As I blogged about before, I’m planning a V Australia business class award (details here) for late 2011. My original award was only the V Australia legs, LAX-SYD-LAX. Since I’m not in LAX, I wanted to add flights to get there to the same award. As many people are aware, finding low availability with Delta can be very difficult. It took some creativity, but I was able to do it.
Not the most ideal routing, but since I was able to find low availibility, I could add this to my existing ticket for no additional miles. I leveraged the better availibility on Alaska, so I am routing via Seattle. My current routing is MKE-MSP-LAX-SYD-LAX-SEA-MSP-MKE. I’m hoping to drop the SEA portions if possible (See below for update) That’s a bit of hopping around to get to LAX, and I don’t mind, but I’m likely checking bags, and possibly Scuba gear, so that many connections is always worrisome.
To find availability, I basically did leg by leg searches on delta.com, to find availability at the low level. I then called delta to book, and provided my suggestions for flights. I got F for all legs except MSP-MKE, which is coach, but presumably I can still upgrade via EUA at the Platinum window. As I said, I’m hoping to avoid the SEA legs all together to save time and an extra chance for issues, but I will attempt to make that change as the departure date gets closer.
This would seem like a perfect opportunity to use ExpertFlyer, but I don’t currently subscribe to that. Apparently they do not show Delta award availability anyway. Any other suggestions for how to track award availability that may open up later?
Anyway, this is all for 150,000 Skymiles per ticket, plus about $600 in taxes, $500 of that is fuel surcharge for the V Australia legs.
Update: I was able to change my outbound for a much easier MKE-MSP-LAX routing, although the return is still routing via SEA on Alaska. I have a long layover in LAX on the outbound, but plenty of time for an In-N-Out run and other things. Hopefully I can change to a later flight from MKE, so I don’t have such a long wait before the long flight over the Pacific.
Update 2: As noted in my Delta to New Zealand post, I have greatly improved this award routing, it is now MKE-MSP-LAX-SYD… and return. More details in the linked post.