The “top 10” Delta things so many are wrong about (but you know better).

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This is one of those posts that just has to be written When your friends or coworkers tell you (insert whatever from the list below) you can just send them the link to this post. All of them are very common wrong assumptions about Delta or the Delta travel experience.

1) Mileage runs are going away in 2015 due to revenue based earnings. No, they are not. There are two types of points earned when you fly. Skymiles, those you spend for an award ticket, and MQMs or medallion qualifying miles that you do not spend but that get you status. The first is changing next year. The next is not and is just the same as 2014.

2) I found award space on AF or KLM web so Delta has to give them to me. No, they don’t. Just because you found a low level award seat, on either a AF/KLM or even Delta flight on their system, does not mean it will exist or must exist on The space other airlines open rarely has anything to do with the space Delta opens up.

3) The Delta elite year ends on the 31st of December each year. No, it does not. It is even more confusing for the next few years due to Delta shifting when the elite year ends. Historically it has always been the last day of February each year. After next year it will change to the last day of January each year.

4) If I see A or I class seats on they should work with my AMEX Delta Reserve BOGOF certificate. No (officially). The problem is so many of the fares (most in fact) in these fare classes on are what are called UP fares, that is, they are a coach ticket “Uped” to 1st class. For the certificate a real A or I class seat has to be there that often costs more. Having said that, unofficially if you push Delta on this they will sometimes match the UP fare.

5) I can now select seats on AF / KLM on so I am all set. No, you are not. You will most times not get the seat you think you are getting. I could link 100 examples of folks getting a really bad seat after having picked something on If you want some special seat, you need to use the AF & KLM web site or tweet to them to confirm the seat you want.

6) Since I am Gold Medallion (or higher) or on a business class ticket I can use the Skyteam lounge when I arrive. No, you can’t. It is only when you are connecting to another Skyteam flight. The arrival city is only for your departure flight not your arriving flight.

7) How do I send my Delta Platinum AMEX points to someone? You don’t and you can’t. Only the Delta Reserve card spend bonus points can be sent to someone else. And even with the Reserve cad the new card bonus points go to the card member and cannot be sent anywhere.

8) The gate agent said the flight has checked-in full so 1st class is full. You may have just missed an upgrade. Checked-in full does NOT mean boarded full. If you really want that upgrade wait to board and ask if the flight has boarded full in 1st.

9) I don’t want to take a bump because I will miss out on miles. No, you wont. Even if Delta puts you on another airline you can, after the fact, request original route credit via You can many times even put in your frequent flyer number for the other airline flight and earn both Delta and the other airline points.

10) The T&C says no so I/you/we will not earn points. Please trust your bloggers. We have tested what works. Now things can change, but many times just because the T&C say one thing, the reality is something else.

So there you are. I will be using this to send out when folks ask or tell me the above statements as fact when we know they are wrong and the facts are the facts! – René
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. 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 American Express.

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  1. Mileage running for way less miles isn’t dead, but mileage running and knowing you are getting back almost half of a round trip to Hawaii is. I was never a hardcore mileage runner but I did jump on one or two fares and had a weekend somewhere in the past with the above in mind. Guess we will have to wait for the next big recession.

  2. I have a question today – I am a Diamond member this year, and am about 3,500 miles short of maintaining that for next year. Question is – should I try a mileage run to just get me over the hump, or should I roll over 46,000 miles and have an easier time making the top level next year?

  3. @Larry – depends on how fast you can get to DM (if that is what you want) in 2015 and are you OK with PM for a while. Plus, you will be DM until then end of Feb15. Can you fly 75k before 1MARCH and thus never really drop down from PM? Does this help?

  4. That #5…lord is that true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just been given some random seat on KLM. From selecting 11C on, then confirming it with KLM on twitter (MULTIPLE times), and then a couple days before departure logging on to see something asinine like 49F or some bull. You can usually get what you want by just flipping out on twitter, but it takes SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT, and there has to be seats open, which often times your original seat is filled. I get nutty when flying on AF/KL for that reason; although AF has been better about giving you the seat you want, in my experience.

  5. I’m confused about #1 – I’m currently Gold and will end the year with enough MQMs to make Gold for next year. I’ve spent over $7k in MQD for the year. According to the new system a GM will earn 8 miles per dollar spent. So if I take the $7k I spent this year and assume I will spend roughly the same next year that’s 56k miles. I’m assuming that’s enough for GM the following year. Are you saying I still need to fly the same 50k miles for MQM? I thought it was going to be completely dollar based?? So as a GM i will be losing out on the 100% mileage bonus as well or will I still get that?

  6. point #9 on the bump has me confused. If I take a bump, get a voucher and then do not fly the trip will I still get mileage/mqm credit for the trip?

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