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Is a Break Even Delta Mileage Run possible? My day two run

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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.

Delta VPs at MKE airport delta points blog

I started day two landing where I started in MKE. One interesting tidbit I did not share from day one was the two passengers who were seated behind me. The two you see walking across the tarmac above were Delta VP’s who flew up from Atlanta in 1st class. While it is true that our Delta CEO does domestically always fly coach, it appears VP’s are either paying for 1st class tickets or are taking away upgrade chances from Delta Medallions (unless all of them upgraded already – possible – but doubtful from ATL).

So today, rather than heading back to ATL, I took the route via DTW. After some time enjoying the hospitality of the MKE Skyclub I took the very short hop over to Detroit. I was in the mood for another shower and found that the old ex-NWA Crown Room showers are truly lacking compared to the new ones in ATL (sorry no photos). The only thing they have going for them over their southern cousins is water presser.

The one fun thing I did have time to do before my hop onto my ride back to LAX was to meet a very fun reader, Ryan.

rene and ryan dtw airport delta points blog

It was so fun to meet you Ryan and you are even nicer in person than via twitter. I hope next time we see each other we have more than 5 minutes to talk about all things travel!

I boarded one of Delta’s old 767’s that has a really bad business class product. The seats are barely wider (½ an inch more) than the coach seats as Seat Guru shows and when the flyer in front of you reclines you have barely enough space to change your mind! Yep, it really is that bad and that is why I always TRY for row one for a day time flight to avoid this situation!

business transcon delta dinner 1st class food delta points blog

Dinner was, not the steak I missed out on from day one, but a different chicken dinner from my last trip just a week or so earlier to SFO. It was not bad and the service from the crew was perfect and one of the reasons I think so many fly Delta.

delta plane football

This was the first night of the NFL (as the Delta blog posted and @Delta tweeted as well). I was really looking forward to the game as this old bird, despite the bad seats, did have satellite TV. Well it was supposed to, but after several plane wide reboots of the IFE or in-flight entertainment system I ended up missing much of the game.

ife system rebooting delta airlines delta points blog

But, to make up for this issue, the crew was kind enough to use their nice new pocket windows8 phones / hand units and issue me 15,000 Skymiles for the IFE issue. A class act I must say and also, to me as a blogger, even of more valuable than the Skymiles was getting to see how the new units worked first hand. I had a receipt e-mailed to me inside of 1 hour and could see it thanks to GoGo. But, as this seems to be new technology, my receipt was blank so there must still be some tweaking to go! It also seems that much of what you will get for an issue is now pre-propagated into the hand units so my guess is a SILVER would get much less than a DIAMOND. Also, the length of your flight, less than 4 hours or more than 4 will have an impact on issues. As we get more data from readers we will have a better grasp of the tech behind the numbers.

xpressSpa LAX delta points blog

After this much fun, stress and days of travel it was time for a visit to the tiny, but very functional, xpressSpa in LAX. If you want an amazing deep tissue chair massage, ask for ALEX! He is not only good but very nice. I will ask for him each time I arrive in LAX!

Then it was back to the Alaska Boardroom as my departing gate was again on that side. I did not have much time but chatted points a bit with a nice gentleman who had gone to Notre Dame in his younger years.

My flight was a bit oversold so I went to the gate early and was #1 on the list. I move over to a secluded area away from the gate and all the mass of people and, thanks to too little sleep, was somewhat lost in my own world when a reader walks up to me and says “Rene, I love your work”. I will never get used to this and my shot of the reader and me did not turn out. I was so sleepy I did not even retain his name but it was fun to meet you on your mileage run too!

My overnight flight was fine just not long enough. Then I went to the North “A” Skyclub in DTW and sat down to check emails etc. Suddenly a flyer walks past and the voice sounds so familiar. I drop everything and rush after and as he walks out I say, “They let Texans in the Skyclubs now?” and Dave puts his head back in the door. I smile each time I think of Franklin’s and you, Dave and it was fun to see you even for just a minute!

So enough about all the fun on this two day run. What did the numbers this time look like. They turned out really good.

  • Fare total for both days combined was just $404
  • I earned 10188 MQM so a 4 cent CPM
  • Also I earned for flying as a DM 22,933 Skymiles
  • Due to the IFE issue 15,000 Skymiles
  • Grand total Skymiles was 37,923
  • Net, after Skymiles value of at least 1 cent each was just $25 for the run!
  • I have now earned 260,000+ Skymiles so fare for the year

Some other costs. I did have a tank of gas but this time took my time and avoided as many toll roads as I could. It did add about 45 min round trip but thanks to driving slower roads I burned less gas. My all in gas and tolls I could not avoid was $75. So, all in this trip was very cheap at about $100 all-in out of pocket for 10k MQMs!

So, my grand total for the year on mileage runs is now just under $3000 and I think that is not too bad when you look at my MQM totals for the year. I also burned a ton of Skymiles on a bunch of other trips, but they do not count toward spend. I still have a few more runs to go this year and the CPM is going to be very very good as I did not need them really but for the price why not have some fun.

Hope to see you in the air or on the ground some time soon! – René

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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. Loving all of this Rene!

    And in answer to your question–yep (about the mileage offerings for different statuses). I don’t have medallion status, but I am a loyal Delta flyer. My lack of medallion status is due in part to constantly flying personal, for which I book nonrefundable Economy, and the fact that my flights are local (DTW-BWI, BWI-FLL), etc.

    I recently had a DISASTER of a trip with Delta. Two bags sent on an earlier flight, bags stayed at our stopover instead of being checked through, an absolutely rude redcoat, and a failed attempt to issue tickets (since we missed our connection) on another airline, in a foreign country–where we didn’t have cell phones.

    I wrote Delta a very professional note explaining the happenings, as well as commending several of the employees who went above-and-beyond to remedy the situation. Reimbursement? 3,700 miles for each of us. And that INCLUDES the 1,098 miles we WOULD’VE gotten if we hadn’t missed our original connection? I was bummed to say the least.

    One day I’ll have status! 🙂

  2. TexasYankee Reply

    Rene is was great seeing you in DTW! I was a nice break from the brutality of a 28 hr mileage run … Hope to have more time next time we meet on the “run”!

  3. Stupid penguin. 😉

    As a UA flier the thought of a cabin crew member handing out miles in flight for an inconvenience almost made me pass out. I’m used to a 6-8 week wait and a 3-4 email exchange with “customer care”

    • @Chris – but I hear UA crews are nothing but nice and kindness and helpful and I hear phone reps are always kind and do anything for you and the seats on the UA flights are like sitting on a cloud and the planes never break down and IROPS are always taken care of fast.. errr… is this all true? 😉

  4. Don in ATL Reply

    Hi Rene, here’s another data point for IFE issues and miles compensation. I’m a PM and and earlier this year I took a flight in First (upgrade using coupon) from ATL to HNL. My inflight entertainment system did not work. The DL flight attendant told me she gave me 15K SkyMiles to compensate. She used her little charge machine (same as they use for onboard purchases) and it spit out a receipt saying 15K miles had been added to my account. She told me to please allow up to 2 weeks for processing. But when I checked that evening in HNL, the 15K had been added.

  5. Pingback: Delta NEWS roundup day – it has been a packed month so far! - Delta Points

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