As you can see from the map above, from my first flight on Wednesday afternoon till my landing Saturday afternoon, I racked up almost 15,000 miles and did earn 15, 138 MQM’s and 30,276 RDM’s for flying and another 1905 RDM’s (2x$635 purchase price since I used my Delta Reserve AMEX and 635 SPG for my CrossoverRewards) paying for the tickets. Total haul on RDM’s was thus 32,181 – not bad at all and I will break down the cost more later on!
I drove to reposition to MKE Milwaukee airport. Google maps told me it would take about 3 hours from SBN South Bend airport (I am 30 min from there) and they were about right. I got stuck in some Chicago traffic and the trip took 3 ½ hours to get there and a little over 3 to get home. I took as few toll roads as possible outbound and then splurged and took the fastest way home.
MKE is nice. The $6/day lot is big and the shuttles run all the time. One pulled up and I literally tossed in my bags before I locked my van. Perfect. No TSA Pre Check at MKE, but the line was short and went fast so I could get to the Skyclub.
It is still a work in progress as the “luxury bar” is not yet done, but the space is nice and some of the chairs are comfortable and others really NOT!
7 of my first 8 segments were upgraded 5 days out. Once on board I moved my seat to let a couple sit together and plopped down next to the guy above. He says:
“Are you René? I read your blog and am on a mileage run I found on DeltaPoints”!
You have got to be kidding me!?! Leg one, in business, I get to ride with and meet George. He was finishing his run and was also upgraded on the leg back to LAX! Then, another long time reader and twitter follower Elijah is on his way into ATL so we meet briefly in the Skyclub (readers are really everywhere)! It was so good to fly with you George and fun to at long last meet you Elijah and I hope next time we have more time to chat.
The next two days really were mostly a blur and as I have talked about before that when you do a mileage run this long with just a few hours between each leg, the time begins to compress as you hop from east coast time to west coast time. I was totally stressed out about the up to 12 inches of snow that was forecast in MSP, but day one showed none and day two had just some flakes in the air. Both of the over nights were upgraded so I slept well and even ran into another reader getting off the redeye!
The one leg of the first 8 that did not get upgraded was a ATL-LAX 767-300 and I always pick row 26B if I can. It has less padding but I am all about leg room and this seat/row has it!
As you can see just how much room (much more than EC) and you will have both the tray table in front of you AND the one in your seat arm. Me “likeee”! I have already touched on the LAX Skyclub and my brief nap there before my day 2 night flight, but there were other musings along the way I wanted to share.
Most of us, me included, are just SICK of all the “enhancements” to the Delta program this year. One thing that Delta never ever seems to enforce is the Size Check (old size wise) box. I BEG you Delta to do this. If this were enforced and rather than allowing FREE gate check, Delta could make another few billion dollars this year and we would not run out of overhead space like we do now. This is the rare time I WANT a rule enforced, not winked at. How about you?
Now on to my last 4 flights. Only ONE of them, the last one home had cleared preflight. I expected the MKE-ATL to clear at the gate and maybe the ATL-LAX but as you can see, I ended up #1 on the upgrade list for BOTH of these flights with ZERO seats open in first class. I would rather, like the other day’s flight, to be a few slots down than to end in the #1 spot with no seats. Makes me CRAZY and is #TheReason2BeDiamond as I tweeted about. If I had been DM I would have made it on 11 of the 12 legs and maybe all 12 preflight. I look forward to reporting how things go on my next run late in May with a fellow blogger “Will Run For Miles” who is joining me on the next great adventure.
I used my phone for boarding most of the time, but checked in on my computer, printed the pass to a PDF, to get my free HOOU coupons, that I then sent to my phone, and each FA had NO problem putting in the code number into her/his hand unit to get me a free Woodford & Coke (thank you Delta). I also like that TSA Pre Check is showing up on the digital boarding pass as you can see.
So after two legs in coach and missing upgrades by just one I was ready for bed at the Sheraton Gateway LAX. I will review the hotel soon, but one fun thing I did was get my phone out to time how long it would take for a shuttle to get to me after my last 45 min wait for the Four Points LAX one. Before I had a chance to get the stop watch app on my phone going it pulled up. I just giggled and enjoyed the view of the planes taking off into the sunset for a while before bed. Amazing!
For my LAX-JFK (I got this routing BTW thanks to a schedule change after the MSP one got me home 2 hrs later than planned) I was #1 on the list. I dropped all the way down to #3 as a Platinum Medallion on a 6:AM flight on a Saturday. But as you can see with 11 seats open I scored the only battlefield upgrade of the trip and it was NICE.
The seat is much like the OLD 767-300 International birds. The service was also what I would call “international light” as there were mimosas to start and then a nice breakfast service. They have also found a great use for the remaining old horrid “Round Red” BE amenity kits, that is, use them on this route. 🙂
The only real irritation with the flight was the IFE or in-flight entertainment system. It has some very strange bugs going on.
As you can see, the titles and the links did not match up. On the next screen you just got whatever move it picked. So, you had to click on the preview and then hope that was the movie that started after that. Ah well. I know, #firstworldproblems!
We landed 15 minutes early in JFK and I went to the Skyclub. Chatted with a few people about points and such and then off to the gate, but my flight was delayed. I found it very funny that in NYC a pigeon stared down at me at my gate!
I can see why Delta is touting the new T4 so much and I hope it comes without the birds! And then guess what, my Pinnacle Jet was delayed by 2 hours. So back to the Skyclub and a $20 food voucher was printed for my dinner on the flight home!
Since this was my last flight as a Platinum, it is fitting that I had the ENTIRE first class cabin to myself. Seriously, I was the ONLY medallion on the flight and had my pick; I have never had that happen to me before.
So after a drive home that ended my 14,733 mile trip (if you count 400 miles driving round trip, I did break 15,000)! Now the math.
- My REAL cost for the trip was $635 for air so 4.2 CPM
- My haul of 32,181 is worth at least $322 so net 2.1 CPM (my math)
- I paid $24 parking, $15 tolls, and $68 in gas so $107 all-in.
So if you are keeping track, this year so far after my IST and SBN-LAX mileage runs I have spent a total of $1,293 of my own money to get 32,252 MQM’s (4 CPM) and well over 65,000 Skymiles. I also, as I crossed my Platinum Medallion threshold, could have picked 20,000 Skymiles but will use that to gift Silver Medallion to a reader for the SWAG Saturday gift in July. When I cross Diamond I get to pick 2 more Choice Benefits and will gift my wife GOLD and will pick 25,000 miles as my other gift to myself. Bottom line, even giving up 20,000 Skymiles, 90,000 total worth $900 brings my out of pocket cost down to just $393. I am just ONE BUMP away from break even for the YEAR! How sweet is that.
I was shocked that I did not get one bump in all 12 legs. I got very close a few times and at least one went with ZERO open seats and others with 1 or 2. Also today, as you read this, my AMEX Reserve card statement will close. At some point the 15,000 MQM’s from spending $30,000 this year will become available for me to choose whom I want to give them to (yeah me) and I will go from 112,000 MQM’s for the year to 127,000 and then after about 24hrs my Skymiles account should update to Diamond Medallion. The rest of my runs this year will be to build my totals for 2014 as I plan to rollover about 75,000 this year! – René
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