Aeroflot Enforcing Married Segments on Award Tickets

Everyone knows Delta Skymiles are difficult to redeem.  Aeroflot remains one of the partner airlines that has decent availability on flights to Europe.  I am working on an itinerary now for my parents, and searching Aeroflot availability had confounded me.

The Wandering Aramean has developed a great search that finds Aeroflot availability.  I was using this to look for flights to and from the USA to Russia.  Their first stopover is to be St. Petersburg.  So I used the Wandering Aramean’s search, and saw this availability:

Decent availability JFK to St. Petersburg

Decent availability JFK to St. Petersburg

“J” stands for business class, and “Y” for coach.  So for the 2PM departure on September 10, there are 3 business class seats from JFK – SVO and 2 from SVO – LED.  That is awesome, right?  You can just call Delta, spoon feed them these segments, and *poof*, you have them in there.

So after searching like this, I called Delta and tried to book this.  I gave the agent JFK – SVO, and he said there was no availability.  I said surely you must jest, sir, as I have it direct from the source, it’s available.  So I went back to the Wandering Aramean’s site, which is an accurate reflection of Aeroflot’s offerings, and sure enough, to my horror, this is what I saw:

Where the hell did all the availability go!?

Where the hell did all the availability go!?

So for the same day, typing in JFK – SVO gives one economy class seat on the 7PM flight, and all the other flights have zero availability!  I hung up, discouraged, and started freaking out about computer glitches, other people booking the space, etc.  The crazy part was I looked at multiple dates, and its as if the availability has just disappeared.

After a couple hours of thinking on it, I tried the search again, typing in JFK to LED.  Sure enough the availability was there.  So I realized that Aeroflot is giving away the availability only on flights with connections.  So JFK – SVO, no availability to book.  But JFK – SVO – LED, decent availability.

I called Delta, and was able to get these flights on hold as part of a 100,000 mile award ticket!  Woohoo!

Moral of the story: Aeroflot has better availability if you are connecting somewhere!

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