Jul 14 2017

It’s today – 331 days before our scheduled return flight from abroad back to the US – first time I can make the reservations. And we have Skymiles points with Delta and they have only one non-stop flight a day. So pressure is to make the reservations now trying to use points before those seats disappear. Oh, and it’s business class.

Called the Skymiles number around 8:30AM. Asked for “representative.” Was told by the computer voice that I would be called back in 30-49 minutes. Time passed. I got the callback. I told the representative what I wanted to do and when. When I told her I wanted to use miles, she told me how many miles I would need (ended up she was quoting main cabin and not business class). I would need to transfer some of my miles to Marian’s account which I could only do online and not through her, but she said she’d transfer me to someone who would help me through all this and book the tickets. Instead of a transfer, the line went dead.

Before calling back, I went online onto my Skymiles account and transferred the requisite number of miles to Marian’s account for what I had been told. There is a charge for this – the equivalent of 1 percent in dollars of the miles being transferred plus $30 per transfer. And it ended up I didn’t need to do it.

So, I called the 800 number again and now was told I’d get a callback in 60-90 minutes. Time passed. Got the callback. Sylvia, the representative, told me some things. First, the amount of miles I had been quoted before were about a third of what would be needed to use miles for the seats and we didn’t have that many miles altogether. Second, while I could “pay with miles” at $100 per 10,000 miles given our accounts, it’s not something she had the “functionality” (her term) to do. I’d have to do it myself online. And I’d have to do it separately for the both of us. Sylvia said she’s call me back (took my number) in 45 minutes to give me time to do this so that she could cross-reference the reservations.

Went online. It was not intuitively obvious how to book and use miles to pay part of the ticket. After a few tries, got the hang of it. Booked for me. Went on her account and booked for Marian. Chose seats by one another.

Sylvia did call back and said she linked our two reservations.

In all, if I had known the way this was going to end:

  1. I would have not needed to transfer points between accounts and pay that fee.
  2. I could have just booked this online and did the “pay with miles.”

However, it’s done (I hope).

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