The Delta #100503a workaround
So you finally saved the miles and found the perfect award booking with Delta Airlines. You are most of the way through the booking process and BAM you get an error code #100503A from Delta saying the award space is no longer available. You go back and search for the same itinerary and it still shows available online but you can not get the booking to go through.
You are now in the Delta #100503A error zone! I recently found myself in the zone trying to book a one way from my home airport (BOI) to Barcelona (BCN). I found great award space in Delta One (their first class offering) that was connecting through Paris, France (CDG). In the booking process our flights were all on Delta planes (not a codeshare with another airline) except the last flight. The CDG-BCN flight was on a code share with Air France. I tried everything I could think of to get the transaction to go through. I used different web browsers, different computers, different IP addresses, everything I could think of and finally gave up.
Next, I decided to try to book from BOI-CDG figuring that the codeshare portion of my journey was causing the problems with the actual booking. Then I planned to purchase a cheap one way flight from CDG to BCN (which was around $60 per ticket). With my new routing that was only on Delta planes I had no problem getting the booking to go through. It costs 70k in Delta miles and around $7 in taxes per passenger.
However, before I went ahead and booked the separate ticket from CDG-BCN I had an idea.
First, I found the original itinerary that I wanted from BOI-BCN for 70k miles and around $56 in taxes per passenger.
Then because Delta allows free changes and cancellations within 24 hours of booking I contacted Delta on my new favorite platform; twitter. I tweeted @delta in a direct message, told them I had mistakenly booked to CDG and wanted to fly instead to BCN. I sent along the flight numbers and itinerary that I had looked up for 70k miles.
Within about 5 minutes I was contacted back by the social media team telling me that they could accommodate my change without problem and all I needed to do was pay the difference in taxes. The social media team member then asked a contact number to call me to confirm my credit card info. A minute later I head a pleasant conversation with a very helpful woman who made the change and got me booked on the itinerary I wanted from the beginning!
Ideally it would be easier to book a codeshare award with Delta but there is a work around that took me all of about 10 minutes to get done!
This blog post is based from my personal experience, your experience could be different. I am not guaranteeing any success with this method but it worked for me! This is the second time for us that the Delta twitter team has saved the day! Checkout our other article on getting better award routing after a schedule change.
Find the Family Frequent Flyer on twitter!