Delta Mileage Run 11,000 Miles to SFO Part Two

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I started day two, after a very quick day one, with a 3 hour layover in Milwaukee (MKE) before my return flight to Atlanta (ATL). As much as I enjoy my time in MKE, there is just more to do in ATL. The flight I was on was making a return flight just 50 minutes after landing. Normally I would not like such a tight connection, but since the flight would not leave before I got there I requested a same day change (SDC) to the the 10:AM flight. I was approved and literally got off and then got back on.

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I got back to ATL and now had almost 6 hours to enjoy playing around. The first thing I did was go check out the new “Lounge Club” as I blogged about on Friday. After a shower and that visit it was time to try to get into trouble so to speak.

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I went over to the A club as that is where my next flight, many hours later, was departing from. The Chili’s that closed is now open as a new PF Chang’s. It looks great and I look forward to a visit next time around.

Then, right next door to PF Chang’s, is the Skyclub with a great view of the busy Delta airport. I was on the 6:ish flight. The good news was there were 5 seats open for upgrade. The bad news was I was #6 with many hours to go. Ruh roh! Time for another change if possible. I got on the medallion line and found the 4:30 flight had 4 seats but very few Diamonds. That was great news. I got the change and was now #1 on the upgrade list. Much better with very little time to go. Upgrade cleared and I was on my way now with more time to play in SFO!

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I did not get my favorite seat this time but ended up in 1E next to my favorite seat. That was fine. I was going to try the pasta for dinner on this flight since I had the chicken the day before. It was good I wanted that as there was no more chicken to be had by the time FeBo was done or start at the Front on Even flights and at the Back on Odd number flights. They did start in the back this time but you need to know this is not always followed on all Delta flights.

skyclubs at sfo airport delta points blog

This flight was also fine and uneventful. I landed a little early and it was time to go play. The first place was the VA lounge. No go again. Garage door was closed. Next stop, try to get into the Air France Lounge. It is through security on the International wing. The “rent-a-twit” at the start of the security line said I could not pass without an Air France boarding pass. Hogwash! I told him I absolutely could. He seemed ANGRY (you know the type). I asked him where his supervisor was so I could go get him and instruct him about his job. He got out his cell phone, made a call, then apologized and showed me to the 1st class line.

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I went upstairs and attempted entry to the Air France lounge. The attendant was very French, and informed me I could not gain entry even with my Skyclub membership card.

Air France loung SFO delta points blog (1)

I put on my best charm ( and having a French name maybe did not hurt ) and asked if I could just stay for a little while since I was here.

Air France loung SFO delta points blog (2)

She was kind enough to let me in. There were very few in the lounge and that may have had an impact on her choice to allow me to stay. The lounge really is very tiny. It has a Euro feel and has some nice snacks like ham & butter on a baguette bites.

snack Air France lounge SFO airport delta points blog

They were small but tasty and the wine was much better than anything free served in the Skyclub so it was worth the visit. Then time to find my next adventure.

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On the way out of the concourse I peeked in to the other Delta Skyclub in San Francisco that is only open till 2:PM each day.

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It looked nice from what I could see and may pop in next time if I am there in the morning. The only thing you must consider is how far away you are from the Delta flights if you want to visit this lounge so plan for extra time to get back to the domestic Delta wing.

shuttle from sfo term1 to term3 delta points blog

I was at this point in the journey ready for a visit to the xpressSpa. Last time, Thomas, in Term 2 did a great job. I called to see if he was working. They let him go – idiots! Ah well. I attempted to go to Term 2 anyway and ended up accidentally in Term 1 where the Alaska lounge is. The worst part of this was there is no xpressSpa in this wing. Grrrr. I was getting tired of security visits but found there is a free shuttle from Term 1 to Term 3 from United. Thank you United as there is an xpressSpa in Term 3. Perfect. Mr. Long gave a great deep tissue chair massage and I felt great and ready for my return flight that was to be in coach as all of 1st, on every flight, was full. I was told Thursday night is always that way out of SFO. Lesson learned. Don’t fly out of SFO on a Thursday night and expect an upgrade on a cheap ticket! 😉

priminister tibet landing in sfo delta points blog

Another fun thing was on the way back I almost had a chance to meet the prime minister of Tibet. I though about hanging around and giving him a Delta Points luggage tag but did not want to create an international incident so went on to the Skyclub and then TSA Pre and boarded the flight for my destined Economy Comfort front row seat for the night flight home.

dennis and rene delta mileage run delta points blog

At this point in the trip I have run into two blog readers already. I sit down, start talking to the Platinum Medallion million miler next to me and also start to chat to a nice gentleman stuck in the limited leg room window seat. I say hello and he says, you guessed it, “René right”? Uh, yes! Dennis reads the blog and is on, get this, a 14 leg mileage run. WOW! He is a Diamond Medallion and it was great to get to know you Dennis and look forward to seeing you again soon my friend! Good times.

So how did I do on this trip? This again was the only flights I could take in my very busy August. I paid $484 all in but earned 11,003 MQMs and 24,757 RDMs for 4.4 CPM. My totals for the year are up a bit and the recent devaluation of Skymiles business class redemption had lowered the value of my points a bit but for full flats I will put up with the change. After my next run I will update the total spend so far for the year. – René


PS – this is #Developing – check back!


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  1. I am surprised you scored SDCs on a mileage run ticket. Doesn’t it bite to be diamond and #6 (or worse) on the upgrade list.

  2. @John – nah, for me the SDC is not been an issue much yet. I had booked PRE 22APRIL change on this one but rep said there were seats in my fareclass so OK either way. As to upgrade list – ATL – LAX or ATL – SFO are hard. TONS of DM’s!

  3. René, when you said ” I got on the medallion line and found the 4:30 flight had 4 seats but very few Diamonds.” – how did you know their elite level? my Upgrade Lists (website and iOS app) only show the queue with first three letters of the surname.

  4. One of your best columns in a while. Really enjoyed it. Very down to earth and easy to read. I don’t know why TSA makes it a struggle to clear security when they know you are allowed to go to a different terminal if you want to with any BP that day….

  5. Rene – I fly Delta SJC-LAX-RDU twice a month and would appreciate if you could please provide some insight on how to ensure max MQMs collected to ascend the Skymiles Medallion ladder.

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