Delta Skymiles has been regular in doing flash sales where they discount the mileage cost of reward tickets to various destinations. We have wrote about this regular flash sales in the past and you can find one of our posts here. This time they are discounting flights to various Caribbean destinations and although they advertise the cost starting from 16k+ miles (plus taxes and fees) and certain restriction on dates / city pairs you can find deals from lot more cities and dates starting at 14k+ miles round trip! You can find the current set of deals listed here but "do not trust what you see" as you may be positively surprised when you do the actual search for your dates.
For e.g. although not being listed as discounted cities you can find round trip tickets from San Jose (SJC) to Los Cabos (SJD) starting at 14k miles round trip. The best part is if you plan to leave on Friday/Saturday the mileage cost does not increase by much and you can have 4-5 days of short beach vacation!!
So, if you are looking for quick Caribbean vacation and have Delta Skymiles to spend do check out this flash sale.
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There is a nice promotion where you can earn maximum of 25,000 Delta Skymiles by earning 1,000 Skymiles for each unique partner activity. If you have not taken advantage of it yet you still have till 06/30/2017 to earn at-least few thousand delta skymiles if not the max of 25,000 miles. Here is the promotion link to register for this offer before you go ahead and spend at the partners. The terms state that it is open to all Delta Skymiles members except the one residing in APAC Region. Also only the partner member with whom you have not earned any miles from March 24, 2016 to March 23, 2017 are eligible for this promotion. The detailed terms can be found here.
Below are few examples (provided you have not done any transactions with them through Delta Skymiles) to earn easy miles.
There are bunch of partners in each of the category and except airline partners most of other unique partner activities qualify. You can find the complete list of partners here.
As you can see you can easily earn 2,000 to 3,000 Delta Skymiles without much effort at all. If you have stays or travel coming up and you can credit to Delta Skymiles then you earning potential can easily go much higher with this promotion. So, go ahead and get the easy one's at-least while the promotion lasts.
In the previous installment we talked about how Hidden City Revenue Ticket can be booked. Let's see how we can apply the same to book award tickets with hidden city which can either reduced the "fuel surcharges" or the "number of miles" required for the award. Below are the traits of booking such an award:
Lets see the usage of above with few examples:
Going from South Asia to Central Asia using United Miles:
United typically charges 35k/60k/110k miles in Economy/Business/First respectively for travel between South Asia region and Central Asia region yet it only charges 20k/35k/45k miles for travel wholly within "South Asia" region. As you can see from below a trip from Kathmandu (KTM) to Bangkok (BKK) requires 35k miles in Economy and 60k
Now, lets try one of the "hidden city" concept to see if we can reduce the price. Let's see what happens if we change our destination to Colombo (CMB) which is in South Asia region.
As you can see from above the mileage cost has reduced from 35k/60k to 20k/35k and you are still travelling via Bangkok (BKK). The idea here is you can book the flight from Kathmandu to Colombo via Bangkok and can get down at Bangkok as long as you do not have any checked-in Bags and have "visa" for Colombo (you will need Colombo visa to board the flight from Kathmandu).
Going from North America to South Pacific using Delta Skymiles:
Most of you would consider Delta Skymiles to be useless but one of the sweet redemption is travelling to Australia on Virgin Australia using Delta Skymiles. You can only book Delta flights round trip but can have one-stop over and one open-jaw in the route. Ideally Delta would charge 100k/160k in Economy/Business to fly Australia as shown below:
Lets now change to destination in some other region where Virgin Australia flies. How about some another vacation spot? If you change the destination to Bali (DPS) which is in Southeast Asia you can reduce the mileage cost to 80k/140k in Economy/Business as shown below:
As you can see there are quite a few opportunities which reduces the mileage cost with the help of "Hidden City Ticketing". On similar lines changing the destination to something which has "low fuel surcharge" when booking through mileage currency from programs such as ANA or Aeroplan which typically levies fuel surchage can provide good amount of savings.
So, look around for such opportunities before you book your next vacation.
KEEP THOSE BOARDING PASS ..
If you ever thought about getting the retroactive miles/points credit for any of your past trip, the first most important thing you need is the "boarding pass". Most of the time we do not care about keeping the boarding pass once we board the aircraft. But most often you could still get those miles for your air travel if you have your boarding pass. One of the best way is to take a "picture" of the boarding pass so that you still have proof of boarding the aircraft in case you need it at a later date. In fact sometimes the airlines miles/points might not post even though you might have entered your Frequent Flyer (FF) number. In such situations as well you might need to have the boarding pass from the trip to email/fax the customer support.
The other important aspect of air travel is to know what "fare bucket" your travel was booked into. For commoners all we know are the "classes" such as Economy, Business and First. But there are many fare buckets from which your ticket might originate and those determine how much "miles credit" you get for your trip. Fare bucket information is usually displayed on your itinerary right beside the the "class" information. This is important to know as it would "save you hassle" of contacting the airlines if you know before hand (by looking at airlines website) if your "fare bucket" earns any miles or not.
So, once you have above two pieces of information and provided the airline you flew allows retroactive miles credit (which most airlines do), you can earn the miles for the trip you took in the past. Ideally airlines have partners or belong to alliance so you could potentially credit your miles to those partners or alliance airline provided you enter that airline Frequent Flyer number in your reservation (This could be done online or by calling the airline you are flying). But, when you do not enter this info before taking your flight and would be doing retroactive credit majority of airlines will only allow you to credit the miles to their "own frequent flyer program".
Below is the information regarding the time frame you can get retroactive credit for your flights. Before you "contact the airlines", you would need to create the Frequent Flyer account in their program if you do not have one. I have listed only few airlines here, but you should be able to easily look up this information on the airlines website:
So the next time you travel, make sure you enter your Frequent Flyer number in your reservation record (can be done after booking your reservation) and always "keep your boarding pass" to ensure "airline mileage credit".
I love traveling / backpacking. This blog focuses on below 3 aspects of travel:
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