After my Sheraton MKE stay, then my Day 1 trip, Day 2 of my run started with a bit of a layover in MKE. The Skyclub there really is nice. They have the “luxury bar” open now for those who like that sort of thing. The Wifi speed is good and the club is near the gates. As I checked emails one alert after another came about a delay to my flight from DTW-SFO. The last one gave me 40 min to make my red eye back home. NOT GOOD! I almost pulled the trigger to change from MKE-DTW-SFO to MKE-JFK-SFO as there were a ton of 1st class seats open for upgrade on both flights and the JFK-SFO is a nice long flight with good food. But, on day two I got lazy and just did not want to fly to JFK (I really should have to check out the new SkyDeck and pick up more MQMs). Instead what I did was change to an earlier DTW-SFO flight, upgrade clearing, so I would have more time in SFO to play around. I wanted to try to get access to the Virgin Atlantic club in SFO and spend some more time looking around the airport.
The lunch flight was nice but there was no power on the A320. It has been a number of years since I was in SFO. As a wee lad I lived for a time in San Francisco and went to high school in the area.
The first thing I wanted to do was go and try to get into the Virgin Atlantic lounge. This lounge is accessed PRE security in the international terminal that you can walk to or take the train around the airport.
I missed the entrance as I was not looking for an overhead door. After walking back and forth I finally saw the sign. Closed? I rang on the delivery door bell and a rep came to the door. The club is only open when VA flights are to fly and I missed it and did not have the chance to try to get in. Next time.
So what to do next? How about a visit to an Xpress Spa. All of them are POST Security and not on Delta wing. However, there is no problem, other than time, getting into ANY of the concourses in the airport with a boarding pass for that day (even the international should you want to ‘try’ to get into the Air France lounge). If you like deep pressure massage, go ask for Thomas. He did a GREAT job and I felt refreshed and ready for the rest of my run.
Dinner next. I asked for the best spot to eat and was told the Firewood Cafe. There is one PRE security and one POST International wing. If you want a pizza go International if not PRE is the same food. I had a grilled steak skewers salad and it was nice.
I had pre-cleared my upgrades for my next two legs and all went without a hitch. My night flight to Atlanta went fast and I would have liked to have slept for about 2 more hours.
I had 2 hours in Atlanta and went over to the “F” concourse for a shower in the Skyclub and a look at the SkyDeck (no thanks for $50 but why not if you have an AMEX Reserve card). It is nice but small. If the weather is nice, it will be packed. If not, eh, not so much. I think it is a novel idea but not one Delta should expand. I like my deck at home, not in the air.
On to the nuts and bolts about this trip. This run was not the best ever cost but worth price due to tight schedule I have in July (this is only time that could work for a trip all month). Thus my cost breakdown was like this. I earned 10,774 MQMs due to my change in day 2 route from MKE-ATL-SFO to the shorter MKE-DTW-SFO but it was worth it for 1st class transcon! I netted 24,240 Skymiles as a Diamond Medallion. Thus:
- $503 all in or 4.7 CPM
- $242 back in value for SKYMILES
- Net raw cost $261 or 2.4 CPM (MQM cost that is)
So my total out of pocket spend so far this year is now up to $2100! I am over 157,000 MQM for the year (including rollover). I have also earned over 124,000 Skymiles. These are worth at least $1240 even at just a penny each value. So, worst case, out of pocket $860 + gas. How much more am I going to spend for the year? Under $2000 more and I am hoping one day to get a few bumps! This remaining spend should yield at least 40,000 more MQMs & 100,000 Skymiles so I can rollover 72,000 + 15,000 more bonus MQMs from AMEX Reserve spending by 31DEC2013.
I hope you are seeing my big picture math here. Yes I am burning days but thanks to GoGo I can both do CPU work and blog work in the air and in Skyclubs. I am spending almost $4000 for the year but am gaining well over 200,000 Skymiles. I have to go to Sweden many times a year. I always find 100k low level business seats. To buy a business class seat for $2000 is just a good value to me (ie the cost of amassing the Skymiles from the mileage runs). The other perk is Diamond Medallion status this year and a BIG start on next year. I am not saying this is for everyone, but it works for me and you can at least see the math.
Lastly it was out of MKE so I had a drive from South Bend to Milwaukee so there was a tank of gas and some tolls (about $110 all-in). I really am pleased with my progress in MQM earnings this year and the total cost. 2014 may be a hard year for me to fly as much so rolling over as much as possible will be a huge perk for my 2015 flying year! Are you on track for your goals for the year? – René
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