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As many people continue to redeem their hard earned SkyMiles as a result of the news of Delta’s changes come January 1, 2015, it is important to remember that you can add a free one-way onto an international award ticket. What better way to maximize award tickets than to get an additional free flight out of it! Here’s how:
Learn What A Stop Over Can Do For Your
A stopover is an intermediate point in one’s journey.
- Example: Atlanta – Paris || Stopover || Rome – Atlanta
- Example: Atlanta – Paris – Atlanta || Stopover || Los Angeles
The stopover is one of the best tools a frequent traveler can use to maximize the award ticket. A stopover can be used as far out as the schedule permits. Since Delta’s schedules go out ~330 days in advance, that is a lot of time to maximize an award booking on an international itinerary.
A prime example of how to successfully use this tactic is how we used it on an award booking back in 2009 to go to the Seychelles, Mauritius, and Paris all on one ticket. We used only 120,000 Delta SkyMiles (per person) for business class tickets half way around the world. Best part of that trip wasn’t getting a free award ticket, it was hiking to the protected beach, Anse Major on the main island in the Seychelles of Mahe.
Find Desired International Award Ticket Availability
In this example, our original routing would take us from Atlanta direct to St Thomas with a return to Atlanta. We stayed a few nights at the Ritz Carlton St Thomas, enjoyed a great happy hour at sunset in a secret harbor, a fantastic dinner at sunset grill in secret harbor and then would return, to our home in Atlanta.
But why stop with just these flight segments when we can get more for free?
Add In Free Domestic One-Way Flight
Instead of starting and ending our trip in Atlanta, we decided to add on a segment to visit the mountains during ski season. We added on a one-way segment to the ATL > STT ticket that gets us to the mountains for free. No need to make the trips back to back since we have a full year to add on the segment. So we’ll wait a few months before heading to the mountains after our trip to the Caribbean.
In this example, we got ourselves to Salt Lake City for free on a one-way ticket added to our Delta award itinerary, we’ll still need to get ourselves back from Salt Lake City. This can easily be accomplished with another free one-way award ticket on the front end of a trip. So for our next trip, yet to be determined, we’ll add a one-way from SLC to ATL with a stop-over, before heading out on our next journey. This way, we’ll accomplish a free trip to Salt Lake City in between two international award tickets.
When booking an international award on Delta SkyMiles, make sure you take advantage of adding a free one-way ticket on the reservation.
I’ve done this several times in the past and it is a great way to maximize award tickets. How many times have you used this trick before? Where did the free flight take you?
If you are looking for more SkyMiles consider signing up for the Delta Reserve card, Delta Platinum SkyMiles card, or the Delta Gold SkyMiles card. You’ll have the opportunity to get status faster with free MQMs that come with the Delta Platinum (5,000 MQMs) and Delta Reserve (10,000 MQMs) cards.
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