• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 27 years!

    Join tens of thousands of other owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered!
  • TUG is asking for recent reviews of older resorts, earn a free year membership!

    Read more here
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $17,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $17 Million dollars
  • Follow the TUG Member Banner as it travels the world on vacation with Timeshare owners! Also sign up to get the banner sent to you so you can submit a photo of your vacation with the banner to share with TUG! Banner Thread
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free! Join tens of thousands of other owners who get this every week! Latest resort reviews and the most important topics discussed by owners during the week!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    Read more Here
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Redeeming Sky Miles

STEVIE

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
960
Reaction score
1
Points
228
Location
plainville, CT.
Hi, I have saved skymiles for years and have never redeemed any. I have now saved enough for my family of 4, to go to Hawaii. I would like to go at the middle to end of April, 2007. I have been told by friends that redeeming skymiles for free flights is very difficult at best, I have a friend who actually stopped using her card, because she was never able to use any miles for flights. Anyway, I am asking for advice. How can I improve my chances of getting a flight? I would appreciate any help. Thank you, Sue
 

SusanMu

Guest
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
59
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
NH
I believe they are tough to use but not impossible. I have flown my family of 3 to England during the summer (booked ticket in February) and Cancun in April of this year. You need to look as far ahead as you can (usually 331 days out). As that date gets closer keep going to their award reservation web site to see if they have released seats yet. Do your homework on the flights you want and some alternates. I have never tried to get Hawaii tickets so I'm not sure how difficult they are to get but England in the summer was suppose to be real hard to get and I got it 6 months before. Good luck.
 

Carolinian

Guest
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
9,431
Reaction score
3
Points
273
Location
eastern Europe
I have only tried once for Hawaii seats with Sky Miles, and got them. I understand that Hawaii is one of the tougher places to get SM seats, though.
I usually use mine for Europe or the Caribbean and have never had a problem getting seats when I asked for them right when booking opened up.

With any ff seats these days, it is a matter of ''if you snooze, you lose''.
 

JeffW

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,688
Reaction score
10
Points
248
Location
Philadelphia
It's definitely possible. Your best chance will be to try at the 331-330 day mark, basically right when the tickets are first released. Besides delta(.com), you should also look on Continental.com, as their site will show FF availability for Continental and NorthWest. You may see better availability thru then than with Delta. If you see seats online, you'll need to call Delta to reserve them, you can't do it online.

Jeff
 

Dave M

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
12,242
Reaction score
9
Points
473
Location
Sun City Hilton Head, SC
I agree with the other comments.

Keep in mind that seats are often released in the wee hours after midnight. Thus, you should plan on a late-night or all-night vigil with your PC (to see when seats are first released for your dates) and the phone to be sure you're first in line for your preferred dates. Use your PC ahead of time to test other dates to accurately determine the date that seats for your flights will be released.
 

elaine

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
4,749
Reaction score
1,661
Points
548
Location
DC
Resorts Owned
HGVC Eagles Nest, DVC-AKV, HHI, Waterside By Spinnaker
I had no problem with sky miles--as long as I was flexible

also, sky miles can fly on NWA, I believe. What you need to do is to call 330 days in advance (at 12 midnight dallas time--I called at 1 am EST for 4 days in a row to get my flights) and get outbound leg on hold, then call back 330 days from return leg and put it together (NWA will make you ticket in 24 hrs--so doesn't work with them). I got 6 tickets to hawaii thru sky miles.
One issue is if your time is over easter, miles may be blacked out, or still impossible to get (unofficial black out--they just don't release seats). Also, be willing to travel mid-week (and stay at a hotel, if necesary), and be willing to fly just to honolulu (most flights) and then buy tickets interisland.
you can also book multiple version (to maui, honolulu, etc.) and put them on lhold to see which one you want---don't pass up ANYTHING they offer--b/c a week later, it will not be there---you can always hold and cancel.
 

pacheco18

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
0
Points
246
Location
Tucson
We go every year to Hawaii first class with Delta skymiles. We call 331 days out at the stroke of midnight Eastern time -- and that is the key to getting your seats. Sometimes if you call a few minutes ahead, a really nice rep will keep you on the line for a few minutes until the seats are loaded. I have never had a problem.
 

sfwilshire

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
4,007
Reaction score
177
Points
448
Location
Clinton TN
Resorts Owned
Tristram's Landing, Tree Tops Gatlinburg, Mystic Dunes, Sheraton Vistana Spas & Fountains
We also used skymiles for four to Hawaii for this June. As others mentioned, I got up at midnight on the first day the outgoing flight was available. Then they held the reservation for me until I could call for the return, again at midnight. It still took multiple phone calls, but I was finally successful. Originally I had a seven hour layover on the return because that was all that was available, but I waitlisted for better flights and finally got them.

www.flyertalk.com has excellent info regarding all things mile related, so you may want to read there. I also made a newbie post there and a member spent a good bit of time emailing me advice. It's a friendly group.

I paid the fee for making the reservation on the phone rather than doing it online because there were no "legal routings" showing up.

Sheila
 

Blondie

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,537
Reaction score
15
Points
398
Location
New England
Resorts Owned
Raintree Blue, Raintree Resorts; Sudwala Lodge, SA; Hollywood Sands, Hollywood , Fla
some good advice here. call the airline and speak to a knowledgeable rep about how many days in advance you can book. It does vary by airline. be very tenacious and call at the stroke of midnight as posters above have said. If you get the runaround (no seats released yet, blah blah) keep trying several times a day online and on the phone. Also, the number of days out could start from the return date of your trip too (which will be days later) so get it all clear beforehand. Also, be flexible- you may have to stay a night or two extra to get tix as weekends will book first. Good luck. Our last 4 trips have been during fairly high season to Carib and Mexico and we have done well. My favorite airline for FF tix is AA. Continental is next and Northwest is last...
 

falmouth3

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
3,417
Reaction score
22
Points
38
Location
Burlington, MA
Flying on associate airlines

When I couldn't get a ff flight on United using my United miles, I was able to get the identical flight on United using my US Airways miles. That was when they had a partnership.
 

andrea t

TUG Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
676
Reaction score
9
Points
228
Location
Long Island
Just want to give you a bit more encouragement regarding your sky miles. We redeemed for 3 Hawaii tickets 2 years ago. Called at midnight 331 days out. This year we redeemed for Venice, again 331 days out at midnight! My husband thinks I'm a nut, but I'd like to see his face if he opened up a credit card bill to see I charged $7500 for 3 business class tickets to Venice!
 

fnover

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
174
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Annandale NJ
I was told that Saturdays are the most difficult days to travel on ff miles. Also told that the 331 day rule applies to the date of the last leg of the return flight i.e. the red eye from Hawaii to Atlanta and Atlanta to Newark the next day so it would be 331 days from the date of the Atlanta to Newark flight.
 

jmatias

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
466
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Oahu
fnover said:
I was told that Saturdays are the most difficult days to travel on ff miles. Also told that the 331 day rule applies to the date of the last leg of the return flight i.e. the red eye from Hawaii to Atlanta and Atlanta to Newark the next day so it would be 331 days from the date of the Atlanta to Newark flight.
Yes...that is true...but Delta will let you book the Hawaii to Atlanta portion at the 331 day mark and then you call back the next day to get the Atlanta to Newark leg.

We live on Oahu so getting out of town and back home with FF miles is a challenge...and we need 5 seats. I've been successful by calling at the 331 mark. We usually use our miles to get to Orlando. Our trips this July and again in December to Orlando are all using FF miles.

Good luck!
 

talkamotta

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
2,065
Reaction score
166
Points
274
Location
Sandy, UT
In February, my son got us 2 ff tickets for October 2006 into Maui (on Sunday) and out of Hawaii (on Saturday). He said he didnt have any problems. We fly out of Salt Lake. Maybe it depends where you are flying from.
 

JeffW

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,688
Reaction score
10
Points
248
Location
Philadelphia
talkamotta said:
In February, my son got us 2 ff tickets for October 2006 into Maui (on Sunday) and out of Hawaii (on Saturday). He said he didnt have any problems. We fly out of Salt Lake. Maybe it depends where you are flying from.
Are these direct flights? I've seen when looking for Hawaii flights that often ones departing from the West coast, especially early morning ones, have decent availabilty. The problem many times is the originating flight, especially if coming from the East Coast.

Since most FF award tickets (certainly with Delta) allow you one stopover, a trick is to book a flight the previous day (last one of the day helps), then the first one out the following day. You have some extra costs in terms of overnight lodging, but it could be worth it if it's the difference between getting a flight out to the islands or not.

Jeff
 

ArBravesFan

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
332
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
NOLA
elaine said:
also, sky miles can fly on NWA, I believe. QUOTE]

How do you use Delta skymiles on Northwest. I want to fly Little Rock to Lihue, Hawaii. Delta doesn't havr that route but NWA does.

Thanks!

Mark
 

JeffW

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,688
Reaction score
10
Points
248
Location
Philadelphia
ArBravesFan said:
elaine said:
also, sky miles can fly on NWA, I believe. QUOTE]

How do you use Delta skymiles on Northwest. I want to fly Little Rock to Lihue, Hawaii. Delta doesn't havr that route but NWA does.

Thanks!

Mark
Use either the continental.com or nwa.com website to find flight availability, then call up Delta, and tell them you want to redeem Skymiles for an award flight on (NW,CO). Remember that at least segment-wise, you can mix and match airlines. That is, you could fly NWA out, and Delta back. I'm not sure if you could mix legs, say fly Delta to Houston, then Continental out.

Also, I don't know how the availability among the airlines works. If you didn't see any NWA seats on say nwa.com, I doubt Delta would be able to find any. However, if you do see some, I wouldn't assume that Delta can also grab them. It's possible say that if there are 10 FF seats on a Delta flight, all ten would be available using Skymiles, but only 8 to members of NW's or CO's FF program.

On my family's last trip to Hawaii (Oct 2003), using Skymiles, I booked 4 seats on Continental PHL-HOU-HNL, 2 tickets OGG-HOU-PHL (Maui) on Continental, and 2 tickets HNL-SLC-PHL on Delta.

Jeff
 

fnover

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
174
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Annandale NJ
jmatias said:
Yes...that is true...but Delta will let you book the Hawaii to Atlanta portion at the 331 day mark and then you call back the next day to get the Atlanta to Newark leg.

We live on Oahu so getting out of town and back home with FF miles is a challenge...and we need 5 seats. I've been successful by calling at the 331 mark. We usually use our miles to get to Orlando. Our trips this July and again in December to Orlando are all using FF miles.

Good luck!
I always thought that they would hold a reservation for you but when I tried on the phone I was told that they will not book or hold any portion of the return until 331 days from the last leg of the trip. Since I was able to get the flight I wanted at midnight (2 business class seats non stop to Maui directly from Atlanta :) ) I didn't make an issue of it. Of course I was talking to someone in India.
 

sfwilshire

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
4,007
Reaction score
177
Points
448
Location
Clinton TN
Resorts Owned
Tristram's Landing, Tree Tops Gatlinburg, Mystic Dunes, Sheraton Vistana Spas & Fountains
Fred,

If you don't get the answer you want from the first agent, terminate the call and try again. You're likely to get a different answer. Ditto if the accent is too thick for you to understand.

Sheila
 

Carolinian

Guest
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
9,431
Reaction score
3
Points
273
Location
eastern Europe
The elite lines can often help, too. Even though I comped my elite status over to NW back when DL trashed its Medallion elite program (trashing since rescinded), they have never sent me a new card as just a plain over member, so I call in on the Gold Medallion line, and that usually helps find what I want.
 

JeffW

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
1,688
Reaction score
10
Points
248
Location
Philadelphia
Another trick if you really can't get them to hold just an outbound set of flights is to find ANY set of return flights. Since most award tickets allow a free stopover, they theoretically don't even have to be from the same city (though if you fly into HNL at 4pm and request an 8pm return flight from LAX, they migth say something). Hold these flights, then when your return flights open up, call up and change them.
A warning that in some cases they can't just exchange flights, they have to create an entire new reservation. That means your original flights have to effectively be dropped and readded. If there is a waitlist for those seats, you may not be able to get them back.

Jeff
 

fnover

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
174
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Annandale NJ
sfwilshire said:
Fred,

If you don't get the answer you want from the first agent, terminate the call and try again. You're likely to get a different answer. Ditto if the accent is too thick for you to understand.

Sheila
Thanks for the tip.
 
Top