FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - The Definitive "How To Search for Low Tier Business Awards"
Old Dec 19, 09, 1:12 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: LAX/BOS/HKG/AMS/SFO...hmm, I need a life.
Programs: United1K, AA ExPlAAt, DL MM/Gold, Hilton Diamond, Avis First
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Originally Posted by Denolloyd View Post
I posted this quick guide to Business Award searches in another thread, but after a number of folks mentioned how great it worked for them, I decided to create a desperate thread. Also, if anyone else has tips which may be beneficial, please post them as well.

I will be the first to say DL's award engine is horrendous at best, however there are ways around it.

Now for the guide (please note, although this guide was created to assist with travel from the US past AMS/CDG, it is also beneficial for all award bookings):

For awards beyond AMS / CDG in J, the best way to search is the following:

Search for USA - AMS / CDG ONE WAY in Y by Mileage.

In the flights displayed, look for those priced at 100,000, with seating in First / Business.

If you cannot find any 100,000 mile flights with First / Business seating, do another search but search for J this time.

Do this over and over until you find a 100,000 mile one way routing. Generally, it will be Business / First seats within your coach search. I think the problem most have is we tend to search for Business seats by selecting the business drop down. This is a big no no. Always select a coach search first, and seek business within, its often cheaper.

Next, perform another one way search in J for the AMS/CDG - EU. I generally find plenty of EU J inventory available.

Then, perform the same in reverse for your travel back to the US.

Once you find one way itineraries at the low mileage level, you perform a multi-segment award search. Be sure to select the flights you found earlier in the process at the low tiers.

Sometimes you may have to break down the segments even further such as TPA-ATL, ATL-CDG, CDG-OTP, in order to find the lowest available tiers.

One thing I have noticed is that so long as the DL Award Calendar shows J available at the low tier, it is, only you have to search to find it.

This is how I book my award travel in J to OTP. Takes a bit of work, but it can be done.

I am in the middle of packing for my trip tomorrow and will add more details later. Good luck.

Great post!
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