Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

Best strategy for using benefits with 9 person trip to Europe

Best strategy for using benefits with 9 person trip to Europe

Old Aug 21, 19, 1:14 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 184
Best strategy for using benefits with 9 person trip to Europe

I have been doing some research on my options for a big family trip and just want to make sure I'm not missing anything. FLL-DUB, EDI-FLL is the route next Spring trying to book on Delta for benefits. I am and PM with DL Reserve AMEX, no one else has status. There would be 9 of us in total including a 5 year old and an 11 year old.

From what I can figure out, my best strategy would be to book myself and wife on one reservation, the other 7 on a second. This allows us to get C+ upgrades immediately and possible FC to/from JFK. Are there downfalls to this? Would booking all 9 have any benefits as far as seat selection otherwise?

I've been told if we say have 8 bags to check, all would be free if we check in at desk together using my status, regardless if same reservation. (This may be a Reserve card benefit?)

Club Access: Wife also has Priority pass access. We would have a 5 hour layover at JFK so trying to maximize how many of us can get into a club. The best I can figure is 6 (me +2 in Skyclub, her +2 in PP Lounge) of the 9 (but kids may get in as extras?). I'm willing to pay $29 each for all. Also, if I get my wife an additional Reserve card for $175, does that change our max totals? Basically is there any way for all of us to get into a club? Would booking someone besides my wife (and her Reserve card priveledges) as my #2 in the reservation help?

Thanks in advance for the help, hopefully you enjoy the mental gymnastics to "solve" this one!
JTE458 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 5:52 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: LIT
Programs: Blinged Out
Posts: 551
How are you figuring you +2 in the SkyClub? You alone can go in GM or higher status on intl Itin. The Reserve Guest Access only happens with DM status. It will be an extra $29/pp. If you have AMEX Plat or AMEX HH Aspire card, the $29 entry fee would count toward your yearly incidental fee credit.
SeaHawg is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 5:59 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 54
You should first book all tickets on the same reservation so that everyone at least has access to preferred seats via your status.

Once the seats are secured you can call in break off you and your wife into a separate reservation so that you’re eligible for upgrades.
btonkid12345 likes this.
enoscabell is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 6:04 pm
  #4  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 46,687
Originally Posted by enoscabell View Post
You should first book all tickets on the same reservation so that everyone at least has access to preferred seats via your status.

Once the seats are secured you can call in break off you and your wife into a separate reservation so that you’re eligible for upgrades.
The parents can't be upgraded unless there is someone 18+ back with the 8 & 11 YOA (or they travel as UM's).
Often1 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 6:16 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: SFO/SJC, BWI
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, TR 7*, Marriott Tit, UA Gold
Posts: 11,652
Originally Posted by SeaHawg View Post
How are you figuring you +2 in the SkyClub? You alone can go in GM or higher status on intl Itin. The Reserve Guest Access only happens with DM status. It will be an extra $29/pp. If you have AMEX Plat or AMEX HH Aspire card, the $29 entry fee would count toward your yearly incidental fee credit.
OP said "I'm willing to pay $29 each for all." which suggests Reserve + 2 guests @$29 each, not the Guest Access choice benefit

Also FWIW if using GM/STE+ for access on an international itinerary you get one guest.
SeaHawg likes this.
Zorak is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 6:26 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 184
DL Platinum desk told me on Intl I get me and spouse free then 2 guest for $29. Not sure I’ve seen that written anywhere though.
JTE458 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 6:27 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 184
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The parents can't be upgraded unless there is someone 18+ back with the 8 & 11 YOA (or they travel as UM's).
7 adults and 2 kids. Neither of the kids are mine so they’d be with their moms.
JTE458 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 6:28 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 184
Originally Posted by enoscabell View Post
You should first book all tickets on the same reservation so that everyone at least has access to preferred seats via your status.

Once the seats are secured you can call in break off you and your wife into a separate reservation so that you’re eligible for upgrades.
Wow didn’t know that was possible. That would fix a lot of headaches!
JTE458 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 6:48 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SJC (formerly CHI and STL)
Programs: DL, AA, UA, WN
Posts: 939
Originally Posted by SeaHawg View Post
How are you figuring you +2 in the SkyClub? You alone can go in GM or higher status on intl Itin. The Reserve Guest Access only happens with DM status. It will be an extra $29/pp. If you have AMEX Plat or AMEX HH Aspire card, the $29 entry fee would count toward your yearly incidental fee credit.
Forgive me, but isn't SkyClub access GM/PM/DM + 1 guest on an international itinerary?
SeaHawg likes this.
steex is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 9:41 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTG, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 7,765
Originally Posted by steex View Post
Forgive me, but isn't SkyClub access GM/PM/DM + 1 guest on an international itinerary?
It's definitely GM/PM/DM + 1 on international.

Have done this many times on international trips as a GM/PM -- both when traveling with my wife as my +1 and when traveling with work colleagues who come in as my +1.

That said I'm not sure where the +2 comes from if talking complimentary.

DL AMEX Reserve is just cardholder and the +2 is at $29/per. I don't believe the two are additive -- that is I don't think you can do you +1 on your PM benefit and then separately pay for the +2 at $29/per as your DL AMEX Reserve benefit. Though that seems like a YMMV based on the check-in folks. I guess in theory you could enter the SC two separate times -- I don't know how the system records guests for multiple visits in the same day
Duke787 is offline  
Old Aug 22, 19, 1:30 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: AMS
Programs: BAEC Silver, Flying Blue Peon, TK M&S Nobody
Posts: 927
If I might butt in slightly off topic: you might find it preferable to switch your trip around. Leaving EDI will incur UK APD at £78pp in coach - whereas arriving wouldn't. I don't know about any similar tax charges for Ireland, but it ought to be less departing DUB [all else being equal].
btonkid12345 likes this.
etiene is offline  
Old Aug 22, 19, 3:22 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NYC, CDG, NCE
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 2,475
This is good advice, but I frequently book 9+ pax and I'll add a couple of side thoughts....

1) If you're trying to book 9 tix and there are not 9 available in a certain fare bucket, it will price the whole group up to the next fare up that has 9 available. This may not be an issue this far out, but (to simplify - and maybe closer to flight date) you'll often find 3 tickets left at one price, 5 at the next price and 9 at the next. Not sure what you can see on an Expertflyer free account vs paid, but it's worth looking into. Savings could be more than the cost of seat assignments.

2)Once bought, I'd wait until closer in to separate out your rez, as equipment or schedule changes, or other things could cause people to lose seat assignments and once split you may have trouble getting them back.


Originally Posted by enoscabell View Post
You should first book all tickets on the same reservation so that everyone at least has access to preferred seats via your status.

Once the seats are secured you can call in break off you and your wife into a separate reservation so that you’re eligible for upgrades.
remyontheroad is offline  
Old Aug 22, 19, 4:32 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SLC & NYC
Programs: Diamond Medallion, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 662
Originally Posted by JTE458 View Post
I have been doing some research on my options for a big family trip and just want to make sure I'm not missing anything. FLL-DUB, EDI-FLL is the route next Spring trying to book on Delta for benefits. I am and PM with DL Reserve AMEX, no one else has status. There would be 9 of us in total including a 5 year old and an 11 year old.

From what I can figure out, my best strategy would be to book myself and wife on one reservation, the other 7 on a second. This allows us to get C+ upgrades immediately and possible FC to/from JFK. Are there downfalls to this? Would booking all 9 have any benefits as far as seat selection otherwise?

I've been told if we say have 8 bags to check, all would be free if we check in at desk together using my status, regardless if same reservation. (This may be a Reserve card benefit?)

Club Access: Wife also has Priority pass access. We would have a 5 hour layover at JFK so trying to maximize how many of us can get into a club. The best I can figure is 6 (me +2 in Skyclub, her +2 in PP Lounge) of the 9 (but kids may get in as extras?). I'm willing to pay $29 each for all. Also, if I get my wife an additional Reserve card for $175, does that change our max totals? Basically is there any way for all of us to get into a club? Would booking someone besides my wife (and her Reserve card priveledges) as my #2 in the reservation help?

Thanks in advance for the help, hopefully you enjoy the mental gymnastics to "solve" this one!
We do this but the problem is that if the person who is paired with someone else to get them the upgrade can't make the trip then the single person without status (usually one of our kids) has to move to another PNR. This creates all sorts of problems with downgrades and such.
sdadept is offline  
Old Aug 22, 19, 6:05 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 184
Cool

Originally Posted by etiene View Post
If I might butt in slightly off topic: you might find it preferable to switch your trip around. Leaving EDI will incur UK APD at £78pp in coach - whereas arriving wouldn't. I don't know about any similar tax charges for Ireland, but it ought to be less departing DUB [all else being equal].
Ah so that's why that route combo keeps coming in about $50-$75 less. Wife wants to start in Ireland so that's what we will do....but good point!
JTE458 is offline  
Old Aug 22, 19, 6:07 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 184
Originally Posted by remyontheroad View Post
This is good advice, but I frequently book 9+ pax and I'll add a couple of side thoughts....

1) If you're trying to book 9 tix and there are not 9 available in a certain fare bucket, it will price the whole group up to the next fare up that has 9 available. This may not be an issue this far out, but (to simplify - and maybe closer to flight date) you'll often find 3 tickets left at one price, 5 at the next price and 9 at the next. Not sure what you can see on an Expertflyer free account vs paid, but it's worth looking into. Savings could be more than the cost of seat assignments.

2)Once bought, I'd wait until closer in to separate out your rez, as equipment or schedule changes, or other things could cause people to lose seat assignments and once split you may have trouble getting them back.
This far out nearly every seat on the flight was available. I tried the trip with 1 ticket vs 9 and it was the same price but this could def be an issue if I wait to book.

Yeah that's a good point, maybe I'll monitor the C+ bookings until they get tighter and risk losing options for me +1 before splitting.
remyontheroad likes this.
JTE458 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: