Don’t tell anyone, but you can fly on SkyTeam partner airlines to the Seychellles in Business Class at the low award level. I’ll illustrate how you can get to the Seychelles for only 120,000 Delta SkyMiles in Business Class.
A little known flight option was closed a few years ago. A Delta SkyMiles member used to be able to redeem Delta SkyMiles for an Air France codeshare flight on Air Seychlles from Paris to the Seychelles. Mrs. Weekly Flyer and I flew Air Seychelles on this route several years ago for only 120,000 SkyMiles per person in Business Class. We built a flight from Atlanta to Paris, to the Seychelles, open jaw, Mauritius to Paris, stop, Paris to Atlanta. For three weeks we lived the dream and unplugged from reality. Sadly, that option is no longer available with SkyTeam partners or Delta SkyMiles.
Fortunately, Kenya Airways still operates a flight from Nairobi Kenya to the Seychelles. You can take a connecting flight through Europe to catch this flight for only 120,000 Delta SkyMiles plus taxes and fees. The award ticket on Delta comes with a stop over and an open jaw, so you can get creative on your routes to and from Africa. For example, you could add in a stop over in Amsterdam or a city in Africa.
Constructing A Delta Award To Seychelles
First, the most important thing to do is find availability on the final leg from Nairobi to Seychelles. The easiest way to do this is to go to Airfrance.us and plug in NBO to SEZ. The award calendar shows wide open availability at the low level.
Next, you’ll want to find availability from Amsterdam to Nairobi. There are two options. You can fly on KLM or Kenya Airways. The KLM flight requires an overnight in Nairobi, so for simplicity, we’ll go with the Kenya Airways flight which is operated by a 767-300. Here are some pictures of the new(er) Business Class option from Kenya Airways. The seats are lie-flat at an angle and in a 2-1-2 configuration.
Next, and the most challenging part, is to find availability from the U.S. to Amsterdam. I head over to Delta’s website and plug in city pairs with “non-stop” selected on the advanced search settings. The results show award availability at the low level for a flight from Boston.
The flight from Boston lands at 5:50 am and the flight to Nairobi doesn’t leave until 9 PM. There are a few options you can take. You could go explore the city or pick up a day room to rest. I’d mix in a bit of both if taking this flight.
Try adding a stopover on the return in Joburg. This will be extremely difficult and there is a high liklihood routing back through Joburg on Delta will increase your award ticket price. The easy way would be to route back through Europe. Finding low level Business Class award on Delta’s 777 operated flight from JNB to ATL has been very difficult. But I’ve found Business Class availability on the Delta 777 operated flight in the past at the low levels.
To fly this route, you’ll need to fly back through Nairobi and down to Joburg on Kenya Airways. A quick award search shows plenty of availability at the low level.
There are a few flights you can select to fly to Joburg from the Seychelles. All are operated by Kenya Airways. You can select the option to overnight in Nairobi or a 4 hour layover.
The issue always comes up with availability from Joburg. Checking the award calendar gives little hope for finding low award availability on the fourth longest flight in the world operated by a Delta 777.
The good news is there is plenty of availability back through Europe from Joburg. A quick search on the Airfrance.us shows the great availability on this route.
There are a few flights from Joburg back to Europe on SkyTeam. The best in my opinion is Air France’s flight to Paris. If you want this flight, make sure you select the dates that show the lower taxes and fees of $204.54 which should indicate that Air France has availability that day.
Now that you have found availability back in Europe, you’ll have to find your availability back to the United States. I would use the Airfrance.us website and calendar search availability. There are a few days that have availability back to Boston.
Finally, you’ll want to give the Delta partner award booking desk a call. With this many international partners, it may be worth a call to Delta’s “Round The World” desk. Provide them the exact dates and flight numbers you’d like to book and they can piece the award together at the low availability which you just found.
Overall a painful process to book this award. To avoid some of the taxes and fees, try to fly on Delta Airlines across the Atlantic. The routing isn’t pretty, it’s a lot of flying and you will come out of pocket for taxes and fees, but you can still go to the Seychelles on SkyTeam partners.