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The “average” traveler does not even know what a “point” is worth. We know! I have received many positive comments about my “Essentials” tab that can help you find the seats you want at low level with some work and time.
But what if you just don’t have the time to do it for the next trip? Don’t stress out, there is help. One of my fellow Boarding Area bloggers Points, Miles & Martinis, AKA The Weekly Flyer, does a great job at award booking at a very reasonable fee. I had an afternoon chat with him to ask a bit about his service and why we should not just do it on our own!
A warm welcome to you from me and DeltaPoints readers!
First some basics. What is a booking service anyway?
Have you ever searched for an award only to find the award space doesn’t exist or requires 250,000 miles for what should otherwise cost only 100,000 miles? We’ve all been there.
Since we’ve been there a few times, we help our readers travel better by using less miles to book their award. In 2011, we redeemed over 1,734,000 points and miles for dream vacations all over the world. We are passionate about helping others travel better.
Got it! So for a little extra we can avoid a lot of stress. I have looked at your interview with Daraius at Million Mile Secrets , but tell us a bit more about your booking service (click to see more). Why did you start it?
We started the booking service this year after realizing that many of our friends and readers needed help with booking their award. The service allows us to focus on helping readers use their miles more effectively at the low mileage levels.
We here at DeltaPoints obviously care mostly about Delta. Are you able to successfully find tickets when it seems we cannot?
Yes. For example, we recently redeemed 150k on Air France from the East Coast of the US to French Polynesia. This is one of the best award redemptions using SkyMiles. Even though the pricing engine showed the ticket would cost 240k SKyMiles, we engineered a ticket that saved 90k SkyMiles by using a combination of tactics. In addition, in 2009 we found a way to use SkyMiles on Air Seychelles through an Air France code share. We went to Paris, Seychelles, and Mauritius for only 120k in Business class each. Recently, we booked a reader on an award ticket to Mauritius from Los Angeles for only 120k in business class per person. There are some really good uses of SkyMiles out there and we know how to find the availability at the low levels because we’ve redeemed miles for the routes ourselves.
And I guess that is where your experience comes into play! Boy, it sure seems scary to give you all of our frequent flyer information. Is this really safe?
Yes. We have a number of ways to book the ticket based on your comfort level. I provide references when requested and work with each client to determine their comfort level. The most convenient way is we’ll do all the research, call delta and piece the itinerary together, then conference in the reader to make sure they provide Delta the information to pay for the fees on the ticket and use their SkyMiles. Other customers have given us their information and we’ve sent them confirmations when the booking process was complete. We even reserve preferred seating on partner carriers based on the client’s preferences.
Thanks! What if we run into trouble after we book. Will you help us or do we call the airline or hotel?
Yes. In a few instances flight times have changed, and I’ve been able to secure better routes for clients. I’m always happy to help after the booking process is complete, this way, hopefully readers will come back to us for future award booking needs.
That sounds good. Well thank you so much for this afternoon chat. While DeltaPoints readers tend to be a notch above the rest when it comes to finding the seats we want, it is good to know we have an option we can trust if we need it!
Thanks René! Keep up the good work with DeltaPoints.
So there you are DeltaPoints readers. I stand by the fact that Delta Skymiles are some of the most valuable points in ANY miles program. From the chance to fly 3 trips for the cost of 2 to great business class seats on the way to upgrades and points that never expire – ours are just TOPS! Now we even know how to get help spending them if we don’t have the time to do it ourselves! – René
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