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Completely new to booking award flights, so I can't tell if this is user error...

Completely new to booking award flights, so I can't tell if this is user error...

Old Apr 25, 21, 10:34 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2017
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Completely new to booking award flights, so I can't tell if this is user error...

So, I have AMEX MR points I'd like to use. If I'm looking from mainland U.S. to HNL, I'm following instructions for Korean Air SKYPASS:
  1. Go to Korean Air’s website.
  2. Select Redeem Miles.
  3. Log in with your user ID or SKYPASS number.
  4. Select SkyTeam Award.
  5. Select your origin and destination.
  6. Select your travel dates.
  7. Select Prestige Class to find Delta One space.
  8. Select your flights.
    • Find flights that are operated by Delta Air Lines.
However, that's as far as I can go. I literally cannot find a single flight, even if I pick random major cities (LAX, JFK, ORD, etc.) to HNL, on any dates. I'm just not understanding how to show any SkyTeam award flights on Korean Air's website.

Also, I assume you would transfer AMEX MR -> Delta Skymiles -> Korean Air SKYPASS miles at a 1:1 ratio for both sets of transfers and that both sets of transfers are instant?

EDIT: Same with AirFrance - every search I do comes back as no availability for any combination of airports or dates. Even if I search for LAX to JFK, I get "The departure or arrival city you have selected is not permitted." ??? This is so confusing, Detla definitely flies between JFK and LAX, so I don't understand why I can't even see any listings.

EDIT2: Just tried with KLM. Every search I do I get "Sorry, there are no flights available for this combination of departure airport, arrival airport and travel dates. Please try again." I'm not even putting any dates in to try to pull up a monthly calendar (https://thepointsguy.com/guide/searc...m-availability), but it's not working at all. I'm so puzzled by this.

Last edited by joe318; Apr 25, 21 at 10:58 pm
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Old Apr 26, 21, 9:22 am
  #2  
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You transfer points to the program you're booking with, not the airline you want to fly on.

Airlines can offer more seats to their own program members. Thus DL may be offering DL Skymiles members a seat on a flight, but partners can't book a seat on same flight.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 10:25 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
You transfer points to the program you're booking with, not the airline you want to fly on.

Airlines can offer more seats to their own program members. Thus DL may be offering DL Skymiles members a seat on a flight, but partners can't book a seat on same flight.
Also itís very, very rare to get the lowest available award available for SkyTeam Partners in the premium cabins because Delta does not price them low enough for the availability to appear to partners.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 12:06 pm
  #4  
 
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Welcome to points and miles (no really)! Just because you see people on the internet taking exciting "free" flights doesn't mean it doesn't have its limitations! Sincerely I mean, you need to do quite a bit of work and get some knowledge to get the best redemptions.

As you are quickly finding out you can't simply say "yay I have enough miles, let me book my flights!" Unlike paid tickets, discounted award tickets as you see on redemption charts are very difficult to obtain, especially on the "major" routes you are referencing, like LA to Hawaii. So you can't just say I want to fly from A to B, on these dates, for X# of tickets because I have the miles banked and expect that to happen.

Delta in particular uses a "dynamic" award pricing that makes more availability through their own search engine, at usually very high cost. However for their partners they need to release actual award seats, which is going to be very limited on popular routes as you have noted.

Also no, you cannot transfer points from amex to one airline and then another airline to redeem. You can only transfer the amex points to the airline partner that you are redeeming the points with (of course every rule has an exception, like British avios transfer to Iberia avios). Many airlines you may actually find the best redemption charts with don't accept transfers from Amex, so you need to work with whatever partner you can actually use your points with. In this case Korean Air is not an Amex transfer partner, so even if you found the space you could not book it with Amex points.

Keep at it, you have some learning to do, points and miles can be lucrative, it just isn't as easy as the first travel blogger you find makes it look.
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Old Apr 26, 21, 3:21 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by HiAperture View Post
Welcome to points and miles (no really)! Just because you see people on the internet taking exciting "free" flights doesn't mean it doesn't have its limitations! Sincerely I mean, you need to do quite a bit of work and get some knowledge to get the best redemptions.

As you are quickly finding out you can't simply say "yay I have enough miles, let me book my flights!" Unlike paid tickets, discounted award tickets as you see on redemption charts are very difficult to obtain, especially on the "major" routes you are referencing, like LA to Hawaii. So you can't just say I want to fly from A to B, on these dates, for X# of tickets because I have the miles banked and expect that to happen.

Delta in particular uses a "dynamic" award pricing that makes more availability through their own search engine, at usually very high cost. However for their partners they need to release actual award seats, which is going to be very limited on popular routes as you have noted.

Also no, you cannot transfer points from amex to one airline and then another airline to redeem. You can only transfer the amex points to the airline partner that you are redeeming the points with (of course every rule has an exception, like British avios transfer to Iberia avios). Many airlines you may actually find the best redemption charts with don't accept transfers from Amex, so you need to work with whatever partner you can actually use your points with. In this case Korean Air is not an Amex transfer partner, so even if you found the space you could not book it with Amex points.

Keep at it, you have some learning to do, points and miles can be lucrative, it just isn't as easy as the first travel blogger you find makes it look.
Airlines (not just DL) con pax into accumulating miles via flying and/or cc sign-up bonuses, BUT zap them when they try to use them. Why should a pax have to learn the nuances of the "mile redemption" world--yes, that's the way it IS
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Old Apr 26, 21, 4:02 pm
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Delta One on a HNL-run during this pandemic, booked through another airline's frequent flyer program -> Forget it!
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Old Apr 28, 21, 10:56 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
You transfer points to the program you're booking with, not the airline you want to fly on.

Airlines can offer more seats to their own program members. Thus DL may be offering DL Skymiles members a seat on a flight, but partners can't book a seat on same flight.
Originally Posted by Intl359Widget View Post
Also it’s very, very rare to get the lowest available award available for SkyTeam Partners in the premium cabins because Delta does not price them low enough for the availability to appear to partners.
Originally Posted by HiAperture View Post
Welcome to points and miles (no really)! Just because you see people on the internet taking exciting "free" flights doesn't mean it doesn't have its limitations! Sincerely I mean, you need to do quite a bit of work and get some knowledge to get the best redemptions.

As you are quickly finding out you can't simply say "yay I have enough miles, let me book my flights!" Unlike paid tickets, discounted award tickets as you see on redemption charts are very difficult to obtain, especially on the "major" routes you are referencing, like LA to Hawaii. So you can't just say I want to fly from A to B, on these dates, for X# of tickets because I have the miles banked and expect that to happen.

Delta in particular uses a "dynamic" award pricing that makes more availability through their own search engine, at usually very high cost. However for their partners they need to release actual award seats, which is going to be very limited on popular routes as you have noted.

Also no, you cannot transfer points from amex to one airline and then another airline to redeem. You can only transfer the amex points to the airline partner that you are redeeming the points with (of course every rule has an exception, like British avios transfer to Iberia avios). Many airlines you may actually find the best redemption charts with don't accept transfers from Amex, so you need to work with whatever partner you can actually use your points with. In this case Korean Air is not an Amex transfer partner, so even if you found the space you could not book it with Amex points.

Keep at it, you have some learning to do, points and miles can be lucrative, it just isn't as easy as the first travel blogger you find makes it look.
Originally Posted by nrr View Post
Airlines (not just DL) con pax into accumulating miles via flying and/or cc sign-up bonuses, BUT zap them when they try to use them. Why should a pax have to learn the nuances of the "mile redemption" world--yes, that's the way it IS
Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Delta One on a HNL-run during this pandemic, booked through another airline's frequent flyer program -> Forget it!
Thank you all for your replies. I now understand that just because the points are earned, doesn't mean the award travel options are available. I just thought it was just like spending cash or cash-equivalents in points and that these airlines want you to spend your points, or at least that was the impression I got from all of the travel blog posts I read. It could also be that 2021 is going to be a "pent up demand" year so I may have missed my window and need to book my trips with cash, saving these points for 2022 and beyond. Thank you all.
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Old Apr 28, 21, 10:59 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by joe318 View Post
Thank you all for your replies. I now understand that just because the points are earned, doesn't mean the award travel options are available. I just thought it was just like spending cash or cash-equivalents in points and that these airlines want you to spend your points, or at least that was the impression I got from all of the travel blog posts I read. It could also be that 2021 is going to be a "pent up demand" year so I may have missed my window and need to book my trips with cash, saving these points for 2022 and beyond. Thank you all.
Problem for 2021 is they don't know what flights will actually operate till a month or two before.
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Old Apr 28, 21, 3:43 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Problem for 2021 is they don't know what flights will actually operate till a month or two before.
True, but even then it's close to impossible to find D1 award space going to partners
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