A quick Delta mileage run before the #ChicagoSeminars 2013

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Tonight I will be talking about all things Delta at the Chicago Seminars as well as this Sunday when I moderate the Delta breakout airline session. Since this weekend will be all about learning, I thought I would touch on some of the things I did and maybe the tips can help you.

So, how do I get to Chicago? Clearly the most direct route. That would a quick mileage run MKE-ATL-LAX-DTW-MKE and then drive down to Chicago ;-). This was just a quick trip tossed in because I was so close to MKE (1 hr drive) from the Seminars host hotel. That, and the $161 price!

All of my upgrades had cleared pre-flight other than the ATL-LAX flight. Rather than a wide body 767 I was on a 757 with few 1st class seats. Not good. Also, after checking in for the flight, I was deep down on the upgrade list for a gate upgrade. I was not going to get this upgrade. That was not acceptable.

Most of us know that Delta changed the SDC or Same Day Confirmed / Change rules back in April. Before there just had to be a seat in the same cabin. Now the rule is same fare class. I was expecting never to be able to SDC again but surprisingly have had little issue so far. Also now you can change 24hrs before the flight. Nice.

I got to work and looked at all flights to MKE-???-LAX. Atlanta was bad. Only a few seats. Detroit, the same thing. New York, while many more MQMs, did not work as I needed to leave late in the day from MKE so that was out. What I did find was a Minneapolis flight with 9 open 1st class seats and few Diamonds on the upgrade list so far. The only downside was this would cut just over 500 MQMs off my mileage run but I was happy to give them up for a much better shot at an upgrade.

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Now I was confirmed MKE-ATL and when I switched to MKE-MSP that upgrade did not follow me over. This is another thing to keep in mind when you do one of these changes (as well as “Trip Extras”)! I was #1 with 4 open on the first leg. By the time I got to MKE I was #3 with 3 open. I cleared as they were boarding 1st class and gosh I am happy not to be J.RUD as I hate missing an upgrade by 1 seat (sorry J.RUD if you are a blog reader)!

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Backing up a bit, while driving to MKE the open seats on the second leg MSP-LAX were dropping off fast. I went from #1 on the list to #3. Open seats quickly dropped from 9, to 6, then 5. Now I would not have been happy to give up over 500 MQMs and still ride in coach. But as I was walking from the Skyclub to the gate my upgrade cleared and my new boarding pass was waiting at the gate (I could see this via the Delta phone app i.e. my name disappeared on the top of the list thus I knew I cleared).

Another interesting tidbit from a conversation with some Diamonds waiting in the gate area. There were two talking and I asked if their upgrades had cleared. One had, one had not. I asked if they both had the Delta AMEX Reserve card. One did (the cleared one) the other did not. You all know I have two of them, both personal and business!

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The result was a nice dinner on the flight. The only bad thing about the flight was that I wasted a few hours of my life watching The Lone Ranger that I had not seen in a theater. Oh my, was that a bad movie. Watch anything else if you are on a Delta flight with IFE (and whatever you do, don’t pay for it if in coach)!

To make myself feel better after my “stressful” two flights in first I went back to see Alex at the XpressSpa and he did his usual outstanding work on my aching back. If you have the time, pay him a visit; nothing like a 10-20min chair massage to make you feel great (and you get to use the massage chairs free afterwards too)!

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Then off to the Alaska club for a quick non-SkunkyGate beer before my ride home as the Boardroom closed at 10:PM and my flight was at 11:PM.

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That wraps up this latest run. So what did the numbers end up looking like after the change? As you can see from the handy dandy CWSI.net “Sky Calc” I am expecting to get 4515 MQMs and over 10,000 Delta points as well. My CPM 3.6 but could have been 3.2 if I had been willing to ride in coach. I think that was a “good trade kemosahbee” – René

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  1. You mentioned in your earlier post a flight with “only a few Diamonds on the upgrade list so far”…..how do you determine number of Diamonds/Plat/Gold on a certain flight? I don’t think I am missing anything but am curious!

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