I just dumped a Delta LEVEL 1 award due to ~$400 Europe CRAZY Airline sales!

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Love the view from a Delta window seat!

OK, I am just going to scrap today’s scheduled post for now as my head is spinning and I am looking at so many options and maybe my planning can help you while these sick prices are going on. How sick you ask? The ticket I just booked to Sweden has a  $70 each way base fare (plus many taxes and fees).

That means very few SkyMiles earning for the trip but I still get MQM points (over 10,000) and that matters a ton to me. So what was my logic in this change when I dumped what may be the last 125k LEVEL 1 award I will ever get? Delta has been pushing Delta One award sales as of late so I think with flexibility I can work on scoring one of those.

So what if you have an award booked for this spring or summer and want to take advantage of the sale. First things first see if you can grab tickets. As long as you are starting in the USA and booking direct on Delta.com you will have until midnight tomorrow to cancel. Once you have new tickets in hand, then see how you can cancel your old flights without costs to you. You may be stuck paying a change or re-deposit fee if you are not a Platinum or Diamond Medallion, but in case you missed it this past weekend there was a MASSIVE Delta schedule change event. Your flights may have been impacted and you did not even know it. You may be able to cancel your flights FREE under the schedule change rule. This could also work for PAID tickets as well so keep that in mind.

As mentioned briefly in the post this AM you can also consider PWM for these amazing tickets and burn SkyMiles for the tickets and EARN elite points or MQMs if you are chasing status with Delta. To be clear it has to be all Delta “metal” – that is, Delta flights not partners. You will earn ZERO SkyMiles for these flights but even when paying, at these prices, you earn almost no SkyMiles either. Think about this – if the ticket is ~$400 all-in you are paying PWMs ~40,000 SkyMiles for your tickets. That is 2/3rds the price of a LEVEL 1 coach award! Amazing!

Speaking of this last bit there are in fact a number of just 1 night weekend stays in Amsterdam and other cities that you can grab and NOT just from hubs. If I needed it I can fly from AZO (Kalamazoo) to AMS (Amsterdam) in December out on a Friday and back Sunday for just over $450! That is just stunning and you had better believe this is WAY cheaper (and more fun) if you need MQMs before year end than buying MQMs from Delta that likely will return in a week or so. If you need help finding flights from your home town for the perfect run and the perfect MQMs ADAM and his team are standing by ready to help you. Even for his tiny fee you will come out way ahead and reach your elite goal for the year. Sweet!

Should you book more of these speculatively? I will NOT tell you to do this. However, if you can include a regional flight(s) and make the connections tight then given how often Delta changes schedules some may, again may, feel it is worth it to book several of these over the coming months to help get some MQMs quickly in 2017. I have so many trips including earning almost 14,000 MQMs on my SXM reader meet-up plus now getting over 10,000 MQMs from my Sweden trip that I am in really good shape for 2017. Oh and I will be crushing spend on my Delta Reserve and Platinum cards I hold so will net 50,000 MQMs from those two next year as well. Not bad, I will have Platinum Medallion in hand on two trips and some massive credit card spend.

What an exciting week with these sales, amazing bonus deals at CVS, Kroger and so many other locations to get net-negative spend (and huge cents off on gas) and so many other points deals. I hope you have time to harvest all the deals they are offering you in your area! – René


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  1. Looking to book a flight from CMH to FCO, in order to get the $400 fare I can’t book on Delta- I have to call Alitalia to book.

    Will I still get first class upgrades / comfort+ this route? Any impact to MQM / MQD?

  2. I am PM and had award tickets booked CVG to FCO for late March. Just re -deposited them after purchasing 2 round trips tickets CVG to FCO for $530 after using a couple E credits. Wow!!! Was able to upgrade to Comfort Plus over the pond at booking. Thanks Rene for the great tips!!!!

  3. Another excellent score!! Thank you Rene… 2 tickets to Rome, at $420 each, less $600 eCredit from voluntary bump… Love how my work travel is paying off for leisure travel…

  4. @Chris – It should have no impact at all on MQMs etc but be SURE to put in your Delta FF number during the booking process!

  5. @Rene: Thanks! Just booked Paris in Springtime! Also, as Plat I was able to “upgrade” to C+ all the way.

  6. I have dumped two level 1 Awards as well. This is too good to pass up. I am using this sale to rack rollovers for 2018 already.

  7. I guess I’ll be needing a one-night hotel recommendation in Gothenburg from my resident Swedish travel blogger. This is going to make for an interesting weekend for sure but it gets me over the 100K MQM hump!

  8. @Wes – Radisson near train station. Airport bus dumps you at station across from it.

    ps – you pay for bus into town at kiosk inside airport and you need real chip and pin like Arrival cards

  9. @Rene…Thanks, I knew you would know! Right at 24 hours in town so not much time but more time than we had at SDQ.

  10. One more question…any chances of a FC upgrade on KLM from AMS to GOT? (I saw EC was available.) This will be a new experience for me…flying KLM. I’m pretty sure I am not elegible for FC on ATL-AMS or vice-versa as a Delta PM and I have no GU certs.

  11. @Wes – Almost zero. They would have to over sell coach and they most times don’t (never ever happened to me and I fly it often). Best you can get is exit row free at gate. I often get that and end up with 2 seats. Just as good as 1st for a 1-ish hour flight.

  12. Thanks for your blog and posting about this fare sale. The wife and I decided to pull the trigger last week on a late May-Early April getaway. From Phoenix there were a TON of options throughout Europe from $360-450 round trip. We went with Amsterdam for $400.

  13. That should have said late April – Early May. Long time lurker, first time poster and I yipped it.

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