Never Use Miles on a Domestic Coach Award?

Well, I would not actually say never.

However, I generally agree that using one’s miles for an international trip is usually a more efficient way to use one’s miles for travel.

As a Delta Air Lines SkyMiles member, I usually do not use my SkyMiles unless I travel internationally. Even though airfares have generally been slowly but steadily increasing overall, I would rather spend the $300.00 on a round-trip airfare between Atlanta and Los Angeles, for example, than use my miles.

On the other hand, I would rather spend 50,000 miles on an international SkySaver itinerary to Europe.

This is generally because I know I have a chance of upgrading on a domestic flight within the United States due to my Gold Medallion SkyMiles status, whereas I have no chance of upgrading on the lowest-fare itinerary to Europe.

Also, because a stopover or “open-jaw” is allowed, I had an itinerary from Atlanta to Newark to Prague to Larnaca to Prague to Venice to Paris to Atlanta, for example. My destination was to Larnaca in Cyprus; my stopover was in Venice to meet fellow FlyerTalk members.

However, due to the airlines’ schedules, I received the extra bonus of a 10-hour layover in Prague at no extra charge!

To summarize, I was able to spend a couple of days in Larnaca and Nicosia in Cyprus, a few days in Venice, and a full ten hours in Prague, which is plenty of time to see much of the city — all for 50,000 Delta Air Lines SkyMiles!

Imagine how much money it would have cost me had I purposely booked a similar itinerary!

Based on this and other personal experiences, as well as the reasons I have stated, I find I get much more additional value per mile spent on an international itinerary than on a domestic one.

Do you agree, or do you have a different opinion? What have you personally experienced?

Go to the NEVER! Use miles on a domestic coach award! thread to read more about the experiences and opinions of other FlyerTalk members, or post your own experience or opinion.

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