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Old May 17, 11, 3:35 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Questions re award travel to Seychelles

Sorry if some of my questions are rather basic. I'm new to this forum, but after a search I've either come up dry or the info seems potentially dated.

Basically, my wife and I would like to go to the Seychelles 12 to 18 months from now, traveling at least in J. If need be, we have a BA 2-4-1 award certificate (and AA and UA miles) that can get us part of the way there from SFO. (Actually, BA could get us as far as Mauritius, followed by a relatively cheap hop on Air Seychelles. But BA award availability in J to Mauritius is practically nonexistent.) Skyteam seems to be the only one of the three major alliances that could get us all of the way there on points. So I'm thinking of either going that route, assuming we can accumulate enough Skymiles in time and that award seats are available.

So my questions:

1. Am I correct in understanding that the two SkyTeam award options are via the AF/Air Seychelles code share from Paris and Air Kenya from Nairobi?
2. Unless I'm reading the award charts wrong, it can cost almost as many SkyMiles flying to SEZ from SFO (60K at lowest redemption level each way in J) as from Europe or Africa (50K). Do I have that right?
3. I've read reports about difficulties in redeeming awards at the lowest redemption levels. Might availability be much better if we simply tried to redeem from Paris or Nairobi as opposed to from SFO? And would we need to do so at the 330 day window, regardless? We might consider doing this option even though the SkyMiles we save would be minimal.
4. I've seen mention of an award plus miles option. Would this be possible for this kind of trip?
5. Anything I'm missing here in terms of options, obstacles, etc?

Thanks for any help!
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Old May 17, 11, 4:34 pm   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
4. I've seen mention of an award plus miles option. Would this be possible for this kind of trip?
Pay with Miles features and limitations are noted here. I don't believe you will find DL-coded flights to SEZ.

http://www.delta.com/skymiles/use_mi...iles/index.jsp

Seychelles is a productive search term and will give you ideas of alternate routings and redemption issues.
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Old May 17, 11, 9:20 pm   #3
 
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I used 120k Delta miles last summer to fly JFK-CDG (Stop)-SEZ-CDG-JFK all in business class. Pay with miles will cost you three times that for coach.

I had no issues finding availability 4 months in advance. AF opens up even more as the date approaches. Then again, SFO-CDG is harder to find than JFK/EWR- CDG.

Check out my trip report for more info:
Intro
JFK-CDG
Park Hyatt Paris
CDG-SEZ
Seychelles/ Le Meridien Barbarons
SEZ-CDG
CDG-JFK
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Old May 18, 11, 12:15 pm   #4
 
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Thanks to both of you for your feedback. And great trip report, pointsguy!
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Old May 18, 11, 1:05 pm   #5
 
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I was able to find two low level J award seats to SEZ last June, for my daughter and her husband's honeymoon. Their routing was IAD-CDG-SEZ-CDG(stopover)-MAD-IAD and I booked these tickets about four months out. The flights were on AF and Air Seychelles. For some reason, AF had pretty good award availability out of IAD compared to their other gateways.

Be aware that the CDG-SEZ flights are not daily, or at least they weren't last June. So that may take a little finageling. Also, departing from a gateway made it a little easier. If you have to add a domestic leg to the itinerary, you may have some difficulty finding low level award availability. DL is particularly stingy in releasing low level award seats far in advance.

BTW, they both had a great time in the Seychelles. Bonne chance!
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Old May 19, 11, 8:33 pm   #6
 
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A few years back I was able to get award tickets in J on KQ through Nairobi. Availability was pretty good, and you can connect through several cities in Europe en route (London and Paris were the best options I found). What is nice about KQ is that at least on the 767 that I flew for CDG-NBO had business class seats that were truly flat instead of the angled lie-flats on AF.

Another suggestion, if you cannot find availability to/from SEZ, also try MRU and RUN. AF flies to both at least daily, and when I was traveling, they actually had 2 flights a day to RUN. The disadvantage here is that AF flies a special config of their planes to these locations that tend to have many more Y seats. The flight I took RUN-ORY had only 14 J seats (2-3-2 configuration).

Good luck with your search!
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Old May 19, 11, 9:28 pm   #7
 
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Try to get in touch with SAT lawyer. He just did this trip a few months ago, I think.
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Old May 20, 11, 11:21 am   #8
 
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Thanks for all of this useful advice! And I appreciate the caution about landing domestic award segments. I'm still a bit confused whether I understand the relative redemption levels correctly, as per the second question in my original post, since this seems out of kilter. But I guess that's just the way it is. Still, if anyone can shed light on this, I'd appreciate it:

2. Unless I'm reading the award charts wrong, it can cost almost as many SkyMiles flying to SEZ from SFO (60K at lowest redemption level each way in J) as from Europe or Africa (50K). Do I have that right?
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Old Jun 11, 11, 10:38 am   #9
 
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SEZ-CDG

I am having a difficult time finding any available Business Class seats x2 for SEZ-CDG during the middle of November. I continue to find availability for CDG-SEZ leg but no return availability same is true for MRU-CDG leg. I have read that others have had difficulty booking the SEZ-CDG leg. Maybe I am overlooking something. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
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