Planning and pricing of the run – 2015 Delta Mileage Run

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Planning and pricing of the run – 2015 Delta Mileage Run
Sheraton Dallas Hotel by the Galleria – 2015 Delta Mileage Run
Delta 767-300 domestic seat review – 2015 Delta Mileage Run
DFW Dallas / Fort Worth “E” Delta Skyclub – 2015 Delta Mileage Run
American Express Centurion Lounge LAS Las Vegas – 2015 Delta Mileage Run
The CLUB at LAS (big and small) – 2015 Delta Mileage Run
Final thoughts & impressions about the run – 2015 Delta Mileage Run

run map

Let’s review this one in true dyslexic style, that is, starting with the totals – why not. This one was not one I had planned to do but when the price popped up I jumped on it for a chance to check out a bunch of things I had missed. Like what? I had not been to the new Skyclub in DFW or either of the two CLUBs at LAS. This was my chance to visit both and pick up a bunch of MQMs along the way.

I blogged about the run HERE but did not take the max MQM route as I traded some MQMs for more time at both locations; sometimes trading points for time has value or at least it does to me (especially when Centurion lounges are involved). The final yield was still fine and if I had had more time I would have done two of these back to back. I also used an about to expire RU cert for the redeye back, clearing at time of purchase, but as you will see there really was no need to use it after all.

I had to get to DFW and my good old FlexPerks points came in handy and I was able to work it to get Q & K class fares out of SBN and stay under $400 and 20,000 FlexPerks points. For those who do not know, you can call and request certain flights and fare classes. Many reps will push back, but then HUCB or work with it online to get just what you want. The perk of this is that a higher fare class is a better chance for upgrades over the lower “bucket” ones and more chances to same day change SDC should you wish, and I did wish.

I originally booked the positioning flights SBN-DTW-DFW-MSP-SBN. I would rather have flown via DTW on the way home as that was a lunch / dinner flight i.e. over 900 miles, but it was not open at that price. I did, however, SDC to an earlier flight via DTW (getting more MQMs) but catering in DFW had failed to load the plane. Disappointing since the same thing had happened on the night before as well on the same route as part of the run.

So let’s peek at the numbers:

  • Positioning flights $365.20 – Paid with FlexPerks
  • The run $193.20 – discount with $50 voucher
  • MQMs earned 7,862
  • Skymiles earned 4,796
  • My CPM was 3.33

So how did I get to that CPM number? If I had paid out of pocket for the positioning flight I would have been over 7CPM all-in. A totally unacceptable number under Skymiles2015. But since my max out of pocket cost for 20,000 FlexPerks points is $94 (my real cost is even lower since I get a ton of FlexPerks points each year from new card bonus deals). I also had a $50 voucher from my last FlexPerks positioning flight that I spent that saved me $25 off the run price itself. So I net, if you will, paid $94+$168.20=$262.50 resulting in my 3.33CPM number. I could, since I did get some Skymiles count the $47.96 in rebate value as well, but I save that for when I redeem them.

It is funny to compare the Skymiles earned. Under the old program, as a Diamond earning base plus 125% bonus I would have earned 17,690 Skymiles vs the 4,796 I did earn. Nothing quite like a 72% drop in Skymiles earned and that is as a Diamond at the 11x per buck spent level. Then again, who cares, mileage running is NOT about the Skymiles it is about the MQMs and I earned a bunch of them at a very good price out of pocket. I did also earn some Skybonus points, but this will be my last year in that program and I doubt with my anemic Delta spend this year I will earn enough to redeem for more than a few drink vouchers. Time will tell.

So those are the numbers and the planning. Next up the SPG hotel where I over-nighted in Dallas, the new seats on the domestic Delta 767-300, the new Skyclub in DFW at the satellite gates, a real review of the LAS Centurion club as well as the two CLUBs at LAS and my final thoughts and impressions of the run itself at the very end. – René

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  1. Can you please explain how you got the representative to book you in a higher fare class. This is also important when booking on United.

  2. @smitty06 – you can just ask for it to be booked in whatever class you have searched on and that is under $400. again, they will push back. another way is to look at flights where the lowest fare class IS already what you want. it could mean flying other times of the day.

  3. When you say “For those who do not know, you can call and request certain flights and fare classes. Many reps will push back, but then HUCB or work with it online to get just what you want.” I am confused how you do that with FlexPerks. Who are you calling? FlexPerks has/will begin charging for telephone assistance reservations.

    Currently 1/2 way in my GEG-SEA-LAX-DFW-DTW-LAS-DTW-DFW-LAX-SEA-GEG Run!!

  4. In regards to your comment about the no catering in DFW I did find something interesting several years back when I was flying MEM-DFW. When I boarded the CRJ900 in Memphis (when MEM was still an actual hub) for the fairly short flight I noticed salads/sandwiches that had been catered and placed on board. I inquired with the flight attendant and she informed me it was catered for the next flight DFW-DTW and that they catered them out of MEM. Don’t know if they might still do that but it was interesting.

  5. Rene, You commented that mileage running is not about RDMs just MQMs. I think that is generally true, but, like everything, depends on the individual goals and circumstances of each flyer. Last year my goals led my to do a lot of flying due to RDMs. This year one scenario for MRs for RDMs I can imagine is that the huge windfall in RDMs for those flying on the most expensive tickets will cause some to take flights or choose tickets paid for by their employers purely or primarily to inflate their RDM balance.

  6. All too often, I book a meal flight but then catering makes a mistake. Every time it happens, I submit an online complaint. They apologize and issue miles but don’t seem overly concerned with a permanent fix to the underlying problem. This is an area in which Delta could improve greatly.

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