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Award Redemption Best options for Delta/Skyteam to Europe?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by ScotW, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. ScotW

    ScotW New Member

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    I am a Delta Platinum MM and am planning to take three sons from western US to Europe late March-early April 2020. I haven't planned exact dates nor exact destinations (likely to include France, Spain, maybe Italy), but am looking for advice on how to optimize usage of miles. I also have miles on American and Chase Ultimate Rewards points, so Skymiles aren't my only option.

    Are any particular routes or destinations likely to cost less than another?

    Thank you!
     
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  2. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Welcome @ScotW -
    Are you planning to try to fly in a premium cabin or is economy/economy plus ok? I'm not familiar with how many premium cabin seats often open up on a single flight so 4 might be a challenge, but someone else would need to confirm.

    Where in the US are you located? Delta has a lot of flights out of ATL & DTW to Europe so I'd start my checks there. If Delta is charging astronomical prices on their own planes, I'd also look at flights on Air France (via CDG), KLM (via AMS) and Alitalia (via FCO) since Delta awards on partner flights are sometimes at more reasonable prices. Virgin Atlantic is also an option but it would mean transiting LHR, which is something I personally try to avoid. I think some people say the same about CDG though I've never been through there so can't say from personal experience.

    I'd first look for space on the longhaul leg (US-Europe) and any connecting intra-Europe flights. You can always position to Delta gateways with cash tickets if needed.

    For intra-Europe flights (ones just to travel between countries, not affiliated with your trans-Atlantic flights) unless you're going to one of the SkyTeam hubs (CDG/AMS/FCO) I'd look into either buying cheap economy tickets or taking the train instead of using miles.

    Hopefully that's enough to get you started. Let us know if we can clarify anything else.
     
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  3. ScotW

    ScotW New Member

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    Thanks for your response @MidSouth Skier. Planning on economy not premium seats. Three of us flying out of SLC, and one is in Spokane.

    Could fly RT to like CDG or AMS, but also considering different arrival and departure, like arrive CDG but depart Barcelona. Is that likely to be any more expensive?
     
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  4. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Since Delta doesn't publish an award chart it's hard to know whether or not it's going to be more expensive or not. I'd price this several different ways to see what works out best for your situation. Look at just the long haul legs without the connecting legs, pricing with miles. Look at the whole trip, priced with miles as an open-jaw. Price it as two one-way flights (taxes can be different each way). Might be easier for your son from Spokane just to fly down to SLC to meet you - or maybe he can go via one of the other hubs.
     
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  5. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    CVG is an airport that I've had good luck finding availability from (non stop to CDG). You'll have to check of course to see if you can get flights to there. I agree with MSS that you should fly in and out of different airports and connect using train/LCCs so you can see more than one place. You could also try to find long stopovers. Personally LHR isn't the end of the world if that's how you can get a good redemption.
     
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