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Delta Skymiles are among the hardest frequent flyer miles to use. Their online award engine is egregiously broken and there are multiple a la carte tiers which can jack your award ticket up exponentially. As a Delta Diamond and having redeemed millions of Skymiles, I’ve learned how to finesse the system to get low-level awards.
One of the tricks I use is to utilize Skyteam partners like Air France and KLM as much as possible. This method works well when booking Europe trips, until recently when Delta has refused to recognize their availability.
After I research and find low award space, I usually call Delta to get the ticket booked. Lately, I’ve had issues with Delta “seeing” KLM and Czech award space. So in order to get it booked, I had to ask the agent to “short sell and hope for HK confirmed” in order to get the ticket booked. Not sure exactly what that means, but its worked like a charm every time.
Each time, the agent has been skeptical, but played along since it sounded like I knew what I was talking about. Once they requested the legs that I knew had business class, they send it off for electronic pricing and every time the tickets came back at the “low” business class level, which is 100,000 miles from US to Europe.
I’m not sure what the issue is, but I hope Delta gets it fixed soon. Keep this in mind when booking Skyteam flights and if you don’t have the time/patience to deal with booking a Delta award, consider enlisting me to do all of the dirty work for you. I have plenty of references who can vouch for my services.