Just Booked an Amazing Award w/ Delta SkyMiles…FOR REAL!

by Adam

It’s sad when this warrants a post but I am in shock! I got the most convenient flights amongst all carriers to the destinations I wanted, in business, on my requested dates (no flexibility this time), and at the low level…AND IT’S WITH DELTA SKYMILES! You may remember a few weeks ago when I posted about securing a room at the SPG Santa Marina Luxury Collection property in Mykonos for this coming summer – SPG 100,000 Euro Hotel Room Booked with Points! Greek Islands 2015…. Booking the room was extremely difficult and the dates are not at all flexible. As normal, I figured I’d book the flights a few weeks out when there tends to be the best availability (I’m comfortable waiting until the last possible minute, see – Just Booked Maldives Flights for Monday! Emirates First Class Awards for $30).

Anyway, for kicks I decided to check out Delta’s availability for JFK to Mykonos(JMK) and then Athens (ATH) to JFK. The JFK-JMK had multiple options available, all with connections in Rome. I could choose from 3 flights to Rome (2 on Alitalia and 1 on Delta) all with business availability. I went with the latest departure and the shortest connection time in Rome (allowing me to work a full day in New York). The flight also happens to be the shortest total duration to JMK from NYC across all available carriers, by over an hour (12 hours and 10 minutes total).  WOW, shocked and surprised I moved on to the return flight. I saw no ATH-JFK availability (well unless I wanted to spend over 300K SkyMiles), but searching segment by segment I found availability on KLM to ATL (via AMS) connecting to LGA and on Air France to BOS (via CDG) connecting to LGA as well. I went with the KLM connections. The next morning I searched once again and the direct ATH-JFK flight opened up at the low award level. A quick call to SkyMiles and I was booked (24 hour cancelation)! Total cost 125,000 miles per person and $110 in taxes!

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Delta SkyMiles Award Mykonos & Athens

Delta Award Booking Receipt

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VC December 16, 2014 - 6:10 pm

you didn’t want to tack on a free one way?

Adam December 16, 2014 - 6:17 pm

@VC – That’s for another post… I had a JFK-LAX segment on my original itinerary. When I called to get the direct flight they could not reissue with the JFK-LAX segment attached. A supervisor unsuccessfully attempted and then transf me to the international ticketing desk. They too could not ticket with both the JFK-ATH flight, a stopover, and then LAX (it was bizarre…as if the computer was restricting them prior to 2015). We tried SAN and SFO as well. I’m supposed to receive a call some time this week from the help desk and I expect them to manually add the segment! Will keep everyone updated.

Alan December 16, 2014 - 7:06 pm

Everyone always bad mouths Delta and their free miles. We are doing JFK to Paris and then on the Moscow. Then Moscow to St. Petersburg. Then Moscow to Paris to JFK. All Business on Air France. For 125,000 Delta miles for each of us. The Four Seasons Hotel in St. Petersburg is getting cheaper every day but they won’t let me pay right now because I booked a deal with my American Express Platinum card. In Moscow we are using IHG points but I’m thinking that it is not a good use of the points and maybe we should just pay to stay at the new Four Seasons near the Kremlin. I hope there will be food in the restaurants when we get there in the summer!!!

augias December 17, 2014 - 2:17 am

this is a great trip and fantastic value! Especially because Alitalia business class is wonderful, probably the nicest Skyteam business class, with the best food, the biggest lie-flat seats etc. Air France and KLM are lagging far behind. ATH-JFK on Delta is probably not a plane with lie-flat seats yet? I think they usually deploy those aircraft on routes where they have lie-flat competition.
Last year, before the Skymiles devaluation, I managed to do a JFK-Pisa on Delta, Rome-JFK on Alitalia, for 100k miles. It’s so rare to actually make an itinerary work (especially then with the old broken website) that I was very giddy.

Adam December 17, 2014 - 6:23 am

@augias – Yes, I’ve flown with Alitalia’s new business class twice before and loved it, both on the 777 and A330 – check out those trip reports here. . The Delta leg is on the A330 which does have the 180° flat-bed seats.

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