Delta Blocking Skyteam partners!

Old Jun 25, 10, 12:05 pm
  #1  
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Angry Delta Blocking Skyteam partners!

I've been bashing my head against the wall for months in a failed attempt to get a flight to Europe over christmas. Delta simply never has anything, even to CDG let alone on to the my desired final airport in Germany.

I am also a member of Air France's FlyingBlue program, and they do show plenty of award seats available for the flights I am interested in.

While we all know Delta has the worst availability on their own aircraft, it seems that they are also blocking access to their alliance partners, in this case Air France. United has already admitted to blocking availability with their partners in the Star alliance already. Though at least their availability is over 50% compared to Delta's 15% or less.

It is my guess that Delta is blocking access to their partners for award tickets. Now I will admit that in my case I have not done a scientific study of hundreds of routes and such.

What are others experiences on booking Skypesos with partner airlines?
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Old Jun 25, 10, 12:30 pm
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Have you called in?
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Old Jun 25, 10, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by NICEDUDE66 View Post
I've been bashing my head against the wall for months in a failed attempt to get a flight to Europe over christmas. Delta simply never has anything, even to CDG let alone on to the my desired final airport in Germany.

I am also a member of Air France's FlyingBlue program, and they do show plenty of award seats available for the flights I am interested in.

While we all know Delta has the worst availability on their own aircraft, it seems that they are also blocking access to their alliance partners, in this case Air France. United has already admitted to blocking availability with their partners in the Star alliance already. Though at least their availability is over 50% compared to Delta's 15% or less.

It is my guess that Delta is blocking access to their partners for award tickets. Now I will admit that in my case I have not done a scientific study of hundreds of routes and such.

What are others experiences on booking Skypesos with partner airlines?
I believe this is just the online system doesn't show all partners availability. Calling in usually gets you what you need.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 1:03 pm
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Oh yes, I should have added I've spoken with Skymiles CSRs a few times and to now avail. I've pointed out them apparent AF availability on specific flights, but they cannot see that on their Delta system, so no dice. I've argued it until I am blue it the face so it must be blocked.

Also I have of course tried to book online, but after multiple attempts I have never seen availability to CDG let alone on to Leipzig Germany where you have to speak with a CSR since its on partner aircraft.


Originally Posted by WBurcham View Post


Have you called in?
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Old Jun 25, 10, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by NICEDUDE66 View Post

Also I have of course tried to book online, but after multiple attempts I have never seen availability to CDG let alone on to Leipzig Germany where you have to speak with a CSR since its on partner aircraft.
There is availability to CDG from U.S gateways. Many redemptions are reported in the award success thread.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...-here-103.html

Using the award calendar rather than specific date search restricts searches to DL-operated only. That's a fail IAD-LEJ.

Flights to LEJ are bookable online. Found in <10 minutes of searching (long layover due to CDG-LEJ just 2x daily).

Washington-Dulles, DC (IAD) to Leipzig Halle, Germany (LEJ) on 30 Sep 2010
7:00pm
IAD 6:30pm
LEJ

Arrives 01 Oct 1-stop
Paris-De Gaulle, France (CDG)
(8 hr 25 min layover) 17 hr 30 min Air France 25
330
In-Flight Services Coach
Air France 2216
Embraer 145

Last edited by 3Cforme; Jun 25, 10 at 1:35 pm
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Old Jun 25, 10, 1:36 pm
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I have the same problem with KE. I've called delta to find the award seat(Y)on KE flights from any west coast US cities to BKK about 1 week before Thanksgiving. I've tried serveral dates, nothing available from LAX (4 flights per day), SFO, SEA, or YVR to ICN, but from ICN-BKK is ok.

Last edited by TJPACIFIC; Jun 25, 10 at 1:59 pm
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Old Jun 25, 10, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
There is availability to CDG from U.S gateways. Many redemptions are reported in the award success thread.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...-here-103.html

Using the award calendar rather than specific date search restricts searches to DL-operated only. That's a fail IAD-LEJ.

Flights to LEJ are bookable online. Found in <10 minutes of searching (long layover due to CDG-LEJ just 2x daily).

Washington-Dulles, DC (IAD) to Leipzig Halle, Germany (LEJ) on 30 Sep 2010
7:00pm
IAD 6:30pm
LEJ

Arrives 01 Oct 1-stop
Paris-De Gaulle, France (CDG)
(8 hr 25 min layover) 17 hr 30 min Air France 25
330
In-Flight Services Coach
Air France 2216
Embraer 145
Why didn't you search over Christmas? How does showing availability in a different month help the OP?

Last edited by PaulMSN; Jun 25, 10 at 2:02 pm
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Old Jun 25, 10, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by PaulMSN View Post
Why didn't you search over Christmas? How does showing availability in a different month help the OP?
The OP offered several theses:

1. There is no flight availability to CDG. This is false.

2. Flights CDG-LEJ aren't bookable online. This is false.

As for a Christmas search, there are non-stops IAD-CDG in Business, bookable for Low miles on delta.com, for Dec. 19, 20, 21, and 22. I believe if the OP used FB to find standard AF award X= coach O = business inventory (not some elite-specific or flex buckets) he would find it bookable with Delta miles.

Last edited by 3Cforme; Jun 25, 10 at 2:28 pm
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Old Jun 25, 10, 2:11 pm
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I gave up on Delta and Skymiles(and their Plat Amex card) last month after being a loyal Silver/Gold consistently and decided to burn my remaining miles - it is virtually impossible to get any sensible award bookings on Delta and its partners any more.

Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
The OP offered several theses:

1. There is no flight availability to CDG. This is false.

2. Flights CDG-LEJ aren't bookable online. This is false.

As for a Christmas search, there are non-stops IAD-CDG in Business, bookable for Low miles on delta.com, for Dec. 19, 20, 21, and 22.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by NICEDUDE66 View Post
Oh yes, I should have added I've spoken with Skymiles CSRs a few times and to now avail. I've pointed out them apparent AF availability on specific flights, but they cannot see that on their Delta system, so no dice. I've argued it until I am blue it the face so it must be blocked.
Can you give specific flights and dates? Many people have made such claims here, but so far (to my knowledge) nobody has ever shown an instance where EF or some other service shows X/O inventory on AF but DL won't book it. Keep in mind AF may give better availability to their own elites than to other airlines.
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Old Jul 1, 10, 3:08 pm
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I can attest to this. I've tried redeeming with Delta, American, and US Air in the past. Its been a while since I've done Delta for overseas, but I did redeem it for a domestic flight, routing is all using NW jets since they hadn't fully converted over: PIT->MEM (stopover for 3 days), MEM->LAX, then a couple days later on President's Day: LAX->DTW->PIT. I had to use 32.5k miles per ticket so I was a little annoyed b/c its more than the 25k it should've been, but whatever, its better than paying $500/ticket. I can say that I haven't paid for a ticket to Europe in 10 years and have mostly redeemed skymiles for it. However the last time I used skymiles to do so, it was a few years. It was a pain and you have to travel by yourself. I was able to redeem a flight to Aruba with my wife, with a stopover 2 years ago, and MEM-AUA legs were continental (such great service!).

Here's the strategy (so everyone weigh in). The way to get an overseas flight, especially to Europe, is to USE partner airlines. The OP has done so, but you've just got to keep calling at odd times and randomly. It sucks that DL has devalued their skmiles, its probably impossible to get a ticket for 60k miles but you can. You'll need to research all the partner possibilities and be as flexible as possible. Remember, you can also land in a city and not depart on your next flight for 24 hours in order to avoid having it count as a stoppover. The last European ticket that I got using skymiles (60K), was routed as such, with a stopover in AMS for 1 day: DCA-DTW-AMS-MXP-NAP;NAP-MXP-IAD.
Also remember that if your market has more than one airport (like DC has 3 airports as does NYC), you can fly out of 1 and return in the other and still do your stopover b/c its not considered an open-jaw.

I'm with the OP on this one, skymiles are too difficult to redeem. You almost have to have gold or even platinum at the minimum, since everyone has silver. I've had more recent success with US Air's agent and just did PIT-ORD-YYR-PEK-KIX;NRT-IAD-PIT for 60k miles. The PEK break was not counted as a stopover b/c I landed at 245pm and didn't depart until 830 am the next morning to Osaka. I also departed Japan to the US from Tokyo, so that was the open jaw part. Anyways, I used several partners and the US Air people didn't really care as long as I was feeding them the flights. The ticket to buy outright would've been over $2k, now thats a great use of miles! Btw, all of what I've done has been on coach!
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Old Jul 1, 10, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by MBAcapitalist View Post
The way to get an overseas flight, especially to Europe, is to USE partner airlines. The OP has done so, but you've just got to keep calling at odd times and randomly.

Also remember that if your market has more than one airport (like DC has 3 airports as does NYC), you can fly out of 1 and return in the other and still do your stopover b/c its not considered an open-jaw.

I'm with the OP on this one, skymiles are too difficult to redeem. You almost have to have gold or even platinum at the minimum, since everyone has silver.
Welcome! A very good first post! I agree on the above parts of your post. On the last point, I am not really convinced that Platinum has better award availability than non-status members, but the phone-in service I get as a Plat is what makes it possible to book stuff that cannot be done on delta.com
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Old Jul 1, 10, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by MBAcapitalist View Post
Here's the strategy (so everyone weigh in). The way to get an overseas flight, especially to Europe, is to USE partner airlines. The OP has done so, but you've just got to keep calling at odd times and randomly. It sucks that DL has devalued their skmiles, its probably impossible to get a ticket for 60k miles but you can. You'll need to research all the partner possibilities and be as flexible as possible. Remember, you can also land in a city and not depart on your next flight for 24 hours in order to avoid having it count as a stoppover. The last European ticket that I got using skymiles (60K), was routed as such, with a stopover in AMS for 1 day: DCA-DTW-AMS-MXP-NAP;NAP-MXP-IAD.
Also remember that if your market has more than one airport (like DC has 3 airports as does NYC), you can fly out of 1 and return in the other and still do your stopover b/c its not considered an open-jaw.
Also, if it is possible to fly from Chicago - make sure you check on Air France and KLM flights from there to Europe. I have found that award tickets (including in Business Class) are frequently available from ORD -> CDG or ORD -> AMS and back. I have never noticed Delta blocking these flights. I always check availability first on the Air France USA site (their award seat search engine seems to actually work) and then go to Delta to book.

Last edited by RobertH; Jul 1, 10 at 7:40 pm
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Old Jul 1, 10, 10:26 pm
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I think it's an IT inventory system problem

I booked an AF award today. I did several searches and every other search, the AF flights went away. When I called the Diamond Line I was told they had NO avail for the flights I was looking at on my computer. So I ended up having the agent wait while I booked it so she could then go in and request seats for me. She wasn't fazed at all by the fact I found better avail than her.

AF is showing 9's in pretty much all classes on the exact (LAX-CDG) flights I wanted, but no DL avail. And this is for flights just a few days away.

I think it's an IT/inventory system problem; they are missing many opportunities to make customers happy while also reducing their liability of outstanding SkyPesos.
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Old Jul 2, 10, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by Bowgie View Post
Welcome! A very good first post! I agree on the above parts of your post. On the last point, I am not really convinced that Platinum has better award availability than non-status members, but the phone-in service I get as a Plat is what makes it possible to book stuff that cannot be done on delta.com
Like searching for partner availability or booking. I'm a PM so it doesn't matter, but tell me why anyone should have to pay for booking a SM ticket because they can't online. Really?
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