Weird Award Availability - Help out a Newbie

 
Old Sep 20, 09, 10:06 pm
  #1  
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Weird Award Availability - Help out a Newbie

Hey guys. I was wondering if the bright minds here could give me any insight into a problem I'm having. I'm trying to book an award ticket in mid-October from STL-BHM. There is plenty of 32,500 availability on the departing leg. Coming back, Delta says there is nothing, zip, nada. Finding that odd, I check the award availability from BHM-ATL. There is plenty. I check ATL-STL. Again, wide open. What gives? Is this normal? Is Delta just blocking off awards from BHM-STL on that day? Any help anybody has would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Sep 20, 09, 11:38 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by slutide View Post
Hey guys. I was wondering if the bright minds here could give me any insight into a problem I'm having. I'm trying to book an award ticket in mid-October from STL-BHM. There is plenty of 32,500 availability on the departing leg. Coming back, Delta says there is nothing, zip, nada. Finding that odd, I check the award availability from BHM-ATL. There is plenty. I check ATL-STL. Again, wide open. What gives? Is this normal? Is Delta just blocking off awards from BHM-STL on that day? Any help anybody has would be greatly appreciated.
Welcome to FT.

Welcome to Delta Airlines and how DL management does things to make it harder than it needs to be to use DL miles for award tickets.

This sounds like something that could be the result of DL's "journey control" that uses the logic of "married segments" that may result in award ticket inventory being available on two separate segments as stand alone flights but may not be available for booking if attempting to confirm them as part of the same journey/ticketed PNR.

Here is journey control straight from the DL horse's mouth:

What is Journey Control?

Journey Control eliminates the ability to book one flight segment at a time (point-to-point) when more than one flight is necessary to get the passenger to his or her final destination. Creating a reservation that includes connections must now be booked from a schedules or availability display that includes the passenger’s complete origin and destination (O&D).

This technology will review every booking and itinerary change to ensure compliance with O&D guidelines. Bookings or cancellations which violate Journey Control rules will receive a unique error message denying the transaction.

Journey Control provides customers with consistent availability found across all distribution channels.

Note: Journey Control technology allows Delta Air Lines improved detection and enforcement efforts for ticketing abuses. Agents engaging in this practice are held accountable for these violations and appropriate action is taken in accordance with Delta's Abusive Ticketing policies.
http://www.delta.com/travel-agency/r...dden/index.jsp

It's basically a revenue "protection" tool that helps DL to maximize its fleecing of customers regardless of whether they are wanting to use cash and/or miles for a ticket.

It is amusing that DL lists "Journey Control" under "Abusive Ticketing Practices" when it is DL that is using "Journey Control" technology as a ticketing practice to abuse/fleece customers.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 20, 09 at 11:45 pm
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Old Sep 21, 09, 5:58 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by slutide View Post
Hey guys. I was wondering if the bright minds here could give me any insight into a problem I'm having. I'm trying to book an award ticket in mid-October from STL-BHM. There is plenty of 32,500 availability on the departing leg. Coming back, Delta says there is nothing, zip, nada. Finding that odd, I check the award availability from BHM-ATL. There is plenty. I check ATL-STL. Again, wide open. What gives? Is this normal? Is Delta just blocking off awards from BHM-STL on that day? Any help anybody has would be greatly appreciated.
What dates did you have in mind? Without dates it's difficult to say what the problem may be.
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Old Sep 21, 09, 6:37 am
  #4  
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I just tried a random combination of dates, and saw the same result.

When I used the multi-city option, forcing the return as separate BHM-ATL and ATL-STL legs, presto, lots of choices!
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Old Sep 21, 09, 8:26 am
  #5  
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Thanks for the responses guys.

Originally Posted by inagaddadavida View Post
What dates did you have in mind? Without dates it's difficult to say what the problem may be.
I'm looking at departing Oct 16 and returning Oct 20.

Is this something that is pretty concrete or might it open up sometime in next week or so?
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Old Sep 21, 09, 10:27 am
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I just tried the award search on STL-BHM Oct 16 and BHM-STL Oct 20 and get plenty of award seats. All seats are at 32,500. If you have a Gold of Plat Delta Amex it would be a 25,000 miles on pay with miles.
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Old Sep 21, 09, 10:36 am
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I just tried a couple times as well. The first time I got the same thing that slutide had gotten, but just now I got some real results for 32.5k.

I wouldn't wait too much longer, once you get down to less than 20 days to departure you're looking at "close in ticketing" fees, which start at $75 and go up from there.

https://www.delta.com/skymiles/use_m...d_travel_fees/
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Old Sep 21, 09, 2:30 pm
  #8  
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Indeed it has opened up. I tried this morning and got the same zero availability and then a couple of hours later, bam, back in business. Thanks for your help guys. I'll get this booked ASAP.
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