In my quest to try out as many business class products around the world, I thought I had a great trick up my sleeve to try out Middle East Airlines. I did, in fact. But I hesitated too long. Never hesitate when you see a nicely-priced award. I should have known better by now…
Middle East Airlines, flag carrier of Lebanon is a SkyTeam carrier. While its global footprint is quite limited, it does run A330-200 aircraft between London/Paris/Istanbul and Beirut. Most airline loyalty programs are smart in pricing awards cumulatively if you traverse a third region, but for whatever reason, Delta was not. At least not last month.
So I could have paid 42,500 miles for a one-way from Paris to Beirut…or 25K miles for a one-way from Paris to Istanbul via Beirut, with both flights operated by an A330-200.
That was my plan–
I even sent a screenshot to One Mile at a Time and asked if he wanted to join me.
But I’ve been very busy with other projects and set aside the booking until I could plan out a trip around it. That was to my regret.
Yesterday, I returned to delta.com to book and found the price had gone from 25K to 85K.
No, this is not another stealth Delta devaluation. Instead, Delta is simply pricing the award as a round-tip Europe to Middle East award (42.5K each way) instead of a one-way Europe to Europe (25K).
I have only myself to blame for dragging on this booking. Now I’ll end up paying a lot more unless Korean Air or Alitalia has more generous routing rules than Delta or Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
If you see an attractively priced award ticket, book it immediately. Don’t wait or you are likely to be burned.
top image: John Taggart / Wikimedia Commons