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Old Jul 4, 11, 3:42 pm   #1
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Creative routings from US to Europe using Skymiles

I am about to redeem miles to visit friends in Ireland and Amsterdam leaving from ATL around July 20 and returning in early to mid-August. I am seeing decent availability from ATL-AMS and DUB-ATL around my desired dates at the 60k level. I can schedule a stopover outbound in CDG and still book this on Dl. Does anyone have suggestions for other routings I should consider that can be redeemed on line or using Skyteam airlines? I recently subscribed to ExpertFlyer and can put that to use too. Any comments appreciated. Well useful ones that is.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 6:09 pm   #2
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There are four partner carriers that are award-bookable on delta.com with miles: AF, KLM, Alaska, and Hawaiian. Beyond that cohort you'll need to call it in.

Last edited by 3Cforme; Jul 4, 11 at 6:17 pm..
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Old Jul 4, 11, 7:01 pm   #3
 
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Two Examples

Three years ago, I went to opening day at Celtic Park in Glasgow on a SkyMiles ticket in J using the following open jaw: IAD-DTW-AMS, returning EDI-CDG-IAD (the outbound was on Northwest metal, EDI-CDG was on AF's commuter partner CityJet, and then an AF 777 back to Washington). I fooled around on line for over an hour until I figured out an itinerary that I could get for as close to the minimum as I could get (I think it was 95k SMs). I took the overnight ferry from Ijmuiden, at the mouth of the river Ij, to North Shields, east of Newcastle near the mouth of the river Tyne, and then train to Glasgow, with a stop at Berwick-upon-Tweed to take a public bus to Holy Island (accessible only at low tide) to see Lindisfarne. It was a great little trip.

Two years ago I went on seven days' advance booking to see Celtic; I bought the cheapest coach ticket, at about $650 AI, and got the following routing:

DCA-DTW-AMS-GLA; and on the return, DUB-ATL-DCA. Actually got an op-up DUB-ATL, and the domestic legs got upgraded. This was between the time that the merger was consummated and the time that the FAA granted DL one consolidated certification for both fleets, so technically I was on a "DL operated by NW" trip eastbound, KLM Cityhopper to GLA, and then DL metal coming home. After Glasgow, I toured northwest England with a 4 day rail rover ticket, and then took the overnight ferry from Birkenhead (opposite Liverpool on the Mersey) to Dublin.
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Old Jul 5, 11, 2:28 am   #4
 
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I've flown US-VIE-MXP-US, US-LIS-MAD-US, US-AMS-NBO-US, US-LON-BCN-US, and US-WAW-CPH-US on various combinations of NW (once upon a time), DL, AF, and KL metal and backtracking through CDG (ugh) and AMS. All except the NBO were for 100,000 miles all in in business class. It takes persistence (ore now with the DL booking engine) but these can be booked, occasionally with some agent help.
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Old Jul 5, 11, 3:06 am   #5
 
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Delta allows a stopover and an open jaw. So to get the max value out of your Delta miles, take advantage of cheap ways to get around Europe so you can sneak in another city.

Also remember that for 20,000 more miles, you can tack on a trip to Africa. I'm currently on a trip:
JFK-MAD (Stopover), BCN-CDG-MRU (Mauritius- off the coast of Madagascar), MRU-CDG-EWR
All for 120,000 miles. A simple JFK-CDG-JFK would have been 100,000.
Last summer I also did a Paris and Seychelles trip. I personally think its one of the best uses of Delta miles out there. I have written several blog posts on my experience maximizing Delta miles:
My Summer Trip to Spain and Mauritius and How I Used Miles To Make It Happen
Maximizing Stopovers, Transfers and Open Jaw Ticketing on Delta Awards
Delta.com Quirks and How to Work Around Them to Find Low Awards
10 Tips on Using Delta Skymiles
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Old Jul 5, 11, 7:53 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepointsguy View Post
Delta allows a stopover and an open jaw. So to get the max value out of your Delta miles, take advantage of cheap ways to get around Europe so you can sneak in another city.

Also remember that for 20,000 more miles, you can tack on a trip to Africa. I'm currently on a trip:
JFK-MAD (Stopover), BCN-CDG-MRU (Mauritius- off the coast of Madagascar), MRU-CDG-EWR
All for 120,000 miles. A simple JFK-CDG-JFK would have been 100,000.
Last summer I also did a Paris and Seychelles trip. I personally think its one of the best uses of Delta miles out there. I have written several blog posts on my experience maximizing Delta miles:
My Summer Trip to Spain and Mauritius and How I Used Miles To Make It Happen
Maximizing Stopovers, Transfers and Open Jaw Ticketing on Delta Awards
Delta.com Quirks and How to Work Around Them to Find Low Awards
10 Tips on Using Delta Skymiles
That's some great stuff there man! Thanks to everyone who replied. I will post what I end up booking. Prost!
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Old Jul 5, 11, 10:58 am   #7
 
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Are we allowed to make connections in MEX on Aeromexico on US-Europe roundtrips? For example, LAX-MEX-CDG-LIS/LIS-CDG-MEX-LAX?
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Old Jul 5, 11, 5:30 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by SkyTeam777 View Post
Are we allowed to make connections in MEX on Aeromexico on US-Europe roundtrips? For example, LAX-MEX-CDG-LIS/LIS-CDG-MEX-LAX?
I don't see why not. You can also build your open jaws domestically, for example JFK-CDG, CDG-LAX

Delta seems pretty flexible with routing rules, in my experience
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Old Jul 5, 11, 6:51 pm   #9
 
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I needed to change the return on my London trip next month (BE award at low!). LHR to any US gateway was not available at low, but LCY-DUB(overnight)-ATL-LAX was, so I grabbed it. No lie-flats but less of an issue for me westbound, plus a night at the Porterhouse in Temple Bar.

That is one routing that never would occur to me. I put "LON" rather than "LHR" in the box hoping to maybe snag something out of LGW. So think creatively.
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Old Jul 6, 11, 10:41 am   #10
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For now I have an OJ ATL-AMS and DUB-ATL. When I tried to add CDG or MUC the taxes and fees went from around $50 to $150. The miles are coming out of a Medallion account so I can still play around with other routings.
I figure I will take the ferry from Cherbourg to Rosslare after touring Belgian beer country.
Any suggestions on cheap intra-European trips on LCC's from AMS, BRU, CDG or the UK?
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Old Jul 6, 11, 1:31 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Juiceman View Post
For now I have an OJ ATL-AMS and DUB-ATL. When I tried to add CDG or MUC the taxes and fees went from around $50 to $150. The miles are coming out of a Medallion account so I can still play around with other routings.
I figure I will take the ferry from Cherbourg to Rosslare after touring Belgian beer country.
Any suggestions on cheap intra-European trips on LCC's from AMS, BRU, CDG or the UK?
Avoid FR like the plague? Well, if the weather's nice, they're OK. Still, I'd pay a bit more and fly U2, especially if you're doing hand baggage only, as they don't weigh it like FR does. Finding LCCs at the major airports will be harder and more expensive. For instance, it generally doesn't make sense to use U2 to fly to AMS, as they've succeeded in driving down fares on the legacies to the point where by the time you pay for a bag and get yourself out to LTN or LGW, you could have flown from LCY or LHR for the same amount in less time.
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Old Jul 6, 11, 7:49 pm   #12
 
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During my last vacation with the old man we did ORD-JFK-CDG-MUC-ATL-ORD in Business going EB and in Coach going WB. So taking three flights might be something to look into if needed.
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Old Jul 6, 11, 7:55 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyTeam777 View Post
Are we allowed to make connections in MEX on Aeromexico on US-Europe roundtrips? For example, LAX-MEX-CDG-LIS/LIS-CDG-MEX-LAX?
Yes wonderful thought!!
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Old Jul 6, 11, 9:31 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepointsguy View Post
Delta allows a stopover and an open jaw. So to get the max value out of your Delta miles, take advantage of cheap ways to get around Europe so you can sneak in another city.

Also remember that for 20,000 more miles, you can tack on a trip to Africa. I'm currently on a trip:
JFK-MAD (Stopover), BCN-CDG-MRU (Mauritius- off the coast of Madagascar), MRU-CDG-EWR
All for 120,000 miles. A simple JFK-CDG-JFK would have been 100,000.
Last summer I also did a Paris and Seychelles trip. I personally think its one of the best uses of Delta miles out there. I have written several blog posts on my experience maximizing Delta miles:
My Summer Trip to Spain and Mauritius and How I Used Miles To Make It Happen
Maximizing Stopovers, Transfers and Open Jaw Ticketing on Delta Awards
Delta.com Quirks and How to Work Around Them to Find Low Awards
10 Tips on Using Delta Skymiles
Haven't read your posts yet, but hope the 100K was for J.
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Old Jul 7, 11, 1:41 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by mnredfox View Post
Haven't read your posts yet, but hope the 100K was for J.
Absolutely. I've only ever redeemed for low level awards.
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