Broken – Delta And Alaska First Class Hawaii Award Ticket

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I received some bad news about the First Class award ticket I booked to Hawaii this week with Alaska Airlines on Delta SkyMiles. My winning moment came when I booked a First Class award ticket to Hawaii on SkyMiles for only 75,000 SkyMiles round trip. This was booked at the Delta SkyMiles low level and is a rare find. So I was excited to get the itinerary booked.

My work was not yet complete. I still needed to add segments to get us from the east coast to the west coast at Delta’s low award level. I was not going to stop believin’ there was low award availability.

I had a breakthrough that I thought could work and quickly called up Delta to attempt to price the ticket.

But the bad news quickly hit me over the head like a brick. I couldn’t price out a ticket from the east coast to San Jose at the low level. The routing rules that were confirmed by multiple agents were causing my ticket to “break” and adding additional cost (extra miles) to the pricing.

There were a number of issues causing the ticket to break by using Delta SkyMiles to attempt to book a partner award with Alaska to Hawaii. Here are a few reasons I’ve discovered will cause the flight to break.

  • A layover of more than 4 hours is considered a stop over
  • Stop overs are not allowed on routes that Delta does not have a published fare
  • Most Alaska flights from the west coast to Hawaii leave very early in the morning
  • The Alaska Flight 863 leaves SJC at 8:50 am, so this ruled out a connecting flight without needing a layover greater than 4 hours
  • Since I was attempting to fly the route that Delta doesn’t have a direct flight published fare (SJC>LIH) the fare was breaking and increasing the cost from 75,000 per ticket to well over 140,000 per ticket

Bottom Line

Delta’s award booking rules with Alaska airlines are prohibitive for connecting passengers coming from the east coast. I was really hoping to fly Delta to Hawaii, but their availability just isn’t great at the low level.

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The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. You ran into the same problem that those of us trying the Icelandic Air deal with Alaska ran into recently. Plus those folks already booked most of the available low level F class routes. I like Alaska but the layover 4 hour rule is a killer.

  2. It may be worth playing with different routes. I got my parents there and back from msp using fi miles which is much more restrictive. Could try to convince that the first available flight is OK as a connection, even beyond 4hours.

    The other option, if it is still live, would be to fly to San and book a cheap k-fare to hawaii if there is upgrade space available.

  3. Hi Matt – It’s available. I have booked a ATL>LAX at low level 45k, and a separate OAK/SJC>LIH at low level 75k. But I cannot use them together, even though there are connections, because it is more than 4 hour layover no matter what. I’ve 0/3 with agents not allowing it. Assume they are firm on that rule.

  4. The routes that work for strict <4hour layovers, from my recollection, are fairly limited. For HNL, which is where I was booking to, I think it was basically SEA or BLI where itineraries were theoretically possible staying on AS metal all the way. Took a while studying the AS timetables.

    Awards from SEA are a lot tighter than from the california secondary markets.

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