HNL to Europe using SkyMiles

Old Dec 17, 18, 2:12 pm
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HNL to Europe using SkyMiles

Aloha! First time posting. Iím Delta GM (might get to Platinum in next two weeks, weíll see) Anyway, I am hoping to use SkyMiles to book flights from Honolulu to Europe this July. Will be going to Austria and France but doesnít really matter which airport, dates and order of cities very flexible.

Iíve been searching a bit and it seems it might be better to try and use miles on a partner airline flying through Asia (ICN or NRT or PVG) to Europe rather than flying from HNL through the mainland on DL.

Any thoughts on this? Iím also not sure how easy it would be to book online or if Iíll have to call an agent and walk them through this as they also try to route through the mainland rather than across the dateline.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by browan04 View Post
Aloha! First time posting. Iím Delta GM (might get to Platinum in next two weeks, weíll see) Anyway, I am hoping to use SkyMiles to book flights from Honolulu to Europe this July. Will be going to Austria and France but doesnít really matter which airport, dates and order of cities very flexible.

Iíve been searching a bit and it seems it might be better to try and use miles on a partner airline flying through Asia (ICN or NRT or PVG) to Europe rather than flying from HNL through the mainland on DL.

Any thoughts on this? Iím also not sure how easy it would be to book online or if Iíll have to call an agent and walk them through this as they also try to route through the mainland rather than across the dateline.
Flying it more directly via TPE, PVG, NRT, KIX, NGO, etc. will be normally faster (only 1/2 an ocean vs 2 oceans to cross) and easier to book, plus better service levels also. But, you will be charged additive price. (Note: ICN is not available. All KE flights HNL-ICN are always blacked out by DL. Only KE HNL-NRT is available, so to go via ICN you have to go HNL - NRT or elsewhere - ICN.)

If you fly the long way over both Pacific and Atlantic, it'll price as a through fare, and if you can find dates and flights with normal pricing then grab it. Just avoid 737s and 757s of course, and for 767, A330 and 777 there are very few routes on DL (less than on AA or UA), and those are very rarely if ever available at the normal pricing.

Good luck!
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Old Dec 17, 18, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
Flying it more directly via TPE, PVG, NRT, KIX, NGO, etc. will be normally faster (only 1/2 an ocean vs 2 oceans to cross)
Continent sizes matter in my reality. Great Circle route HNL-LAX-CDG is ~1,900 miles shorter than HNL-ICN-CDG.

On a five-date range on April, HNL-ICN-CDG is no less than 40:30. HNL-LAX-CDG can be 18:50.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Continent sizes matter in my reality. Great Circle route HNL-LAX-CDG is ~1,900 miles shorter than HNL-ICN-CDG.

On a five-date range on April, HNL-ICN-CDG is no less than 40:30. HNL-LAX-CDG can be 18:50.
Yes it is much longer distance-wise but generally the flights through Asia are more pleasant despite the distance, I live in HI so Iím somewhat used to the routes but it seems that SkyMiles requires far fewer miles to fly through Asia because DL charges insane miles requirements from the mainland to Europe during the summer. But perhaps Iím not searching properly.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Continent sizes matter in my reality. Great Circle route HNL-LAX-CDG is ~1,900 miles shorter than HNL-ICN-CDG.

On a five-date range on April, HNL-ICN-CDG is no less than 40:30. HNL-LAX-CDG can be 18:50.
That is really cherrypicking , and picking HNL-ICN-(anything) is useless, as the KE HNL-ICN flights have been blocked (completely blacked out) for award bookings for a good 5+ years now, as pretty much everyone here knows.

DL has generally poor schedules and no real schedule coordination. Unless you want to be stuck on a 757 and 737 (and you do not), going via ATL, MSP or SLC (when it has A330 or 767) will give you a ~10 hour layover on the outbound, and not much better on the return. Either way, you are wasting some 10+ hours on the ground in ATL needlessly (Always Too Long connections).

Flying more directly via PVG, TPE, etc., you are only spending say 2, 3 or 4 hours on the connection, so your overall travel time is much less.

Unless you go through the madhouse that is LAX and suck it up and fly on a 757, connections going over both oceans don't really work that well.

The distances are not that different, though yes it is a bit shorter going over two oceans. For example, HNL-NRT-HEL 8,696 mi vs 8,170 mi HNL-LAX-HEL. But, connections usually work out better, and better service, aircraft, avoiding uncomfortable 757s and 737s, if flying over the Pacific and then Asia.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by browan04 View Post
Yes it is much longer distance-wise but generally the flights through Asia are more pleasant despite the distance, I live in HI so I’m somewhat used to the routes but it seems that SkyMiles requires far fewer miles to fly through Asia because DL charges insane miles requirements from the mainland to Europe during the summer. But perhaps I’m not searching properly.
That's exactly it.

You can get almost reasonable pricing of 70,000 one-way J HNL to EU over US48, if you happen to find flights at normal availability. When you do don't wait and book it. A day, or even an hour, later it is likely to be quadrupled, quintupled or more in price, as DL does the moment they see you searching.

Make sure to always search while LOGGED OUT, and preferably from a different browser and even better computer, than you normally use to access delta.com, and always do so in private/incognito mode. May help if you do it over a VPN also. That way, DL is less likely to track you and to show you your "customized" (i.e. several fold jacked up) pricing. Only log in once you have it in you cart and are going to check out.

It is also worthwhile searching via the DL app (that means that you are logged in, yes). Sometimes that may yield results when the site does not.

Key though is to just be lucky and happen to find something that is available at the normal pricing...which means searching every day for weeks and possibly months until you see that, if ever. It is possible, but a large part of it really is luck. There are times (rare) that there is good availability on many (most if not all) days at normal price, but then Rev Mgmnt catches it and quadruples or quintuples the pricing throughout.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 7:50 pm
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I live in HNL and go to LHR once a year and never thought of going via Asia. I always get a non stop from LAX or SFO. Got a United economy rt for 70,000 miles a month or two back, then upgrade to economy plus. I'll have to look in to the Asia route,
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Old Dec 19, 18, 6:29 pm
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If there is a schedule change, bad weather or a hurricane Delta will let you rebook from Honolulu–Los Angeles/Seattle–wherever to Honolulu–Tokyo-Narita–wherever. In fact, in August when I was caught up in a Hawaii, Delta was even willing to do Kona–Honolulu–Tokyo-Narita–Shanghai–Detroit in Delta One business-class. Keep this in mind when booking out of Hawaii, whether cash or miles.

I was going to Singapore last year and delays almost kept me from missing Detroit–Tokyo-Narita. Delta offered to route me through Europe on Air France or KLM (I forget which) to Singapore in confirmed business-class, if I wanted. I was on an economy-class ticket in Delta One by virtue of a global upgrade certificate.

Also, if you can re-position from Honolulu to Guam or even Manila, Taipei or any of those places you might get a deal. Supposedly, Delta's award-redemption prices are much lower and closer to the old normals when you originate outside the 50 states. I would also search for award-redemption availability from Nagoya.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
If there is a schedule change, bad weather or a hurricane Delta will let you rebook from Honolulu–Los Angeles/Seattle–wherever to Honolulu–Tokyo-Narita–wherever. In fact, in August when I was caught up in a Hawaii, Delta was even willing to do Kona–Honolulu–Tokyo-Narita–Shanghai–Detroit in Delta One business-class. Keep this in mind when booking out of Hawaii, whether cash or miles.
This is false. DL adamantly never does this, even for DM customers. DL will rather have you delayed by 72 hours than route you anywhere other than through ATL, or whereever you were to set to go on, strictly on DL only. Also even in major tech issues and multiple flight cancellations due to DL maintenance issues, DL generally will even refuse to let you fly on KL (flight wide open) or other JV partners. Speaking from multiple experiences. At best res agents will put such routing, but then it will be never ticketed.

On UA and possibly other airlines, this is indeed true (for any pax award or revenue, status or no status). Just not on DL.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 9:30 pm
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
This is false. DL adamantly never does this, even for DM customers. DL will rather have you delayed by 72 hours than route you anywhere other than through ATL, or whereever you were to set to go on, strictly on DL only. Also even in major tech issues and multiple flight cancellations due to DL maintenance issues, DL generally will even refuse to let you fly on KL (flight wide open) or other JV partners. Speaking from multiple experiences. At best res agents will put such routing, but then it will be never ticketed.

On UA and possibly other airlines, this is indeed true (for any pax award or revenue, status or no status). Just not on DL.
It's not false because myself and two others had it happen to them this summer.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
It's not false because myself and two others had it happen to them this summer.
That's great. Good for you.

DL must be coming around to be more customer centric, or you were really lucky.

To be fair, my experience for more than 48 hours DL steadfast refusing to do this (well, agents would, but then it just won't get ticketed, so I'm standing at gate and KLM sees the PNR but needs it ticketed by DL to have me board - call to DL says have to get authorization from ATL, call to DL ATL says "No, must fly on DL"), when there were literally no DL flights out for two days, was several years ago. Just that has always stuck in my mind, how very much anti-customer DL was compared to NW (then it was still fresh). With NW would have never been a problem. With DL, "no favors, no waivers, and your status doesn't matter." It was a stark difference, that is why it's so memorable.

So yes, I have to put a qualifier that my experience is several years ago. I didn't think DL had changed for the better in any way since, but may be it has, at least in this one aspect. (Or you were exceptionally lucky.) Looks like everything else, this is an area where DL is consistently inconsistent.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
That's great. Good for you.

DL must be coming around to be more customer centric, or you were really lucky.

To be fair, my experience for more than 48 hours DL steadfast refusing to do this (well, agents would, but then it just won't get ticketed, so I'm standing at gate and KLM sees the PNR but needs it ticketed by DL to have me board - call to DL says have to get authorization from ATL, call to DL ATL says "No, must fly on DL"), when there were literally no DL flights out for two days, was several years ago. Just that has always stuck in my mind, how very much anti-customer DL was compared to NW (then it was still fresh). With NW would have never been a problem. With DL, "no favors, no waivers, and your status doesn't matter." It was a stark difference, that is why it's so memorable.

So yes, I have to put a qualifier that my experience is several years ago. I didn't think DL had changed for the better in any way since, but may be it has, at least in this one aspect. (Or you were exceptionally lucky.) Looks like everything else, this is an area where DL is consistently inconsistent.
I didn't say it wasn't on Delta. Delta flies from Honolulu to Tokyo-Narita. It's probably a little different if you're on the mainland United States, where Delta has more flights. If you're on island or even somewhere in the Pacific, like Manila or Singapore with limited Delta flighs, and something goes wrong it could really throw everything off. In the few times things have happened when I've flown out of these places Delta has been very good about rebooking and giving options, including on competing and partner airlines.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 2:15 pm
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
That is really cherrypicking , and picking HNL-ICN-(anything) is useless, as the KE HNL-ICN flights have been blocked (completely blacked out) for award bookings for a good 5+ years now, as pretty much everyone here knows.
This is incorrect. I flew HNL-ICN-NAN with two J award tickets in October 2015 booked via DL, and have the photos of a honeymoon cake catered ex-HNL to prove it

Not saying things havenít changed more recently, but it was certainly available then.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
DL has generally poor schedules and no real schedule coordination. Unless you want to be stuck on a 757 and 737 (and you do not), going via ATL, MSP or SLC (when it has A330 or 767) will give you a ~10 hour layover on the outbound, and not much better on the return. Either way, you are wasting some 10+ hours on the ground in ATL needlessly (Always Too Long connections).

Unless you go through the madhouse that is LAX and suck it up and fly on a 757, connections going over both oceans don't really work that well.
While it still involves the "madhouse" of LAX, one could avoid the 737s/757s by doing HNL-LAX-LHR on DL/VS with the daytime 767 on HNL-LAX, connecting to a VS 787 flight. Of course LHR has limited SkyTeam options to points beyond in Europe but point is there are ways to get to Europe while avoiding the long ground layovers in ATL/SLC/MSP and while also avoiding the 737s/757s.

This may also be a case where one could look to fly eastward both directions by flying via the US when going TO Europe and possibly also eastward via Asia when returning from Europe to Hawaii.
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Old Dec 21, 18, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
This is incorrect. I flew HNL-ICN-NAN with two J award tickets in October 2015 booked via DL, and have the photos of a honeymoon cake catered ex-HNL to prove it

Not saying things havenít changed more recently, but it was certainly available then.
That is not going, say, ICN-HAN(orSGN)-CDG or such though, which is what I was writing about. Used to work, now no more as of some two years ago (at least as far as I can see).
Point was N Asia to EU via S Asia no longer appears to work
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