My parents are excellent and diligent mileage students (hi guys 😉 ) and they fully support my “hobby”, so it’s nice when I’m able to find them the exact flights they are looking for. They aren’t very picky either, a Caribbean trip over winter break (fulfilled with Avios or AAdvantage miles) and a trip to Europe over the summer. In all honesty, they’d probably be fine with economy, but I like to treat them to a premium cabin when flying to Europe.

Prior to the Delta/Northwest merger, I had them both get two Northwest WorldPerks Visas and two Delta AMEX cards. They each had over 200K SkyMiles in their accounts post merger. They knew nothing of the SkyPesos title, but for them the miles haven’t lived up to the “peso” name. Granted, European trips originating from JFK without the need for a DL domestic connection make booking a bit easier. In any case, their luck has been incredible. Three years ago they flew on DL metal from JFK-FCO and VCE-JFK on low level business awards in August. The following year it was JFK-CDG, also on a low level business award on DL metal. This year, I didn’t have as high hopes for their planned trip to Spain. Their dates weren’t all that flexible (August 12-16th for departure for 9 or so days) and things have become a whole lot tighter with the essential loss of AF/KLM award space.

So it began, I searched one segment at a time, hoping for JFK-MAD (Madrid) on the way there and BCN (Barcelona) -JFK on the return. You can imagine my shock when the first date I checked, August 12th, showed two low level business seats on the direct flight. Had to be a mistake right? Nope, the space was actually there when I proceeded to the confirmation page! Next, could I find a return from BCN? Not even close. There were no business class flights available until the very end of August. I also tried AGP (Malaga), no low level space at all in business or coach. Unfortunately, a one-way award was out of the question as Delta still charges the full 100K. My next thought was to connect them in Dublin via a paid Aer Lingus or Ryanair flight. Dublin is sort of on the way and Delta has two flights per day from Dublin (plus US customs clearance). The DUB flights also usually have slightly better availability than most other European DL cities. Well, lucky enough, the first date I checked had two business seats available on the 2:15pm flight, allowing for sufficient time to connect from Spain. I then opened up another tab and tried to request both flights in a multi-city itinerary, success! Total booking time 35 minutes…shocking…WOW!

Is it perfect? No, but it’s close enough…especially for SkyMiles to Europe in the summer time.  My parents are very happy and excited and that’s all the counts. It’s also a great value considering the low value placed on SkyMiles. For me, the 50K each way is not the same as parting with 50K UA or AA miles which I value much higher. Next, on to the hotels…

*I should note that AirEuropa had availability (as they normally do) in both business and economy on the exact dates* You can read more about their flight service and allowable SkyMiles redemptions here.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


Related Articles


The Weekly Flyer May 5, 2013 - 2:34 am

Why not add an Air Europa flight to Dublin to the award for free?

adam May 5, 2013 - 10:16 am

@ The Weekly Flyer – Would have loved to but in summer 2013 they only operate to AMS, BRU, OTP, CPH, LIS, LGW, MXP, DME, CDG, ORY, and FCO. DL had no availability from any of these on the 22nd onwards…though BRU did have great business availability on the 21st via ATL.

TravelBloggerBuzz May 5, 2013 - 9:09 pm

I don’t believe you…were you doing acid or something? This is just not possible:-)

Martin May 6, 2013 - 7:23 am

Congrats to you and your family! Sounds like your parents got great flights and kudos to you for getting them into the mileage game as well.

Susan May 6, 2013 - 7:23 am

That’s great, you (and your parents) are very lucky. Very jealous of that direct flight to Spain…and all for only 100K miles!!! Hope they have fun.

Nathan May 6, 2013 - 7:28 am

LUCKY. Great find. That’s nice that they get to go away, nicer that it’s free, and even nicer that you help. I couldn’t find any seats to Europe for our dates in the summer. Kudos on making the most of those DL miles. Spain is my very favorite country and I’m sure they’ll love it!

JP May 6, 2013 - 7:31 am

Me gusta Espana

Great Australia Award Availablity Using SkyMiles on Vietnam Airlines & China Southern…in addition to VA - Point Me To The Plane May 6, 2013 - 6:11 pm

[…] Did I Really Just Book 2 Low Delta Business Tix to Europe for Summer Travel? YES! Recent CommentsTravel Summary – 5/6/13 on Qatar to Fly Non-Stop to Philadelphia (PHL)!SPG Restaurants – Complimentary Beverage, Appetizer, Dessert for Elite Members & Up to 30% Discount – Point Me To The Plane on SPG Double Points Promo Registration Now LiveBits ‘n Pieces for May 6, 2013 – View from the Wing on Qatar to Fly Non-Stop to Philadelphia (PHL)!Konstantinos on Qatar to Launch Direct JFK – Athens ServicePamela on Amazing 1952 TWA Video IDL(JFK) to LAX…travel back to a very different time in aviationCategories […]

2013 List of Best Airlines for Award Redemptions – Delta and US at the Bottom - Point Me To The Plane May 9, 2013 - 2:37 pm

[…] awards, Delta probably truly does belong at the very bottom (even-though I’ve had some great recent luck with low level awards). Unfortunately for the general public (but good for us), the survey will once again be reported on […]


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Point Me Awake


A morning jolt of travel-infused news & deals straight to your inbox. 


Success! Check your email for a welcome onboard message