An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: The planning of the run

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An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: The planning of the MEGADelta run – Part 1
An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: Positioning to LAX the start city – Part 2
An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: A review of the SPG Sheraton LAX – Part 3
An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: Skyteam Lounge hopping in LAX – Korean Air lounge LAX & more? – Part 4
An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: The run to Sweden & embracing Delta coach travel – Part 5
An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: The KLM coach experience & the run from Sweden – Part 6
An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: Alaska Boardroom LAX vs Delta Skyclub & flight from LAX home – Part 7
An 18,000+ point Delta Mileage Run: Final thoughts, cost & more – Part 8

how many delta miles rene will fly insept

So how does one plan to fly 18,000+ miles over a few days? Well ya really don’t. You see, my BFF-NAI or best friend forever Norwegian Airlines decided to offer REALLY low prices (sub-$600) from LAX i.e. Los Angeles to Gothenburg or GOT, my mom’s home town, and Skyteam matched them. How can one pass up a deal this good? Also, when really good deals pop up like this you book first and ask questions later. After all, I have 24 hours to cancel (under MOST circumstances) with Delta.

I booked it as soon as I could as I had a $400 voucher driving the price for the run down under $200 all-in and then I paid the rest with my Barclays Arrival+ card and used points to cover it. So far this trip is FREE for me. Sweet.

But how do I get to LAX? Plus, I would have to overnight and I want to avoid checking any bags for greater bumpertunites as well as since they are much happier to work with you when there are no bags to pull (especially on international flights)! Lastly I didn’t want to check my carry-on, and since the bag is a tiny bit big, and I don’t want to get blasted by readers again, I need to avoid CRJs 😉 (and never plane side check in winter in MSP btw)! The only problem would be I would have to drive a bit to get to an airport with “real” jets. That meant either MDW 2 hours-ish, ORD 2.5, MKE & IND 3 hrs or GRR 2 hrs away. Thankfully GRR had a nice choice under $400 so I could pay for that ticket with 20,000 FlexPerks points and both EARN MQMs & Skymiles and have very little out of pocket (max $94 or less). #Winning!

On to lodging. The simplest choice would be the Sheraton LAX. The cost is just 7,000 SPG points and I am very much in need of more stay credits to keep my Platinum status for next year. I had booked at the Club Carlson LAX but that “disappeared” and I did not want to risk that possible situation. So this was my pick pre and post run for a total of 13,000 points that included my Platinum benefit of 500×2 points rebate back for the two stays! The review of this Sheraton stay(s) is up later on.

So far so good but my flights are not quite perfect for either of the trips. The times are not perfect either and the equipment is not the best but the other flights are WAY more money and I wanted to stay under $400 all-in to not spend more FlexPerks points for the positioning flights. But, the mighty, and expected, schedule change happened again and again and I ended up on a 777 that has full flat seats in first (plus a bunch of 1st class seats) on the way out and the perfect times for the return trip. Gosh I love this rule with Delta – it makes flying so much fun!

So how did the upgrades and flights go? That is up next but I will say the day before I had, of 3 possible upgrades, only 1 cleared during the pre-check-in upgrade window before my 1st flight (so what about the rest – stay tuned)! – René

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.


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  1. Maybe I’m blind, but I don’t see anything wrong in the video of the MSP plane side check. Yeah there’s a little snow getting on the bags, but no worse than if they were being loaded in a rainstorm that could happen anywhere.

  2. @Brian – I guess, as I mentioned in the video, I would have removed the large pile of snow at the bottom of the chute.

  3. René, I like that you are using Barclay points to reimburse your “travel related” expenses. I do the same with Capital One Venture. Is there any other card that has that benefit? Can you do the same with USBank Flexperks, etc.?
    Thank you in advance.

  4. @Sebastian – You can for air travel but not the same way. In the next post I cover how I paid for the flight TO LAX with the Flexperks card.

  5. Got you! It is not as great as CapOne Venture or Barclay Arrival. I recently paid for a Disney cruise splitting the costs in $500 on each card for me and my wife. That is like $2000 in travel that you can pay with points. Specially for the Disney cruises that are not available in Ultimate Rewards for example.

  6. Hi Rene, maybe I missed this but it could be a great rookie question… did you get the “Skyteam to match them”? Thanks!

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