Another day, another Delta mileage run, another 10,000+ MQM’s & 24,000+ Skymiles Part One

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delta MD jet MKE airport delta points blog

I love the trill of the hunt. There are so many reasons to ‘know’ our Delta. I had booked this mileage run, day one, MKE-ATL-SFO. However, the day of the trip, Delta downgraded my transcon flight to a 757 with a bunch less 1st class seats – not good! I also had not cleared my upgrade pre-flight so I was already looking at options before the downgrade occurred. I purchased my ticket pre-SDC (same day confirm/change) rule change thus it was free to change as a Diamond Medallion and I was able to adjust it simply as I did not have to worry about my fare class being open for a change (the new rule).

I called the medallion line from long term parking and asked to SDC to MKE-DTW-SFO instead. My DTW-SFO segment upgrade cleared instantly – YES! – and the MKE-DTW looked doubtful but it is only a 45 min flight anyway. I did end up with an exit row with an empty middle seat.

When I got to the Skyclub in DTW I found my flight was delayed into SFO by ground control so my layover in SFO shrunk but it did give me time to pop into the Skyclub at the other end of the A concourse near my gate.

art - rene in the skyclub dtw delta points blog

I walked in and got a look from a tall gentleman in the first seating area by the front desk. I walked over and was asked:

” Are you René from Delta Points “?

and found out it was blog reader Art and his wife on a mileage run (Delta Points blog readers are just everywhere)! It was good to meet you Art and to chat about points and miles for a bit and hope to see you up in the air some time again soon.

Then it was time to board and take my delayed flight to SFO. The Delta crews were great, dinner was grilled chicken and was good and we made up most of the time in the air and landed just slightly delayed in SFO.

delta flight view from first class delta points blog

Landing this time at the SFO airport was a bit surreal. The Asiana jet is gone from the runway but there are still containers and other equipment off to the side of the runway.

SFO airport delta points blog

Even though a little delayed, I did have enough time to check out the Alaska Board Room lounge. If you exit the Delta wing through security and turn left, after a very short walk, it is in the B wing of Terminal 1. You will have to pass security to get to either the Delta or Alaska lounge so keep that in mind.

walk to Alaska lounge SFO from Delta wing Delta points blog

Security, when I handed them my boarding pass, said “Oh you are on Delta”, and I said, “Yes I am going to the Alaska Board room club” and I was granted access as you can enter any of them with the same day travel boarding pass.

alaska club sfo airport delta points blog

The Alaska club is very tiny. They have a few morning perks like pancakes and some other drink options so if they are important to you it may be worth the short trek.

alaska amber ale alaska board room sfo airport delta points blog

It takes only a few minutes to walk there from the Delta side (as long as security lines are short that is). To get in you need to be a Skyclub member or have a card like the NON-Delta AMEX Platinum card.

Delta SkyClub SFO airport Delta Points blog (2)

After a quick tour I headed back to the Delta wing and went upstairs, just outside security, to the Delta Skyclub since the Alaska club closes at 9:PM each day. The Delta Skyclub is nice size; not huge but similar to a B/C size in DTW (maybe a little smaller).

Delta SkyClub SFO airport Delta Points blog

As pointed out, it is outside security so plan time for that. On the plus side SFO does now have TSA Pre Check up and running for Delta and some other airlines so you can most times zip back through after your club visit.

My return flight upgrade cleared at the gate so I got a good nights sleep other than being in row 1 that has a bulk head wall on a 767 domestic. For me it is all about leg room and row 1 business does not have it.

pop-up thunderstorms at altitude delta jet delta points blog

My last leg had upgraded a few days back and I dozed a bit as we flew around some pop-up storms  to finish up day one. I had a few hours to catch up in the MKE Skyclub before starting my day 2 adventure. This is where things started to go wrong! Stay tuned tomorrow for what happened next, my attempt to get into the Virgin Atlantic lounge as well as how my final numbers worked out. – René

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  1. Rene, I understand doing a MR or two if you are short miles for a big award or if you it is year-end and a few MQMs are needed to reach the next Medallion level. Makes perfect sense.

    Call me a rookie to the points game(or maybe just jealous), but I struggle to justify the investment of time to do MRs with the purposes being just to collect miles for, say, vacation travel. Say this MR gets you 25,000 miles and takes two days. For you and your dear Lisa to make that trip to Europe in Business class, you need eight such MRs, which is sixteen days. Plus probably a full day is lost booking those MRs. I know we all have different motivations and priorities, but I certainly would not give us 17 (two months worth of weekends) days with my family for the benefits of flying Business award vs Coach award, or even Coach award vs coach paid. My time and energy is too valuable. I applaud you for finding something that works for you. I need to find out what works for me.

  2. Rene you are the best. I just read Part 2 and felt as if you were directly talking to me in response to the above comments.

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