How can I improve my chances of being able to use frequent flier air miles for our trip to Europe next year?
We were told you can only book 331 days ahead at most, and we wanted to use our frequent flier air miles for a European vacation next year. Delta told us we should make the entire round-trip booking 331 days in advance of our return date. We would like to fly Delta, and depart end-May '08 for France (or close to that), returning on July 23, 2008 to Cincinnati from either Stockholm or Copenhagen. 331 days from July 23, 2008 is next Monday August 27. I checked with Delta yesterday and they said they have no spots available for frequent fliers (50,000 miles awards) from Cincinnati to France from mid-May through Mid-June of next year. What can I do to increase our chances of being able to use our air miles for these round-trip flights - anything? Fly to another destination within Europe? Check with Delta's partners? (how does THAT work?) Go on a waiting list? Thanks for your thoughts!
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I used my delta skymiles and didn't have any trouble. Try doing it yourself. Go to the website, enter your skymiles number and pin, than it will give you the option to use an award ticket. You can look at the calendar and see what dates are available.
Your best bet is to fly into Copenhagen first, I live 40 miles from Copenhagen and used Delta's skymiles 2 or three times without any problems. Copenhagen is a large hub for Delta airlines so they have many flights going in and out. If you are going to travel around Europe anyhow be flexible with your point of entry and you won't have any problems on top of that Europe is so small it is easy to get from one country to another really fast. One piece of advice stay out of France the people are just nasty. Copenhagen is where it is at. Copenhagen is the ultimate European city.
You can certainly try one of Delta's partners- when I went from Cincinnati to Switzerland a few years back (and then returned to Cincy from Holland), we went on Swissair (which was a partner at the time), and when I used Delta Skymiles from Cincinnati 2 years ago to go to Australia, we went on Korean Airlines. Just call the Delta Skymiles number, tell them when you want to go, and where, and have them check their partners availability. Thats all there really is to that. Then keep checking. Be flexible on dates, and cities. If you lock yourself into something in your mind, you are going to have a much harder time getting it. Bear in mind that 331 days is OK, but they keep releasing more inventory to frequent fliers as time goes on, so you will want to keep checking if you cannot find what you want. One gotcha- I know that Air France for sure, and maybe some of the other partners have restricted awards they will give to Delta folks to Europe in the summertime, which is probably part of the reason you are running into this. Everyone wants to go to Europe for free in the spring and summer months. So they've had to limit the number of tickets they are willing to give out. If you have the flexibility, consider trying to go at the end of summer or early fall. You'll find that prices are lower for your stays, and tourist areas are much less crowded at that time of year. Good luck- the key is to keep trying, get on waiting lists, and be flexible!
I don't know about DELTA, but I fly American and I used my miles for a trip to China. My wife and I flew Japan Air (AA Partner) R/T business class and I made the trip using AA rep on the phone 3 months in advance.