Atlanta to Anchorage $632 & 10348 MQMs at 6.1CPM Weekend Delta Elite Mileage Run

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Friday, November 20, 2015 by laptoptravel







Well, I almost feel guilty to toss this mileage out, for a couple of reasons. First, I recently did my own run up to Anchorage and back on eight flights in 33 hours and let me tell you it’s a Medallion feeding frenzy up there. (More on that later)  Secondly, the aircraft that Delta is using for these routes are some worn birds…1980’s leftovers from Northwest (I researched some tail numbers) so you are not in for the most comfortable rides in the fleet. Lastly, the Cents Per Mile (CPM) cost is not the ideal, but honestly you only have a few weeks to go if you are seeking a nice boost to your Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s) this year. Forget about going after mid-December.

However, I am giving you two route options and two very different price to miles costs. One for speed and price, the other for the true “Road Warriors” (ugh, I’ll throw my name into that camp). And for you folks trapped in the mothership’s home base (Atlanta) well…beggars can’t be choosers.

With that said, let’s look at this… Both flight options are Saturday out-bounds and Sunday morning returns.

My first example is an Atlanta-Los Angeles-Minneapolis-Anchorage outbound that departs Atlanta at 8:10am and gets you into ANC a reasonable 8:30pm; just enough time to find a layover hotel near the airport.

The second example you get to sleep in and depart Atlanta at nearly 11am and get in to Anchorage later (10:37pm) so you might as well hang out at the airport before your 4:50am boarding in a few hours. The first option nets you 10,348 MQM’s at a cost of 6.11CPM. The second route provides you with 8,696 MQM’s for 6.89CPM.

Both returns are exactly the same. You depart at 5:40am and get back to Atlanta by midnight Sunday. In and out in a quick weekend and pocket up to 10,348 MQM’s into your 2015 SkyMiles account; a nice payout for a couple of days hard work hardcore flying.

So for me, it is worth the difference in price $632 versus $599 to pick up the extra 1,652 MQM’s for $33.

It is not as sweet as Aruba or Costa Rica, but for you Atlanta hub captives…well take what you can get.  It’s getting crowded out there for Medallions seeking to top off their Skymiles accounts.

If you have some Regional (or Global) Upgrade Certificates hanging around that you might not otherwise use or that might be near expiration, then use them on these flights; you can thank me later. I am seeing pretty full Comfort+ seating, so I am guessing this means you’re flying with a bunch of Medallions also seeking a complimentary upgrade.

Really, there is only a block of a few days that this Mileage Run works, as shown by the calendar.  I am warning you now that these flights are filling fast and after this Mileage Run post, the pickings will be very slim (if any.)

Here are the numbers:

Cost: $633 or $599

10,348 MQMs at 6.1CPM or 8,696 MQMs at 6.8CPM

Bookable on

In looking at the best connections, you need to put LAX in both your outbound and return in both directions. Your other options are SEA or MSP and for more MQM’s select the MSP connection.

So, on my own experience with a similar run…there were 66 Medallions flying the MSP-ANC run a couple of weeks ago.  46 were on the touch & turn (MSP-ANC-MSP) route.  I spoke with the gate agent who told me everyone either purchased or used a certificate for a seat in the first class cabin. Okay, I feel better now that I have given that travel disclosure.  But like I was always taught; don’t ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.  I did. You can too!  – John, @LaptopTravel



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