Delta One to Rome using skymiles

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Old Dec 1, 18, 5:27 pm
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Delta One to Rome using skymiles

I see RT miles required of 350-500K for MIA-FCO. 2 years ago we did it for 175K each! Any advise on how to find a fare close to 200K skymiles for Delta one or Partner first class? Thanks
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Old Dec 1, 18, 5:29 pm
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Date flexibility. Delta.com will search all the relevant partner carriers Delta, AF, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Alitalia.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 11:40 am
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I am trying at 180K each, so far no luck. I do believe I'll eventually get something to Italy (very flexible for dates a cities), but it won't be easy.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 12:18 pm
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DL low-level TATL D1 awards are 86K each-way/172K roundtrip (CSV860 fares with 90-day advance purchase requirement). Award calendar shows availability on ATL-MXP for travel 4/2 - 4/9 at that level. You claimed you were "very flexible". Too bad you missed out on the award flash sale a few weeks ago when awards were 98K roundtrip for D1 to Europe.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 6:48 pm
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Values are all over the place.

As mentioned, random sales happen. We are doing JFK-ZRH fro 16k each way plus small cash fees.

Tried booking from home city... triple that. Will just fly another airline to NY.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 7:24 pm
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Outside of the sales (and sometimes even during them), good luck with getting any reasonable redemptions for Delta One. Typically, they're eye-popping figures, like 600K and 800K. 350K is kind of the low end.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
Outside of the sales (and sometimes even during them), good luck with getting any reasonable redemptions for Delta One. Typically, they're eye-popping figures, like 600K and 800K. 350K is kind of the low end.
One needs to look (and to be realistic if desiring to travel in peak seasons). I found 168K (MIA-LHR-FCO) R/T on VS + AZ on the first date range I looked.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 7:42 pm
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What time of year are you looking? I get JFK-FCO at least once or twice a year for the 175K or even 150K range. It takes some flexibility, just like anything.

A couple of things that have helped: 1. Look for Alitalia availability JFK-FCO. It's good service and sometimes those are available and then you can go over to Delta and look for them specifically. 2. Consider another European city more likely to have availability and buy the intra-EU fare closer to the date of travel. 3. If you are looking at least 6 months in advance and there are ANY flights JFK-FCO even if there is a connection, go ahead and book it (especially if you are PM). If that flight changes or cancels then you'll have fair game to grab a DL flight on those dates with better times and connections.

FCO has become increasingly more difficult lately. And, just so you feel better, I didn't find a single JFK-FCO seat during the flash sale, so I don't think you missed anything.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 8:22 pm
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Though not an issue yet for Tran-Atlantic - if the equipment is an a350 - the prices jump way up.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by paterwdb View Post
FCO has become increasingly more difficult lately. And, just so you feel better, I didn't find a single JFK-FCO seat during the flash sale, so I don't think you missed anything.
I was looking thru February JFK-FCO and didn't find anything during the 98K sale.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 10:24 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
One needs to look (and to be realistic if desiring to travel in peak seasons). I found 168K (MIA-LHR-FCO) R/T on VS + AZ on the first date range I looked.
Well, let's e clear.. one needs to:
  • Be flexible on the dates traveled
  • Be flexible on the equipment traveled (I have yet to see a D1 "suite" for less than 125K one way)
  • Be flexible on the departure city (i.e., be willing to reposition for your TALT leg)

Delta D1 awards are terribly difficult to get at reasonable values and often work out to less than 1 cent per mile worth of redemption value. Yes, it is possible to do it if one doesn't mind two connections when there is a non-stop option and can fly any time they want, but compared to United or AA the process is ridiculously difficult. There is flexibility and then there is masochism.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 10:37 pm
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Just as an example of what I see so frequently... after finangling with different trip durations (13, 14, 15, 16 days to try to get every mix of offpeak travel possible with minimum stay requirements met) I was able to find... one flight at 280K SkyMiles in April for ATL to FCO (note that it is no better in September). I picked April and September strategically since they are shoulder seasons and should have the most capacity. Obviously anything earlier than March means that the 86K fares don't exist since they have a 90 day minimum purchase requirement. This 280K is with a long layover in JFK (want a short layover? That's an extra 30K SkyPesos). Want a nonstop? That's 450K+ SkyPesos.

I can go on Google Flights and find - with wide open availability - nonstop outbounds and one-stop return flights for $2.6K. I can get a superior flight (no connection on the outbound) with wide open flexibility for $2.6K whereas a crappy route with a long layover is 280K SkyPesos. If I want comparable routes that cost shoots up to a minimum of 350K and usually more like 450K+. That means that a .76 cent per mile redemption rate. And this is not specific to ATL-FCO - this is ATL to pretty much anywhere. CDG? AMS? It's all the same - <1 CPM redemption rates.

Delta's D1 SkyMile pricing is just punitive. Full stop. It's the most embarrassing thing about their program. No other airline consistently has so many routes at <1 CPM for J redemptions.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 8:20 am
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Thank you all for your comments and advise. After much searching for a unicorn...I found one - MIA-ATL-FCO FCO-MIA for $2500 each person in D1/Business! 4/17/19-5/1/19. Jumped on it! I'll save my 700K+ Skymiles to fight another day.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 8:39 am
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I'm pretty sure you won't die if you fly coach. Took my family of 4 and sister-in-law to Rome a few years ago for 60K each in coach. I didn't waste hours and hours endlessly searching for awards or making big compromises as far as travel dates (we went in the summer when kids were out of school). We had a great time and nobody remembers or cares that we flew coach. Seems pretty silly me to sit on your miles forever insisting the ONLY real use is for J and the ONLY if you greater than >4 CPM of value.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
I'm pretty sure you won't die if you fly coach. Took my family of 4 and sister-in-law to Rome a few years ago for 60K each in coach. I didn't waste hours and hours endlessly searching for awards or making big compromises as far as travel dates (we went in the summer when kids were out of school). We had a great time and nobody remembers or cares that we flew coach. Seems pretty silly me to sit on your miles forever insisting the ONLY real use is for J and the ONLY if you greater than >4 CPM of value.
I agree, which is what makes Delta's active attempt to make award redemptions difficult so aggravating. And the issue here isn't about 4 cpm - that's a fairy that left Delta long ago - at this point it's just about finding even reasonable (1-1.5 cpm) redemptions. Delta has essentially made their miles non-bookable for international J unless you want to take a big hit relative to domestic trips.
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