How to make Sky Pesos work for you

Old Nov 7, 11, 6:56 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AUS
Programs: Delta 1MM / DM, Avis First, Marriott Platinum, HH Diamond, Hyatt Gold
Posts: 185
How to make Sky Pesos work for you

Interesting thoughts here
scm53 is offline  
Old Nov 7, 11, 7:05 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 1,627
Dear Jeff Robertson, that's the oddest description of "best in class" I've ever seen.
starflyer is offline  
Old Nov 8, 11, 6:58 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA Platinum, HH Diamond
Posts: 1,877
Originally Posted by scm53 View Post
Interesting thoughts here
This is a GREAT summary how to book Delta award tickets. Everyone should read this blog

Mods...should this blog perhaps even be a sticky of some sort? It really covers so many questions posted here all the time...?
Winkdaddy is offline  
Old Nov 8, 11, 12:40 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: check foursquare
Programs: Delta DM & 2MM, SPG Lifetime Plat, Hyatt, AA, HH Gold, $tarbucks Titanium
Posts: 14,347
Originally Posted by Winkdaddy View Post
This is a GREAT summary how to book Delta award tickets. Everyone should read this blog
I agree that everyone should read that summary, especially Jeff Robertson & Tim Mapes
itsaboutthejourney is offline  
Old Nov 8, 11, 1:36 pm
  #5  
fti
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: MN
Programs: Lots of programs, dirt on all of them!
Posts: 11,899
With all due respect to Gary, what I shared at the CHI Seminars, combining ffI's and my information was more comprehensive than that and gave additional tips for maximizing Delta miles. Plan on coming to the CHI Seminars next September. There will always be some new topics and some repeated topics. Well worth 48 hours of your life!
fti is offline  
Old Nov 8, 11, 1:41 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: DL Silver, HH Diamond, IHG Plat, BW Diamond
Posts: 26,644
I've spotted some common DL errors in the blog post as well. IOS and fuel surcharges by partners. Mostly originating in Europe. Not so much everywhere else.

MH, and one or two Chinese airlines are the main culprits in Asia, and V Australia was added recently, me thinks.
Jaimito Cartero is offline  
Old Nov 8, 11, 5:12 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SUX
Programs: BA Silver; HHonors Gold; SPG Gold; Points but dirt with everyone else
Posts: 8,050
Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
I've spotted some common DL errors in the blog post as well. IOS and fuel surcharges by partners. Mostly originating in Europe. Not so much everywhere else.

MH, and one or two Chinese airlines are the main culprits in Asia, and V Australia was added recently, me thinks.
+1

I pointed it out in the comments. I find that the travel bloggers/award bookers who don't have DL status tend to get those things wrong 99% of the time. Lucky/Ben is particularly lacking in DL knowledge, and people pay him to book awards. I think for DL stuff, you need to look at thepointsguy/Brian for real knowledge, and even then, he tends to focus more on US-Europe.
mtkeller is offline  
Old Nov 8, 11, 6:27 pm
  #8  
fti
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: MN
Programs: Lots of programs, dirt on all of them!
Posts: 11,899
Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
+1

I pointed it out in the comments. I find that the travel bloggers/award bookers who don't have DL status tend to get those things wrong 99% of the time. Lucky/Ben is particularly lacking in DL knowledge, and people pay him to book awards. I think for DL stuff, you need to look at thepointsguy/Brian for real knowledge, and even then, he tends to focus more on US-Europe.
The problem is that there is a bigger demand for award bookers than supply. I am pretty sure that neither Lucky nor TPG are taking new clients for award bookings anymore, though that might not be true of TPG. Gary has a wealth of knowledge, but as pointed out doesn't have a keen knowledge of the DL award program.
fti is offline  
Old Nov 8, 11, 6:30 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: ATL/LAX
Posts: 4,868
Frankly, while I do read all the blogs on my Google Reader each morning to get the "gist" of things, I find much more information and help here on the forums. And most of that is when I've done 95% of the work and reading myself but can't connect the last 5% to have what I want work out.

Most of this is DL-specific, mostly because the blogs don't want anything to do with DL when it comes to miles and points (and with good reasons -- poor availability at the low level and lack of international F, which is what they focus their points burning on). However, as a "casual DL elite" who earns over 150K a year through flying, promos, and "customer service bonuses," the forum helps me put those points to use much more than the bloggers do.
amolkold is offline  
Old Nov 9, 11, 3:00 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SUX
Programs: BA Silver; HHonors Gold; SPG Gold; Points but dirt with everyone else
Posts: 8,050
Originally Posted by fti View Post
The problem is that there is a bigger demand for award bookers than supply. I am pretty sure that neither Lucky nor TPG are taking new clients for award bookings anymore, though that might not be true of TPG. Gary has a wealth of knowledge, but as pointed out doesn't have a keen knowledge of the DL award program.
Good points. I think Gary's lack of DL knowledge showed a while back when he tried to price an open jaw award on DL.dumb that included trying to do EZE (or somewhere else in S. America) to SYD and was astounded at the miles required. The OJ was legal, but if I recall correctly, there was no published fare to SYD from where he was trying to depart (or there was a fare, but it had no valid routing), so it was breaking down into one-ways. I agree that DL.dumb is pretty bad at pricing awards, and sometimes there appears to be a random number generator involved, but it's at least worth trying to figure out how it's priced if you're putting yourself out there as an expert. Otherwise, stick to being an expert on the things you're actually an expert on.
mtkeller is offline  
Old Nov 9, 11, 4:45 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,222
Hey folks, just popping in for a moment to say thanks to the folks that enjoyed or found some value in my blog post on booking Delta awards.

Of course there's more to Delta awards than what I've put into a single blog post. It's a public post and just.. a single blog post. It's also a part of a larger series on booking awards, so isn't meant to be all-inclusive.

It's written in some generalities, I always appreciate comments because it helps to hear how folks read a particular statement, sometimes differently than intended, though to be clear there absolutely are several non-European carriers and non-European originating routes where fuel surcharges prevail. In the post I give some examples for various phenomena I don't mean for it to be comprehensive given the short format. (And by the way, Delta absolutely publishes fares and with routings EZE-SYD... the point of that other post was simply to illustrate some of the 'interesting' pricing that Delta.com generates, offering a rather extreme case)

Folks who write about their own expertise, congrulations to you! And those who take shots at my simple introduction to booking awards with Skymiles, please consider writing your own guides.

As for my award bookig service, I'm not looking for any award booking business, I've booked well over a hundred million miles in low level premium cabin awards across mileage programs, I've had plenty of exposure in travel magazines and in newspapers. So when folks from frequent flyer forums come to me I generally try to offer them free advice rather than paid services, I'd rather teach them to make their own bookings.

Of course I'm always learning, too. I'm far from infallible and I'm always getting more experienced and more knowledgable. Where I fall short, I do want to know!

Best,
Gary
gleff is offline  
Old Nov 9, 11, 5:16 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SUX
Programs: BA Silver; HHonors Gold; SPG Gold; Points but dirt with everyone else
Posts: 8,050
Originally Posted by gleff View Post
It's written in some generalities, I always appreciate comments because it helps to hear how folks read a particular statement, sometimes differently than intended, though to be clear there absolutely are several non-European carriers and non-European originating routes where fuel surcharges prevail.
Thanks for chiming in Gary. The bit that I found particularly problematic, even given the short form was

They add an international origination surcharge for awards beginning outside North America. This means members are out of pocket more for awards which begin abroad than if they were spending United, American, US Airways, etc. miles.
True, you don't say all there so it's not as absolute as it might be. However, it reads like an absolute to me and suggests that were you to find an award originating anywhere outside of North America, you'd be stuck paying the YQ. This is increasingly becoming true for partners, and that's increasingly the only way to get awards priced at low. However, if you can find DL metal awards originating in Australia, Asia, Africa (excluding the part of North Africa lumped in with Europe for the award chart), or South America, you won't pay YQ. I'm happy to be proven wrong if you can find a route originating in one of those reasons using DL metal that incurs the IOS, but we've had a DL rep here post that it should only be charged on awards originating from Europe (or the Middle East if AF/KL is involved) and then of course for partners for whom DL collects YQ regardless of origin.

I stand corrected on the EZE-SYD bit, but I still would have liked a bit more analysis. I think that's the sort of thing that can help people who are trying to redeem miles, since if you understand what's breaking down in the pricing (Is it going additive because of segments at different price bands, for instance?), you might stand a chance of persuading a supervisor to price it properly.
mtkeller is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: