Close to NAN on DL??

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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:17 pm
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Close to NAN on DL??

I am planning a trip to NAN from TPA for my 20 year anniversary. Can I get some advice on the closest place I can get to NAN on DL or a partner (since DL apparently doesn't go there) and then get to NAN from there - Going that far I would like to earn DL miles and MQMs if possible. Thanks for your help.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:32 pm
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If it is before September 30th, Korean Air flies ICN-NAN a couple of times a week. If after, your best bet for the most time on Delta metal and schedule flexibility is probably to fly to Sydney and fly onwards from there (it's about a 4 hour flight). Your most direct would actually be Delta to HNL and then Fiji Airways from HNL to NAN. That said, it's a weekly flight only so somewhat high risk (and potentially inconvenient).
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:38 pm
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Just a suggestion: When youíre posting about an airport that is not well known or frequently discussed, itís a courtesy to others to specify the place as well as the airport code. In this case, to save others looking it up, NAN is Nadi, Fiji.

Sounds like a great anniversary celebration!
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:41 pm
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You can get as far as SIN on DL metal, through NRT, and SIN is a very good airport.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
You can get as far as SIN on DL metal, through NRT, and SIN is a very good airport.



I would not advise this. Sydney is much, much closer to NAN than SIN - a 4 hour flight versus a 10 hour flight. The great circle distance TPA-ATL-NRT-SIN-NAN is close to 16000 miles, whereas TPA-ATL-LAX-SYD-NAN is about 12000 miles. Going to Sydney (via LAX), one will basically overfly NAN on the way to SYD and then just has to backtrack.

The most direct via HNL (assuming that you don't want to take Fiji Airways from LAX) is only about 8000 miles (but again, high risk and potentially inconvenient).
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:59 pm
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To stick with DL metal the longest you'd need to fly to SYD (via LAX) and connect on their partner Virgin Australia. You can also instead of DL metal fly partner VA from LAX to SYD/MEL and onto NAN.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:01 pm
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The most rational way to get to NAN is via LAX and Fiji Airways. They offer reasonable fares and good service, and a bit of island charm to boot. Not a DL partner, but you can credit to or redeem miles from Alaska if that works for your needs.

The most SkyTeam way to get there is on Korean Air via ICN. We did this after our wedding for our honeymoon in 2015 and it was a lovely adventure, but probably ill advised in the final reckoning - HNL-ICN-NAN was a loooong slog, and we were pretty cranky by the time we got to Fiji. (The free honeymoon cake KE provided us helped matters, though, as did the upper deck on a 744 for the first segment.)

If youíre dead set on sticking with DL partners and metal, the way Iíd do it is via SYD/MEL/BNE and Virgin Australia. The 737 flight to Nadi is pretty grim - their premium economy product is lame and economy is lamer - but it gets you there in only a few hours of backtracking, and you can add a vacation down under to extend your beach fun. Weíve transited all three; of the airports, Brisbane is by far the worst, like an Aussie MCO. Avoid if possible, although it tends to have the best award availability, so... 🤷

Other Asian hubs donít make a heck of a lot of sense, so Iíd skip routes involving Singapore/Hong Kong/Denpasar unless youíre desperate for every mile.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:03 pm
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If VA serves NAM from SYD and MEL, problem solved. The OP can go the whole way to NAN using DL and partners, although VA isn't (yet) in SkyTeam so certain elite benefits such as lounge access can be a bit different.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
The most rational way to get to NAN is via LAX and Fiji Airways. They offer reasonable fares and good service, and a bit of island charm to boot. Not a DL partner, but you can credit to or redeem miles from Alaska if that works for your needs.

The most SkyTeam way to get there is on Korean Air via ICN. We did this after our wedding for our honeymoon in 2015 and it was a lovely adventure, but probably ill advised in the final reckoning - HNL-ICN-NAN was a loooong slog, and we were pretty cranky by the time we got to Fiji. (The free honeymoon cake KE provided us helped matters, though, as did the upper deck on a 744 for the first segment.)

If youíre dead set on sticking with DL partners and metal, the way Iíd do it is via SYD/MEL/BNE and Virgin Australia. The 737 flight to Nadi is pretty grim - their premium economy product is lame and economy is lamer - but it gets you there in only a few hours of backtracking, and you can add a vacation down under to extend your beach fun. Weíve transited all three; of the airports, Brisbane is by far the worst, like an Aussie MCO. Avoid if possible, although it tends to have the best award availability, so... 🤷

Other Asian hubs donít make a heck of a lot of sense, so Iíd skip routes involving Singapore/Hong Kong/Denpasar unless youíre desperate for every mile.
Agree 100% with your post - if I was OP then I would just fly to LAX and take Fiji - but if OP is insistent on Delta/partners, Sydney is the best way to go (short of a high-risk "connection" in HNL).

Just one thing to note - KE's is permanently canning its ICN-NAN route September 30th so that may no longer be an option depending on timing (plus it's less-than-daily frequency also gives me pause in the event of IRROPs similar to the HNL issue).
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:08 pm
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By the way, I would emphatically NOT recommend the route I took the first time to get there - SEA-AMS-DUB-AUH-SYD-NAN - even though it was less than a thousand dollars total. For one, you donít want to do this in coach. And for two, VA is so small they can be unreliable - we lost a full day in Abu Dhabi because someone dropped a toothpaste cap down a lav sink and flooded the plane, taking one of VAís only five aircraft out of service for days.

Itís a miracle Mrs. BenA was willing to accept my proposal after sitting through that fiasco! Which should be a testament to how lovely Fijian beaches are more than anything else
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
The most rational way to get to NAN is via LAX and Fiji Airways. They offer reasonable fares and good service, and a bit of island charm to boot. Not a DL partner, but you can credit to or redeem miles from Alaska if that works for your needs.

The most SkyTeam way to get there is on Korean Air via ICN. We did this after our wedding for our honeymoon in 2015 and it was a lovely adventure, but probably ill advised in the final reckoning - HNL-ICN-NAN was a loooong slog, and we were pretty cranky by the time we got to Fiji. (The free honeymoon cake KE provided us helped matters, though, as did the upper deck on a 744 for the first segment.)

If youíre dead set on sticking with DL partners and metal, the way Iíd do it is via SYD/MEL/BNE and Virgin Australia. The 737 flight to Nadi is pretty grim - their premium economy product is lame and economy is lamer - but it gets you there in only a few hours of backtracking, and you can add a vacation down under to extend your beach fun. Weíve transited all three; of the airports, Brisbane is by far the worst, like an Aussie MCO. Avoid if possible, although it tends to have the best award availability, so... 🤷

Other Asian hubs donít make a heck of a lot of sense, so Iíd skip routes involving Singapore/Hong Kong/Denpasar unless youíre desperate for every mile.
When was last time to go through BNE? They opened a beautiful and nice international terminal extension and renovation of existing ast year. I only connect international there so can speak of the domestic terminal. However OP wouldn't be using it. FWIW, the domestic terminal is in process being updated.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
Agree 100% with your post - if I was OP then I would just fly to LAX and take Fiji - but if OP is insistent on Delta/partners, Sydney is the best way to go (short of a high-risk "connection" in HNL).

Just one thing to note - KE's is permanently canning its ICN-NAN route September 30th so that may no longer be an option depending on timing (plus it's less-than-daily frequency also gives me pause in the event of IRROPs similar to the HNL issue).
Aww, thatís too bad. Iím actually a little surprised - the route seemed wildly popular with Korean vacationers and Fijians connecting to Europe on business. It seemed like half of J was governmental officials or similar...

On the topic of timing, pay attention to when you land in Fiji. Most of the better resorts require a boat transfer, and if you land in the afternoon or evening that may be impossible. You really donít want to have to spend any time in Denarau if you can help it. (And donít be tempted by points redemptions at the properties there - you really want to get out to the Mamanucas or points even further afield.)
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If VA serves NAM from SYD and MEL, problem solved. The OP can go the whole way to NAN using DL and partners, although VA isn't (yet) in SkyTeam so certain elite benefits such as lounge access can be a bit different.
OP probably won't be able to take VA to NAN from Sydney. For most of the year, the connection time is too short to make work reliably. If OP doesn't mind taking VA (which - it should be noted - is NOT a SkyTeam member but rather a Delta-specific partner) then they can probably make the connection work via BNE or possibly MEL.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
By the way, I would emphatically NOT recommend the route I took the first time to get there - SEA-AMS-DUB-AUH-SYD-NAN - even though it was less than a thousand dollars total. For one, you donít want to do this in coach. And for two, VA is so small they can be unreliable - we lost a full day in Abu Dhabi because someone dropped a toothpaste cap down a lav sink and flooded the plane, taking one of VAís only five aircraft out of service for days.

Itís a miracle Mrs. BenA was willing to accept my proposal after sitting through that fiasco! Which should be a testament to how lovely Fijian beaches are more than anything else
VA is not a small airline. They dont do much long haul, but they do plenty of short/medium haul. They also have a perfectly fine First class for routes like SYD/BNE/MEL-NAN.

As for AUH-SYD, AFAIK it's all codeshare on EY now.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 4:10 pm
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Thank you everyone I appreciate the feedback
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