After a superb trip nearly a decade ago, Aeroflot Russian Airlines is a carrier I planned to fly this year. But booking award space has proved extremely difficult.
I was hoping to get to Russia next month, but am running into incredible difficulty booking award space via SkyTeam partners.
Aeroflot award space (X for economy, O for business) is searchable on Expert Flyer. I searched for space from LA and found nothing, but did see some options from New York to Moscow:
Booking Aeroflot with Korean SKYPASS
First, I tried booking with Korean Air SKYPASS miles. Korean Air made SkyTeam partner award space bookable online last year, including Aeroflot. But upon searching my dates, nothing showed up. In fact, I could not find a single date with any Aeroflot award space in economy or business class.
I called the SKYPASS call center and the agents were not able to find any space either. I even requested they “long sell” the space in and that failed too. The agent was competent, but I called back SKYPASS against just to double check and received the same answer: no space.
Booking Aeroflot with Delta SkyMiles
Next, I checked Delta. Delta also showed no space. The only thing available was highly-priced awards on Delta’s own metal via Paris, connecting to Moscow on Air France.
But an interesting thing occurred when I searched to Dubai…the Aeroflot nonstop space to Moscow with a connection to Dubai showed up. It appears that Delta can book some transatlantic award space on Aeroflot when married segment logic is at work.
I called Delta as well to confirm the lack of space was not just a website error, but the agents also could not see any space if just booking New York to Moscow.
Booking Aeroflot with Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Finally, I checked with Flying Blue to see if the space was available. Booking transatlantic space on Aeroflot has been difficult for years on Flying Blue so my hopes were not high.
As expected, the space to Moscow did not show up, though the KLM 787-9 itinerary is a great value:
Nothing all the way to Dubai either.
Oddly, not all Aeroflot is blocked with Flying Blue. For example, searching from Moscow to Tel Aviv yielded this Aeroflot option:
At Award Expert, when Aeroflot space comes up on ExpertFlyer we will not even offer it to clients until verifying that it is actually bookable. Most of the time it is not.
I don’t know if this a deliberate withholding of space from Aeroflot or a long-term technical issue, but be advised that Aeroflot award space is currently quite difficult to secure using SkyTeam partner mile currency.