Last summer, the Michael W Travels family spent 5 Weeks in the Pacific. This year we’re looking at a four-week trip since we also have two shorter trips earlier in the summer.
I thought I found a very good Delta Airlines awards flight redemption. However, when I went to book the flight, I ran into some problems.
Over the summer, we’re looking to go to the Caucasus and some East European countries.
I found a flight using my Delta Airlines miles from New York (JFK) to Baku, Azerbaijan. The award came to 32,500 SkyMiles per person + tax, which was a bit pricey at $176.10 per person.
After searching for over a week, I kept seeing 4 seats available at this price. There were also other flight times available as well (and some pricier awards available). All flights for the trip would be with Aeroflot, a Delta partner airline.
I went to book the flight, putting in all of our personal information. (I was around 300 miles short of the amount needed to book the award so I transferred 1,000 Amex Membership Rewards to Delta.) I was even able to put in my credit card details. Then, when I hit submit and after a brief pause, an error message came up saying the flight was no longer available.
Initially I assumed that due to cookies, the flights were still showing as available but they had gone away. However, when I cleared the cookies and searched in an incognito browser, I still saw the flights coming up as available.
I decided to try inputting our info one last time, which did not work so I then decided to call Delta Airlines.
When I explained the situation to the rep, she did a search for me. I gave her the flight numbers I wanted and she too saw flight availability. When she tried to book (I think they go to another system on the computer), Aeroflot showed no availability!
I was told that Aeroflot’s system had not communicated to Delta that the flights were no longer available. The problem with this excuse is that the availability we could all see at Delta.com was for many flights, even on various days!
This issue seemed like more than a communication problem.
I mentioned that I transferred points from Amex to book this Delta flight and it wasn’t right that award space showed on the website, yet it wasn’t available to book. The rep apologized and pretty much ignored anything else I asked or said.
Due to the lack of response, I asked for a supervisor. He did a search for me too and saw all of the flights like I saw. (I also had him do a search for the way home, also on Aeroflot). When he checked the Aeroflot system, he saw no availability!
He told me that this was strange but there was no way to override the system to book our award. I also mentioned how I transferred points and he said unless they were from another Delta account, there was nothing he could do about this.
My last idea was that he call Aeroflot customer support. He told me that there was nobody to call and that they didn’t respond to messages from Delta! OK, great…
In the end, I got nowhere and wasted a lot of time for nothing.
It seems like if you’re planning to book a partner award flight with SkyMiles, you might see award space which does not exist. If you’re transferring points specifically for a redemption- pray and hope for the best!
Talk about a frustrating fail.
Have you ever had a similar issue when trying to book an award flight with a Delta Airlines partner?
Now, back to the drawing board…