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Best Use for 350,000 Delta Sky Miles

Best Use for 350,000 Delta Sky Miles

Old Aug 8, 06, 10:33 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Best Use for 350,000 Delta Sky Miles

I would like to plan a trip for my wife and myself using my Delta Skymiles. I'm looking for the best use and value for these miles. Willing to plan far in advance -- 329 days. We would originate in New york.
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Old Aug 9, 06, 5:39 pm
  #2  
 
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Business class RTW!

Originally Posted by rstidolph
I would like to plan a trip for my wife and myself using my Delta Skymiles. I'm looking for the best use and value for these miles. Willing to plan far in advance -- 329 days. We would originate in New york.
If you can obtain an extra 90k miles, you can do a 6 stop round-the-world in business class on SkyTeam for 220k miles per ticket. Absolutely the best value if you want to take a long trip. You can do the same for 140k miles per ticket in coach; obtaining the extra 90k is certainly worth it.

I'm doing one of these at the moment. Basically, you have to travel in one continuous direction without backtracking (but you can backtrack to make connections.) Travel can last up to a year, and you get to stop in up to 6 places for however long you'd like. Travel has to be on any of the SkyTeam carriers plus Avianca and Alaska Airlines (are there a couple more? not sure.)

One downside is that if you visit Australia/New Zealand, you have to go via Seoul (so almost 24hrs flying time if you go from LAX vs 14hrs non-stop, though not quite as bad if you get a KE flight right out of NYC.) Fortunately, business class on Korean is quite nice, as is the lounge in Seoul. High-speed Internet access on those flights too.

If you want a shorter trip or can't get the 90k extra miles (I'd start off looking into some of the Amex Delta SkyMiles card offers for free miles, then possibly buying the extra miles), redeem for business or first class anywhere in the world. Not as good of a bargain, but still a great deal. Note that you can do a stopover with these types of awards, so you can visit two cities on a single award. This may vary if you ticket your award on a non-SkyTeam airline.

As far as advanced planning... I ticketed my BOS-AKL/SYD-NRT-KUL/BKK-MAA-LHR-AUA-BOS trip a week in advance of travel. Had no problems finding availability within a few days of my preferred dates in every case. Depending on which direction you go and the time of year, this may vary, though. I've also made multiple changes since starting my trip and have had very good luck finding availability to make changes. You can make any changes that comply with the routing rules for $50/reissue (so you can do a bunch for one change fee), fee waived if you're a Platinum. Also, the people at the Delta RTW desk in Salt Lake City are amazing at their jobs so you'll have a very pleasant experience planning out the trip with them if you do go this route.

There's a SkyTeam RTW thread in this forum (or the SkyTeam forum if this gets moved to the Delta forum as it should.)

Last edited by karthik; Aug 9, 06 at 5:48 pm
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Old Aug 9, 06, 7:17 pm
  #3  
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Wow what a great answer. This was the idea I was looking for. As my miles are good for three years I will look for the 90,000. I have some more amex mr that I can transfer over.
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Old Aug 9, 06, 7:32 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Talking

Originally Posted by karthik
If you can obtain an extra 90k miles, you can do a 6 stop round-the-world in business class on SkyTeam for 220k miles per ticket. Absolutely the best value if you want to take a long trip. You can do the same for 140k miles per ticket in coach; obtaining the extra 90k is certainly worth it.

I'm doing one of these at the moment. Basically, you have to travel in one continuous direction without backtracking (but you can backtrack to make connections.) Travel can last up to a year, and you get to stop in up to 6 places for however long you'd like. Travel has to be on any of the SkyTeam carriers plus Avianca and Alaska Airlines (are there a couple more? not sure.)

One downside is that if you visit Australia/New Zealand, you have to go via Seoul (so almost 24hrs flying time if you go from LAX vs 14hrs non-stop, though not quite as bad if you get a KE flight right out of NYC.) Fortunately, business class on Korean is quite nice, as is the lounge in Seoul. High-speed Internet access on those flights too.

If you want a shorter trip or can't get the 90k extra miles (I'd start off looking into some of the Amex Delta SkyMiles card offers for free miles, then possibly buying the extra miles), redeem for business or first class anywhere in the world. Not as good of a bargain, but still a great deal. Note that you can do a stopover with these types of awards, so you can visit two cities on a single award. This may vary if you ticket your award on a non-SkyTeam airline.

As far as advanced planning... I ticketed my BOS-AKL/SYD-NRT-KUL/BKK-MAA-LHR-AUA-BOS trip a week in advance of travel. Had no problems finding availability within a few days of my preferred dates in every case. Depending on which direction you go and the time of year, this may vary, though. I've also made multiple changes since starting my trip and have had very good luck finding availability to make changes. You can make any changes that comply with the routing rules for $50/reissue (so you can do a bunch for one change fee), fee waived if you're a Platinum. Also, the people at the Delta RTW desk in Salt Lake City are amazing at their jobs so you'll have a very pleasant experience planning out the trip with them if you do go this route.

There's a SkyTeam RTW thread in this forum (or the SkyTeam forum if this gets moved to the Delta forum as it should.)

My husband and I did a RTW on skyteam in Jan. We booked 12 mos out and had no changes enroute. I definitly agree that the RTW desk in Salt Lake is the best! We booked the whole thing in less than an hour on the phone. They made the whole booking process very enjoyable. Just be prepared for some really wierd routing. on one leg from Dubai to Hanoi, we had to fly Dubai to Amsterdam to Seoul to Hanoi. Not very direct!

Do yourself a favor and find those last 90000 miles and do a RTW in business class. You will be spoiled for life.
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Old Aug 10, 06, 12:59 pm
  #5  
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Thanks for the additional information. The most important being where to go to plan. Didn't know it had to go through Delta direct. I'm going to look at getting the extra 90,000
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Old Aug 10, 06, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by karthik
As far as advanced planning... I ticketed my BOS-AKL/SYD-NRT-KUL/BKK-MAA-LHR-AUA-BOS trip a week in advance of travel.
Out of curiosity, what was your actual routing (with connections) and what carriers did you fly?
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Old Aug 10, 06, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Darren
Out of curiosity, what was your actual routing (with connections) and what carriers did you fly?
DL BOS-LAX/KE LAX-ICN-AKL
KE SYD-ICN-NRT
KE NRT-ICN-KUL
KL BKK-AMS-CDG/DL CDG-MAA (yeah, way out of the way to go BKK-MAA but I didn't need the extra stop so I just went with the long award routing)
[originally ticketed KE KUL-ICN/SU ICN-SVO-CDG/DL CDG-MAA; the SVO stop wasn't needed but I wanted to try SU on the IL96 in J since that required a forced overnight and the same travel time to add SVO anyways, though I switched when the later BKK-AMS with no overnight opened up]
DL MAA-CDG/AF CDG-LHR
...currently in GLA as I wander about on my European stopover for about 2 months, then continuing onto:
KL LHR-AMS-AUA
DL AUA-JFK-BOS
[originally ticketed AV AUA-BOG-JFK/DL JFK-BOS due to lack of any better routing as I'm leaving AUA around when the poker tournament that several friends will be there for finishes]

Everything booked into J fine very close to my optimal dates, other than the DL BOS-LAX in F so far, and the final JFK-BOS in Y since there's no F there. Kind of a shame to have to end this RTW in Y on a CRJ!
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Old Aug 10, 06, 11:34 pm
  #8  
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I think that I would get up more miles to toward 220K anytime for next few years when I will go around of the world with my brother. Also, I just want you know that mean I am became Silver Medallion when we flew out from Israel last month.
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Old Aug 11, 06, 9:27 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by karthik
Kind of a shame to have to end this RTW in Y on a CRJ!


Thanks for the answer. That's an interesting routing. Looks like as long as you keep moving forward, they will connect you anywhere. Pretty cool stuff.
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Old Aug 11, 06, 12:02 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by karthik
DL BOS-LAX/KE LAX-ICN-AKL
KE SYD-ICN-NRT
KE NRT-ICN-KUL
KL BKK-AMS-CDG/DL CDG-MAA (yeah, way out of the way to go BKK-MAA but I didn't need the extra stop so I just went with the long award routing)
[originally ticketed KE KUL-ICN/SU ICN-SVO-CDG/DL CDG-MAA; the SVO stop wasn't needed but I wanted to try SU on the IL96 in J since that required a forced overnight and the same travel time to add SVO anyways, though I switched when the later BKK-AMS with no overnight opened up]
DL MAA-CDG/AF CDG-LHR
...currently in GLA as I wander about on my European stopover for about 2 months, then continuing onto:
KL LHR-AMS-AUA
DL AUA-JFK-BOS
[originally ticketed AV AUA-BOG-JFK/DL JFK-BOS due to lack of any better routing as I'm leaving AUA around when the poker tournament that several friends will be there for finishes]

Everything booked into J fine very close to my optimal dates, other than the DL BOS-LAX in F so far, and the final JFK-BOS in Y since there's no F there. Kind of a shame to have to end this RTW in Y on a CRJ!

How did you manage to go from BKK to MAA via Europe? Isn't that backtracking between regions IATA 2 & 3 ?
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Old Aug 12, 06, 5:47 am
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Originally Posted by UA Fan
How did you manage to go from BKK to MAA via Europe? Isn't that backtracking between regions IATA 2 & 3 ?
Since it is a connection and their shortest available routing, it is legal on a SkyTeam RTW.

Since the revenue RTWs are mileage-based, this wouldn't be a great idea for anyone not on an award ticket. (Or not in J/F for that matter to fly 24+ hours to go 1800 miles.)

On top of that my initial CDG-MAA was canceled so it took an extra day!
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