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The Definitive "How To Search for Low Tier Business Awards"

The Definitive "How To Search for Low Tier Business Awards"

Old Aug 29, 10, 3:16 pm
  #166  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by marbles dad View Post
.well. bad news.
the expert flyer o inventory on air france and the corresponding on AZ no longer corresponds to what is available for skymiles redemption. i recently tried this from cdg- ath - o availability on expertflyer , but not on the delta website or on the phone .
expertflyer confirmed to me the bad news . couldnt book it even though there was o availability , since they did not let delta have the inventory.
Well isn't searching expertflyer for AF "O" availability still an incredibly useful tool? I mean, ok, sometimes you will find AF O inventory on EF, and then find that Delta.com does not see it. But aren't the odds still quite good?

Also, if O inventory does not show on EF, I'll bet that continues to be a guarantee that Delta can't book it. If EF can't see it, certainly DL can't.

In other words, since this change, keep finding your O inventory on EF first. But now, instead of the flights being available on Delta.com 100% of the time, it will only be some lower percentage of the time.

What would people guess that percentage will be? Anything higher than 50% and I'd still say EF is a wonderful tool for locating bookable AF flights using DL miles!
Phlebas is offline  
Old Sep 1, 10, 7:44 pm
  #167  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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I've spent many hours trying to get this segment by segment search to work to build trips and I can't do it (would appreciate help). An award trip that use to take me a few minutes every few days for a few weeks to get in ideal form now takes me hours and hours over months and I still can't get even a domestic US RT reserved for next summer. I finally got a BWI-JAC one-way on hold and now am trying to add on the return segments. I've done this a hundred times and every single time I get messages like "One or more of your flights sold-out" (baloney!) when I try to add on the return trip or part of the return trip.

WAKE UP DELTA!!! Your customers that value Award Travel are being driven away from flying Delta!

Additional problems: You seem to have first taken away KLM flight availability results online and now more recently, as far as I can tell, have also removed Air France flights (even on routes that can be booked 100% on Air France.)

I"m deliberately not going to requalify as even a Gold for next year until I see an improvement in the ease of booking awards for a reasonable amount of Skymiles and using a reasonable amount of my time.

SkymilesInsider, when are we going to see an award program and search functionality at least half as good as you had for us with WorldPerks??
GrizShel is offline  
Old Sep 2, 10, 5:23 am
  #168  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 161
help from Expert Flyer users

If there is anyone out there who might be able to help:

I need a business return from FCO to any US city on any date in July or August 2011. (outbound, I have ORD-FCO on AZ). Outbound is 100K. Delta agent tells me that there is no availability for return on any day, at any time. Is that possible?

Thanks in advance for any help ;-)
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Old Sep 2, 10, 11:09 am
  #169  
Moz
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by StefanNYC View Post
Thanks OP for some great tips!

Last month I utilized a somewhat similar technique (by-segment search) to successfully book JFK-KBP in J for 100,000 on the very dates I needed (booked and flown within December), after hearing "nothing available" on the phone. It has actually never occurred to me to search for Y, and I didn't think of searching for one-way awards either -- only round trips with dummy dates in the other direction.
I think I am being dense. When I search for awards on dl.com it only gives me bus/econ drop down. When i look under economy it doesnt tell me what the class of travel is (J,Y etc). I am trying to book BE for ATL-LHR in December. Any tips? Its coming up as 200k miles currently.
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Old Sep 3, 10, 5:17 am
  #170  
AHO
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post

WAKE UP DELTA!!! Your customers that value Award Travel are being driven away from flying Delta!

Additional problems: You seem to have first taken away KLM flight availability results online and now more recently, as far as I can tell, have also removed Air France flights (even on routes that can be booked 100% on Air France.)
I have same issue.

When I search ARN-AMS on Delta.com, it shows very weird routing such as ARN-ATL-AMS.
When I search CDG - BKK, it shows CDG-MSP-SEA-BKK.
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Old Sep 4, 10, 12:08 am
  #171  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by AHO View Post
I have same issue.

When I search ARN-AMS on Delta.com, it shows very weird routing such as ARN-ATL-AMS.
When I search CDG - BKK, it shows CDG-MSP-SEA-BKK.
when i search hkg - ams, it shows hkg nrt dtw ams. it is beyond strange.
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Old Sep 7, 10, 1:05 pm
  #172  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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This does not seem to work for me, I don't get any first/business options when searching for coach. am i doing something wrong?
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Old Sep 8, 10, 5:01 am
  #173  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Wow. I cannot find business class KLM/AF award flights on Delta site anymore. I reckon I got lucky in the Delta SkyPesos roulette. What a relief to have used up the last few 100k miles.
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Old Sep 8, 10, 1:04 pm
  #174  
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They were available last year but not this year. Is AF leaving ST or what?
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Old Sep 9, 10, 6:18 am
  #175  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by S_D_P View Post
If there is anyone out there who might be able to help:

I need a business return from FCO to any US city on any date in July or August 2011. (outbound, I have ORD-FCO on AZ). Outbound is 100K. Delta agent tells me that there is no availability for return on any day, at any time. Is that possible?

Thanks in advance for any help ;-)
You may or may not need help now, but FCO to ORD on 8/2/11 has multiple flight combinations for 50K, to add to your outbound leg. (This was done with only 1 BE seat)

If you have exact dates that you are wanting and number of seats, let me know and I'll search for you.
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Old Sep 9, 10, 8:58 pm
  #176  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
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AF J seats are out there.

I just ticketed JFK-CDG-DXB rt in J on AF in December.

I found O inventory using KVS and then did a multi-segment search, by schedule, on dl.com.

This was the only way that I could get the AF flights to come up.

Once I had all my flights, and clicked to ticket the itinerary, an "error" message will pop up. It will give you your PNR, tell you that your flights are on hold, and that you have to call DL within 4 hours.

Considering all the usual award ticket difficulties on dl.com, this was pretty seamless.
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Old Sep 13, 10, 5:26 am
  #177  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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I need tickets between AMS (or CDG) and DEL for any day in December in business class, returning in mid January. AF and KLM show availability in the lowest mileage bracket on most dates. DL insists there is nothing available.

What can I do to ensure that DL "sees" availability on the partners?
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Old Sep 13, 10, 6:39 am
  #178  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by Deltspygt View Post
AF J seats are out there.

I just ticketed JFK-CDG-DXB rt in J on AF in December.

I found O inventory using KVS and then did a multi-segment search, by schedule, on dl.com.

This was the only way that I could get the AF flights to come up.

Once I had all my flights, and clicked to ticket the itinerary, an "error" message will pop up. It will give you your PNR, tell you that your flights are on hold, and that you have to call DL within 4 hours.
But even if I search segment by segment on delta.com I still can't get the AF or KL flights to show up. E.g., IAD-CDG one-way returns only Delta flights.

Another "improvement" delta has made in their award booking search tool this year.
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Old Sep 13, 10, 9:59 am
  #179  
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Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
But even if I search segment by segment on delta.com I still can't get the AF or KL flights to show up. E.g., IAD-CDG one-way returns only Delta flights.

Another "improvement" delta has made in their award booking search tool this year.
Even last year, AF awards would often show up as the lowest mileage option on dl.com. The DL flights were often mid or high awards.

The disappearance of AF awards may explain why low-mileage TATL BE awards have largely disappeared.
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Old Sep 13, 10, 5:04 pm
  #180  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Thanks to Deltspygt's post #176 above, I finally figured out the missing link in my protracted quest to get a decently priced international award ticket.

I am somewhat hesitant to post the details because I'm not certain whether Delta is deliberately now moving to further reduce the level of customers booking award tickets on their partners (I've found international awards on Delta metal so sparse at the standard mileage levels that I consider it now highly unllikely I'll ever find anything decent that works for me, so I've had to focus more on all-partner metal award tickets). So if you think I should delete this PM me and tell me why.

1. The segment by segment search no longer works for partner airlines such as AF. The system is programmed to strongly preference display of Delta metal only now, so you'll almost never see AF or KL flights. Search for a segment which a partner flies nonstop and you'll never get anything other than 1 or more stop flights on Delta metal to show up.
2. Ditto for one[-way and roundtrip flight searches for the most part.
3. However, if you put in every single segment individually in MULTI-CITI search mode only and happen to select flights for which partner basic award are being offered, you will then magically see a low-tier mileage award ticket price out (this is why Deltspygt first used ExpertFlyer to in their case find out which flights had Air France O class award availability, so far I haven't seen Delta blocking any of this type of AF award seat). These flights WILL NOT show up and price out by any other way than the multi-citi search right now.
4. As Deltspygt notes, currently you'll then have to call to complete booking on the partner airline.
5. l would recommend spending the time to book any big trips now. Even though SkymilesInsider has indicated Delta is working hard to clean up the award booking mess, he's not indicated whether this will involve improving low-tier mileage availability or getting rid of the insane mileage requirement multiplications that occur on many itineraries (After a year of experience with using the 3-Tier / actually multiple tier Delta system this FF does not want to have anything to do with such an award system anymore.) IME, the trend on award availability continues to deteriorate, with no end in sight as of yet.
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