It is very bizarre, but there is some glitch right now with delta.com and particularly the system delta skymiles reservation agents use so that I have successfully obtained 6 coach seats on the same flight during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season on Delta flights. I was looking at particularly Atlanta – Puerto Vallarta, but I believe this glitch will work anywhere Delta flies their metal and codeshares with AeroMexico.I believe the glitch has something to do with Aeromexico changing the way they code their flight award buckets. Now ‘X’ is the fare bucket required to indicate partner economy inventory. I THINK ‘O’ is the one that indicates partner business availability.
Here is what I found:
- Flights from Atlanta – Puerto Vallarta for almost every date in December does not have economy award availability for 2 people, and definitely not for 6. If you call Delta and ask them to check on availability for their operated flights, they will tell you the same. HOWEVER, if you insist there is availability, and they just have to look at the AeroMexico Codeshare of the same Delta operated flight, and look at the ‘X’ bucket, then in each case and with each representative with which I have worked, it comes back as confirmed and they are able to get the seat on hold! This even passed muster when I had a supervisor of Delta SkyMiles perform the same thing for another ticket. For each time I tried to do this, Air France / KLM FlyingBlue would show availability for this flight in economy via their search engine, but Delta.com couldn’t pull it up. These have booked into ‘N’ and ‘X’ award ticket classes on Delta.
- I haven’t tried this for routes other than Puerto Vallarta, but am thinking the same should hold true for Delta’s other Mexico Routes like Cancun, Zijuahtenajo, Cabo, etc.
- When I did this before the flights showed up via FlyingBlue as available. However, now when I search for this flight and the same one on various days, Flying Blue shows sold out which may mean they have fixed the computer glitch of the fare bucket coding error.
- Below are some screenshots that show you the availability is not there. However I called and asked about this same flight to multiple agents, and booked it as a record locator number with 4 people and another for 2 on the same flights on the same days round trip at low 35,000 miles
Also not pictured below, but a glitch I noticed that is now fixed is that if you searched by schedule for award seats on Delta’s site and then selected a non-stop aeromexico operated flight (like MCO – MEX or MIA – MEX) and you selected Economy, the next screen would say, “we found you seats in a better cabin for the same miles” and for only 20,000 delta skymiles could redeem the flight. I think this was also associated with the glitch in their fare buckets. I think this is fixed, but someone else should try and mess around with a couple search by schedule flights for aeromexico, select economy, and see if it comes back as the miles normally used for “low” but as business class.
I know I am rambling here, I guess there is one quasi example:
Search MEX – PVR on Dec. 24 by schedule on Delta’s website. Pick the first flight of the day that only shows Economy. When you click economy, you get this screen:
But this flight is a regional jet which only has economy. So something is screwy between what Delta.com shows and the fare bucket it uses to find and reserve award tickets.