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:
“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:
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!