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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 May 3, 10, 8:01 pm
  #76  
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But just because these other ST airline awards are available on these other sites, does that mean DL SM members would have access to redeeming SkyMiles for them?

Or is it only a subset of these other airlines awards that DL customers can get?
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Old May 4, 10, 2:33 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,372
I stumbled across YYC-AMS which is a KLM TATL that has good availability up front on an A330. As usual, ignore the calendar feature. But I am finding 2 and 3 seats on some days. Of course the connections aren't great, but at least from SEA there is a Horizon flight you can grab (albiet with a long layover).

Originally Posted by blug View Post
(4) The following TATL flights have good availability: ORD-AMS/CDG, JFK-AMS/CDG, IAD-AMS/CDG, DFW-AMS, IAH-AMS/CDG, BOS-CDG. If you can find low award to these US gateway cities, you'll have a good shot at TATL awards. These routings will usually not shown automatically so do a multi-city search.
stephem is offline  
Old May 13, 10, 1:09 am
  #78  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Smile Thanks! This worked for me (domestically).

Thanks for this post. I was able to get an otherwise unavailable all first-class domestic "round trip" for 45,000 miles on the dates I wanted. I did the multi-city search for coach. Chose an alternate return segment origin (40 miles from outbound destination airport). When availability came, I changed my outbound to first class using the calendar and found a "Low" award. I kept my return as coach, and when I got to the return flight results, at the bottom of the page were a whole bunch of First Class options that were NOT available using a traditional round-trip search. Thanks guys!!!
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Old May 13, 10, 11:34 am
  #79  
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So this is going to be a rant/tip regarding business travel intra-Asia. I have spent over 4 hours on the phone with DL the last few days to book a PVG-MNL itinerary. Finally after 2 hours today, and 5 agents, I pieced the following all at "low".

Day 1 PVG-NGO on CZ
Day 2 NGO-MNL on DL
Day 9 MNL-NRT on DL
Day 9 NRT-PVG on MU

Had to be transferred around a bunch of agents on it not confirming. Then it confirmed, but not priced. So transferred to another special desk to get it to price out. Came back at 92K instead of 40K. ...?

So guess what, the MNL-NRT leg apparently is at mid-tier (32.5K instead of 20K), even though both I AND the PM agent confirmed it at low (I on DL.com and she on her Deltamatic).

So I go back into DL.dumb and check, yup calendar shows it at low, but guess what, when I click on the actual flight is shows 32.5K, hence the whole prices out at 92.5K. So it is NOT at low, but at mid-tier.

So before you all rant at me for believing the award calendar, apparently the PM agent saw the same low and when tried to book it, found out only after being transferred 2x to two different desks that the "low" is apparently 32.5K and really mid-tier.

Thanks DL for wasting my time. Please fix your dumb calendar and IT...

So, check your flights, and DON'T TRUST THE CALENDAR AT ALL and count on agents seeing low not as low until you get ready to book the ticket.
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Old May 13, 10, 5:34 pm
  #80  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Originally Posted by mnredfox View Post
So before you all rant at me for believing the award calendar, apparently the PM agent saw the same low and when tried to book it, found out only after being transferred 2x to two different desks that the "low" is apparently 32.5K and really mid-tier.

Thanks DL for wasting my time. Please fix your dumb calendar and IT...

So, check your flights, and DON'T TRUST THE CALENDAR AT ALL and count on agents seeing low not as low until you get ready to book the ticket.
After 6 hours, I would have asked for a supervisor. I got a stopover for a 35K Hawaii award on NW, because it was still listed on the nwa.com website. The agent said it had been discontinued 2 years before. I said it should have been removed from the website then. The supervisor agreed and manually overrode giving me DTW-HNL-DTW(stopover 3 months)- MCO. It was removed from the website within a week.

If their website says it's available, they should override and give it to you. Don't even know if this is possible with the "new" Delta though.
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Old May 14, 10, 4:27 pm
  #81  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 7
Need help getting from ATL to HKG to NRT back to ATL

Hi All-
I have been trying to follow the advice from this forum, but I dont think I'm doing it right. Any help/advise would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry this is so long, but I'm not sure how much info is needed..so I'm just going to throw it all out here

Myself, my husband and our best friend would all like to use our Skymiles to go on a trip to Asia in March/April 2011. My husband has 63,000 miles, I have 83,112 miles, and our friend has 153,338 miles. My husband and I only have enough miles for coach, but our friend would like to fly business/first class if possible (at least on the longer portions of the trip). We realize we will not likely be on the same flights, but would hope to be no more than a day a part because we want to vacation as a group. We actually have one more friend going with us, but she will be paying for the flight in cash.

We are flexable with the dates somewhat, but cannot arrange the trip in a way that will cause the week we are in Tokyo to be between March 14-April 3 because it is their holiday season and the hotels at Tokyo Disneyland will be too expensive. We wanted to be in Japan sometime around the beginning of April to try and catch the cherry blossoms blooming, but it will be ok if that doesnt work out.

Our ideal itinary would be to go on March 26, 2011 from ATL-HKG (SM) and stay in Hong Kong for two days. Then, take a train from HKG to PEK through Shanghi - arriving in PEK around March 30, 2011. Stay in PEK for about 4 days, then fly PEK-NRT (cash/points from FlexPerks) and stay in Tokyo until around April 9, 2011 when we would fly NRT-ATL (SM). I realize my husband and I dont have enough points to cover the flight from PEK-NRT in this scenario, but would be happy to at least cover the main part of the trip (ATL-HKG & NRT-ATL).

I couldnt find any Low Tier Coach nor Business Class (our friend) flights from these direct locations. So, from reading the threads, I tried to put in different starting and ending points but I dont think I'm doing this right. For example, I noticed that most flights from the US to HKG stop briefly at NRT. So, I tried looking up one way flights from ATL-NRT and one way flights from NRT-HKG, but I couldnt get that to work out either.

Any suggestions??

Also, if you do book something like a multi destination from ATL-MSP-NRT-HKG and then NRT-ATL, could it all be counted as one 60,000 low mile round trip to Asia?

Thank You to anyone who takes the time out of your day to give me a hand with this

Johnnie
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Old May 14, 10, 7:19 pm
  #82  
 
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Smile

Originally Posted by johnnierotten5 View Post
Hi All-
]
Myself, my husband and our best friend would all like to use our Skymiles to go on a trip to Asia in March/April 2011. My husband has 63,000 miles, I have 83,112 miles

Our ideal itinary would be to go on March 26, 2011 from ATL-HKG (SM) and stay in Hong Kong for two days. Then, take a train from HKG to PEK through Shanghi - arriving in PEK around March 30, 2011. Stay in PEK for about 4 days, then fly PEK-NRT (cash/points from FlexPerks) and stay in Tokyo until around April 9, 2011 when we would fly NRT-ATL (SM).

Also, if you do book something like a multi destination from ATL-MSP-NRT-HKG and then NRT-ATL, could it all be counted as one 60,000 low mile round trip to Asia?


Johnnie
Too many issues here. I don't know if avoiding a r/t is possible with so few miles. I don't think HKG looks feasable.

There seems to be 60K availability on PDX-NRT on the Nonstop leaving on the 26th. And April 8th availability on the NRT-PDX Unfortunately, it looks like there is no domestic low eligibility now so you are out of luck.

Similarly, MSP-NRT seems to be an option around the dates you are looking.

And yes, if you can string together the domestic lows, it should price out at low all together. I am giving up since its not my trip , but it looks like their might be some low availability if you connect somewhere. But not N/S to PDX or MSP it seems. Good luck!
defiance96 is offline  
Old May 14, 10, 7:46 pm
  #83  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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I know it is a bit messy, we just figured if we were going to go all the way to Japan, then we might as well check out a bit of China in case we never get back. Thanks for trying anyway! I will keep looking
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Old May 14, 10, 8:02 pm
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by johnnierotten5 View Post
I know it is a bit messy, we just figured if we were going to go all the way to Japan, then we might as well check out a bit of China in case we never get back. Thanks for trying anyway! I will keep looking
NP. Also: If you end up anywhere in Asia with a low itinerary, put it on hold, and you can call to see if their are any seats on Korean Air that could finish off the itinerary. Those segments should still keep it a low level ticket. But I think if you can string together the right low one-ways to PDX or MSP you are on the right track!
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Old May 14, 10, 9:04 pm
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by defiance96 View Post
NP. Also: If you end up anywhere in Asia with a low itinerary, put it on hold, and you can call to see if their are any seats on Korean Air that could finish off the itinerary. Those segments should still keep it a low level ticket. But I think if you can string together the right low one-ways to PDX or MSP you are on the right track!
How do you put a seat on Hold? Also, I saw some low flights from MEM-NRT and NRT-MEM, but when I tried to piece together on the multicity or roundtrip tab they came out to 90,000 miles. Do you know why this might happen? I expected it to show as 60,000 miles. I was thinking it would be possible to drive to MEM from Atlanta. Just trying to figure out our options.

Again, thanks for all your help
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Old May 15, 10, 12:45 am
  #86  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Will this work?

Hi All,

I am hoping I found a plan that will work to use Skymiles to get from ATL to Asia and back in March/April 2011. But, I'm new at this and I need some opinions on if it is a good plan.

We are trying to go from ATL -HKG around 3/26/11 and then home from NRT-ATL 4/9/11. But, I could not find any low flights to China anywhere that fit our schedule. Since most flights from US to China go through NRT, I started there -on the suggestion of others here. I will try calling and checking if there are any Low seats on partner airlines to get us from NRT to China.

I did notice the final price came to 90,000 instead of 60,000 and I am not sure why. All the legs I looked up seperately were Low and showed the low mileage amount when searching the one way segments. But maybe when I call they can help me figure that part out.

We figured we would get a hotel room to rest for the long gaps at PDX and MSP. Going, there is a 14hour layover at PDX and coming home we had to take the MSP flight the next day because the gap between flights was too small. (if you read my original post, I also saw Low Business seats for our friend on all the same flights going to Asia - he only wanted business going there, not necessarily coming back).

This is what I came up with (I put on Hold until Sunday), does it seem reasonable??

Tue 22MAR Delta 166 LV ATLANTA, GA (ATL) 12:30pm Coach
AR NEW YORK JOHN (JFK) 2:56pm

Tue 22MAR Delta 2997 LV NEW YORK JOHN (JFK) 7:00pm Coach
AR PORTLAND, OR (PDX) 10:41pm

Wed 23MAR Delta 91 LV PORTLAND, OR (PDX) 1:40pm Coach
AR TOKYO-NARITA, (NRT) 4:45pm



Fri 08APR Delta 620 LV TOKYO-NARITA, (NRT) 4:00pm Coach
AR MINNEAPOLIS/S (MSP) 1:00pm

Fri 08APR Delta 2774 LV MINNEAPOLIS/S (MSP) 1:15pm Coach
AR MEMPHIS, TN (MEM) 3:21pm

Fri 08APR Delta 668 LV MEMPHIS, TN (MEM) 5:10pm Coach
AR ATLANTA, GA (ATL) 7:35pm
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Old May 15, 10, 11:04 am
  #87  
 
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A couple more hints:

1) Use klm.com to search for award availability on partners.

2) Call DL and ask for them to search AZ availability on TATL segments. They hate doing this because it is a manual request for them and they need to wait for a response. Usually when I ask for my itinerary (knowing from klm.com that AZ TATL is available) they say there is nothing avaialable at low levels. I say "Have you checked partners?" They say "yes." I say "have you checked AZ?" They say "no." They proceed to do so and find what I found.

My next 3 TATL awards all involve BOS-FCO in J for 2 pax. (continuing to ATH, CAI and GVA.) The unfortunate aspects are:
**AZ TATL J is inferior to DL/KL/AZ products (I've heard)
**The return FCO-BOS is too early to enable this to work in reverse. Thus my return routings generally include 3-4 segments, a change from JFK to LGA and an overnight in NY (don't get me started).
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Old May 15, 10, 4:18 pm
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by johnnierotten5 View Post
Hi All,

Tue 22MAR Delta 166 LV ATLANTA, GA (ATL) 12:30pm Coach
AR NEW YORK JOHN (JFK) 2:56pm

Tue 22MAR Delta 2997 LV NEW YORK JOHN (JFK) 7:00pm Coach
AR PORTLAND, OR (PDX) 10:41pm

Wed 23MAR Delta 91 LV PORTLAND, OR (PDX) 1:40pm Coach
AR TOKYO-NARITA, (NRT) 4:45pm

Fri 08APR Delta 620 LV TOKYO-NARITA, (NRT) 4:00pm Coach
AR MINNEAPOLIS/S (MSP) 1:00pm

Fri 08APR Delta 2774 LV MINNEAPOLIS/S (MSP) 1:15pm Coach
AR MEMPHIS, TN (MEM) 3:21pm

Fri 08APR Delta 668 LV MEMPHIS, TN (MEM) 5:10pm Coach
AR ATLANTA, GA (ATL) 7:35pm
Looks like you are making progress! However, um, that connection in MSP. Um, no way. There is a 3:30 flight that is looking like a low.

It probably is pricing at 90 because you picked some domestic legs that arent at 25K. If the NRT legs are low, you probably have to break down the domestic legs more.

It looks like your trip to PDX isn't pricing out as low. If you want to fly on the 22nd the 7:35am departure is pricing out as low (connecting in SLC). You could then fly on on the 22nd to NRT. Youd have about a 90 min connection.

Having said that, something about the leg from MSP is pushing this from 60 to 90K...and that is confusing and is why we hate the award booking tool which is broken.
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Old May 15, 10, 5:39 pm
  #89  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by andymo99 View Post
A couple more hints:

1) Use klm.com to search for award availability on partners.

2) Call DL and ask for them to search AZ availability on TATL segments. They hate doing this because it is a manual request for them and they need to wait for a response. Usually when I ask for my itinerary (knowing from klm.com that AZ TATL is available) they say there is nothing avaialable at low levels. I say "Have you checked partners?" They say "yes." I say "have you checked AZ?" They say "no." They proceed to do so and find what I found.

My next 3 TATL awards all involve BOS-FCO in J for 2 pax. (continuing to ATH, CAI and GVA.) The unfortunate aspects are:
**AZ TATL J is inferior to DL/KL/AZ products (I've heard)
**The return FCO-BOS is too early to enable this to work in reverse. Thus my return routings generally include 3-4 segments, a change from JFK to LGA and an overnight in NY (don't get me started).
Thank you for your suggestions!

Sorry for having to ask this, but I am new to the process and have been getting a little lost in the acronyms What does AZ TATL stand for? Also, what did you mean by "in J for 2 pax."? I assume J is either coach or business class, but not sure which??

Thanks!
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Old May 15, 10, 5:45 pm
  #90  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 7
you are right about the connection at MSP, I thought I had picked the 4/9 flight for the same time (115pm) and thought we would just get a hotel for one day. But, somehow, I must have punched in the wrong thing.

Is there a way to change what I have on hold as I work on this? Can we put more than one trip on hold at a time?
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