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Using Velocity points to book with Delta

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Jack3193

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Hi all,
I've been trying to redeem Velocity points for various Delta flights (transatlantic and US domestic) for Sept/Oct next year, but I've been unable to find any availability whatsoever, in any class, on any of the routes I want (even with a little bit of flexibility wrt dates).

I have searched and found a couple of threads indicating other people have had the same experience as me, so I'm just wondering if it's simply a waste of time trying to use Velocity points with Delta, or if anyone has actually had success doing so? If the latter, any tips on how to make it work?

cheers.
 

williamsf1

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Hi all,
I've been trying to redeem Velocity points for various Delta flights (transatlantic and US domestic) for Sept/Oct next year, but I've been unable to find any availability whatsoever, in any class, on any of the routes I want (even with a little bit of flexibility wrt dates).

I have searched and found a couple of threads indicating other people have had the same experience as me, so I'm just wondering if it's simply a waste of time trying to use Velocity points with Delta, or if anyone has actually had success doing so? If the latter, any tips on how to make it work?

cheers.
where / how are you searching? DL availability can be a little hard, however seats can still be found ( but you need to call Velocity) I have used VA points for 3 flights on DL internal USA with only a few months advanced booking.


As for transatlantic, don't forget VS may be a option as well
 

Jack3193

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where / how are you searching? DL availability can be a little hard, however seats can still be found ( but you need to call Velocity) I have used VA points for 3 flights on DL internal USA with only a few months advanced booking.


As for transatlantic, don't forget VS may be a option as well
Yeah I called Velocity (twice, and tried with two different agents). Maybe I'm trying too far out, if you had success closer to the time?
 

williamsf1

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Yeah I called Velocity (twice, and tried with two different agents). Maybe I'm trying too far out, if you had success closer to the time?
I managed to get LAX MSY // MSY JFK // NYC ATL all on reward seats for travel in AUG/SEP booked around 3 months in advance . I was flexible with my dates and times and did not get the best timed flights , however I was still able to get seats
 

Jack3193

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I managed to get LAX MSY // MSY JFK // NYC ATL all on reward seats for travel in AUG/SEP booked around 3 months in advance . I was flexible with my dates and times and did not get the best timed flights , however I was still able to get seats
OK thanks. Maybe it is a case of them only releasing seats to Velocity closer to the time. There is award availability via Delta now on all of the relevant flights, but clearly what they allocate to Velocity is different.
 
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VAG newbie

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OK thanks. Maybe it is a case of them only releasing seats to Velocity closer to the time. There is award availability via Delta now on all of the relevant flights, but clearly what they allocate to Velocity is different.
It's good to know that. So VA is good for EY but not DL. Maybe they will team up with DL like what they did with SQ as we all known how hard it is to redeem SQ flights using velocity. Now we can access a different inventory through KF.

But I think it all depends on how ambitious on DL in getting into Australian market. AFAIK, they aren't as keen as EY and SQ. SQ has been wanting to enter into Australian domestic market for a long time, and EY wants to establish it's own alliance and certainly it is important to include Australia in the map.

Also Sept/Oct is a much busier time for business travel. Summer holiday is just over, and it is just before Xmas, so there would be a lot of business travels with people flying with fully paid fare. Maybe that's why airlines release less award seats?
 
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grubbidok

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Only the 'super cheap' minimum mile rewards are available to VA, not all DL reward stock open to DL or alliance partners (the availability of which makes DL members fume, so VA really gets the dregs of the dregs). There is no releasing closer to time, just not much releasing at all. US domestic isn't so bad, as there are so many flights you can find something if you're a little flexible - but you can forget using them for international redemption.

I honestly can't understand VA's commitment to DL when, in reality, they offer so little in return as a partner. Joining an alliance (like *A) and partnering up with the US partner (in that case UA) would offer far more benefits for flying in the US than the rubbish arrangement they have with DL. I really can't see what DL offers VA pax that they wouldn't get from an alliance partner.

Even if you can find something it can be quite expensive as it is distance based. You'd probably be better off converting to SQ, and using them to fly UA if your looking at anything longer than a BOS-NYC or similar.

Can you book on VX? The redemption portal says it allows code share redemptions, but none of their routes seem to work.
 

VAG newbie

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Only the 'super cheap' minimum mile rewards are available to VA, not all DL reward stock open to DL or alliance partners (the availability of which makes DL members fume, so VA really gets the dregs of the dregs). There is no releasing closer to time, just not much releasing at all. US domestic isn't so bad, as there are so many flights you can find something if you're a little flexible - but you can forget using them for international redemption.

I honestly can't understand VA's commitment to DL when, in reality, they offer so little in return as a partner. Joining an alliance (like *A) and partnering up with the US partner (in that case UA) would offer far more benefits for flying in the US than the rubbish arrangement they have with DL. I really can't see what DL offers VA pax that they wouldn't get from an alliance partner.

Even if you can find something it can be quite expensive as it is distance based. You'd probably be better off converting to SQ, and using them to fly UA if your looking at anything longer than a BOS-NYC or similar.

Can you book on VX? The redemption portal says it allows code share redemptions, but none of their routes seem to work.
VA and DL's marriage is a really weird one. But I guess VA wants to separate itself from *A and OW so among the big 3 they went with DL. (AA is obviously not an option)

DL's function is more or less as a connecting flight for VA from LAXn to allow more US destinations for VA. So don't use it to redeem a separate ticket, but mix with VA flight then the distance based award won't be so bad. But agree, if you need a separate ticket, convert the points to KF as intra-US is a sweet spot for KF.
 

Jack3193

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Even if you can find something it can be quite expensive as it is distance based. You'd probably be better off converting to SQ, and using them to fly UA if your looking at anything longer than a BOS-NYC or similar.
Yes and no - intra-US probably yes, but a transatlantic flight in J with DL (e.g. DUB or LHR - JFK) costs just 47,800 Velocity points one way. That's pretty cheap considering a KrisFlyer redemption on the same route would cost 65,000 points in J, and the cash fare is approx $4,600 one way or $5,000 rtn (and in my case a rtn is no use, so it would literally cost me over $18k for 4 one way fares in J if I was mad enough to pay cash!).

Even one way economy flights across the Atlantic with DL (and most other airlines) are v expensive - approx $1,500 each, as you have to buy full fare Y if you fly one way. You can actually get returns cheaper than one ways (and just not show up for the return leg), but you're still looking at about $1,000 each. The only exception I know of is Aer Lingus - they sell discount economy one way flights, which work out at about $650 each. They obviously fly direct too, which is nice, but other than that it's not a very appealing option (no FF status benefits or points/SC earn worth bothering with, no Economy Comfort or equivalent, and fairly poor service in my recent experience).

By the way, it didn't help me, but just to let others know for future reference - I called again and was offered 2 J award seats with DL from LHR-JFK. So it seems DL J awards on transatlantic flights are possible, but I get the sense you would need to be lucky to get them, and there is probably little or no chance of getting 3 or 4 on the same flight.

I tried KrisFlyer too and they have no J award seats available around my preferred dates - either direct or indirect, and not even any Y awards on the direct flight with UA. Having said that, VAG Newbie - are you sure about this no backtracking rule with KF? They offered me Y award seats for either DUB-FRA-JFK with LH or DUB-YYZ-LGA with AC - both of which would require backtracking. Neither option was of interest anyway.

Can you book on VX? The redemption portal says it allows code share redemptions, but none of their routes seem to work.
I tried booking with VX on the phone too. No award availability around my preferred dates - even in Y.
 

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VAG Newbie - are you sure about this no backtracking rule with KF? They offered me Y award seats for either DUB-FRA-JFK with LH or DUB-YYZ-LGA with AC - both of which would require backtracking. Neither option was of interest anyway.
I wrote to them in writing asking about BNE-IST-TLV, and that was their response in writing. They adviced me to book BNE-IST as one ticket, and IST-TLV as another, so I didn't proceed to book.

This is the quote of the email they wrote me:

"Due to the operating flight routes for our partner airlines, a flight
from Brisbane to Tel Aviv will involve a back track, as the flights
involved will transit via Istanbul, Frankfurt, Zurich and etc.

In this scenario, may we advise you to book two separate bookings (for
example one round trip redemption flight from Brisbane to Istanbul with
Singapore Airlines and one round trip redemption/commercial flight from
Istanbul to Tel Aviv) instead
."


Maybe you had a nice agent who doesn't reinforce the no backtrack rule. Whenever you have a nice agent, then you should take whatever they offered you. I guess my problem is the way I asked "is BNE-IST-TLV considered backtracking?" thaty prompt them to read the routing rules. If I had pretended innocent I might've got away with it.
 

seritonin

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I wrote to them in writing asking about BNE-IST-TLV, and that was their response in writing. They adviced me to book BNE-IST as one ticket, and IST-TLV as another, so I didn't proceed to book.

This is the quote of the email they wrote me:

"Due to the operating flight routes for our partner airlines, a flight
from Brisbane to Tel Aviv will involve a back track, as the flights
involved will transit via Istanbul, Frankfurt, Zurich and etc.

In this scenario, may we advise you to book two separate bookings (for
example one round trip redemption flight from Brisbane to Istanbul with
Singapore Airlines and one round trip redemption/commercial flight from
Istanbul to Tel Aviv) instead
."


Maybe you had a nice agent who doesn't reinforce the no backtrack rule. Whenever you have a nice agent, then you should take whatever they offered you. I guess my problem is the way I asked "is BNE-IST-TLV considered backtracking?" thaty prompt them to read the routing rules. If I had pretended innocent I might've got away with it.
KF is well known for no backtracking rules but it's never really very clear..the agent always use the excuse 'must be most direct routes'. In your case, that itinerary is definitely backtracking across regions which is a no no for KF.
 

VAG newbie

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KF is well known for no backtracking rules but it's never really very clear..the agent always use the excuse 'must be most direct routes'. In your case, that itinerary is definitely backtracking across regions which is a no no for KF.
True. I guess in Jack's case, when you back track within a region might be ok, but not another region. So transiting in Asia while heading to US would be a no no too? Eg. SYD-ICN-JFK would be no good, but maybe PER-BKK-LAX might be fine?
 

seritonin

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True. I guess in Jack's case, when you back track within a region might be ok, but not another region. So transiting in Asia while heading to US would be a no no too? Eg. SYD-ICN-JFK would be no good, but maybe PER-BKK-LAX might be fine?
Well, not that simple... What I meant by backtracking across the region is the travel doesn't continue in the direction it began, this which is the case with BNE-TLV as using *A partners would require a transit in Europe. The travel also has to be a published route. Most people use United.com for *A award search but the search results on that do not necessarily mean anything to KF agents. HUACA doesn't always work with them either, pretty much once the route get rejected... Find another route..
 

Jack3193

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Well, not that simple... What I meant by backtracking across the region is the travel doesn't continue in the direction it began.

The two routes I was offered were definitely backtracking by that definition. I checked the KF award rules though and it certainly does say no backtracking. So maybe I was just lucky (if I had wanted those flights), or maybe the agent was clueless and would have realised her mistake if I'd tried to proceed. On the other hand, maybe it is worth giving it a try even if a route seems to involve backtracking.
 
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