My Delta Million Miler flight – The planning & start of the run to Japan

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My Delta Million Miler flight – The planning & start of the run to Japan
My Delta Million Miler flight – TSA at Chicago O’Hare ORD Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta 777 Delta One Business class review to Japan NRT Narita Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Gogo International Satellite Speed Review
My Delta Million Miler flight – 2016 Delta One TUMI Amenity Kit Black and Gray Review
My Delta Million Miler flight – Narita NRT Airport outside observation Deck
My Delta Million Miler flight – IASS Priority Pass Lounge Review NRT Narita Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Korean Air Lounge Review NRT Narita Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Sky Club NRT Narita Airport near Gate 21
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Sky Club NRT Narita Airport near Gate 15
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta 747 Delta One Business Class review from Japan NRT Narita Airport
My Delta Million Miler flight – Delta Million Miler Gift Choices & My Selection
My Delta Million Miler flight – Final thoughts of reaching one million miles with Delta Air Lines

delta 747 in NRT japan renespoints million mile run

I will miss the “Queen of the Skys” Delta!

You only cross the 1 million mile mark once ever with an airline. I have already shared some of my thoughts in the midst of the trip so that is not what this post or series of posts is about. This is about the run itself. The planning, the costs & the adventure. It was great I have to tell you!

First off, if you are going to cross 1 MM with an airline, and they happen to fly 747s, then why not plan to be on that type of jet when the milestone happens. If you are an AVgeek like me this is what you dream about and especially so for Delta as they will soon park all the 747s for good. But how to do this and not break the bank?

current 1k max for delta bump vouchers but rules change all the time renespoints blog

Well OK you can pay for my run Delta 😉

Enter two things that worked out just perfect. Step one was to find a trip where the 747 flies for a really good price. I found that, as I blogged about, for under $500. Let me tell you there were a LOT of folks on these flights who were doing the exact same thing I was for that price. Oh, and it got better as I happen to have a very nice bump voucher from Delta to pay for it all. That, is million mile #Winning in my book!

delta will not let me bid over 800 dollars for a bump renespoints million miler run to japan

But I want another $1,000 bump!

At check in online I was notified by Delta that they were oversold (always do this as the APP will not give you this option). I attempted to type in $1,000 as it was after all an international flight and if they were going to bump me I want big numbers. The current max number was $800 as it is for domestic bumps. Now a Red Coat can take it higher than $800 but they really don’t like to. The old max was $1,300 and I miss those bumps! When it came time to fly they did not need me (or anyone) and the route would not have been as good they were going to put us on so happy it worked out the way it did.

view from chicago sky club VERY early in the morning renespoints million mile run to japan

I hate flying this early.

The route was just about perfect for me other than the fact I had to leave very early out of Chicago O’Hare ORD airport. The flight departed at 6 AM so we, that is me and Texas Yankee who happened to join me on this adventure to lock up his Delta Diamond status for another year, had to be at the airport REALLY early. We were also somewhat nervous about the current mess TSA is having at ORD and missing the 1st flight would not have been good.

TexasYankee on a Delta regional jet to JFK renespoints million miler run to japan

Texas Yankee! Delta MM

We boarded on-time and Dave was nice enough to setup a bit of a joke with the gate agent for me. He had the rep call for Million Milers to board now (and then said, oh, I hear that is not you). Funny Dave. It was a great way to start the run.

rain from ord airport renespoints million miler run

Rain, fog, lovely

I was happy we did choose the first flight of the day for JFK (travel tip, fly early if you can). The fog and rain was heavy and building as we departed and had we tried for other flights I think the chance of a miss-connect would have been a real possibility.

AVgeek watching myself fly to JFK from ORD RenesPoints Million Miler run to japan

Oh look, that’s ME!

The run was all about the fun, about the experience, about soaking in decades of flying Northwest and Delta. About living all things aviation, jet fuel and all things travel 24/7 for a few days. Clearly tracking where we were on Gogo on my Plane Finder APP was part of this! Yeah, I am such an airline geek and love it.

jets lined up to take off from JFK renespoints million miler run to japan

WoW. Click for full screen joy!

I am always jazzed about flying in to NYC airports. Now I am personally a fan of LGA clearly because it has a Centurion Lounge and you can access it land side either pre or post travel. But the views landing at JFK can be amazing and seeing all those Delta jets ready to take off with the city standing tall in the background. Just so neat.

jfk delta sky club skydeck renespoints million mile run to japan

PVT Delta SkyDeck? Yes please #CuePharrell

Also equally neat is the Delta Sky Club SkyDeck in JFK (also in Atlanta F and soon in the new B club btw). When I walked out this fine morning (unlike the rain in Chicago) I was the only one there. Perfect. Time for a morning refreshment and geek out looking at jets big and small from all over the world. I could not have dreamed up a more perfect moment in time for the start of this adventure.

no thanks burn my skymiles in the sky club for overprice wine renespoints million mile run

Really, no, Delta. Not EVER!

What I did not do, and is not dreamy in the least bit, is to flush my hard earned SkyMiles down the drain on over priced drinks at the Sky Club. Ya know, when you are already paying one way or another a premium price to get into the clubs, charging for drinks is just wrong to me.

visit to xpressSpa JFK before 14 hours on a delta 777 jet to japan renespoints million mile run

Perfect – just what I needed

What I did spend some money on was a visit just down the LONG T4X terminal from the club and my gate was the XpressSpa JFK. I mean before 14 hours in a seat it is good to loosen the old bones up a bit right?

So now it was time to fly. More on that later but a few more bits about the planning and thinking of this run. I clearly did not want to spend 14 hours on the way there and 12-ish hours on the way back in coach. Plus, especially for this trip, Global Upgrade certs were the perfect fit. They did, over time, clear thankfully. There were a number of non-revs or Delta folks that were in Delta One both ways so there was no reason for them NOT to clear for a loyal Diamond. I am happy I did not have to wait at the gate to clear. But I sure did click the seat map a ton I can tell you! 🙂

Also, one of the reasons for this trip was the MQMs to push me over the 1 million mark. As we all clearly know by now you earn FULL MQMs based on distance (and fare class), not the price of the ticket. I did earn a pittance of SkyMiles but those don’t really matter when it comes to mileage runs.

In the next post I will cover some thoughts on the TSA in Chicago (coming and going) as well as the 777 trip over to Japan! Stay tuned. – René




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