The Secret Way to Score Delta One to Australia for Half the Skymiles

It’s no secret that flying to Australia using your miles is the unofficial Holy Grail of award travel. Airlines are notoriously stingy with releasing space because they know that there just aren’t that many good options to get there.

We recently ran across a way to have space “open up” on those long haul flights with Delta Airlines in their Delta One business class cabin using just a little magic and some good ol’ fashioned luck.

The Base Fare…

No conversation about awards to Australia would be complete without a base starting point. Delta got rid of their award chart some time ago, instead opting for a more “dynamic” approach. They’ll charge more on the days that they feel like they can get more and charge less if they feel like it.

Note, the below prices are for ONE-WAY from Los Angeles to Sydney in the off-season. Remember that July and August are Australia’s winter, and therefore not nearly as desireable of a time to travel.

Most dates are 365,000 miles, ONE WAY, and some dates are discounted to 305,000. The lowest fare is one day, August 11th, at 225,000 miles. That’s just ignorant.

Choosing this date, or another date, you can see when you go through to price the flight, it indeed does price out at 225,000 miles, one way, for Business Class (Delta One). The price is the same coming or going to Australia. You won’t see it (typically) any lower than 225,000

Delta has upped their game on their premium long-haul flights, now offering their “suite” product. It’s not a fully enclosed suite, but it does provide a lot more room than their other seats. The soft product has been improved as well with better bedding and top notch meals.

Married Segments

If you’re new to the concept of married segments, you had better get used to them. Some airlines will try and promote a route or charge less, depending on your origin and destination. For example, you might find a deal from Atlanta to Indianapolis, but only if you fly through Detroit. Just want to get to Detroit? That might be more expensive.

Delta is doing the same thing now for their award tickets, and it’s creating some amazing value for these ever elusive Australia flights.

Take a look at the month long calendar for July/August from Los Angeles to Sydney. It’s the same chart that we used before, but pay close attention to the dates.

Hola, Mexico!

By simply starting or ending your trip in Mexico City, those dates now price as low as 110,000 miles each way. That is well more than 1/2 off the single routing from Los Angeles to Sydney.

Notice every day with the red box is also “discounted” on the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney alone. The difference? Not that many people are flying from Mexico City to Sydney. 

When we actually look to book the flight, you’ll see that it includes Mexico to Los Angeles and then, voila! Los Angeles to Sydney. The same thing works in reverse as well, as you can see in the below example.

It doesn’t JUST work for Mexico City, it also works for Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara as well. If you can get to one of those cities to start your trip, you can fly Mexico-Los Angeles-Sydney for as low as 110,000 miles.

On the return, you can fly from Sydney-Los Angeles-anywhere in Mexico.

Play around on the Delta website choosing different cities in Mexico and you’ll find that availability opens right up. You might have to search for those 110,000 awards, but they’re there! Even if you had to pay 135k or 170k, it’s still a heck of a lot cheaper than the 365k that Delta wants you to fork over!

Right, but I have to get to Mexico!

Sure, you have to get to Mexico, but there are dozens of flights a day to Mexico from all over the USA and they’re usually pretty inexpensive. With airlines like Volaris, Interjet, VivaAerobus and even Aeromexico, getting across the border should be a breeze.

Are you excited about this married segment rule or hate that Delta is playing games? Do you think you’ll take advantage to get down under?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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    • You can. But it’ll cost you more. The best deals seem to be on flights that one-stop to LAX. Tijuana does not.

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  1. I recently found something like this on AA on a flagship first class award BOS-JFK-LAX for 31k miles: the JFK-LAX segment is in flagship first with the lie flat beds. The JFK-LAX segment alone goes for 59k on the same date. This is similar to what you wrote about last week on the HKG 1st class awards which I booked from BOS for around 65k.

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    • Sometimes you just gotta think outside the box!

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