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Delta only allows you to hold an itinerary if you don’t have enough miles in the account to ticket at that moment. (If you sweet talk the right agent, you might get a hold even if you have enough miles, but it’s not easy.)

Here’s a trick to avoid this annoying policy if you have enough miles in your account to ticket the award you want.

  1. Call Delta at 800-323-2323.
  2. Instead of giving the SkyMiles account number you’ll be using, give the account number of a friend that has very few miles. You will need the account number, account holder’s name, and account PIN number.
  3. Talk the agent through reserving your award segment-by-segment.
  4. Once the segments are all added, the agent will price it and tell you that you don’t have enough miles to ticket the award.
  5. Tell the agent to please place it on hold while you transfer miles into the account. The agent will place it on hold until 11:59 PM the following day, meaning a hold of 24-47 hours depending on when you called.
  6. Copy down the six-digit confirmation number.
  7. When you are ready to ticket, call 800-323-2323.
  8. Give the account number you will ticket from.
  9. Give the confirmation code.
  10. Ticket the award.

 

The only thing you need to make this work is an account without (m)any SkyMiles in it. Then you can reserve awards in that account, and later on, ticket the awards from your real account.

I tested whether this trick would work with two separate itineraries, one on Delta metal (planes) and one on China Eastern metal, with my brother’s account as the dummy account.

In both cases, I called Delta and reserved the awards after giving my brother’s account information. When I called back, I gave my information and had the agent look up the reservations by their six-digit confirmation codes.

Things progressed without a hitch, and I was offered the chance to ticket the held itineraries from my account.

Since there are tons of reason to hold an itinerary, this trick will help me out a lot going forward with my Award Booking Service.

Bonus

I get disconnected occasionally when talking to airline agents, and it drives me crazy when up to an hour of time is lost by a disconnection. That lost time may be a thing of the past, at least on Delta.

Today I was on the phone with Delta when I got a beep for call waiting. I wanted to take the new call, and I hadn’t been talking to Delta for long, so I tapped End Call & Answer on my phone.

Less than a minute later, I heard the call-waiting beep again. Delta was calling me back!

The agent said we had been disconnected. I am very excited about this new feature when calling Delta, and I hope all the airlines add it soon.

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