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Help with award trip ATL to TLV

Help with award trip ATL to TLV

Old Jul 12, 23, 10:42 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 90
Help with award trip ATL to TLV

Hi. Thanks in advance for the help. Hopefully I am not posting this in the wrong place.

Looking to take family of 6 (or 7 - one is an infant but would love to book her a real seat if possible) from ATL to TLV in coach. Ideal dates are ~Dec 20-31. We do have some limited flexibility (for example depart as early as Dec 18 if we find a really good deal) but really want to be there for 2 weekends, and we are Sabbath observant so cant arrive too late on Fri or leave on fri/sat. Obviously staying in TLV longer means more hotel/airbnb nights which add up as well.

Delta has the only direct ATL-TLV flight, but we are open to a stop if it will save us a good bit. Ideal stop location would be in NYC where we could visit family for a day or 2, so I have also been looking at NYC-TLV options as well.

On Delta I am seeing ~127,500 skymiles for Dec 20-Jan1 (after the 15% discount for having a Delta AMEX). Cash ticket is about $1,450 which I could use ~98,000 UR points to cover through my CSR. I guess these are the baselines to beat.

I have been monitoring the Virgin reward calendar for these delta flights but nothing is ever showing up around this time. The only options I see on Virgin metal are from NYC and cost 62k points PLUS $550 and have a stop-and I would need to get to NYC on top of that. I have also been looking at AF/KLM but seeing much higher pricing for their flights with stops than the direct DL options. United has some direct flights from EWR but those are also coming in higher than direct on DL and I would still have to get to EWR somehow. On the united site I did see an Ethipian Air flights from ATl with a stop in Ethiopia about ~88k, but i am not so sure i want to do that.

I am new to transfer partners, so not really sure where else i might look for a good deal?
Am I missing something?
Where else should I be focusing?

We have about 700k UR, 250k MR, and 450k Skymiles.

Will any of the paid award search portals help? if so, which one do you suggest?
gotkwah is offline  
Old Jul 12, 23, 12:20 pm
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,006
You're trying to travel over Christmas with everybody else, which is going to be a challenge. Since you mention Air France / KLM Flying Blue, there are 9 seats available for awards on Dec 18. If you only had 2 people traveling you could book each seat for 57k miles, but award seats for 6 adults would total 390k miles or 65k miles per person. You could also break up your booking and book 2 people at 57k, then the rest at the higher rate.

cruser1 is offline  
Old Jul 12, 23, 2:19 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 90
Yes, I know its christmas and winter break time. It works best for us since kids are out of school. Trying to just make the best of the situation and see if there is any cheaper way to make it happen.

I see the AF flight, but 57k + $93 one way (with an 11hr stop) doesnt seem like a great deal. It also means i have to find a one way tix back which can be much more expensive.

I never seem to be able to find a good use for skymiles, so maybe i book 3-4 tix with them and use chase UR for the rest at 1.5cents. Was hoping to get some better value, but not really able to find anything myself.

I see transfer bonuses to British Air & Iberia with AMEX and Air Canada with Chase, but not sure how to search them properly.
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Old Jul 12, 23, 3:31 pm
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Location: MEL CHC
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Originally Posted by gotkwah
Yes, I know its christmas and winter break time. It works best for us since kids are out of school. Trying to just make the best of the situation and see if there is any cheaper way to make it happen.........
As are thousands and thousands of others. Hoping for 6 awards on one flight at a peak time is being hopeful. You may need to split your party and/or mix of awards & cash tickets.

BA awards will have a very high cash carrier surcharge. For IB awards check the rules carefully. IB & BA both use avois as ff currency. As does QR. Subject to the t&c's avios can be moved as no cost between BA-IB-QR ffp's.

Very broad guide, but the check the detailed ffp award rules. Does not have all airlines/ffp's.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jul 12, 23 at 3:47 pm
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Old Jul 13, 23, 9:44 am
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,006
Since you mention Avios, if you're going to go that route, you'll want to find an award flight to Helsinki or Madrid, not London, Amman, or Casablanca. You won't be able to book a connecting award flight to TLV for 6 people from the other oneworld hubs. Europe to TLV should be cheaper if you wanted to use Avios to get to Europe and buy flights with cash from your destination in Europe to TLV. When using Avios don't forget that each segment is a new award so you want to keep the number of segments flown to a minimum.

Here's a table with the number of award seats available to TLV from the other side of the Atlantic as of this morning. If a flight isn't shown, it didn't have any award seats the 5 days I was searching.


In the table above I didn't display any Vueling award flights, although most of them would originate in Barcelona (BCN) and can be booked with Avios through Iberia.

If you're going to search for oneworld award flights from the US, you can search the following points of origin east of the Mississippi -

EDIT - You can also use Avios to book Aer Lingus awards. Aer Lingus doesn't fly from Dublin (DUB) to Tel Aviv, but you could use cash to buy a flight on El Al from Dublin to Tel Aviv. AA flies to Dublin from PHL, ORD, and CLT and EI flies to Dublin from YYZ, BOS, JFK, EWR, PHL, IAD, CLE, ORD, MCO, and MIA.

Last edited by cruser1; Jul 13, 23 at 10:00 am
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