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Delta is much-maligned in the travel hacking world – with their mileage currency commonly referred to as “Skypesos”. It used to be that they did not allow one-way awards at all, something that changed earlier this year, as one of the few positives of their Delta Skymiles 2015 changes.
Booking Delta with partners
So we are looking at taking a trip to Seattle next year. We have our transportation out to Seattle already taken care of, but I was looking to get flights back to Cincinnati. United and American availability is quite low, but I was actually (pleasantly!) surprised to see low-level availability on Delta!
Now that’s 3 different flights on the same day, and mind you that’s when searching for EIGHT tickets on the same flight! There are actually a few other 12,500 mile flights that involve red eye flights, and while I’ve figured out some of the tricks to be able to sleep on a red eye, I’m not sure I want to try that with the whole family! 🙂
I’ll also point out that these flights cost about $450 as well, which is (sort of) a redemption of around 3.5 cents per point, which is not bad!
Checking on Alaska Airlines
So having that availability on Delta is great, but it would be even better if I could use Alaska Airlines miles to book the tickets, just because I have a lot more of those, thanks to the churnability of the Bank of America Alaska Airlines card.
So let’s look at that same itinerary (SEA-CVG) and date on Alaska’s site
Keep in mind that on Alaska’s site, I am searching for only ONE ticket. I’ve filtered to only show the Delta flights, but there is not any availability using Alaska or American Airlines either. You can see the same 3 flights that had low-level availability on Delta (the ones leaving at 6:55 a.m., 8:55 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.), but on Alaska’s site, they now cost 25,000 miles!
I originally thought that Alaska didn’t have access to all of Delta’s awards, but then I checked Alaska’s award chart for travel on Delta
Well… that stinks. Even though Delta now offers one-way awards, you still can’t book it on partners like Alaska. I wasn’t sure at first, since the Delta award chart went away, it gets a little harder to tell what the price “should” be.
Ever been bit by this? Let me know in the comments