Australia/SE Asia with “Delta”: Introduction

Introduction
Alaska Airlines First Class from Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Star Alliance Lounge Los Angeles
Virgin Australia Business Class from Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE)
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane
Virgin Australia First Class from Brisbane (BNE) to Cairns (CNS)
Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, and Surrounding Areas
Virgin Australia Lounge Cairns
Virgin Australia First Class from Cairns (CNS) to Melbourne (MEL)
Westin Melbourne and the Press Club
Garuda Indonesia Business Class from Melbourne (MEL) to Denpasar, Bali (DPS)
Sheraton Kuta, Bali (Wow, Wow, Wow!!)
Korean Air Business Class from Denpasar (DPS) to Seoul (ICN)
Korean Air Lounge, Seoul
Free! Cultural Experience in Seoul
Korean Air Business Class from Seoul (ICN) to Seattle (SEA)

Back in October 2014 there was a lot of murmuring around the internet about what would become of Delta as an airline and more specifically what would happen with their award winning (ahem) Skymiles program.  In February they announced with, in their defense, a lot of advance notice, that the way you earn Skymiles would be changing.  For what I assume to be around 90% of the Skymiles population, this was going to be a de-valuation.

As an interesting side note, back in 2011, I became part of a focus group from Delta airlines where they brought a lot of diamond and platinum members into a room and started asking about how we would feel about this kind of a change.  As excited as I was to be here, it was a glimpse into what Delta had in store.  9/10 of us said it would be a bad idea and guess what, that 1 person?  Her business pays for her to fly in first class.  Shocking.

In any event, I knew that I was going to be divorcing Delta in 2015 and moving my spend over to Alaska, so I was sitting on a big chunk of miles that needed to be used.  What better way than to fly to Australia!  Using your Skymiles on every partner that is NOT Delta was, and still is, the best way in my opinion to use your Delta miles.  Delta jacks up the cost of mileage tickets to an unattainable level when you include just ONE segment on a delta plane that isn’t available in a “low” tier.  The workaround?  Fly their partners!

I booked this ticket also on the day before their system had a “glitch” that eliminated stopovers on awards.  Turns out this “glitch”  “improvement” meant on January 1, you wouldn’t be able to use stopovers anymore.  A stopover, for those are unsure, is simply that; A stopover in your travels.  For example, let say you want to fly from Seattle to New York, but also want to fly to see your mom in Dallas.  So you’ll fly on a Monday to Dallas, “stopover” for 3 or 4 days, and then continue on to your final destination, New York.  Delta doesn’t allow this anymore 🙁

The posts to follow will be a detailed trip report of all the flights that we took thanks to Delta and their partners!  The routing looked like this.

SEA-LAX-BNE-CNS (stopover)
CNS-MEL (layover) MEL-DPS (final destination)
DPS-ICN-SEA (return flight)

We hope that you enjoy reading about this wonderfully amazing way to use your Skymiles and get some inspiration for your own trip!

Next stop, Alaska First Class!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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1 Comment

  1. Now that Delta earning is revenue based, I have credited my Delta flights to its partners as well.
    You are lucky to book this trip the day before the elimination of stopovers!

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