One rule I have when booking an award ticket with Delta is to never give up. Don’t stop believing you can find an award at the low level. As a result of my booking approach, I believe the following song is a fitting soundtrack to this story of booking an award to Hawaii from Atlanta in Delta First Class at the low level. Consider the soundtrack below as you read my success story of booking a low level First Class award using Delta Sky
I never stopped believing and now have a low level award in Delta First Class that only required 75,000 Delta SkyMiles and $5 per ticket.
Searched Delta From Atlanta to Lihue, Kauai
My first search was from Atlanta to Lihue, Kauai. I knew there were no direct flights and a very small chance of low availability, but I had to start here first. I couldn’t find any low availability, only flights that required 135,000 SkyMiles or higher.
You must remain flexible when booking a Delta award, so I looked at the award calendar to find low level award availability, no dice. Again, only mid level award space available for the month I was looking for a flight.
Searched Other Delta Hubs to Lihue, Kauai and Honolulu, Hawaii
The next few searches I began to search for any combination on Delta metal that came to mind. I searched to any airport in Hawaii from all of Delta’s hubs. Again, only mid level award availability was displayed on Delta’s website.
Now I knew it was time to get creative.
Booked A First Pass At An Award Itinerary
I pulled up Alaska Airlines (Delta Partner) route map and began searching expert flyer for flights to Lihue on routes that Alaska serves. After a few searches, I was able to locate a flight from the west coast to Lihue in First Class using Delta SkyMiles at the low award level. Score! <sarcasm on>My loyalty finally pays off!!!!<sarcasm off>
I did it. I found a low level Delta award in First Class from the mainland to Hawaii. Only one problem for this Delta Elite. The flight is not on Delta metal.
Delta has received my loyalty, yet I was left frustrated when trying to redeem miles on any day for a period of 4-5 months. The only way I could get an award ticket at the low level with Delta was to get creative and “find” availability with Delta or a partner.
My First pass at an itinerary is complete. The First Class award ticket has us flying from San Jose, California direct to Lihue, Kauai on Alaska Airlines in a Boeing 737.
Now the fun part begins. This is where the soundtrack comes into play. Get creative and don’t stop believing.
Get creative with your award routing from the east coast to the west coast. Build in as many segments that it takes (within routing rules) to get you to the west coast at the low award level.
Don’t stop believing until the award search results in low level award availability.
Delta is notoriously stingy with their First Class award availability from the east coast to the west coast and even more so with their award availability to and from Hawaii. But if you spend a little time, and don’t stop believing, you may be able to engineer an award ticket at the low level. Even if your first or second low level award itinerary isn’t desirable, you can always book it and hope for a schedule change that will allow you to re-book onto a more desirable routing.