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Best use of Delta miles
[B]We were planning to use our Delta Skymiles for 2 r/t business tickets (140k + tax/ticket) for October 2017, but since there was no availability from BNA to BUD (only from JFK with a $400+ tax), we bought Black Friday revenue tickets from BA through the AARP website. So now I am trying to think what we can do with the following amount of miles on 3 Skymiles accounts, since I have a feeling that Delta will devalue them sooner or later:
1). 187,499 2). 153,726 3). 71,707.
I know that it is all about just checking availabilities regularly (trust me I have been doing that), but I would be grateful for any suggestions as to what travel destinations might get offered for an acceptable amount of miles around January/February 2018. I am really looking for your personal experience in the past with Delta award ticket when they were on sale. Since Tiffany favors Delta, I am hoping to get some help from her particularly 🙂 [/B]
I love SkyMiles for Europe, especially, so that would always be my first pick. So many lovely products and generally good connections!
[USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER]: Any particular destination airport which in [U]your experience[/U] tends to have better than average availability? Thanks.
Well, the challenge will really be BNA, but if you’re opening to positioning to the gateway city the world is your oyster. All the transatlantic partners have great availability in advance, and connections are plausible to pretty much anywhere in Europe. It’s the domestic stuff in the US that’s more problematic.
Thank you. Will keep that in mind.
Daniel, I am based out of BNA as well. I have repositioned to IAH, BOS, and DTW to get good availability to Europe on Skyteam. BOS and DTW are easy to get to with several carriers (JetBlue is nicely priced non stop to BOS). Other hubs I look at include MSP (although MSP is tougher to get to from Nashville) and MCO (although not great deals out of Orlando for Skyteam). I have also repositioned to where I want to go in Europe from FRA and AMS. In October 2017 I flew to BUD on KLM through IAH (unfortunately, the repositioning flight on United from Nashville to Houston was a little pricey). So, I sometimes look at cities that might not have an international DL flights but do have international Skyteam flights (like Houston or ORD). Google Flights is great to see the possible options.
That’s great, thank you for your detailed reply. With previous flights of ours, particularly with revenue tickets I often had to buy the positioning flights (typically to JFK or ORD). With award tickets (mainly AA we use), I have been lucky in that we typically do get the the full r/t from BNA (to BUD – that is where we regularly go :)).
The BNA-BUD r/t on AA using AA Business Saver miles can be interesting. Several months ago I got my wife a BNA-CLT-JFK-HEL-BUD ticket before devaluation (no availability for direct BNA-JFK), then successfully rebooked it to a date we actually wanted but at the time of getting the ticket it had not opened up yet. Later the ticket had to be changed for a different day to AA metal (transatlantic segment) except from LHR-BUD on BA for an extra $90 in taxes. Then yesterday I looked at availability on AA, found a great BNA-JFK-HEL-BUD award ticket for the same day, got it rebooked free, and will get the $90 taxes back.
I do not know, it is just with AA I seemed to have more luck than with Delta, although I am sure that for other people it is the other way around.
Daniel, I agree regarding AA. Keep that Houston option in the back of your head though. They had a great deal on a revenue ticket in J (sub $2000) from IAH to BUD through AMS. I flew a KLM 747 combi in the nose of the plane (it was amazing). Easy connection in AMS. Return flight would not price well on KLM but priced BUD-AMS-MSP-IAH. Off topic, but I found Budapest an amazing city, and can’t wait to go back.
Aeroflot is also a decent option. However, they fly a330s (angled flat seats) everywhere but JFK.
Flew Aeroflot last year and will fly with them again next year – we loved the fantastic service! The “angle-flat” on Aeroflot is almost unnoticeable vs their lie flat seat. We flew both and I actually noticed no difference. The angle flat might be 170-175 degree (not 180 degree).
[QUOTE=”Mark F., post: 23644, member: 1093″]Daniel, I agree regarding AA. Keep that Houston option in the back of your head though. They had a great deal on a revenue ticket in J (sub $2000) from IAH to BUD through AMS. I flew a KLM 747 combi in the nose of the plane (it was amazing). Easy connection in AMS. Return flight would not price well on KLM but priced BUD-AMS-MSP-IAH. Off topic, but I found Budapest an amazing city, and can’t wait to go back.[/QUOTE]
Thank you Mark! I will definitely check the IAH availability – I have never done that, but for sub $2k, that would be excellent! As for double connections within the US either to or from BNA, well, I am used to it, so that would not be an issue. I am very glad that you enjoyed Budapest!