My last day as a Silver Medallion – ya know, I kinda LOVE IT!

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

I have come to a whole new appreciation for the “lowly” FO or Silver Medallion level. Seriously, if you have NO status with Delta, you are missing out on so much. For crying out loud, by getting both the Delta Personal and Business Reserve cards, and spending just $1.00 on each (plus the non-waived fee for each card) you will need just one coast to coast trip to reach the 25,000 points needed to be FO. So why am I singing the praises of this lowly medallion level? Let me walk you trough my Wednesday and you will see why.

I started day 1 of my 48 hour 8 leg mileage run (see more about these trips from the rookie post this week) with no bump on flight number one. On flight two, they needed just one and I was late to the gate and was number two on the list. This sounds so much like last week’s trip that you would think I would have learned something by now but nooooooo! So, this time, in LAX on my overnight flight, I gave up some time in the Skyclub to be #1 on the volunteer list. Guess what, they needed just one in the end and that was ME! Score. Now you may be saying:

Wait Rene, you had that long RANT about the ETV rule and you would never take a bump unless Delta paid you cash!

Yes I did! But I said I would bend that rule for mileage runs and here is why and why I LOVE my FO status! Check this out. First let me give you a history lesson on Delta bumping. Back in the day, when Delta bumped you, it was as Eddie Money would say, “two tickets to paradise“! You could use a bunch of vouchers at once to buy a new ticket. Not just that, but when you were rebooked on the next flight it was full “Y” or full fare coach and you got extra MQM bonus points and Skymiles and instant upgrade to first many times. Those days are gone – sorta. While you now can only use ONE ETV per ticket, and you will only get MQM & RDM credit for your original fare class, you will still be rebooked in “Y” class.

As I said, I made sure I was early to the red-eye from LAX. The result, little old FO moved from 43rd on the upgrade list from LAX back home to #1. Yep, I am writing this post at 32K in 1st class so thank you Delta! BTW, as a tip, I spent my time while the rep was getting the night flight out, looking at what flights still had 1st class seats open to buy so when I did pick the route home, I could maybe score an upgrade!

Oh, and next this run gets even better and here’s why you should, when on a multi-day mileage run, get bumped ASAP. Since I am now delayed one day, I had to have my next day of flying moved forward one day. No problem right? It was a simple thing for the GA to move me and I ended up again rebooked in “Y” class on those flights too. I will be #1 on the upgrade list for all my flights for my final day as a Silver Medallion Delta Flyer (and worst case I am in exit rows). One of my flights is even an internationally equipped 777 with full-flat seats. Oh I hope I can score that upgrade too.

My final bit was that I was NOT looking forward to a 5+ hr drive each way to PIT to start my next run in a few weeks. I have thus already spent my above $400 ETV+$5.20 cents of my own money and the night before I will fly out to PIT and then back home after the run. I will pick up an extra 2000+ MQM’s and save myself $150+ in gas plus 10 hrs of my life in a car! Keep in mind, the run, I paid just $137 each all-in for these tickets. Plus, they were paid for with an old ETV so it cost me only the $100 in gas/tolls/parking. Well that and 4,000 Starwood points for a night in CLE at the Sheraton (review later btw) that Delta did not take care of as they put me up in LAX at a basic and mostly clean La Quinta overnight. 10,000+ MQM and 12,500+ RDM for FREE and travel in 1st class is a nice way to earn my status for 2013! (And to end it all, I had the privilege to fly with [not mine] baby’s first trip ever up in the air) – Rene

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
Click here for more information


Join the 1500+ Delta Points daily e-mail subscribers


  1. Great tips on being bumped up to Y-class. My husband hits Delta silver this week, hoping it works to his advantage on the 3 remaining Delta trips scheduled for 2012 (and of course, many to come in 2013).

  2. Not bad, though I was bumped earlier this year and didn’t get Y (had a U fare and kept that on the new flight :().

    I’m doing a strategic walkout on DL for the rest of the year to not hit re-hit Gold, then MRing in February to get Gold back with 24K rollover.

  3. @Silvia – “FO or Silver Medallion level”. This is used as SM stands for SkyMiles. FO, I have been told, dates back to the Flying Colonel days.

  4. Have to say that Delta’s latest announcement about not allowing interline baggage forwarding is a real downer. It’s always one step forward and then one steps back with this airline!

  5. Thanks for the answer. Just so I understand the importance of at least having silver status is that without it you could not be on the upgrade list, even when you were rebooked into “Y” so you would be last (or maybe not even eligible) on the upgrade list instead of first. Is this correct?

  6. Rene-
    Tried to find this on, but couldn’t and thought I’d ask. When you say status ends February, 2013 I wanted clarification. Does that mean your status ends on February 1? Or does it end on February 28? I assume the former, but am never sure.

  7. I’m a gold medallion and it has not done one thing for me this year. I will have less then 25k MQM’s this year with I slip to nothing or will I only be reduced to Silver?

  8. Have you done a post or have any thoughts about whether it’s worth it to do a mileage run for FO when you already have the AMEX Delta Gold card? Is it worth it? I found a run for $258 that would put me over the top but I’m hesitating.

  9. Dropping off Silver this yr, only thing I’ll miss is being able to book the “preferred” seats online when making a booking. Sometimes that will net you a solo assignment in an exit row, for instance.

    Other than that, most flites for many of us are on CRJ — so even if bumped to first, it’s maybe a free glass of OJ. Pretty expensive juice.

  10. Can you tell us your schedule and itinerary for this MR? I find it hard to follow your LAX bump and how that triggered your flights to change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *