I thought Monday’s post would cover just about all the common questions I seem to often get via e-mail. Little did I see that this would spur a bunch more. So, let’s again try to knock out all the new round of “common” questions (at least now I will have a few good posts to send links to reference so thanks and please keep these question coming – they are great)!
Q/S) I have the Delta (Gold/Platinum/Reserve) card so I get a bag free. I booked an award ticket for my mom and they made her pay for her checked bag – it should have been free right?!
A) She should have paid, sorry. It seems bag fees questions never end. With the Delta AMEX card the up to 9 free bags (you+8 more traveling with you) you must be in the group. The fact that the points came from your Skymiles account is fine, but unless you are on the plane too the others have to pay for their own bags (unless they have their own Delta AMEX card that is).
Q/S) When buying my ticket Delta asked me about award booster to get extra Skymiles for my trip. I do need a few more for an award. Is this a good deal?
A) Almost NEVER! The cost is way too high per point. Having said that, if you cannot get points the other simple way with say a Delta AMEX or the so many other ways to get points, then for say 1000 or so it may work out to get you over the top. Just understand you are way over paying for these points.
Q/S) I am on a non-award ticket, should I split the revenue ticket for a better chance at an upgrade?
A) Maybe but if you do, depending on your partner’s status, one of you may have no shot at an upgrade. What do I mean? Say you are a Platinum Medallion and your partner has no status at all. On a paid ticket, you both, if on the same reservation, have a chance at the 24 hr window to upgrade. But, if you split, you have a chance at the 5 day window all the way until flight and that may work better, but then your partner is stuck in coach (or if you are nice you give then your seat and you ride in back 🙂 ). [edit: reader reports you can still request partner upgrade after split; I have had issues doing it this way in the past but at least know it is possible] Also, just since we are talking splits, on an award under the above condition it could be a good idea to split as you must both be GM+ to have any chance at an upgrade.
Q/S) Can you please tell me how to do a mileage run HUB city like MSP, DTW, ATL? There never seem to be any good deals.
A) I wish I had a penny for each time I got this question. The simple answer is it DOES NOT MATTER where you live. I live in South Bend Indiana. It is $400 to fly anywhere and much much more to start a mileage run from South Bend. You know what, I don’t care. When a good run comes up I book it back to back days! I then, before my 24 hr cancellation window is closed, try to find a way to get from where I live (or for you HUB people from your HUB) to the start city. That is why you should get and USE now and then cards like the Barclays Arrival World Mastercard or the US BANK FlexPerks card (or like me have both) as you can then use these points to not just get you to your start city but also earn miles along the way but not cost you “real” money!
Q/S) Can a medallion help book (i.e. use the elite line) and then book for someone else with THEIR points not the elite’s to get faster/better help?
A) Yes, but don’t abuse this. The elite line, in my experience, has no problem taking the time to book for say your mom or dad or brother or sister. Just be smart about this. While we are talking about this I will knock out another one related to this one.
Q/S) When I log in as an elite I see low level seats but when I go back under my dad’s Skymiles account they are all mid and high award levels. Can I hold them under my account and then call in and book them from their account?
A) Oh such a nice try but no. Elites have greater access to low level awards. Also, holders of the Delta AMEX cards have greater access to low level awards. As soon as your dad’s Skymiles account gets into the mix either or both of these will not apply and the award space will be on their terms not yours. As I talked about in Monday’s Q&A have them consider getting a Delta AMEX and then use pay with miles as an option if the price is right.
Q/S) I was able to get a mixed award ticket coach and business to Europe all at low level (business over the water so it worked out to 100k). But, some of the legs in Europe were coach. Can I, after I book, change those award legs from coach to business class?
A) PM & DM can change all they want free up to 72 hrs before flight so sure just keep checking now and then to see if any part of the trip opens up in business. On a schedule change, on the Delta metal parts, say you were in coach to start from your city to the city you depart from over the water, you should be able to request that one in business and award space should no longer be an issue due to the schedule change. However, no matter what happens, low level space must be open on the partner airlines for you to get those seats even under schedule change issues.
Q/S) I am sick of never being able to use my Skymiles (SkyPesos, SkyPiles, DieMiles)! There are never any seats and I have a ton of points, 55,000! Is there anything good in the Skymiles Marketplace to buy to cash out and be done!
A) OK deep breath. Again, you need to read the E7 post in the Essentials tab. Next, if it is just too much work, please e-mail ADAM and for his fee you will at least get real value from your Skymiles. If you just don’t want to do that then there can be some value in the Skymiles Marketplace. Look at hotel rooms or car rental. You can, with just a little work, get close to 1 cent per point value. Also look at spending your points at 1 cent each to just buy a ticket. I value my Skymiles at near 2 cents each so I would not do this often. But if you want out, at least get a decent return as you burn them please. (btw 55k is not a ton of points, I am still over 2 million on all programs and desperately trying to spend down under 1 million but there seem to be too many good credit card offers)!
Phew. I think that does it (until I get like another 10 🙂 ). No seriously, if I have not covered a topic you want to know about feel free to comment below (click the word comments and scroll down) or if you have a follow-up question to the above ones. – René
PS – I am doing my best to keep up with e-Mails but am behind.
If I don’t get to you, feel free to e-Mail me again please!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
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