Heads Up: Aeroflot Awards Not Currently Bookable With Delta SkyMiles

This is an interesting development, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

Booking Aeroflot with SkyMiles has always been complicated (though possibly not as complicated as visiting the ticket office in Minsk). Aeroflot gives painfully little award space to SkyTeam partners, Delta levies fuel surcharges on Aeroflot awards, and the flights themselves haven’t been consistently bookable online.

So we didn’t think much of the fact that we really haven’t seen any Aeroflot space through Delta lately — sometimes there just isn’t inventory.

Then reader Stanley commented on my post about using miles to Europe that it wasn’t just that availability with Aeroflot was limited. Rather, the relationship is completely shut down.

After a few calls to Delta I was able to find an agent who would dig a little bit and find the relevant memo, and sure enough:

“Huh. ‘Award travel suspended on Aeroflot as of 8/16/18.’

That’s…all it says. Generally it gives us information on the reason, or an estimate as to when functionality will be restored, but that’s the entire note.”

This could be a temporary(ish) technical issue that just hasn’t been well-documented. And for what it’s worth, Delta still lists Aeroflot as not only a redemption partner, but one that can be booked online:

To be clear, award inventory is theoretically being made available to SkyTeam. Looking at ExpertFlyer for next week, for example, there are six business class seats and at least seven economy seats on the flight between New York JFK and Moscow SVO:

And (somewhat shockingly, given that booking Aeroflot through FlyingBlue is difficult-at-best), Air France can see the space as well:

So it does seem to be an issue between Delta and Aeroflot. Though booking through FlyingBlue would be a better value here regardless!

Bottom line

This is highly unusual, particularly within an alliance. We sometimes see technical issues (both shorter and longer term), and the debacle of Aeroplan and assorted Star Alliance partners is a great example of that. And of course carriers choose how much inventory (if any) to make available to partners.

But we don’t typically see redemption agreements just end when both carriers are in the same alliance.

We’ll try and get some more information, and will update when we know more, but I wanted to make folks aware in case you were considering one of these awards.

Comments

  1. Hello people!!! l tried the Cathay lounge and Qantas in Heathrow!!!!!!! The food was so YUMMY!!!! Recommend Ed!!! Safe flight s to all!!

  2. Aeroflot is the only airline, the only airline, whose FAs lucky has said in his own gay are hot.

    Dont censor. He did say that. He said stylishly attractive.

    Can’t wait to check out aeroflot.

  3. Ironically, I see this as a good thing. I was getting tired of Aeroflot awards showing up in my Delta searches to eastern Europe!

  4. FWIW – when I recently tried booking through Flying Blue, it wouldn’t actually ticket (online or via phone agent).

  5. @ Michael — Do you happen to remember how many seats were in the fare bucket versus how many you were trying to book? I have some theories regarding how SU space works with FlyingBlue (but it’s mostly just a mess).

  6. This issue (cannot book SU awards) is ongoing for months, starting in March. Even if EF shows plenty of availability, it does not show up on Delta search. Only some european routes are available. I thought it was because of World Cup, but now it is clearly a bigger issue. Too bad, because it was an excellent option for travel to Europe and beyond.

  7. I have tried to book Aeroflot longhaul on Delta for a year or more. They seem to show them for connections, like CDG-SVO. But nothing good (long haul direct). I took a leg of Aerflot on an Air France award intra Europe a few months ago, SVO-MUC.

    Air France will show JFK-SVO direct awards as available like you show, but it will not let you book, I tried a bunch of times. And if you call in the same. It is shadow inventory.

    All of this is pretty surprising considering how much Aeroflot volume is down, how they may cut flights to USA… and if you price up a biz class RT JFK-SVO it is pretty cheap. So good chance it is some stupid politics?

    This has been going on a while.

  8. Tried to book Aeroflot via Delta in March and there was no award availability over the phone and online. This isn’t new.

  9. Wow. I’m surprised. I booked an award ticket through DL back in 2014 in Eco for JFK-SVO-HAM and the value was incredible considering the DL/AF/KL deals that were showing (SU was 30,000 miles!). A real pity though as there service was always quite good in eco and award tickets were cheap.

  10. When I tried to book SU flights using FlyingBlue, it also does not allow me to ticket the reservation. Tried the phone agent and the nice lady also confirmed there was space but was also not able to ticket that. Tried to use Korean Air Skypass and the same thing happened.

    As I have mentioned in the last post, it looks like SU may have been blocking (at least part of) the long haul partner redemptions.

  11. Aeroflot and Delta have seemed to hate one another for a while now. I always have a hard time getting Skyteam Elite+ privileges with Delta because I am an Aeroflot Bonus Gold level member. I have numerous examples: 1.) I have been berated by a Delta check-in agent in Atlanta for using the Sky Priority baggage drop, even though I presented my Aeroflot Gold card and my boarding pass clearly indicated that I am a Skyteam Elite+. She simply said “Aeroflot doesn’t service Atlanta.” (Another time I was told to go to the Aeroflot check-in, which doesn’t even exist in Atlanta.)
    2.) I have been routinely denied Delta Sky club access at JFK, though I should have been admitted based on the fact I was transferring from a domestic to international Skyteam flight. 3.) Delta always tries to charge me for my first checked bag, even though I should have the first one free. Sometimes, I argue and show the rules, and they relent, but other times they remain firm and I have to pull out the credit card and pay.
    4.) I’ve never been upgraded on a Delta flight, and have been bumped involuntarily as well. Getting bumped SHOULD NOT happen to an Elite+ on ANY Skyteam flight.

    Now, I know that it goes both ways. For example, I know for a fact that Aeroflot will give operational upgrades even to their own non-elites before other Skyteam elites. I’ve seen it happen. Aeroflot is also notorious for denying lounge access to non-Aeroflot elites. Aeroflot always touts their membership in Skyteam, but it seems that they don’t wanna recognize benefits consistently for other Skyteam members, and it is reflected by how Aeroflot elites are treated by others. I have considered switching my allegiance to Korean Air, as they are the only other airline that services Vladivostok with whom I can easily reach my preferred destinations.

  12. This is not new. SU long haul awards were blocked since February. Short haul awards were bookable until mid August until agreement ended as you correctly pointed out. I got the same information from Delta.

    Delta should come out honest and remove SU from redemption partners or from any partners. They can not even coordinate fares. Most of SU fares between Moscow and USA offer connection on JetBlue or Alaska and not DL when DL connections are readily available in JFK and LAX. What’s the point of such partnership?

    DL and SU should figure it out or just kick out SU from SkyTeam.

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