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Award Booking

Surveying Scotland: Introduction

Two kids creates more than twice the work. That holds true for regular life and travel. Nonetheless, we took it upon ourselves to travel to the United Kingdom to celebrate our son's first birthday. Just kidding, it's just when we were free. As always, we paid for the majority of our flight with points. We even booked our first transatlantic flights in coach for the first time in five years. Slumming it! Just kidding, I'm just practicing what I've been preaching in my family travel hacking guide. Read below for details of what we booked and the thought process behind it all. I wrote about booking our flights to the UK awhile back. Man, can't believe I booked this trip back in August 2015. Either way, Delta availability still remains [...]

Award Booking Tips overheard at FT4RL

So I made a rookie mistake presenting at FT4RL - too many slides! I had to rush through a few of my points on booking awards so I thought I'd share some of them here, along with a few other tips shared by the group. Nothing earth shattering here, but some good tips nonetheless. There is coach award space to Europe still available this summer I didn't do an exhaustive search, but as far as I could tell there is quite a bit of award space available to Europe this summer. I searched the three main legacy carriers for four people to/from various US cities to various European cities and there was quite a bit of coach availability. My main point here is this: if you want to travel to [...]

Delta Award Space is better than you think – much better

tl;dr - there's a ton of Delta award space but our community's bias against Delta is probably preventing us from realizing that. All searches were for FOUR people ONE way. Whenever I'm poking around the blogosphere, there's one airline that consistently gets hated on: Delta. Now I definitely agree they don't make the most customer friendly moves - hiding award charts, hidden devaluations, etc. Still, they get way more flak than I think they deserve, and only get positive press every once in awhile when there is an award fare sale (BTW that sale extends to some business class fares as well if you're interested). Well, I was looking into a long weekend in Europe for my wife and myself this fall, and guess who consistently had the best award space? [...]

Seven reasons I prefer the Alaska Airlines award search tool to British Airways

Update: Proof that I am an idiot. I swear I saw CX space but it must have been in my dreams or something, sigh. Anyway, I'm gonna leave all my stupid text in here for posterity, but I've edited the post. British Airways website has long been touted as the go to award search engine for Oneworld award space. I don't dispute that, but being that I am looking at flights to Asia a lot (even though the idea of taking a preschooler and a lap infant seems insane right now), I am often searching for Cathay Pacific award space and it's nice that you can get it on one award using Emirates. I have long used British Airways site to search for Oneworld award space, but a funny thing happened [...]

Delta Skymiles are not Useless

Delta gets a bad rap, and rightfully so. Delta miles are difficult to use, they switched to a revenue based system first, etc. etc. yada yada yada. Despite all that, I've been bullish on Delta miles and stockpiling for the past year or so with the specific goal in mind of getting three business class seats to Europe for summer 2016. This post is living proof that all is not lost with the Delta program, no matter how bad things have seemed. And I'm not even talking about the award sale that's been going on (which is pretty great too!). Delta Skymiles are not useless! A bit of quick background - I've always been keenly aware that Boston is a great place to live if you have Delta miles. BOS-AMS [...]

Using Flexibility to Find Premium Award Space to Australia and New Zealand Part 2 (Skyteam)

I wrote last week about how, if you're flexible enough, you can use United miles to get to Oceania in premium cabins. Today I'm going to write about how you can do something similar with Delta miles, though I should remind you that Kenny from Miles4More has already written extensively about the most direct routes to Australia on miles. Like with United, the key to finding premium cabin award space is taking roundabout routings, namely, through Korea. Getting to Australia Using Delta Miles Aside from the highly preferable Virgin Australia option, you can route through Korea to get to Oceania using Delta miles as well – with no fuel surcharges so the prices are good. Now that Delta has vastly improved its award search engine, you can pretty much find flights [...]

Using Flexibility to Find Premium Award Space to Australia and New Zealand

Kenny has written extensively about how Virgin Australia is a bit of a gold mine for travel to Australia/Oceania using Delta or Virgin America miles. Virgin Australia remains the single best way to get to Australia in a premium cabin, provided you have a way to position to the West Coast (since domestic space can be tough to find on DL). Virgin Australia is definitely the way to go, but if you can't find space and you’re willing to tolerate some extra time in business class there are other options to get to Australia/NZ. In fact, you can find space using two alliances! The key to the space? Funnily enough, it’s Korea. Korean Air (Delta or Ultimate Rewards partner) and Asiana (United partner) both are pretty generous about business class [...]