book her a different departure time to find out it was the ATL-ICN flight on KE that only had 1 available. My question is do you know whether/how often Delta would replenish the pool of 80k one way awards on a partner? I am going to wait as long as I can tomorrow before cancelling in hopes they add another slot, but I doubt it. Debating how long I can hold out hoping for 2 seats to open and would love some input. There are a few other routes I could consider that have 2 seats, but they are on China Southern and/or Eastern and are more expensive co-pays by a lot…. Plus, who doesn’t want to be on a a380 biz 😀

    • @Jordan K – It is not up to Delta to release seats for partners but it the partner who does or does not. As you should know Delta does not play well with its partners. The only thing you can do is have a Delta rep try to liaison with the partner reps and see if they can open up space for one more seat for you.

  11. Hey Rene, so I have been using a different approach to try to get my award ticket to Asia, the one you outlined in the travel essential posts, but I’m having some issues. First of all, does piecing together low-level one ways work on partners and airline changes? For example, I found a low-level business jfk-icn (80k, which is weird as the charts you have show 70, 80k isn’t listed). It routes jfk-pvg-icn on MU . I then found a low level one-way from icn to phn (40K) on VN. When I piece them together in multi-city however, it spits out 120k, which means it’s simply adding them up. What do you think the issue is? Can I not change airlines/does it not apply to partner flights? Also, any idea why the lowest award I can find is 80k, would this still be level 1/2? I don’t want to be wasting my time searching the wrong way, any advice on city combos/approach?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • @Jordan K – You have to call. Find each one level 1 then call. HUCB if you need to.

  12. Rene, on my issue earlier above about coach on domestic segment, biz on TATL, didn’t work with a couple of agents online, so will HUCB again when I have the patience. Meanwhile, this is what the DM desk wrote from contact us (parenthetical comments mine): “The Award shopping experience at lets you easily search for the lowest-priced Award Ticket [yeah, right!]. However, our mileage awards are calculated from point of origin to final destination. When looking at the award ticket availability, if you try to select coach on the domestic segment and First/Business class on the connecting international flight, our system will price two separate awards for the one way, which inevitably, will result in a higher mileage requirement.”

    • @skdelta – yeah, ignore. someone will help you not book at additive prices. it may take many calls. best time to call late Saturday or Early Sunday before 8AM ET.

  13. @Rene – thanks, will try again! reminds me of the good ‘ol days of spending 3-4 hours easily on Sat or Sun piecing together multi-segment award itineraries (DL/KL/AF) on the phone 🙂

  14. I wanted to share a situation I had that might be helpful. I went online to book a first class award ticket from Bangkok to NYC. I did the calendar view and in that view it showed one way tickets for 70,000 miles. However when I clicked on the date the lowest mileage it was giving me was 125,000. I called the online help desk and after 1 hour on the phone a lady honored the 70,000 ticket. I was very happy!

    • @Eugene – Yes they must honor displayed prices even on awards but only on Delta metal

  15. Another interesting quirk/annoyance with additive or other tweaks they’re doing every so often. Had a TATL RT 62.5K each way — outbound was O/O, return O/R — so looks like the domestic low-levels are now O or R (business or first — don’t recall having seen domestic coded as busines, but didn’t matter since pricing was correct)…anyway, wanted to change that to a different day, and verified availability at 62.5K low-level, and expected a 2-min DM desk call. Guess again… agent auto-priced it, said computer says 32.5 extra — what??? He said maybe it’s because the outbound was O/O, now would be R/O. On my insistence, looked and agreed low-level was clearly available and ticketable… but said couldn’t override computer. Said he’d check with the next-level up, was on hold for almost an hour while they worked on the ticket, saying it should be doable…so I listened to music too. Then on the last step just before finalizing, the 2nd level guy tells the first agent, sorry can’t-do. The first agent seems unhappy, so talks to the supervisor about overriding the 2nd guys concerns 🙂 Anyway, finally 1.5 hours total to get the simple change…. good ol’ delta and
    Followup – few days later better day outbound opened up (still R/O), took the agent 2 min to re-issue ticket. As should be….

  16. @rene – I’d read a while back your post on SNAPP….but finally did get to enjoy it, probably like we’re all going to be doing so more and more 🙂 I wonder if the second change I made was because the agent knew how to bypass SNAPP or whether SNAPP agreed to the change since the fare classes R/O matched… “looking forward” to more of this 🙂

  17. Hi, Rene – I’m looking for some advice. I’m trying to book a one-way in biz MSP-MLA for family of 4 next March. I can see an available LL award via DL site, but once I try to book, it errors out. I called and unfortunately, the AMS-FCO (KL metal) and FCO-MAL (Alitalia metal) availability is phantom. What would you do in this case? I have no status. Book MSP-AMS and separately for AMS-MLA? Or, some other strategy that I’m not aware of?

    Thanks in advance.

    • @JP – Screen shots of fake space. Call and have them force level 1 Delta metal. If baulk mention false priceing and DOT complaint.

  18. Thanks Rene, just to clarify – the only segment in DL metal is MSP-AMS (and I can book that if I’d like). AMS-FCO is KLM, and FCO-MLA is Alitalia…

    • @JP – Hard part over water – rest often simple and they can not force partners

  19. Hi Rene,

    I am traveling with a Platnium holder on a free companion cert. As luck would have it he might not be able to the make the trip, but I have to make it. He will just miss the entire trip. Will Delta still let me fly if he doesn’t checkin for the the flight? I would think the first half would be ok, but the second half I am worried they will cancel the entire itinerary.

    • @Mike G – Mention this at the airport when you go to check in. They will likely spit the PNR and you are good to go. You two must not both fly.

  20. Ok, since I am not Platinum I wonder if they will make me pay the $200 change fee since my ticket essentially cost nothing in the first place, other than him burning his companion cert. Seems like a ploy for them to make money if they do charge me.

    • @Mike G – Ah. You are NOT the primary. It still should not be an issue as you are not asking for money back you are just not both flying. I would confirm this with Delta but I doubt it will be an issue. Again, should be no fee to SPLIT the reservation into two then only the other “dies”. You are NOT changing the ticket (yours). The only issue could be if they refuse to split it for you.

  21. Hi Rene,

    One last question, will I also have to pay a $200 change fee? My ticket was free since it is a comp cert, and I am not wanting to pay $200 to change. If Delta does, that would be a racket to make money I would think.

  22. Hi Rene.

    I could not find the answer on one of your posts – or maybe I did not search properly.

    When booking an award ticket with Delta (even though the flight was with one for the Skyteam partners), am I eligible to earn miles on the flights?

    If so how do I go about getting those miles?

    • @Maish – Officially NO you do not earn on awards. However, unofficially if you put in a partner number you may maybe earn some. I only do this when already booked in biz!

  23. Rene, is this true or another SNAPP “feature”? I have a international award ticket A-JFK-B-JFK-A at the 62.5K level each way; there’s a chance soon that I might have to change plans and begin in JFK — I thought in the past, it was easy to pull the domestic A-JFK segment out without issues (+/- minor taxes), but the DM desk claims that the whole ticket will be repriced (miles and taxes) when I decide to pull A-JFK out…

    • @skdelta – Not now with new price jump of biz award to Europe starting at 80k. They will reprice.

  24. Thanks rene — this is for a 62.5K booked for this Dec, so I was surprised they would want to reprice… but welcome to the new Delta 🙂

  25. I am trying to book business class from RDU to Marseille. A month ago Delta would show the flights with their partners(Air France) now this no longer appears. How can I find availability for 70,000 miles using partners from RDU then JFK or DTW?

  26. Thank you for your references. However, I do not see any partners coming up even if I look at one leg(JFK to Cdg). Has Delta stopped showing them completely. Is there another sight I can use to see Air France availability, then call Delta?

  27. Sergio Diamond Reply

    Hi Rene,
    Someone touch lightly on this above but I want you to reach out to Delta as well, or at least get your feedback on this matter.
    Starting sometime end of February all AF/KLM awards are blocked with Delta. Even if you call Delta Diamond desk they can not even see “0” inventory. I have emailed them asking for feedback if this is intentional or an IT problem.

    • @Sergio – Interesting. I will reach out to Delta this week and see what is up. Thanks!

  28. My husband and I recently used miles to go to Asia and back first class round trip. I had read on here and thought also on the Delta website that you earn MQMs even when using miles. We did not earn any. Can you clarify this for me?

    Thank you for all of your posts, they are very helpful.

  29. It was not miles with cash, it was 272,500 miles first class round trip MCO-NRT, AND HKG-MCO

  30. A couple quick questions Rene, can you use a regional upgrade on a miles only ticket? How about a cash plus miles ticket? Last question is on a ticket I use only miles on can I still get a medallion upgrade?

    • @Chad – You can only use one instrument per ticket so must be “cash” ticket for RU use (but you can use bump vouchers as they are same as cash). Yes you can UG on award tickets (if Medallion) and yes on PWM tickets.

  31. Hi René !
    Here’s a quote from one of your older posts:
    “The real neat part about booking awards, as a Platinum or a Diamond, is you get unlimited free changes up to 72 hours before flight. Even if you book for someone else out of your account those tickets can be changed for free too.”

    Could you please confirm that this is still the case – tix can be changed/cancelled anytime before 72 hrs when booked from Platinum/Diamond account – and Delta has not “enhanced” this perk ?

    • @Fabienne – Should still be the cast. It is the account that is booked from that matters even if you book for someone else from your account.

  32. Jeremy Houser Reply


    I need you once again. Do i like delta skymiles for the wrong reason? So I use them strictly for family members (brothers, mom, and dad). Unfortunately, my family members do not have the same financial resources I have but I love seeing them. I can book a round trip ticket for a family member from my home to regional airport (MGM) to my current city (IND) for approximately 25k. If I were to purchase the same ticket, it would cost me $400 to $500. I like obtaining skymilles for this purpose alone since most of my travel is for business (reimbursed) except for a few yearly vacations and mileage runs. Plus, I don’t care if my family gains elite status or not. I booked two round trip tickets from CSG to LAS for 47k skymiles. I think this is a damn good deal! Help me Rene, lol!

    Thanks for everything!!

    • @Jeremy – I would say getting around 2 cents each value for SkyMiles is just great. Buying for family are friends is also great. I would also consider the BOGOF certs that you can use to buy them tickets.

  33. Rene – My wife and I booked two award tickets in DeltaOne ATL:VCE, FCO:ATL about two months ago. They’re now pulling up for 37,500 miles less per ticket. I’m a Platinum and my wife is a Gold and we each booked separately. Is it possible to get the 37,500 miles rebated? Do we need to cancel and re-book? Is there a risk of the seats disappearing during the lag? Rules different for Platinum vs. Gold? Hoping this question and your answer will benefit all of your readers.

    • @DLPTATL – If from your plat account no fee either one. If one from each then 1 fee but ask nice at plat line

  34. @Rene – Thanks for the quick response. Update: The rep on the Plat line refunded the miles for both accounts without the $150 Skymiles re-posting fee for the Gold account. I didn’t have to ask them to waive it, it never even came up. There are still some benefits to status.


    Hi Rene,
    hope this was’nt answered already, but I cant find it.
    Is there a way to sign up for notification of the monthly flash sales for using skymiles?

    • @Jennifer – Yep in My Delta for specials on but I also post it. Just follow blog and subscribe.


    I do subscribe. Lots of useful info, much of which is above my pay grade

  37. Hi Rene: If I book a flight with miles (as a PM) for my daughter (FO), can I ask at a later date to switch and have her miles pay for the flight? That would “lock” the flight in, but would also preserve my miles for flexibility on future trips. Thanks

    • @Aaron – You would have to just buy the ticket at the current price at that time if you changed from an award to a paid ticket but as long as more than 72 hours before flight you could get your miles back and buy new.

  38. I’m frustrated because as a diamond skymiles person, I get global awards and have tried several times to book LAX to SYD using my global award. I’m told by four different reservations folks that they’ve never allowed global certificates for even one seat unless it’s by weight list. There is not exclusion listed on the information about global certificates. Any suggestions?

    • @Lynne – Nope other than wait-list and book on days where few will buy the Delta One seats. You may clear days before. I always do to Europe or even have to Asia a number of times days before flights.

  39. Hi Rene,

    Is there anyway around DLs additive pricing? I can find low level PRG-AMS (25k) and AMS-SLC-PIH (70k) but when you put it all together it’s either 95k or 112.5k depending on how you search.

    Many thanks in advance.

  40. Hi Rene,
    I recently earned my first companion certificate when my Delta Reserve card renewed. I did a test booking and found that the website restricted me to two passengers. I would like to be able to book a trip for myself, wife and daughter and use the companion certificate for one of them. Is there a way to use a companion certificate when traveling with more than one companion?

  41. I thought I would update my post after calling Delta to ask them my companion certificate question (post #77). According to the very friendly Delta rep, I will need to book two separate itineraries. One itinerary for two passengers using the companion certificate. And a second itinerary for the third passenger. Then call Delta and ask them to combine the two itineraries. As long as the flights are the same for all 3 passengers, it won’t be a problem. Hope this helps someone else with the same question in the future.

  42. Rene,
    Really enjoy your blog, … learned a ton about how to maximize my Delta skymiles. I’m trying to get 4 one-way level one coach award tix from OGG-ATL. I’ve found YSV fare code availability for all 4 tix on a OGG-SEA flight, and also on a SEA-ATL flight. Unfortunately, when I price it out using mult-city booking, … it’s coming back as Level 2. I’ve called Delta and HUCA 3 separate times tonight, and even went through online support and a supervisor (who by the way was extremely rude and even hung up on me). Everyone seems to have the attitude, “whatever the website says is correct.” Is there some reason that I should not get Level 1? Any other advice, besides continuing to HUCA? Much thanks in advance!

    • @Bill – Hate to say it can take many calls till you find someone who gets it. Or, try booking only the first leg then inside the 24 hours call back and say I meant to ticket all the way to ATL and can they add that leg it shows the same low miles level sometimes works.

  43. René, do we seem to have another problem ?
    The “flexible date” search on the DL award booking site is gone for certain partner flights.
    i.e. flights to MEL or BNE in Australia served by VA are no longer showing the “Flexible Search” button in “miles” and can only be found in $$$. When trying to change from $$$ to miles one will get an error message.
    Only DL’s own flights to SYD are showing flexible award dates.
    There will probably be more examples.
    Do you think this is another IT glitch or something more in the form of “enhancement” ?

    • @Genise – Believe it or not this happens every now and then ie Virgin Australia space comes and goes. You will just have to check back and see when it returns. Sad, but true!

  44. Hi Rene- enjoy your blog as I’m an FF with delta. While their program isn’t the best I think in terms of what you get operationally and customer service it is top notch. That said I’m really starting to lose faith in their program. I understand their need to transition towards a cost based mileage program, but at what cost? For example I ran a search for flights from JFK-vegas on sept 30 and oct 1. On the nonstops there are flights in first class available for cash purchase – from $650-1500. Now if you search using miles all the nonstops show as sold out in first class using miles. There are definitely seats available for purchase because you can pay for them with cash, but you can’t pay using miles even for the most expensive flights?! I obviously know that paying for flights as a high award level or standard award level is never recommended, but there are times where one may need to do that. So is delta now restricting booking certain flights even with the higher cost of miles??? If this has been happening for some time now I’ve been unaware, but if not then all I can say is wow. If you don’t put a cap as to how much airlines can charge on award tickets plus now they can restrict certain flights from being booked even if at the higher award cost then what is the point (no pun intended) of earning miles/points now? Very disappointing because AA and delta are charging exorbitant cost of miles for certain flights and the only legacy carrier having a cap was United. Now of course united will be following suit in a few months. Fine charge whatever you want in mileage costs, but don’t restrict certain flights being booked using miles if you’re already going to charge an outrageous cost in miles. Sounds very counterintuitive and only goes to show that FF programs are meant to serve to airlines and credit card companies, but not their customers.

  45. Wow I just search for different dates in sept and oct and all nonstops from JFK-Vegas in first class are “sold out” from today onwards if trying to use miles to book. Is this a glitch or has delta seriously restricted all mileage bookings for first class nonstops flights from JFK-vegas?

  46. Hi Rene

    If someone books a Delta One reward ticket via the Skybonus program, does the flyer earn MQMs? I assume no Sky Pesos, but I am having trouble finding a definitive answer on the MQMs

  47. Hey Rene,

    It wasn’t too long ago that I stumbled on a homemade Delta Award Schedule. I believe it was here on this blog. They were just in excel spreadsheets that you or someone had made based on reported findings or insider info. Can you point me to those? I cannot find them now.


  48. Rene-Have you heard about any changes or glitches recently with booking business tickets using miles on flights with Air France/KLM? I looked recently and there is no availability for the 1st 6 months of 2018 going to Nairobi, Kigali or New Dehli on KLM, Air France or Kenya Airways. Called the Diamond line but they just said they didn’t see any seats available, guy did say there was a recent system update. Plenty of seats left for cash though.

    • @James – Partner issues and space comes and goes. There are times ZERO Air France space is open. Always keep in mind Delta does not play well with others (including their partners).

  49. GM Rene, are there any ways left to book Delta business class between the Caribbean and Continental US using AF or miles from other programs? Flying Blue no longer works, right?
    Thank you.

  50. Rene, since Delta doesn’t publish award charts any longer, I’m trying to determine what constitutes a Level 1 award. ( At one time seems like that was N, followed by NL, ND, NS, & NK.) How do I know what a domestic level 1 is now? I’ve read everything in E7 in travel essentials.
    I’m trying to piece together a trip to Phuket just inside the 330 day window next year using point to point segments & being “dyslexic” as you suggested recently. Based on pricing, it looks like KE lowest award is X. The problem is with Delta. Almost everything shows up as N but pricing is all over the board. Married segment doesn’t even show several flights to my final destination MEM, so I know I’ll have to HUCB to get those. I just want to make sure that I’m looking at all Level 1 flights when I call.
    Sorry for the rambling. Thanks for your help.

  51. Hello Rene,
    Are there any ways left to book Delta business class between the Caribbean and Continental US using AF or miles from other programs?
    Thank you.

  52. Hello Rene,
    Are there any ways left to book Delta business class between the Caribbean and Continental US using AF or miles from other programs?
    Thank you.

  53. Hi Rene,
    This site is awesome. Wife and I are trying to fly to NYC-Japan mid/end of July. I’d love to fly Delta One given the distance. Seeing rates of 400-500K for the R/T. I’d be happy under 350K. I am looking into 2 one-ways, but one leg looks good (80K/ticket), but the return then get jacked up. I am open to suggestions; otherwise we’ll prob do Main Cabin for 260K, which seems like a lot to me. Thanks!

  54. Hey Rene
    Since Delta doesn’t “post an award chart”, I followed your links and Google Docs Spreadsheet. I’m trying to do PIT-OGG (or HNL or LIH) using Korean Airways with Ultimate Rewards. I think it should still price to 30,000 Korean miles. Looking at the Spreadsheet, I think I should be looking for Delta flights that have award prices of either 60,000 or 75,000. I found 77,000 and Korean Air said nothing was available. I’ve tried doing individual segments as well and can’t get anything to work. I think I’m reading the spreadsheet wrong. Any help would be appreciated.

  55. Hi Rene,
    I looked through several pages on your site and apologize in advance if I am asking something that was answered but I missed it.
    My Husband’s elderly Father is terminally ill and in the hospital in England. We are fortunate that DL has a seasonal flight PDX-LHR and my Husband plans to fly over to help his siblings clear out the family home and get him settled in a nursing home one day this week. Low level economy awards are available on all of the flights offered, so will likely pull the trigger 1-2 days in advance. Buying the ticket RT incurs taxes/fees of $179 vs $324 buying the Return ticket singly. The change fee seems to be $150 but I can’t tell if you can do that halfway through a trip or not. The wording seems to say that you have to change prior to the original flight (and 72 hours in advance only or it is not cancellable). Am I missing something somewhere? Should we gamble that he will keep the date he picks randomly to return and hope that he will keep that flight or pay for two OW tickets for peace of mind? Thanks for your input.

    • @lauraPDX – I am sorry for your husbands fathers condition. You can change just the return leg if you want yes and the fee will be per person. If there is a schedule change you may be able to get the fee waved. I have changed return tickets myself inside 72 hour window no problem (was free for me as fee waved as a Diamond).

  56. Hello Rene- great blog. Thanks. I recently saw an Internet blogged that said you can use SkyMiles to book award travel on air Tahiti Nui. Can you confirm this? In addition, as a platinum medallion or above, would the $0 redeposit and 3 day cancellation notice apply for award travel booked on air Tahiti Nui?
    Thank you!

  57. Hey Rene,

    I have been looking to book MKE-ATL-EZE-ATL-MKE as I do every year and this year the lowest fares that are impossible to find show up to be 188K instead of the 150K I have seen for the past two years… Do you know if 188K on Delta One is the New Level 1 Award for South America?

    • @Santiago – Lowest I am seeing is 94k each way at a CSV940 fare (up from the old 75k CSM750). Could be there simple is no inventory at Level 1 or this is the new Level 1 price. Ouch! FYI AeroMexico biz class tickets our of ORD are just over $2000. Maybe a better choices than burning that many SkyMiles???

  58. Santiago Speranza Reply

    Hey Rene,

    I have been checking for months now and I need to go visit some family so I bit the bullet and paid 188K R/T in Delta One MKE-ATL-EZE-ATL-MKE for myself only… I put my dad on AA Biz for 57.5K OW and back on United Biz OW for 60K with my brother RT on AA for 115K in Biz… Overall 3 Biz Tickets to visit family for 402K Miles and $287 not too shabby but wow am I thinking of not being so damn loyal to Delta anymore! #platinumlifekeepsdecending

    • @Santiago – SkyMiles are worth about 1 cent each and that is the way Delta likes it. They are a low yield coupon now vs others that are much better. Sad but true.

  59. René – I was recently saddened as Delta has been my GoTo airline and my favorite flying partner. I am a Million Miler and have been Diamond for more years than I can remember. I became ill with Leukemia and asked Delta to suspend my status for a year (they denied that request) as I was unable to fly with no immune system. I did need a lot of caregiving and I started flying those wonderful folks all around on Delta. I recently booked my sister-in-law using sky miles for a 30K award ticket to be with my family and help as I am getting a trial chemo. We had terrible storms and my sister-in-law rerouted twice to make it and cover my kids. Delta charged me 130K miles? I would
    Have rather have cancelled and rebooked to accommodate. How does that happen? I am thankful that my caregiver made it to us, but we
    Now have less flexibility getting family
    Out. It just does not seem like Delta to do that?

    • @ Michael – Either email me or DM Delta on twitter. I think this can be fixed. Very sorry for all your heath challenges.

  60. Rick David Reply

    I seem to recall that you recently recommended a gentleman who consults with flyers looking to use their accumulated miles/points to arrange extensive flights.
    Can you provide me with his name and contact info please.

  61. Hi Rene,

    I am trying to get my wife, daughter and myself to Hawaii. The plan is to 1) purchase 2 coach tickets (for me and my daughter) and use my RUCs to upgrade to Delta One (thanks for the advise about lie flat to Hawaii), and 2) book a Delta One ticket (for my wife) through Virgin Atlantic using Amex points. Do you see any flaws in my plan? Would I be able to link the reservations (I am thinking not).

    • @Bob – Sounds great to me. The trick will be getting the RU certs to clear. Linking really not needed in this case but can not hurt once all 3 in D1.

  62. BeachMiles Reply

    Hi René, I need to move Membership Reward Points out of my Amex account before they get Clawed back. My goal is to have enough Delta SkyMiles in my account for 2 round trip Business Class tickets , direct from JFK to NCE ( Nice, France) . I’ve been waiting for a promotion or award sale, to bring the price down to a reasonable level for a while.
    How many points do you predict will be required, if I’m patient, for this trip. I have 350,000 SkyMiles now, and could add 50,000 more.

    • @BeachMiles – Low level biz now is 160k RT so 320k lowest for two (without a “sale” that is). If you need help finding flights at those levels Adam and his team is ready to assist you.

Write A Comment