Delta Mileage Run ~13,000 MQMs & ~29,000 Skymiles for $361 ALL-IN!

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sjc delta mileage run totals delta points

This past week was an epic Delta mileage run and I thought I would start with the breakdown. The deal out of Chicago was not on my radar, but the price was so good I just had to book it. Plus, the mileage I ended up with was just remarkable thanks to a schedule change or two! As you can see from the above, with help from, I raked in almost 13,000 MQMs and almost 29,000 Delta points for this run. Amazing! The breakdown goes like this:

Cost for the two tickets $361 / 2.8CPM
Gas and toll $51
Parking $20
Car rental and gas $23
Grand total $455

I had a $25 credit e-Gift card from my $50 e-Gift card I purchased with my FlexPerks card as a credit from my last FlexPerks points redemption in May (you can get a $25 bag credit so I got a Delta e-Gift card). A Skymile is worth at least, when you do Pay with Miles, 1 cent each so I have at least $289 in value back. Personally I value a Skymile at 2-3 cents each, but let’s stay on solid math here. So my net all in cost was $166/12,846MQM= 1.3CPM! Compare that to when Delta last year sold you MQMs for $995/10,000= 10CPM and you can see, as I talked about in the previous week’s Rookie Wednesday, the logic of doing a good mileage run when it pops up.

skyclub door ORD Chicago airport delta points blog

I have to say there are few times I have even been to a Skyclub before it opens, but this was the case at 4:45AM day one of my run starting at ORD.

economy comfort front row delta points blog

After waking up a bit, I started this trip badly. Yep, my upgrade did not clear. But I ended up in the front row of Economy Comfort with the middle seat open. It was not all bad.

This run / route was amazing. To go in a few days: ORD-ATL-MSP-LAX-SJC-LAX-DTW-ORD-DTW-MSP-SJC (OVERNIGHT) LAX-JFK-ORD was going to be a stretch and the connections were tight. This is one of the may reasons I love my Delta. All of the flights were more or less on-time (tell me if you could get this on other airlines – NO)!

Now when you are flying this much, it almost all become a blur. It was truly a “Fun Run” but went fast. I ate well. Enjoyed nice wine and great service.

food photos delta points mileage run

I got to fly with a range of unique people. Some, who flew private jets most of the time and had to slum it in first class to others who I can’t wait to fly with again who had never ever seen the blog or even come to know about BoardingArea or FlyerTalk or Milepoint but were as crazy about points as I am.

767-300 full flat seats delta points blog

12 of my 13 upgrades cleared as a Diamond Medallion with the Delta Reserve card (if you don’t think the Delta AMEX Reserve card makes a difference you are fooling yourself as I blog this on BE transcon with a PM who upgraded to 1st class who has the Reserve card).

the club at sjc entrance delta points blog

After my overnight in SJC I had a chance to check out the Club in SJC (since there is no Skyclub). I got in free from one of my two visits from my Chase INK PLUS card.

the club in sjc delta points blog

It is a very nice club with some very light breakfast snacks and a full bar as well as showers. Then it was on to JFK and my upgrade did clear as we taxied to the gate in LAX. LAX-JFK really is an international “light” flight with nice perks and meals.

old world port jfk delta points blog

This was my first visit to T4X. I landed in T2 and was out of T2 but had roughly 2 hrs so wanted to pop over and see the new SkyDeck there.

NYC SkyDeck Delta points blog

First, like so many other have said, T4X is HUGE and it takes forever to walk the length of it plus the shuttle bus does not drop you near the club but at the other end. The club itself is big and was packed. The SkyDeck was nice but I literally only had time to shoot some photos and head back to T2. It takes about an hour round trip. Ugg.

crj900 delta airlines jfk delta points blog

I will say I had a very nice flight on Endeavor Air (the old Pinnacle Air) and if Delta could just move some CRJ700 & 900’s into SBN I would be happy beyond belief.

For this trip I did stay 3 nights total at SPG hotels for this one. A night before the run at the ALOFT ORD as well as the night I got back. I also stayed one night in SJC. I used SPG points for each stay and that cost me 11,000 points, but to me this was worth it for the 3 stay credits.

Over all this was an exceptional run. Everything worked perfect. From the price, to the drive, to the hotels, to the schedule changes, to the weather, to the upgrades, to the on-time flights to everything – it all worked. I love flying Delta and this trip is just one of the many reasons why! – René

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  1. Have you ever done a post on how you find these crazy deals? I have no idea how you’d even begin to find such a complicated route at such a cheap price.

  2. Hi Rene, I guess I’m thick. Can you explain how you got a $50 e-Gift card purchased with your FlexPerks card as a credit from your last FlexPerks points redemption? I know FlexPerks covers up to $50 per ticket in airline fees, but how & where did you turn that into an e-gift card?

  3. Don’t you think you should factor in the “lost opportunity” cost of 11K SPG points (like for a “real” use) into your CPM calculation?

  4. Any suggestions for me?
    I am out of DTW, have 53,682 MQM’s and need to at least make Plat this year…
    Wish I could make diamond but I think that is out of reach.
    I plan on doing a DTW to HKG trip and I have a DTW to MIA and DTW to JFK before the end of the year.

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