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A simple 1st class Delta mileage run to San Francisco – what could go wrong? – part two.

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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.

After arriving from my positioning flights with the only issue being my mistake to miss out on $200 in vouchers as well as some kind of upgrade cert. I had a little bit of time to kill before reader Graydon showed up from Atlanta (ATL) to begin our run out to San Francisco (SFO).

delta app showing incoming jet to MCI from ATL delta points blog

I was able to pull up his incoming bird as it would be the same one we were going out on. Being able to track the location of your connecting aircraft is a neat new feature of the fly Delta app, but as you can see this time it seemed to be just a tiny bit off. Then delays started to roll-in on my app. Ruh-Roh.

As it turned out Graydon’s jet ended up ½ way to Kansas City (MCI) when the weather radar broke. The place to fix it was ATL so they turned back. That resulted in a much delayed flight. There was no way we were going to make our 45 minute connection to fly to Los Angeles (LAX) and then on to SFO. I had picked that route to try out the Delta shuttle between LAX & SFO.

I got on the phone and called the Diamond Medallion line and was rerouted to the direct ATL to SFO flight departing at about 9:30PM. I was assured by the DM rep that we would get original route credit and she even said she noted the record (and as of today I now have the points). This did however mean no dinner as Delta stops serving food, even in first on a 5 hour flight, after 8:30PM so be aware of that when picking flights.

delayed flight meal vouceher

Since dinner was out due to Delta’s broken jet it was time to find a red coat since they are now the only ones who can print food vouchers under the latest enhancements from Delta. We at last made our uneventful trip to ATL and the service was good arriving with a few hours to spare.

The Delta HVC ground service was waiting to take someone to their next gate but it was not us. Just as well we were not going to our next gate anyway but off to dinner.

patio one flew south atl airport delta points blog

So here we were in ATL and due to a long layover a visit to One Flew South for dinner on the patio.

rene and graydon one flew south atl airport delta points blog

dinner one flew south delta points blog

We had a chance to enjoy a somewhat leisurely dinner before boarding our flight to SFO. The bird was also downgraded to a smaller 757 so rather than being in the next to the last row we were in the last row of business with reduced recline. Ugg. Plus this one had no IFE either. Ugg again. Such is life I planned for a nap before my next nap coming back from SFO anyway. We pulled out from the gate, went a few gates toward the runway, and then stopped. Ruh Roh – again!

The captain then comes on the PA and says we have an issue and are going to have to pull into an open gate to see what is wrong. Tech’s come on board and we are told we will know if we can fly in 5-10 minutes. Now we only had 45 minutes to SFO to make our redeye back home so this did not look promising. Then we were told we would have to move to a replacement jet. Not gonna work for us as no way plus we would not make our return flights home from MCI the next day either. We could have had those moved but better to just skip SFO and overnight in ATL as we would get route credit anyway.

packed atl airport delta points blog

The GAs were not helpful and told us they did not “do” re-books anymore (really?) and directed us to a ridiculously long line of people at the service desk. Not gonna happen so off to the Skyclub where a very helpful rep was able to not only fix our AM flights back to MCI but a room at the Crown Plaza, also known as Delta’s sublet apartment’s, that I have reviewed before.

my room view and club room crown plaza atl airport delta points blog

Now I know Delta room vouchers are very low contracted rates, but each time I have been at an SPG hotel they have extended me all the Platinum privileges I normally get (other than points). IHG, well, not so much. I had to push to get club level access and was given an outstanding room across from the elevators with a view to die for (well sorta). IHG treats their Platinum’s so well!

After breakfast in the club room that was good, a long-ish ride to the airport making many stops at Delta CORP locations to drop off Delta people, and then enjoying the ATL construction zones, as MJ on Travel talked about, on the way to the terminal I made it to my flight and a nice ride back to MCI.

So how did this one work out and what did I pay and earn? This one I flat out paid for out of pocket as it really was a good price for business class. Here are the numbers:

  • Paid $533
  • Earned 8,958 MQMs at 6CPM
  • Earned 16,442 Skymiles
  • Earned at least 474 SPG CrossoverRewards points
  • Earned some Skybonus points (that have yet to post)
  • Under Skymiles2015 I would have earned 5,863 Skymiles

I was pleased Delta was so cooperative with awarding route credit but after two broken birds on one trip I really would not expect any less. I was impressed, as usual, with the Diamond Line and their outstanding service and help. Skyclub reps were great as well as Delta FAs. Despite all the issues I really had a fun run and Delta took good care of me – even when having to ask to get what I wanted! – 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. So because of the issues, you were able to cancel ATL-LAX-SFO-LAX-ATL and still get route credit, and the allowed the ATL-Origin flight to exist?

    • @Noah – Most times, if there are issues, you can request route credit you had booked even when put onto another airline (you can get credit with that airline too btw). Since it was a DL broken plane issue yes I got the full credit for what was booked.

  2. How do you get route credit for so many segments without actually flying? If the ATL-SFO flight eventually went out, albeit on another plane, why wouldn’t Delta require you to BIS these flights for the mileage credit?

    • @Mitch – we would not have made our return flight and then also it would have affected the next PRN as well. Don’t get me wrong, most times, I would rebook for better flights, add legs, fly the next day, have the rep move the other PNR one day later and enjoy EXTRA points as now we can pick REALLY crazy flights and add even MORE points. But due to time this just worked best. Gotta know what the airline is willing to do and not to do for you.

  3. I use the LAX-SFO shuttle at least 16 times a year (in one direction or the other) and it’s GREAT. They advertise it as offering SkyPriority on all purchased tickets, but I don’t think that’s true. As a PM, I think I’ve had 2 flights in economy comfort–the rest have all been upgraded. Free newspapers, free beer and wine, those little boxes of vegetables…it doesn’t get much better on an hour-long flight.

  4. Why in the world would the GA’s not help you?

    I don’t get it. They see you’re a DM and know you’re going to run to the SKYCLUB to get help and maybe even complain about them in a email to delta.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to tell you, “Can you go to the SKYCLUB and have someone there help you? This way you can get more personal attention.”

    I’m positive they act that way so that other customers don’t ask for the same benefits and then have to argue the point. But, why argue with you?

  5. That was a fun run Rene! Not a bad chain of events for my second MR ever. I finally got credit for the run after Tweeting @DeltaAssist but somehow my positioning flight credit has now vanished. I’ll hit up Twitter again when I have a moment.

    At least you got more than 4 hours sleep before heading back to ATL at 6:00 am.

  6. Just checked my SPG CrossoverRewards and I received 791 but that includes my TPA>MCI positioning trip. Thanks for the reminder and everyone should take advantage of an opportunity to earn some easy (no effort) SPG points!

  7. Regarding “IHG, well, not so much”,

    I have had excellent luck with the Crowne Plaza LAX and Intercontinental ORD in similar situations but with United vouchers. Always get a good room, full benefits and haven’t had to argue to receive them. My favorite thing is that IHG nights earn points while using United vouchers at SPG or Hilton do not earn points.

  8. Curious…nothing to do with mileage runs, but of a non-refundable ticket has anyone ever sued the airline for refund of taxes, etc.? I sort of understand the actual airfare of a non refundable ticket, but surely the taxes and fees should be refunded.

  9. Pingback: Should we fear the newest "enhancement" of selling upgrades online? - Delta Points - Delta Points

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