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Newby Gold is begging for Delta expert advice on award ticket to Asia!

Newby Gold is begging for Delta expert advice on award ticket to Asia!

Old Nov 17, 11, 12:39 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 57
Newby Gold is begging for Delta expert advice on award ticket to Asia!

My DH just made gold on Delta (the hard way).

I am really really hoping to maximize our Delta points next time we go on vacation.

I will lay out what we have and maybe some delta experts can offer a strategy (the trip is still far away, so I have time to plan and work on things).

We have right now
Delta points balance:
DH: 159K
Me: 50K
DH: 300 delta bucks
400K Marriott points (they might be converted to miles?)

DH also got an offer for 75,000 delta Amex, but I think it expired - we are refinancing our mortgage right now and don't want to open any cards until it is done.

What we want:
Round trip to Shanghai in July.
We fly together, I will stay for 4 weeks but DH will come back after 2. (Actually, we are going to Nanjing, but we fly to Shanghai to make it happen.)

1. If possible at all on an award ticket to be upgraded !
(Flying business or first class is one of the items on my bucket list, DH is upgraded all the time when flying for business. Since I only fly for leisure and have no status (I had silver once, but did not fly after getting it) I have never known anything but the economy!!! For once in my life, I would like to fly on a long long trip to Asia in business or first! Help!

I could really use such break after taking care of the baby while DH was flying around in first class. He would would be happy to give up his upgrade for me if we could only get one(is that allowed, btw?). But, of course I would like sit with him on our flight there.

Can you even get an upgrade on an award ticket?

Can you buy an upgrade with points if the you bought the ticket with points?


2. A stopover in Tokyo (Delta flight to Shanghai has a layover in Narita anyway, it would be nice to get off it and get back 3-4 days later for a nominal fee or free)
OR
if that is not possible, we'd like to visit some place like Singapore(5 nights) in the cheapest possible way airfare-wise. (Marriott is free anywhere)

Are any of these things possible? Is more than one possible? Would they be possible if we got more miles by opening an Amex card (or even 2) or earned them in some other way?

I know it sounds like I want alot, it is just I have been looking forward to going on this trip for 4 years and I want to make the best out of it.
Halle8 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 1:04 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: Miles&more, SPG, Hyatt
Posts: 388
Originally Posted by Halle8 View Post
My DH just made gold on Delta (the hard way).

I am really really hoping to maximize our Delta points next time we go on vacation.

I will lay out what we have and maybe some delta experts can offer a strategy (the trip is still far away, so I have time to plan and work on things).

We have right now
Delta points balance:
DH: 159K
Me: 50K
DH: 300 delta bucks
400K Marriott points (they might be converted to miles?)

DH also got an offer for 75,000 delta Amex, but I think it expired - we are refinancing our mortgage right now and don't want to open any cards until it is done.

What we want:
Round trip to Shanghai in July.
We fly together, I will stay for 4 weeks but DH will come back after 2. (Actually, we are going to Nanjing, but we fly to Shanghai to make it happen.)

1. If possible at all on an award ticket to be upgraded !
(Flying business or first class is one of the items on my bucket list, DH is upgraded all the time when flying for business. Since I only fly for leisure and have no status (I had silver once, but did not fly after getting it) I have never known anything but the economy!!! For once in my life, I would like to fly on a long long trip to Asia in business or first! Help!

I could really use such break after taking care of the baby while DH was flying around in first class. He would would be happy to give up his upgrade for me if we could only get one(is that allowed, btw?). But, of course I would like sit with him on our flight there.

Can you even get an upgrade on an award ticket?

Can you buy an upgrade with points if the you bought the ticket with points?


2. A stopover in Tokyo (Delta flight to Shanghai has a layover in Narita anyway, it would be nice to get off it and get back 3-4 days later for a nominal fee or free)
OR
if that is not possible, we'd like to visit some place like Singapore(5 nights) in the cheapest possible way airfare-wise. (Marriott is free anywhere)

Are any of these things possible? Is more than one possible? Would they be possible if we got more miles by opening an Amex card (or even 2) or earned them in some other way?

I know it sounds like I want alot, it is just I have been looking forward to going on this trip for 4 years and I want to make the best out of it.

1. You do not get free upgrades on international flights with BE service anyways. Not even on revenue coach ticket and it's impossible on award ticket.

2. DL requires 120,000 miles per person per round trip for business class award to aisa at low award level. In theory you don't have enough miles for it to happen for 2 people

3. DL award availability to asia is VERY LIMITED, low level award is very hard to find to asia. If you have enough miles, I'd try the following:

Call and ask for DL MSP/DTW/NRT/JFK/LAX/PDX/SEA to NRT. They are not very likely to be open but worth trying.

If the above mentioned routes don't work, ask for KE (Korean Air) from LAX-NRT (KE flies this using 5th freedom). Usually KE1 has one business award seat at a time. You may be out of luck if you two want to travel together.

Another option would be ask for MH or CI going LAX-TPE, connecting on CI to NRT, make a stopover and then connect to DL to PVG. I actually think MU has a NRT-NKG flight so if you want to fly right into NKG it'd be possible too.

DL NRT-PVG is generally easy to get an award seat or two on.
hansyuwiwb is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 1:15 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Planet Earth
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Just to add to previous poster

Right now DL has a November promotion for 100% bonus miles for transfer.

If you have the cash to spare it will help get you up to J class if you transfer 150K miles of his miles to your account would give you 300K miles to play with. I think it is easier to make it happen this way. You of course need to sign up for it and read the T&C first.

Middle of summer is a tough time to fly because it all depends on availability. You are much better off, if you are willing to fly other partner airlines. But also be aware they may slap a Fuel Charge at the airport on you.

Last edited by DHalltheway; Nov 17, 11 at 1:20 pm
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Old Nov 17, 11, 1:15 pm
  #4  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 57
I forgot to mention we are flying from NYC.

2. DL requires 120,000 miles per person per round trip for business class award to aisa at low award level. In theory you don't have enough miles for it to happen for 2 people
If he got a 75K miles and than flew cross country 2 more times, we should get to 240K...
or, for his second ticket get one way business return in economy (is that allowed).
Plus, don't know what to do with my 50,000. It is neither here nor there.

Or, are we allowed to buy a ticket with DHs points, and use my points for a one-way upgrade?
Halle8 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 1:18 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 57
Right now DL has a November promotion for 100% bonus miles for transfer.

If you have the cash to spare it will help get you up to J class if you transfer 150K miles of his miles to your account would give you 300K miles to play with. I think it is easier to make it happen this way.
I think this promotion has ended. I can't find it on Delta's website.
Halle8 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 1:23 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: MSP
Programs: Delta PM, 1MM
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Originally Posted by Halle8 View Post
I forgot to mention we are flying from NYC.



If he got a 75K miles and than flew cross country 2 more times, we should get to 240K...
or, for his second ticket get one way business return in economy (is that allowed).
Plus, don't know what to do with my 50,000. It is neither here nor there.

Or, are we allowed to buy a ticket with DHs points, and use my points for a one-way upgrade?
You cannot use miles to upgrade an award ticket.
CarmenOM is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 1:34 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by Halle8 View Post
I think this promotion has ended. I can't find it on Delta's website.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...r-edition.html

I am not following it so I just remember reading the title.

Anyways if you are flying out of NYC, another option is to get to Asia via Europe. So you fly via KL/AF to PVG, if you want to go to NRT / SIN, just book an open jaw award ticket and buy/redeem 1 way award (for DL their 1 way award is the same price as a two way award so I would buy if possible).

Originally Posted by Halle8 View Post
I forgot to mention we are flying from NYC.



If he got a 75K miles and than flew cross country 2 more times, we should get to 240K...
or, for his second ticket get one way business return in economy (is that allowed).
Plus, don't know what to do with my 50,000. It is neither here nor there.

Or, are we allowed to buy a ticket with DHs points, and use my points for a one-way upgrade?
You can get 1 way J and 1 way Y. I've done it before on DL metal, not sure if you can on partner metal.

you can use your 50,000 to redeem PVG to NRT / SIN pending availability.

http://dmn.delta.com/skymiles/direct/charts/n_asia/

Last edited by DHalltheway; Nov 17, 11 at 1:40 pm
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Old Nov 17, 11, 2:06 pm
  #8  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 57
Thank you for the links, I will review them this evening.

My husband just emailed me this link: https://www.marriott.com/rewards/use...ck.mi#packages

Can this be our answer? It looks like a fantastic deal, we can get 120K of delta points in a snap.

If so, just few questions would be left: open jaw or stopover possibility on a point booked ticket?
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Old Nov 17, 11, 2:11 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by DHalltheway View Post
Anyways if you are flying out of NYC, another option is to get to Asia via Europe. So you fly via KL/AF to PVG, if you want to go to NRT / SIN, just book an open jaw award ticket and buy/redeem 1 way award (for DL their 1 way award is the same price as a two way award so I would buy if possible).
Originally Posted by Halle8 View Post
If so, just few questions would be left: open jaw or stopover possibility on a point booked ticket?
DHalltheway is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 3:08 pm
  #10  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 57
OMG, I just tried a search for approximate dates of our trip and it resulted in 340K per person! They are crazy.

I am trying another genious idea now -- round trip to NRT for both of us. From there I'll just book NRT-PVG separately for both of us. It may be cheap enough to pay with money, apply delta bucks, or, since we fly separately, DH can maybe get it with AA miles.

Man, I feel like I am playing some kind of complicated strategy game.
Halle8 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 3:27 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Programs: CX, DL, Nexus/GE, APEC
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Originally Posted by DHalltheway View Post
Just to add to previous poster

Right now DL has a November promotion for 100% bonus miles for transfer.

If you have the cash to spare it will help get you up to J class if you transfer 150K miles of his miles to your account would give you 300K miles to play with. I think it is easier to make it happen this way. You of course need to sign up for it and read the T&C first.

Middle of summer is a tough time to fly because it all depends on availability. You are much better off, if you are willing to fly other partner airlines. But also be aware they may slap a Fuel Charge at the airport on you.
Originally Posted by Halle8 View Post
I think this promotion has ended. I can't find it on Delta's website.
It is a targeted promotion to specific SM members.

Catch: You can only transfer maximum 30,000SM to another account.
tentseller is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 4:49 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Programs: Delta FO/1.3MM ~ United Silver ~ Marriott Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 1,434
Originally Posted by Halle8 View Post
OMG, I just tried a search for approximate dates of our trip and it resulted in 340K per person! They are crazy.

I am trying another genious idea now -- round trip to NRT for both of us. From there I'll just book NRT-PVG separately for both of us. It may be cheap enough to pay with money, apply delta bucks, or, since we fly separately, DH can maybe get it with AA miles.

Man, I feel like I am playing some kind of complicated strategy game.
Not sure which is easier, but you may be able to find seats to HND instead of NRT. Don't forget about that option as well.

And as for finding low awards to Asia, these are very, very tough to come by. IIRC, and from what I've heard from the AA folks, it's a lot easier using AA miles for awards. If you have that many Marriott points, you may be better gettin the Marriott award and having the miles deposited into AA and flying their metal over.

Skymiles is refered to as Skypesos for a reason.
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Old Nov 17, 11, 5:06 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Definitely going to want to look into partners. KE has been mentioned, and if your desired travel dates avoid their blackout dates, the A380 out of JFK may work great. Need to call DL to ask for inventory (for any partner to getty Asia). CZ (China Southern) will start operating A380s soon, and it sounds like after testing them domestically in China, they'll send them to the US. JFK or LAX would seem the likely targets.

Routing via Europe is an awful idea, since DL will charge more miles: 220K round trip, I believe.
mtkeller is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 5:13 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: Miles&more, SPG, Hyatt
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Originally Posted by Halle8 View Post
OMG, I just tried a search for approximate dates of our trip and it resulted in 340K per person! They are crazy.

I am trying another genious idea now -- round trip to NRT for both of us. From there I'll just book NRT-PVG separately for both of us. It may be cheap enough to pay with money, apply delta bucks, or, since we fly separately, DH can maybe get it with AA miles.

Man, I feel like I am playing some kind of complicated strategy game.
The only way to get to Asia in the middle of summer at 120K is using partner awards. KE is great if the dates you want is not on blackout list. CI and MH would get you to TPE if you are willing to pay the YQ. MU is not a good airline and CZ's route to CAN arrives at weird hours.
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Old Nov 17, 11, 7:17 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: ATL
Programs: DL PM, SPG Plat
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Halle8,

As everyone has pointed out, if you want to travel in business, you will need 120k miles each. Once you have that, you can probably find the flights you are looking for... although not without some hard work and several headaches along the way.

I just booked R/T, all business, for two at 120k each... going DTW-NRT (stop over) NRT-BKK (destination/open jaw) PVG-ICN (transfer... 24 hours) ICN-LAX-DTW.

I booked it for June. My search found much better availability in June as opposed to July.

So, my first question... are you committed to July? Or would June possibly work?

Also... the biggest problem you may find is your positioning flight. That is, the flight from your hometown to the international airport. But... my hope is to add those segments on later. As a platinum, that's free for me. If you will by chance by platinum by the time you fly, it may be free for you too. If not, you may have to pay a fee or just purchase the ticket to the international airport.
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