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DELTA Q&A day? Please ask away… + $50 Hyatt GIFT CARD giveaway!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

For today let’s do some Q&A. Post a question in the comments section below today by 5PM EST  [extended to 7PM EST] and tomorrow, Saturday, I will do my best to post the best ones in the blog with my answers. This should be fun. (  I may save some really good ones for a full day blog post so if you do not see your question that may be why but you still have a chance to win! ) 😉

And to make this really fun and motivate you to ASK a Delta question, any  questions  ( not just comments ) have a chance to win a Hyatt $50 gift card!

My Credit Card Churn Update! I went  3 for 3 for my credit cards  netting another 170k points for the year. I held off on my wife’s churn until the 1st of the year for 24th month between cards to get more AA points on the AA MasterCard. This way we will be able to get two more 1st class tickets to Sweden. What an amazing year it has been for points. I will end the year with 2.3 million in all accounts! I hope when it is time for your churn you will look at  my “best cards” links! Let me thank you SO MUCH in advance for supporting the blog! – René

Barclaycard Arrival™
World MasterCard®
Earn 2x miles
on All Purchases

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. So not infrequently I need to make a last minute trip and of course it’s usually pretty expensive. So I want to use miles. And since Delta doesn’t offer a one way award, I book a RT, picking a return date at random (falling on a “low mileage” day). Of course in the event I want to use the return leg, I need to pay a fee to change it to my real desired date. Any strategy for this that I’m missing?

  2. I usually cant stand any flights over 2-3 hours. I know this is matter of preference, would you say its worth to spend extra miles/$ to upgrade to better seating when flying over 3 hours? Or should I just save them and drink some hard liqour and pass out during the flight?

  3. Which airline/hotels/credit cards can you transfer to using Delta miles? Which airline/hotels/credit cards can transfer to Delta?

  4. Since the Delta website can be a ‘little cranky’ at times, what tips do you have for booking Delta awards using other websites? Is there a ‘best’ carrier for Delta awards?

  5. what happens to the miles when i book a round trip award ticket for 100k and i cancel after my first leg?

  6. What does Delta charge to cancel/change an award redemption? Is there any way to get those miles back once you’ve booked? Is there a certain level of status necessary?

  7. Just made Platinum for the first time (thanks AMEX for the 40k EQMs). Status changed about 10 days ago. Will my Platinum gift options be in my Platinum welcome kit and how long does it usually take to get a welcome kit?

    • If you are talking about your Choice Benefits (e.g., 20k miles, gifting Silver Medallion to someone), the easiest thing is to do it yourself on the Delta website. The path is SkyMiles > About SkyMiles > Medallion Benefits > Choice Benefits. I made it to Platinum in October and called Delta yesterday because I hadn’t heard anything from them about my Choice Benefits. This is what they told me to do, and within seconds I had an additional 20k miles in my account!

      Other than the Choice Benefits, you should receive a packet in the mail with your new card and luggage tags, a couple of drink/snack coupons, and a couple of certificates you can give to Delta employees for doing a good job.

  8. I have about 27,000 miles in my account right now..enough for a free domestic you think it would be worth it to use some of those miles to upgrade on an international flight?

  9. If you select a Preferred Seat at booking, then get upgraded to First Class during your upgrade window, but then get bumped from First Class, only to be re-issued a non-preferred seat (or, worse, a bad bulkhead seat), do you have any argument with the GA to give you a better seat?

    (Presumption: the flight is full.)

    This happened to me last week.

  10. Any idea why DL occasionally runs P fare first tickets for less than coach? I just picked up NYC-MKE over Christmas weekend for less than comparable routed coach seats on CO.

  11. Hi, do you know whether- with the Delta Amex Gold offer now for 30k miles-you can get these miles if you already have another delta amex that has given you miles?


  12. What’s the easiest way to become Delta elite? Is it MRing on Delta flights, credit card spend, etc.?

  13. Does Delta offer any kind of status match with CO/United? I am Gold Elite… If so, how would I go about asking for one?

  14. Could you please explain more about how the same-day confirm change ticket benefit works? I am a Delta Gold and I believe I can change my ticket for free but I was wondering if you had specifics.


  15. I still get confused with stop-overs and open jaws. Would Delta, or a partner, allow PIT-LHR-CDG-PIT so I had time to spend in both London and Paris? I’m not too concerned with the cities, although PIT is the closest airport for me.

  16. What tools do you personally use to find delta award availability? I know delta is known for having bad low level availability but I’ve actually had a couple good experiences finding (almost) exactly what I needed at the low level.

  17. Other than Delta flights, what is the most cost effective way to use miles? Unless I can get the lowest mileage reward flights, I usually don’t find the flights the way to go.

  18. Rene, I would love to see the answers to some of the questions here. And I suggest you create a permanent link tab on your homepage to keep all those Q&As. My question: I live in a city within 250 miles from ATL, so I always got connected via ATL. The short hop is great for the min 500 miles, but I can hardly find any good fares for MRs. What’s best strategy for me?

  19. I’ve heard that you can book a DL round trip award ticket with a stopover in your home airport and use that stopover in the future as a one way ticket someone from your home airport. Can you post exactly how to do this for those of us who aren’t in the know?

  20. What are your favorite Delta aircrafts for international travel?

  21. What are Delta’s rules for stopovers and open jaw flights on award tickets?

  22. Can you speculate about the changes (if any) to the 2012 Skymiles program? And/or tell us what you’d like to see changed?

  23. What’s the recourse if, well in advance of a flight, Delta changes the departure time of your booked flight?

  24. Can you please explain how various fare codes can affect your ability for upgrades?

    For example, if I bought a K fare, under what circumstances am I allowed to upgrade with points/money? Are fare codes important if you are have elite status (silver on Delta in my case).


  25. As a new Delta Platinum Medallion, I have a question about the free award changes. I understand that changes have to be made more than 3 days prior to your flight. My question is about the return flight: suppose I start an award trip by flying outbound somewhere and then I want to change the return. Can I still do so if it is more than 3 days before the return?

  26. How do you deal with situation where the routing (e.g. LAX-SYD) has no R/T low awards at all?

  27. Delta Skymiles sent me a blue plastic membership card after I joined the program and I’ve been wondering WHERE and to WHOM I should show this card and perhaps more importantly WHY? Are there any benefits to flashing this card at the check-in counter or to a gate attendant? What about for Silver, Gold and Plat membership cards?

    • The card isn’t really necessary or useful for much of anything. If you don’t have your SkyMiles number memorized, using the card to remind you of that is probably its biggest benefit. I think you can also use your SkyMiles card at the computerized check-in kiosk, but I find it easier to just use my credit card or check in the day before from home. Once you’ve associated your SkyMiles number with your ticket for a particular trip, it stays associated with it (e.g., it’s printed on your ticket) so there’s really no need for the card. Even for Medallions.

  28. How does Delta organize it’s boarding order for non-elites in economy? Do the people at the very back of the plane board first, or do the window seats board first? I just booked a ticket for Memorial Day travel, and I want to choose a seat that will help me avoid gate checking my bag.

  29. Any thoughts on Amex Platinum $200 fee reimbursement strategy? I’m DL Gold for next year, and I also have the DL Plat Amex, so I rarely incur any fees on DL, since I get free checked bags, SC access, etc. And I do fly DL 90% of the time. Would you still recommend keeping DL as my selected airline for fee reimbursement? I’ve used it for onboard drink purchases and successfully convinced Amex to reimburse appx $150 in award tix fees (although this seems to be getting more difficult to do).

  30. Is the Delta reserve card worth the $450 fee for a regular delta flyer?

  31. What are the benefits of Economy Comfort seats? Secondly, are they worth the extra fee?

  32. Can you clarify the Delta class coding? I mean the way to purchase an economy plus seat to get bumped to business and vice versa? What about class codes that are usually cheaper but earn more miles? Thanks!

  33. Thanks for the post.

    My question would be is there really a benefit to being a Silver Medallion? I received this status via an AMEX transfer bonus earlier this year and while I already get free checked bags due to my Delta Amex, I don’t really see the 25k MQM’s that came with the offer that beneficial to someone that isn’t shooting for upper elite levels such as myself.

    • At the very least Silver Medallion allows you to choose exit row seats or aisle/window seats in the front half of economy, right? Way better than sitting in the back of the plane every time. The 25% mileage bonus isn’t bad either. And of course there’s always the outside chance that you’ll get bumped (helps if your flight leaves at 6am).

  34. How does the airline feel about mileage runs? Should/would a representative be willing to help set up a flight with some crazy routes? Thanks!

  35. I am delta upgraded by not by miles gold with 33k miles. Will 8k miles roll(33-25) over or will i have to start from 0 next year. Does it pay to get the delta mqm card now and get the 10k mqm or better wait until next year. will those 10k mqm count to gold qualification to make up the qualifying miles i never did or will they roll over as well from the 25k silver threshold.

  36. Does Delta give better award ticket availability to Medallion members and if so, starting at which Medallion level?

  37. How do I use 25k delta points to book the flights below?
    1/25/2011: Hong Kong -Beijing
    2/1/2011: Beijing-Hangzhou
    2/5/2011: Hangzhou-Shenzhen/Hong Kong

  38. Is there any benefit to paying for access to a lounge if you only have a layover of 2 hours or less?

  39. I’m a Delta Platinum for 2011, but got deployed to Afghanistan in April (for a year)… I obviously haven’t earned a single Delta mile since. I’m wondering if you think there’s a chance Delta will delay/extend/pause my Platinum status until I return in 2012. In this way, I can get back on track earning, and enjoying, the benefits of the Platinum status. Do you know if there’s an official policy on Elite Status “pauses” for military members deployed mid-year? If so, who would be the best to talk to?

    Note: I once called the Platinum line about this topic and the rep was no help….she just said, “send us a letter.” –that didn’t inspire much confidence I would get any response based on previous interactions.

  40. Is there anyway of getting first class on Air France (or other partners) using Skymiles?

  41. where can I check the low level award availability of Delta’s Chinese airline partners?

  42. Do you think the Amex Delta Companion pass is valuable?

    I’m not sure whether I should upgrade my Amex Delta Gold to Amex Delta Plat. One intriguing benefit is that the Amex Delta Plat’s companion pass is free to use, whereas the Amex Delta Gold charges $99 to use the pass. Depending on how easy this pass is to use, I may be more inclined to upgrade cards.

    Any thoughts?


    • As long as you are sure that you will use the companion pass, then go for the platinum card. You effectively pay about $50 less for your companion’s ticket that way.

  43. What is a valid routing using skymiles, to go to HKG from YYZ?? Can I use YYZ>CDG>HKG or do I have to go via the pacific?>???

  44. I see that Delta transfer bonuses seem to come up frequently. Could you please explain how often these bonuses come up and when/how frequently we can expect to see them in 2012?

    Thank you!

  45. Do the Amex DL reserve passes have to be used by the cardholder? Or can they be “transferred” to two separate people altogether?

  46. I am moving and would consider Delta for my personal travel. How often do elites get upgraded on Delta and what is the breakdown of status levels?

  47. Whats the best use for traveling on KE business class using Delta skymiles? I am familiar with KE blackout dates and hubs out of the US.

  48. Is there any websites that offer free delta miles? For example you get AA points.

  49. Do you believe Delta will ever go to what UA does for their system wide upgrades and offer it from lower than M fares?

  50. Where do you believe Delta is strongest to from the States? Asia?

  51. What do you recommend for families? I’m the only one who plays the miles/points game, so wife and kids have zero miles on delta since we usually fly UA/CO. I’ve got about 25k skymiles that are itching to be used, but not sure how to use them for a potential family trip. Any suggestions before they become worthless?

  52. Is there any time frame that you know of that Delta uses to release more low level award seats other than the initial allotment? Thanks!

  53. Hi,

    Did you hear about the 100% Delta mileage bonus if you transfer miles between accounts. Would it work if you keep transferring miles back and forth.

    • Yeah. (ugg). You are basically buying miles at $360 per 30k or $0.012 cents per mile. OK but no great deal IMO. Would only be good to fill in if you need it. They do this now and then.

  54. When you get the Delta reserve card with 10K MQMs after the first spend, do those get applied to your account at the time or purchase or when the bill is payed? To clarify, I just got approved and I want to know if they will count toward my 2011 status.

  55. How often does membership rewards do their skymiles transfer bonus?

  56. Why are Delta miles called “Sky Pesos?” Are they really that bad?

  57. how can I use Delta to travel on China Airline? worth my points?

  58. Any secrets on getting fares on when ExpertFlyer shows availability, but it won’t show them on

  59. I am a brand new Delta Platinum Elite Member. I have never done an “upgrade” from a Economy Fare before (that is a Complimentary Upgrade) either at the gate or three or four days before where it says “Upgrade Eligible” or “Upgrade Available” from Delta. I have always bought as a previous Gold or Silver Member a “P” or an “A” Fare to sit in First Class. I want to fly to Boston in March round trip to a Conference. Right now I just joined Elite Flier which is confusing enough in itself. It suggests that there is something called a “V” fare on all four legs of my flight to and from Boston. But I can’t find any “V” fares on Delta’s website. As a Platinum Member, can I call Delta’s Elite Toll Free number and request these “V” fares now? If not, the prices for the B, M and Y fare are almost as expensive as the “P” and the “A” fare which would guarantee me a seat in First. The other fares “H” and “Q” are much lower but every time I get to a gate in Atlanta and I look at the upgrade lists while waiting for my “P” or “A” seat which is already confirmed in First, I often see 28 names for First Class seats waiting for only 1 or 2 available seats. That was when I was a Silver or Gold Member. So how do you win the Delta “Upgrade” war?

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