Monday, March 12, 2007

A Two Hour Phone Call

No, it wasn't with a cute boy. It was with Delta. In an attempt to redeem my 55,000 Skymiles and save some money, I spent over two hours on the phone. Long story short: There are no "Skysaver" seats (these are seats that require 50,000 skymiles for a round trip to Europe) to any city in Europe for the month of May. I offered to fly into any city on any date at any time with any connections. It took her over an hour to tell me no dice. Mind you, I'd already spent half an hour searching on www.delta.com before I called.

In the last few years, Delta has added "Skychoice" seats which require twice the normal number of miles. Generally, these seats have been all I've been able to find, and I finally broke down and used 50,000 miles to fly to L.A. a few years ago. Last year I looked at about a three month span for seats to Boston using "Skysaver" and had absolutely no luck--even though I was looking in the winter and after the holidays. Basically Delta doubled the requirement for miles under the guise of Skychoice.

Anyway, the best I ended up finding is in June--a flight from Atlanta to Newark to Amsterdam (4 hour layover) to Athens, Greece with a return flight from Madrid to Rome to JFK. I'm on a wait list for flights from JFK to Atlanta, but if I do not get that flight, I would have to buy a ticket from JFK to Atlanta. Anyway, I will be cancelling my American Express Skymiles card. I spent over two hours on the phone to be told that they basically have no reasonable flights unless I want to sacrifice a tremendous amount of time--and potentially still shell out over $200 for a flight to NYC. What stinks is that they have direct flights to many European cities, but it seems Delta wants to make it as inconvenient as possible to use Skysaver seats. Since May is a cheaper, cooler, and less touristy time of year to visit Europe, it may make more sense to just shell out the $600 or so to obtain a direct flight from Atlanta to whichever city I settle on.

On the upside, AirTran has the easiest rewards program ever. When I wanted to book my flight to NYC, I just called six weeks before and told them the flight I wanted and voila I was booked. If you have a rewards program credit card that you like, I'd love to hear about it since I'll be replacing my American Express soon.

17 comments:

brookem said...

I totally hate those type of phonecalls. I just had a similar experience with Southwest, trying to redeem a free flight. It all ended up working out, but I had to call back about three times with different "verification" info as I was using a friends frequent flier points. Well, at least you have a trip to look forward to out of it! Tell us more about that!-How long do you plan on staying for, and who are you going with?

Trixie said...

what a nightmare to be on the phone for that long with them.

i'm so excited for your upcoming trip!! :)

ella said...

Even though you spent 2 (frustrating) hours with Delta, it seems to me you have an awesome trip coming up. Are you going by yourself?

I have credit on Delta airlines myself (from the canceled trip to NYC). I hope when I decide to use it I won't have the same problems!

icadle said...

You should get the AMEX cash back card. Like Discover, it gives you a % of your transactions in the form of a credit to your card annually. I highly recommend.

icadle said...

You should get the AMEX cash back card. Like Discover, it gives you a % of your transactions in the form of a credit to your card annually. I highly recommend.

icadle said...

You should get the AMEX cash back card. Like Discover, it gives you a % of your transactions in the form of a credit to your card annually. I highly recommend.

Aaron said...

I particularly enjoy my REI rewards card. I hate having to wait until once a year to cash in on it, but it's like Christmas all over again. I'm banking Delta skymiles but it's not like I've EVER redeemed any I've ever earned.

Ally said...

Aaron: Two "Christmases" a year sounds like fun to me....

Ivy: If it's fee free, I'll have to look into that. It would be much easier than this mess with Delta.

Ella: All of the trip details are up in the air. Sam & I are discussing May, but he has to submit his vacation days today....so we'll see since things are tentative. If he doesn't go, I'll go solo.

Trixie: I am starting to get excited too. Still a lot of planning to do!

Brookem: I don't have all of the details yet, but I'll either go alone or with my friend Sam. I'll post more once I know.

Jeff Price said...

I'm sorry to hear about the frustrating phone call...but I think I have you beat. I was on the phone 3 hours (not with a cute boy either) trying to get digital cable activated to no avail. It's aggravating to waste so much time on such trivial things!!

Your trip sounds exciting though :-)

Ally said...

Jeff: THREE hours?? Just to get digital cable? You do have me beat....did you finally get the cable? I have at least one more phone call with Delta in my future....

icadle said...

Mine hath no fees

Flat Coke and Flies said...

I use my discovercard because of the cashback bonus. I'm not sure if you can use it for flight miles or not. Sorry for all your troubles with Delta. Vacations, even the planning, should be FUN!

PeeJ said...

Bah! I identify with this so closely - I have had the same problem the last two times I've tried to wheedle anything "free" out of United Airlines. Their idea of a rewards program is "You spend your money with us, and we get rewarded by making a massive profit. Enjoy your 4 inches of seat room!"

I think my Nan said it best. "There's no such thing as a free lunch, in fact i'm slightly dubious about the cheap ones too"

Peej
x

Anonymous said...

I read your blog twice and suggest you complain to the Credit card company itself and let them know that you will talking to a lawyer re: this fiasco
Dr. RJJ

Kimberly said...

rarrrhrhghghgghgh what an annoyance. why even offer a benefit if you don't really mean it. that's not generosity. i get so discouraged with corporate america sometimes.

angel, jr. said...

Don't get me started on frequent flyer miles.

Ally said...

Ivy: The AmEx fee just about resulted in cancellation last year, but then they offered to cut it half....so here I am.

FC&F: Now the planning part is getting fun!

PeeJ: I think you're right about the massive profit.

Kimberly: It is all about money.

Angel: I called tonight, and it was like talking with a different company.