I successfully used 100,000 Delta Skymiles (AKA Sky Pesos) each to book my parents on an award ticket to Russia. This is exciting as this coincides with the time Lady Tocqueville and I will be in St. Petersburg on our Trip of a Million Lifetimes. Given that my mother is from Russia, this will be an exciting trip.
Availability was tough given this is Delta we are talking about, but doable thanks to generous availability by SkyTeam partner Aeroflot. Their routing:
- JFK – SVO (Moscow) – LED (St. Petersburg) [Stopover]
- LED – SVO – SIP [Simferopol, Ukraine] [Stopover]
- SIP – SVO [23 hour layover]
- SVO – YYZ (Toronto) – ATL
Every leg is business class except for YYZ – ATL, which was only available in Economy. Strangealy, the award wouldn’t book correctly with ATL – JFK as the first leg, so we had to lop that off and they are buying ATL – JFK for $119 each as the first leg. Taxes and fees came to a steep $475 per ticket due to fuel surcharges on Aeroflot. But to use 100,000 DeltaSkymiles for a “Low” Business award 2 months out for two people is a feat in itself.
One other interesting side-note. SIP – SVO – YYZ gives an exactly 24 hour layover in SVO. The flight from SIP arrives at 10:25AM, and the YYZ flight departs at 10:25AM the next day. I thought for sure delta would reject this as a stopover instead of a layover since it exceeds 23 hours 59 minutes by one hour. Nevertheless, they, to my surprise, ticketed it without qualms.
The Wandering Aramean has some great travel tools, and one of which is a Aeroflot availability search which was indispensible to me. Be careful when searching, as it appears Aeroflot restricts availablity for un-matched segments. For example, I did not see JFK – SVO availability, but as soon as I put in JFK – SVO – LED or JFK – SVO – SIP availability was there.