I was not in the air last week on Delta unlike my fellow BA blogger, Bald Thoughts and his family. Then again, considering how many flights were canceled, not a lot of other people truly were flying Delta either. But I have great faith that Delta will learn from this latest mess and not ever do it again. Not saying they not ever have days of canceled flights but recovery will not be like we have seen over the past many days.
So, what did I do while Delta was in the middle of the worst week ever? I booked for Q1-2018 for my wife and myself almost 50,000 miles worth of flying. To be clear, we are talking paid tickets not award tickets. As you can see from the above shot from Great Circle Mapper we are planing to fly all over the place to start the year in an effort to take my wife from ZERO elite points all the way to Diamond inside of 3 months.
Plus we are planning on doing this for almost nothing out of pocket. How? LOTS of points and:
- Over $1400 in Delta bump vouchers
- About 120,000 FlexPerks points free from Kiva loans
- About 120,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points from cards
- About 100,000 Membership Rewards points (with 50% rebated back) for flights from my business AMEX Platinum card
- Hundreds of thousands of Barclays Arrival+ points for all sorts of bits
- A ton of hotel points from all our programs & cards
- Much spending on Delta AMEX Reserve cards (& getting a new one)
When this is all done I will cover this in much more detail, but suffice to say we will be taking two cruises paid with points. Literally dozens of Delta flights all paid with points or vouchers one way or another that includes little vacations all over the place and even dinner in Germany (just one night). Also this includes weeks of hotel stays all paid with points (since I don’t care about hotel status anymore). Lastly a bunch of MQMs will arrive from bonus spend on my and my wife’s Delta AMEX Reserve card (she will get one after 1JAN18).
Is this crazy to do inside of 3 months? Is this really stupid timing considering the week Delta has just had? Why do this when things are changing so much in the airline space? For a number of reasons.
- I/We run a blog and want to test.
- I/We can and have the points to do it.
- Our travel plans for the next two years.
- The outstanding service we get from Delta.
Let’s start with the obvious one and why I don’t recommend that most folks try to amass 125,000 elite points in a matter of 3 months. I, and my wife, run a travel blog. Thus I test what is possible all the time like what qualifies as valid spending each year on your Delta AMEX cards as an example. It took me only 7 days this year to be MQD exempt. Yes, 7. Why the rush? To prove it could be done. Well, that and because meeting the spend also helps your upgrades chances. 😉
Next, points do not get better with age. I collect nearly or over 1 million points a year each and every year. I have way too many points right now and need to burn them. Why not burn them having fun and doing something we have always wanted to do – that is, prove you can go from ZERO to 125,000 in just a few months and Diamond Medallion status.
Then we have our travel plans for 2018 & 2019. My wife and I plan to travel a bunch. Thus, both of us holding Delta Diamond status will be sweet and we will BOTH have it for the better part of two years this way – that is, all of 2018 and 2019 and ending on 1FEB 2020. Both of us getting 4 Global Upgrades certs will be worth thousands of dollars not to mention each of us getting 2 other Choice Benefits choices (as well as a Platinum choice as well).
Lastly the outstanding service we always get from Delta. With the exception of this past week (well and the other two meltdowns that is, in a year) Delta has always been nearly perfect for me in service, people and quality. I really like flying Delta and trust they will get me where I want to go and mostly on time.
So there you are – that is how I spent my time during the worst week in Delta history. – René
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