Deep down I was hoping for another result. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond happy to get something compared to nothing and this kind of “enhancement” really is just that, a perk we did not have before. So I do give credit here for this improvement for 2015.
However, we know from my 1st class test that spending your SkyMiles to fly will earn you points across the board just like “cash”. MQMs, MQDs, RDMs and so on – you earn them all. To me, it should be exactly the same for coach and 1st class tickets, but at least they have not “enhanced” away across the boarding earnings 1st class.
So what about coach Pay With Miles from my Delta AMEX card. Just like my 1st class experiment I paid for almost all of the ticket with points resulting in a “negative” ticket price. The total price was $207.60 so I burned up 20,000 and $7.60 sent over to my AMEX card for a few extra bonus points at least. Now my results from flying have posted and:
I received the quoted MQMs and MQSs for each segment but nothing more. For both examples I have earned NO Skybonus points but the 1st class ticket has yet to even show up in Skybonus and the coach one has not finished processing.
My guess is neither will be eligible for Skybonus, but I would not be shocked to find one or both do end up earning me Skybonus points.
UPDATE: As you can see from above, I did in fact earn FULL Skybonus points for this coach PWM ticket. More great news!
I can confirm my 1st class PWM did earn me full Crossover Rewards for the base part of the ticket. Since it takes a while for Crossover Rewards to post, I don’t know if the coach PWM will also yield points but I am not expecting any (please comment on the blog if you have confirmed results in this regard).
Bottom line is PWM can be a good option to consider if:
1) The price for a 1st class ticket is about the same as the business class award
2) You need to earn MQMs or MQDs and are booking business class
3) The coach ticket is about the same as a coach award to earn MQMs
4) You qualify on segments and need a few more
5) You don’t mind locking in the ticket purchase
The last one really can be a deal breaker. For Diamonds and Platinums the flexibility to change a ticket can be worth more than any points you earn so do keep that important fact in mind before you buy your ticket.
Lastly, as a total side point but one I just could not fail to see, is the sickening amount of tax I paid for this coach class ticket. Out of the $207.60 price a full $51.32 of it was tax and fees. Just ridiculous. Then again, when you look at the price for a gallon of gas the tax is equally sickening. I think I should let this go now! – 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.