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OPEN Monday ♦ ask away! (must be about Delta)

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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.

MKE – I U!

This has been such a fun weekend for me booking Delta trips and mileage runs. I have added up my MQM’s for the year and should end at 174,000! Some will be from work trips, some from vacation trips; part of the points will come from “MR’s” and a bunch will come from my two (personal and business)   Delta Reserve AMEX  cards.  Diamond Medallion status until FEB2016 should be no problem at all (anyone want to join me for dinner in LAX or SFO? 🙂 )!

But that is all about me. I want to help you today. Ask ANY Delta question you want; any at all and I will pick a bunch of them and cover them this week! – René


Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
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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. hi! any experience with using the platinum amex card’s $200 airline credit towards kennel fees for pet travel on delta?

  2. When is the best time to do a mileage run? In the week or weekend? And what is really worth spending for a mileage run?


  3. Rene, my wife has a Delta Reserve Personal and I have a Reserve Business. We will spend at least $60K on each giving us each 40K MQM’s. With our flying, I know we’ll both make GM. But, if I understand it, she could gift me some MQM’s and I could make PM and gift her Silver. The question, which is better for two spouses always traveling together: one PM and one FO or is two GM’s better?
    Also, you mention in this blog that you have two Reserve cards. I thought you once said you have one and your wife has one and you swap about each year. Doesn’t having two Reserve’s mean you will have to go a year with no Reserve or do without the 10K bonus.

  4. I am a rookie still trying to make sense of low level awards (and award travel in general). We are leisure
    flyers and learning to maximize the Skymiles we earn. I am trying to plan a trip to Italy and would like to fly roundtrip to Rome; however, I would like a stopover of 4 or 5 days in Amsterdam on the way home. When I break up the trip with a stop in Amsterdam, the total miles required increases substantially. Can you give me some advice on how to avoid this increase in miles.

  5. My wife and I are flying to Singapore this summer. I am confused by the arrangement of the flat bed seats. Should we choose two in the center of the cabin or two along the side of the plane (777)? I understand these seats provide a lot of privacy, but we’d like to share the pleasure of flying Business all the way.
    Thanks, Rick

  6. dot cahill Reply

    I’m very tempted to do one of these runs but still hesitant… help give me some words of encouragement and more fine tune details to do so..

  7. Carol Blue Reply

    Hello Rene … wondering what you think the best way is to book Delta Skymiles tickets for Biz/First when the two segments are 14 days apart. Wait until the return flight opens up and then hope that space is still open on the outbounds? Or do you have a clever trick (I hope?). Thanks so much…..

  8. elma hills Reply

    Is it any easier to identify business class inventory with Delta points than having points with a Skyteam partner ( AirFranceKLM )?

    Is it possible to access AirFrance First class reward seats by using Delta Skymiles points?

  9. Are there any deals for internet on the planes? Do they have coupons, or you just have to pay the fee listed?

  10. Andrew in A2 Reply

    What is your favorite Delta Terminal? Favorite Delta lounge? Favorite restaurant and/or place to visit in a Delta Terminal worldwide and at Detroit Metro?

  11. Tyrell Track Master Reply

    Since you have a picture of MKE there, what do you know about the closure of C concourse and Delta’s planned move to E? Should be a lot nicer over there with a new sky club.

    Any idea when/if this is going to happen?

  12. MKE is my alternate airport. MSN is my primary, both of which I love. I am not a big fan of giant airports, so the ease and simplicity of MKE and MSN make me happy. Currently, Delta is located in Concourse E (I believe) and getting through security and to your gate is a breeze. For other concourses, namely the ones housing AirTran and Southwest, sometimes have some substantial security lines. My parents often complain about their experiences and how it’s getting to be as if they have to get to the airport 2 hours early just to manage the security lines.

    But, presently, with Delta I have never once had an issue. It’s usually more a surprise when there are more than 10 people in line in any of the flights I’ve taken from MKE. I do believe they have a lounge, but I’ve never used it and I can’t imagine it’s all that spectacular.

    Remote parking is $6/day, I think. There are usually a lot of shuttles that take you from the lot to ticketing. I do seem to wait quite a while when wanting to go from baggage back to the lots.

    • @Cory – thanks for local update! VERY much appreciated. Yes there is a skyclub and will report on it in May when I do my 1st run.

  13. Chris Bastian Reply

    Has Delta explain what (if anything) they plan to do with JFK Terminal 2, once the Terminal 4 move is completed? Its a pretty drab space, and I can’t imagine that it’ll still be the SkyPriority check-in area, unless they propose to emulate Lufthansa and start driving elite customers straight to their planes.

    • @mordy – yes, I will cover that soon in my answer post. 10k bonus for new card then up to 30k bonus MQM with $60k spend!

  14. Hi, I have been lucky, or just fly and play the mileage game, enough to be Diamond over the last few years. Currently I will hit Gold at the end of the week but may still do a run this summer if things slow for my MQM’s.. One of the perks are the select benefits, which include gifting status and upgrade certificates (both selections I made). I am not sure why I selected the upgrades (6) since I have only been able to use one certificate in many years. Any secrets to using them or did I make a “rookie”mistake taking them along with Gold for my wife?
    Thanks !

  15. Recent international travel gave me a wake up call with my Delta Reserve Amex card in the way of fees….2.7% surcharge. (Ouch after paying hefty annual fee too) I have a Platinum as well and should have used that, as instructed by the Amex contact who could do nothing about the foreign fees. I see you recommend many cards, if you picked one that had no foreign fees from V or MC, while still building travel rewards usable with Delta which one would you go with? Personal or business, new churn to do.

  16. Hi Rene,

    I am recently engaged with a wedding planned for April 2014. Being a Gold Medallion flyer, I would like to fly delta for our honeymoon next year. We are thinking Hawaii or Bora Bora (we live in NY).

    I know when using points or companion tickets, it is difficult to get upgrades to first class. Do you have any good tips to help us with our honeymoon plans?

    What is best way to accumulate points? Use them to book? And get the flight times of our choice.

    Any tips you have will be greatly appreciated!


  17. Is there ever good milage runs out of MSP? Or is it best to plan on a reposition before every run?

  18. Hi Renee. My question is: I have chosen delta as my airline w amex plat card 200 credit this year & already gotten $50 checked bag fees reimbursed from jan/feb flights. I am not elite on delta but I am an spg platinum member. So now that as of march 1st I get those great crossover benefits, how can I best use my remaining $150 annual credit on delta? Please help! I don’t want to waste it but I can’t change my airline mid year. Thanks!

  19. Rene,
    I had some luggage damaged a few weeks ago that was plane side checked. I was told DL would contact me in three business days, it has now been two weeks. I did call their luggage number and they had no record of the claim-which goes to ATL. Any suggestions on how long I should wait before writing a letter to them?

  20. I am trying to construct an award itinerary in business class. Problem i am having is that business is available for first but longer leg of the trip. Economy is available for the other, shorter leg of the trip. I would like to fly from JFK to JED and then JED to LHE on Saudia. I don’t mind taking it but would Delta even allow this?

    Thanks for your help in advance.

  21. Hi,
    We would like to see Europe the summer of 2015 using Delta miles. Any suggestions on what to do to get enough miles from Atlanta to cover a family of four by that time?

    Thanks for your time!

  22. Hi Rene
    It seems that delta MRs originate more frequently out of mid and west of US…
    I use ITA and randomly look for MR tkt prices from east coast
    Is there a strategy for finding more potential MR Tkts from NYC area???
    I did the PHL to HNL and it was great!
    Thank you for sharing your strategies 🙂

  23. I have 180000 delta points. I would like to fly 2 people from Northeastern US to somewhere (anywhere) outside of the US this summer in first or buisness class. What would be best place i could go.

  24. Do Alaska Gold’s ever get upgraded on Delta? How far down the “totem pole” are we?

  25. Hi Rene

    Ref Delta: anyone seen any of the in-flight WiFi on international flights that was promised for “early 2013”?

    Alternately, does anyone have an update on when we could expect to start seeing that?

  26. I recently used my skymiles for a RT BUF-ORD, using 40k. I know that I could have spent less miles, but I needed to pick the flights that fit my agenda. So was spending the extra miles was worth it. I don’t travel often enough to have status. So I use the miles when I can.
    Swag question: for me the Delta Gold Amex is the right card. I don’t travel that frequently, but when I do – it covers the essentials like baggage fees.

  27. Would you consider writing a post with some tips about using SkyMiles to book award travel on Hawaiian Airlines? i would be very interested in getting to New Zealand or Australia with a stopover in Hawaii, most likely in coach. On a related, albeit very specific, note what is the deal when booking something with an HA flight number but flown on JetBlue metal? For example, HA2003 from BOS to JFK connecting with HA51 to HNL– would that be a possibility using SkyMiles? It seems bookable as a revenue ticket on the HA website, but I was unable to find award availability for that first leg.

  28. Rene,
    Any tips for a week-long SCUBA trip to Roatan this summer (JAX-ATL-RTB-ATL-JAX)? I’m a non-status, non-card holding flyer. I think you know SCUBA involes a fair amount of gear – I’ll probably check one gear bag, but that’s free anyway as a non-domestic trip. Everything else will go in the biggest legal carry-on / personal items I can find.

    I’ve thought about applying for the AMEX Delta Gold card for boarding priority, but beyond that I don’t see a lot else that will really help. While my question is specific to this trip, perhaps you could expand on foreign travel in general for folks in my situation?


  29. Tyrell Track Master Reply

    Good times …. you know, if heading to MKE, you should consider the train some time. Very mellow way to get there and avoid Chicago traffic, stops right at the airport.

  30. I’m trying to book a low-level award ticket from LAX to London in late June. I’m gonna try to find and follow your low-level award post, but if you want to run thru it again, using my trip as an example… 🙂

    (And yes, I live in Los Angles, so I’d gladly meet you for dinner at LAX at some point!)

  31. Rene,
    Thanks for all the great tips and the MR Alerts. I’ve booked several MKE-SFO-MKE & MKE-LAX-MKE’s with the goal of flying 2 back to back of these 5 times this year. The question i have is do you know of a good way to maximize the MR when its already in progress? For example, with free SDC, have you found it worthwhile trying to maximize each leg of the routing–so, instead of MKE-ATL-SFO trying SDC to a MKE-DTW-ATL-SFO or some other crazy routing once flight is in progress? I’m often torn on these as SDCing to a diff flight makes me lose my EC seat and risk that i’ll end up in a crummy non-reclining one on a 4hr flight. Any thoughts?

    Also, any idea when Delta Biz Reserve bonus will return? I’m awaiting this to start my large spend

  32. OK, I have a question.

    Booking low miles tickets to Europe (or wherever), can you book the hard part one week and then a few weeks later book the not hard parts and then get an agent to combine them?

    I booked JFK-CDG over Thanksgiving a few weeks ago in Business, and now I want to book the SFO – JFK in business too… all at the lowest level. can I do that, or do I have to do it all on one day?



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  34. Gregg Golstein Reply

    Here is my question….

    On this past Monday, I got stuck with the bad weather in ATL. We left FLL at 4:15 (on time) and when we were 20 minutes outside of ATL, the pilot came on the PA and said that ATL was closed due to bad weather. He went on to say that our 757 only had 45 minutes of fuel left and that we would have to divert, most likely to JAX.

    five minutes later he came back on and said we were going to divert to Savannah to get some fuel and then wait out the storm so we can continue on to ATL. we landed in Savannah at 6:30 and were told that there were 14 other Delta planes on teh ground here and that there was no place for us at the gate.

    at 9:25 they pulled us into a United gate and allowed us to deplane, if we chose to, while the plane got some fuel. At this time, the flight crew said they were now illegal as they had been in the cockpit for 16 hours and that a new crew would be sent from ATL.

    Now we all know that Delta would not send another plane to Savannah, an airport with only 10 delta flights to atlanta a day, yet another plane just to move a flight crew and one hour later they told us that the flight would leave the next day.

    The gate agent said that since this was a weather issue, Delta would not be giving out hotel or food vouchers. hearing that, one of the other people on the plane and I rented a car and drove to ATL, where I then got a hotel so I could take a connection to BHM in the morning.

    One of the people sitting behind me on the flight to BHM said that Delta ended up giving out vouchers for a holida in until they ran out.

    my question after all that is, that since a weahter issue caused us to be diverted, but ultimately it was the lack of a crew that cancelled us, do I have any recourse?

    I feel that I should get my heotel and car rental costs back, since they had eventually gave out some hotel vouchers to those who stayed in Savannah.



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