PSA: Taking an Aeromexico or Skyteam / Delta Elite Mileage Run? Take steps to ensure you get your SkyMiles / MQMs / MQDs as planned!

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AeroMexico Biz Class

At the end of last year there popped up a simply stunning Delta partner AeroMexico elite mileage run to Lima, Peru as well as a few other spots in South America. The net result of these runs, in cheap business class, will result in massive Delta points (SkyMiles and MQMs) as well as MQDs due to the fact that the price simply does not matter (key part) only the fare class / code as well as the distance flown (that is, a percentage of the distance flown counts when it comes to MQDs).

I myself booked 4 of these runs for my wife and I later this year and will be flying them to finish her “Diamond Quest” for 2018 (2019 Medallion year) having already flown and collected some 50,000 miles (MQMs) visiting places like California for a short cruise, Hawaii for some time in the sun, Grand Cayman also for a week as well as Europe for a bit. It has been a real whirlwind to start the year but a ton of fun. My Lisa will have gone from ZERO status to Diamond in less than half a year – impressive. All the points so far in the year we have collected that have posted have been almost instant due to being Delta flights (i.e. very few partner flights). But in a few months we have flights on Skyteam partner Aeromexico (AM).

So what, you ask? Well…

Even though Delta Corp owns a massive chunk of AM this does not mean everything works as well as Delta itself (in fact far from it). This is no exception when it comes to getting credit for your flights when you enter in your Delta SkyMiles number in your AM reservation.

Pull up AM flights via SkyMiles FF number here

Many prefer to book flights via an OTA (online travel agents / site) and that is just fine. Some sites have a field for your SkyMiles number at booking and some do not. Either way I would take the step to A) pull up the reservation on the partner website and maybe even B) call the partner and confirm with them that your SkyMiles number is, in fact, in the reservation (I did both myself with the AM flights). Then, lastly, go to the partner site and you can search for all your booked reservations by your Delta SkyMiles number and your last name. I have then taken the step to print the above as well as pulling each reservation individually and printing that (each to PDF to save paper, clearly). Why?

This means I have the original confirmation e-mail as well as lots of proof of the ticket (including the ticket number) plus the fare class etc. These are good 1st steps.

Wait – what – 1st steps you say? Really? What more should I do and why?

Some frequent flyers have already flown these runs and have had mega nightmares getting Delta to give them the credit that they are due per the published reward pages on (it took a month for one I know).

OK so what are the steps we need to take to ensure credit? Well, Delta made the negative change recently that we only get Delta credit for the fare class at the time of flight with partners NOT the fare class you purchased (kinda sneaky right). Thus it becomes really important to make sure that A) your SkyMiles number is on your partner boarding pass (as well as the very critical fare class code) and that you B) keep your boarding pass after your flight. So here are some tips on that.

First do online check-in on the partner site and print a set of boarding passes to a PDF to keep. It may or may not have all the info you need. If anything is missing call the partner and again confirm all your Delta info is correctly listed in the reservation. Next, when you get to the airport, use the kiosk to print TWO copies of your boarding pass (yes I said 2 of them). Why? Well things can come up (think IROPS or whatever) where a rep takes / keeps / tears up your original boarding pass and you are in a bad way unless you were wise enough to print an extra copy at the kiosk when checking in. Lastly, if online or kiosk does not include all the VERY important info then go to the desk agent (or even the gate agent if necessary) and have them print what you need. You may even have to take the step of going to a Skyteam lounge to ensure you accomplish all of this.

Once all of this is done I have yet another step for you to make sure you get the all important points and MQD credit you were expecting and the point of the elite mileage run after all. In regards to Aeromexico, I have been told, that they have a very strange policy of archiving off tickets after as little as a week and that makes it all but impossible for Delta to pull that old ticket (if you can call 1 week old) and see that you did, yes, in fact, fly the flight and should get the credit due.

So, my personal suggestion is this: If you do not see credit to your Delta SkyMiles account within 3 days of landing after a partner flight then go about submitting copies of all your stuff to Delta and request missing mileage credit for the flights. You may even want to, before you submit all of this, call the elite line and start the ball rolling with them and then let them know you will follow up by submitting all the documentation of the reservation and the completed flights.

Other bits. Another reason for all of the above important steps is in case of IROPS. One reader had a partner flight delayed by the better part of 12 hours and that made the connecting flight impossible and thus was simply rerouted back to the starting airport. Even though the reader only took half of the flight’s full original route, credit was correctly provided by Delta since the issues were no fault of the passenger.

Bottom line I hope these tips help you in case you are wisely using partner flights (and my friend, Adam to help you book them) this year to avoid having to spend ¼ million on Delta Amex cards to fully reach MQD exempt status for the 2019 medallion year! – Rene


Update: In about 2 days full points (as a Diamond) have posted. Not bad results! 🙂


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  1. Rene,

    You stated “Delta made the negative change recently that we only get Delta credit for the fare class at the time of flight with partners NOT the fare class you purchased . . .” Do you have a link? The AeroMexico partner listing still states “Flights marketed by the partner will earn MQDs based on a percentage of distance flown* as determined by the fare class paid.”

    BTW, last year I purchased a cheap upgrade for domestic first class at the gate from Jet Airways in India. The upgrade moved me to a class that was not eligible for accrual, but I was still able to get the MQMs for the original fare class purchased after a few exchanges with Delta.

  2. My wife and I took the AM lima run you noted in January. I just got the credit. It took 10+ contacts with Delta and I had all the documentation. No excuse for this fiasco

  3. These are some great tips. I’ll definitely be following them when I fly any delta partner. Thanks.

  4. I have done two of these trips myself, and can confirm what you are saying. My first flight took almost a month to post, and I had to send all the details to Delta. My 2nd flight was about 3 weeks ago, and I am still waiting on Delta to post my credits after submitting everything. So follow Renee’s advice, keep good records, and you will get your miles in the end.

  5. Good points! AND you need multiple hard copies at a number of the Central American airports because they don’t take electronic versions nor do they have kiosks to print your own. In addition, at least in El Salvador, AM doesn’t staff their checkin desk the entire day. They only have staff there ar strategic times throughout the day. That means if you get there early or late and don’t have hard copy boarding passes you will be waiting a very long time for them to come to the check in desk.

  6. Last week I flew ORD-MEX-LIM Aeromexico business class.
    For prompt Sky Miles credit it is imperative that you obtain boarding passes from a ticket counter (or departure gate) in Chicago for ORD-MEX-LIM and again in Lima for LIM-MEX-ORD. Ask the agent to add your Sky Miles number before printing. It you don’t ask it won’t be included. Before leaving the counter be sure your SMs number appears on each BP. Do this you should receive SMs credit in 48 hours.
    Because they do not have a large presence in ORD and LIM, Aeromexico ticket counters do not open until three hours before departure then they close one hour before departure.
    I got BPs for my return legs at the AM LIM ticket counter and I received full SMs credit in 48 hours. Because I printed the outbound BPs (with SMs number, ticket number, ticket class, and PNR included) from AM’s website I had to send copies to Delta to get credit for those legs.
    Printing outbound BPs is helpful nevertheless. If you arrive ORD on a domestic flight with carry-on luggage in hand, your AM boarding pass will enable you to avoid security screening when transitioning to the International Terminal. After visiting the Sky Club (ha-ha) proceed to gate G-17 (American Airlines concourse). At Gate G-17 look for the shuttle bus counter. If you can’t find it ask an AA gate agent. Show your international BP & passport to the agent at the bus counter and the shuttle bus will take you to Gate M-14 in the International Terminal. Then be sure to pick up boarding passes at the departure gate as noted above. The bus operates every 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm.
    Good luck!

  7. ‪One more point. If you are doing a quick turn, get your hard passes printed for you in MEX before going on to the smaller Central American airports. AM won’t let you checkin for the return leg of the flight while the first leg of the flight is still in progress. ‬ It takes them nearly 1.5 hours after landing at the destination for their system to “complete” the first leg and allow you to checkin and print boarding passes for return leg.

  8. What kind of food do they serve in AM business class? Just asking this question I’m hearing Weird Al’s “Taco Grande” in the back of my head…

  9. Flying AM from SFO-EZE next week in business class. I appreciate this timely article and good tips. Will be interesting to see if everything goes smoothly. I will make sure I get those all-important hard copy boarding passes with my SM number.

  10. Excellent and informative article! Now, if I can get on a few of these flights it would be even better !

  11. It applies to DL ticketed also.
    I just took at simple flight to MEX and return and I had to get SM to give me credit for the return.

    Also, on a different note, whenever travelling In’tl have your boarding passes printed. I had a hard time getting int he SP lane for passport control in SGN because I could not find my printed BP even though I had just flown two legs in J. I only got in the short lane because he got distracted. He wouldn’t accept my E-BP.

  12. @Mitch Personally, I thought the food on my MCO-MEX-LIM run this weekend was really good. I especially enjoyed the cheese tamale on the morning flight MEX-MCO.

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