Demonstration On How To Use Delta Miles To Bora Bora

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In this post I’ll illustrate an option to redeem Sky Miles for a trip to French Polynesia (to take a separate Air Tahiti flight to Bora Bora and Moorea) on Air France in Business class.

Hub Captive Delta Flyers Struggle To Find Value In Sky Miles

Its a common problem most all Delta flyers face.  How do you find value in the Sky Pesos Miles program and redeem your miles for flights you actually want to take?  DL.com’s website has some well known bugs enhancements, such as when you book a low award segment and a medium award segment, the system will add to two mileage requirements together instead of taking the higher amount of the two.  In this post I’ll detail how to find value with DL miles to Bora Bora French Polynesia and and avoid a common bug of award pricing errors on DL.com.  Once you get yourself to Tahiti you can book a short hop on Air Tahiti to any one of the islands in French Polynesia.

Best Use of Miles

The two greatest value awards I’ve used my Sky Miles for are my trip to the Seychelles in Business class on Air France, Delta and Air Seychelles, and an upcoming award to Bora Bora on Air France and Delta in Business class.  Below is one way to book a Sky Miles award to Bora Bora.

Step 1: Find Availability From LAX to PPT

It is important to first find availability on the LAX to PPT segment.  The best way I know to find availability is to sign up for a Flying Blue account at Air France and use their award calendar.  Air France only charges 120k miles per business ticket to Bora Bora from the U.S. while Delta charges 150k miles per business ticket.  The best feature of Air France’s website is they show availability by the month, making it easy to find the dates that are available.

Step 2: Find Availability From Home Airport To LAX And Remain Flexible

Once I found availability to PPT from LAX, I knew the challenge would be to find low award availability to LAX from my home airport of ATL.  Of course my desired dates were not available at the low award option.   My desired dates were only available at the mid award (80k in first class from ATL to LAX).  So my flight was pricing out at 230k per ticket (150k + 80k).  So I searched -1/+1 days and found availability through PHX on a regional jet in first class at the low level.  So my less than desired itinerary was ATL > PHX > LAX > PPT > LAX > PHX > ATL, but I was able to book the ticket at 150k Sky Miles per Business class ticket.

Step 3: Monitor Flight Availability And Rebook As Needed

As a diamond member I can modify / cancel award bookings at no charge, so I continued to monitor flight availability for the past 8 or so months on a weekly / bi-weekly basis.  The ability to rebook award tickets at no cost was a recent take-away enhancement that was given back to Platinum members of the Sky Miles program.  About three weeks prior to departure, I found availability on the direct ATL to LAX flight at the low award level.  I quickly changed the routing to my preferred segments and even got a $2.50 refund on taxes.  The best part is the return flight from LAX to ATL is on a 777 with lie flat seats. 

Bottom Line

There is value in Delta Sky Miles program, you just have to be flexible and spend a little extra effort.  At first glance the trip to Bora Bora would have cost me 230k miles per person, but after a little effort, I was able to get a low award, on my exact dates and ideal planes.  The trip to the Seychelles and Bora Bora are two of the best value’s in the Sky Miles program.  Keep an eye out for the trip report later this summer when I return from the trip. 


Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at theweeklyflyer@gmail.com

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Comments

  1. Thanks! This is a great example and I will definitely hold onto it until I can book my own Bora Bora trip…

  2. Stephanie,

    Glad this could help. I’m happy to help if you have any questions when your going through the booking process. My email is at the top right of the blog.

  3. Great post! I’m always eager to hear of great Delta award opportunities, especially when it can help me maximize my Skymiles.

  4. One important fact is missing: This award didn’t get you all the way to Bora Bora, did it? You still had to book an interisland flight from PPT-BOB, at a cost of between $400-$500 per pax?

  5. Hi,
    So glad I happened upon this post! I signed up for Air France to see the availability, but then when I put dates that show as available into the Skymiles system to try to reserve an LAX–>PPT ticket, it always comes back saying that no such flights are available. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks!

  6. The ONLY reason my wife and I are hoarding our Delta miles is to go to Bora Bora. Thanks so much for this post!!!!

  7. same as SEF’s comment – I signed up for the Blue Frequent Flyer on airfrance – am able to see mileage award flights available on the award calendar for LAX to Papeete – though when I attempt to see options for the same dates through delta skymiles website, they say its not available. Am I also doing something wrong? Or is still hit or miss, in that even though the airfrance calendar shows it as an available option, its hit or miss at to whether delta skymiles website can release it as an award flight? Do I just have to keep searching other dates that are available in the luck chance I hit one thats open/available? And therefore the airfrance award calendar should be used as a tool to narrow down the dates to check on skymiles website, but isnt a 1 to 1 date option availability matrix?

  8. @Robert The best thing to do is use the Air France site to find availability on AF metal. Then call Delta and ask for the exact flight you found on AF’s site.

    Send me an email if you need help booking.

  9. Great post! Definitely going to bookmark for the day my wife and I cash in all our miles to go to Bora Bora

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