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Note to self: DeltaMileageRuns booked in 1st class are SOOOO much better!

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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.

april 1st class delta mileage run

Sometimes you just have to splurge. It is also much simpler splurging when you are spending Delta’s money from a bump from my last run. But I will talk numbers in a little bit.

717-200 delta mdw airport delta points blog

I had two goals with this fun run. The first was to get onboard Delta’s “new” (i.e. new to Delta) 717-200 and get lots of photos to post on the blog. I also wanted to try the 1st class seats and the best way to guarantee that is book in 1st – duhh!

midway park saver

That worked just fine but I still did not want to pay an arm and a leg and as long time readers know the only thing that EVER flies out of SBN is a CRJ200 (unless the president is visiting then we get a 747)! Thus I booked from Midway (MDW) in Chicago; for me it is only about a 2 hour drive vs the 30 min drive to South Bend (SBN). Parking was a “cheap” $11 a day with an online coupon and the lot is just across from the airport.

climbing out of chicago

My route was great. MDW-ATL-SFO-ATL-DTW-MDW. It really was a decent day with weather the day before and more weather on the way for my return but the climb out of Chicago was nice.

Flying over downtown Atlanta delta points blog

As well as the approach into Atlanta. I had a chance to enjoy some quality Skyclub time including more chair massages

garretts popcorn in the delta skyclub

And some Garretts Chicago popcorn. Sweet (no really this stuff is very sweet but I love it)!


Then it was time to enjoy my ride out to SFO. The Captain was just the BEST and let me get a shot sitting in seat 0A the best seat on any jet IMO!

steak dinner delta 1st class delta points blog

Then time for dinner and I had the beef again. This time it was not great but not bad. I have had it very nice, very bad and now this. So, just know there is little consistency with this choice.

delta ife system rebooting again and again on atl-sfo trip delta points blog

The only real big frustration of this near perfect day so far was that the IFE or “in flight entertainment” just did not work in the 1st class cabin (did not ask about coach). The FAs rebooted the system. Then again, and again and at last 5 times. Maddening. At last they gave up and I did too in trying to watch anything on it. It did result in the FA giving me 15,000 miles due to the issue ( would have been 5,000 if I was in coach btw ).

work on the new SFO skyclub delta points blog

On landing it is obvious to everyone and this is also the other thing I wanted to accomplish on this run that is the progress on the new Delta Skyclub in SFO. I was not able to get any inside info from Delta CORP but did chat up a bunch of reps in the area. The basics are it will be on the air side or secure side of the terminal unlike the current one that is on the land side. As to ready time? Late summer was what I was told.

breakfast at the F skyclub atlanta delta points blog

Then it was back to Atlanta for my redeye and I almost got bumped off the flight but it went out even. I was happy I did fly as I got to see the updated breakfast bar in the F club in ATL.

rene delta points blog with readers SkyDeck Atlanta

More importantly I got to meet two great readers on the SkyDeck! It was so good to meet you both and hope to see you again soon (had to do my best Randy “point” with Noah).

the snack basket 1st class delta points blog

Then it was on to DTW or Detroit before my hop to MDW or Midway. For some reason the snack basket in 1st on these short-ish hops is getting very disappointing to me. I would like some kind of real choices but such is life. I got my own sub in ATL and enjoyed it on the lunch flight that had no lunch.

sandwiches in the DTW skyclub delta points blog

I did have a chance upon landing to check out the subs in the A club in DTW. I was not hungry but had just one to test. They are OK really and a nice upgrade. Worth $29? Giggle – NO! But nice if you are in free already.

Now is where the fun began. My flight to MDW was oversold by a BUNCH. They needed two of us. They had to overnight me in DTW but I was AOK with that and they rebooked me the next day the only way they could that is DTW-MSP-MDW or via Minneapolis to Chicago. I said I did not care as long as I had a confirmed seat. $400 voucher and hotel was presented but even a Red coat would NOT print a meal voucher for me for a 12 hour delay! I was told it was either hotel OR food now (really – you are just not being honest Ms. Redcoat but I let it go)!

The next morning I was at the gate when it OPENED. I was the 1st to volunteer and the flight was VERY oversold to MSP (by 18). The way this went down was the most crazy I have ever seen. The GAs were very disorganized. The told me and another volunteer they 100% will need us. Then last minute, I mean at last call, the GA took us two and about 10 others and just in MASS told us to follow her down the jet bridge – we all ran to keep up. She then started to just “throw” people into seats. “You sit there, and you sit there” etc. The only problem was there was 1 more in the group than open seats so I followed the GA off the jet and bumped again for $400.

By this time, the direct DTW-MDW flight that was completely oversold last night was wide open and I was moved to that flight. It was VERY foggy and my guess is some flights did not make it and thus the open seats.

So how did I do. Now some of this is my math. You see I only count a credit or a voucher when I spend them NOT when I earn them. This is just me. I purchased the ticket in 1st class for $675 round trip but had a $500 voucher from before so my out of pocket cost was $175. So the numbers were:

  • Cost $175
  • Earned 16,401 Skymiles for flying
  • Earned 14,713 Skybonus points for flying
  • Earned 8,946 MQMs at just 2 CPM!

So all-in, across all the platforms and options, I earned over 55,000 points for this little trip. Oh that and I earned back 2x$400 bump vouchers so another $800 on top of that. Now I did have to drive to MDW from SBN (South Bend) but I intentionally avoided as many tolls as I could. My gas, tolls and parking totaled $60. Add in my incidentals like lunch and such and up to about $250 in real cost for the trip. Not bad! Plus, for those asking, yes I earned MQDs and as you can see ALL points even spending Delta bump money for part of the trip (would have been the same if spent ALL Delta bump money as well).

So that wraps up this fun run and I am now done flying for about a month. Next month I have another 1st class run, a trip to see my nephew get married, then later this summer my last Lufthansa 1st class flight likely ever with my United points booked PRE-Devalutiaon of their program. I can’t wait! – 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. René, it was a beautiful day on the SkyDeck and it was only surpassed by the “DeltaPoints” luggage tags.

    I really get a kick out of the “bump” stories because when I hear the words “over sold”, I just put my head down and hand the GA my ticket to get on the plane.

    Maybe one of these days I’ll try one of these MR’s for fun.

  2. Fascinating milage run. I have always thought it was taboo to do a milage run on a first class fare, however, this one obviously had a big payback. Have a great time in LH 1st.

  3. Are you just checking with the gate agent when they show up or is there another way to check if a flight is oversold?

  4. I find it fascinating to read these, but since my time isn’t free, the economics would be very different.

    • @john – some of us also just love to fly and when you can get paid to fly even better. MR’s are not for all that is for sure.

  5. Have a quick question in regards to potential mileage reimbursement for IFE’s not working. I just got back from a European trip with the family. The IFE’s did not work on the way back. The power was out at our seats also. I did get 15,000 miles. Should I push for more since my wife and two young daughters were with me? It was a long flight back without entertainment.

  6. Don in ATL Reply

    Just getting around to reading this one. Funny thing about that beef short ribs. I too have had them 3 times and each time it was very different: one great, one awful and one average. Why the kitchens Delta contracts cannot maintain consistency is beyond me. Love your blog. Thanks Rene!

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