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Delta 747 Manila run, Chicago Seminars pre-Events, RenésPoints dinner & other planning!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you joining us for one last Delta 747 ride?

It seems there are a number of folks who will be joining me on our last Delta 747 ride before they all are, sadly, parked in the Arizona desert. So let’s do some planning on where to eat, where to stay and so on.

I am assuming most everyone on the 747 run will be arriving on October the 15th. How about some German Hofbrauhaus to start the fun (located here)? This place looks great and is close to ORD. If you are local and want to join us that would be great as well.  Update: After a visit to the Hofbrauhous it is just too loud. Change of plans now just doing Shelby Campbells at Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village. Also you can stay at the hotel and get a ORD shuttle as well cheap!

Next up, after meeting up in the Sky Club ORD to start this fun and flying to Manila, we need a place to stay on October 17th for about 11-ish hours before we fly home! Delta flies from Terminal 3 in MNL and right across from it is an IHG property, the Remingtion that looks good for either points or cash for an overnight. Another idea I am really considering is just staying in the airport at the Wings Transit Lounge (for the price, I guess I could just sleep during a 6-8 hour massage)? Before we fly home we have 2 PP lounges to consider as well as the Sky Club MNL.

Let’s do this again?

Now on to Thursday the 19th pre-Chicago Seminars. I have not decided what we are going to do for fun and want your input. I have always wanted to do the Chicago Helicopter tour but it is not cheap (there are also weight restrictions). Depending on the weather the Segway tour is fun and if you have never done it (or it has been a long time) the Architectural canal tour is really nice. Let me know in the comments below what sounds like the best choice to you.

For dinner on the 19th I am thinking deep dish Chicago pizza at say 7PM maybe? I would like to reserve a larger table(s) so if you can confirm you can join us please comment below and I will include you in on an email chain with updates.

Lastly, I tend to not attend the social hour Saturday night at the Chicago Seminars. What I do tend to do instead is go for a steak and that means Harry Caray’s. For this one, due to the size of the restaurant, I am limiting my group to 8.

Phew! This is going to be a fun week. I can not wait to experience all of it including the Chicago Seminars over the weekend (tickets are still for sale btw). Again, if you are going to fly with me on the 747 please comment below so I can including you on that email list or if you can attend any of the dinners or the Thursday pre-event fun let me know that as well! – René


UPDATE: If you are on the 747 run, there has been a schedule change. The connection in DTW is now tight. Have Delta move you to 7AM out of ORD to DTW (first leg)!

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Michael Giardina Reply

    I’m on board for both the Thursday night pizza and Saturday night steak dinners in Chicago. I can’t make the trip to MNL unfortunately.

  2. Rene:

    I’d like to be included in the dinner Saturday night at Harry Caray’s.


  3. Michelle Monical Reply

    Thursday night & Saturday dinners for me as well if there is still room!!

    Thursday day activity is a maybe (still finalizing day schedule). Interested in the helicopter tour for sure!

    • @Michelle – OK. Only 2 more spots for Saturday dinner folks. Let me know later about Thursday day plans.

  4. Kent Madson Reply

    I’ll be there Sunday night and booked for MNL too. Fingers crossed for Global upgrade!

  5. I’d love to join you for both dinners if spots are still open! And maybe Thursday afternoon tours, depending on bumpertunites 🙂

  6. @Rene – no seminar for me – home to the pesky day job after MNL. I’m up for German Hofbrauhaus on 10/15/17 as long as it is early evening as I’m landing at 7PM. If you guys go earlier, no worries, and I’ll fend for myself ::

  7. Deb Streese Reply

    Can you tell me if any of the seminars are filled already? It will influence my decision as to whether I sign up or not!

  8. I’m in town for the 19th dinner as well as Saturday. I can’t make the trip to MNL as I already booked my flights to Chicago early once I knew I would be a presenter.

  9. Small correction, there is no Skyclub MNL. There used to be one in Terminal 1, but it was closed when Delta stopped flying out out Terminal 1. In Terminal 3, there are two lounges that accept PP, Pacific Club Lounge, and Sky View Lounge. You will notice that Delta uses the Pacific club. As this is a partner lounge, only Delta One travelers or Skyclub members get access, Delta credit card or Gold/Plat status will not help you. Of the two, I prefer Sky View, but they are both nice. The four terminals that make up MNL are quite far from each other so you would not be able to use lounges from Terminal 1.

  10. As a frequent traveler to MNL I have to mention a few things about the airport. As Domestic and International are split, most of the really good food options are on the floor above check in, not airside. Allow lots of exztra time at the airport. You will need to wait in line and go through xray BEFORE you can reach the check in counters. Security often will want to see your ticket/boarding pass and passport before you will be allowed to even enter the airport. You will then need to go to the counter and will often be asked what you did on your trip and what purchases you made. Once ticketed, you can pass through immigration to be allowed to leave the Philippines. You then need to pass through one more xray and possible frisk. You can then go to the lounges (up one floor after security. Keep in mind there will be one more xray (for a total of three) so you cannot bring any liquids over 3 oz through. They will usually make you take out all gadgets from your bag for this final scan. Once in this final gate area there is no restroom, food or water. So, I recommend taking your time before entering there.

  11. If you do decide to leave the airport, Uber is your best option. The Taxi drivers are famous for ripping tourists off (even the locals sometimes) I am not sure how long a layover is planned, but SM Mall of Asia is close to the airport and is not a bad visit. They offer boat tours of Manila Bay that are relatively cheap. Another fun option is Wencha Spa, (tell the driver the one by CCP if they ask) Wencha is open 24/7/365 so a good place to kill some time. They have a Hot Tub, Cold Tub, showers, steam sauna and try sauna. All you can eat buffet, wifi and massage. Keep in mind that Men and Women are kept separate in the wet area and no swim suits are allowed. You are given a robe for the buffet. I believe the time limit is 8 hours so you could get two meals out of it if you tried.

  12. Steve Tims Reply

    Bought my tickets already! Instantly upgraded to C+!
    I vote for exploring the club options in the Terminal in Manila, should be fun with a group…

  13. Semper Discens Reply

    I’m up for pizza on the 19th and I guess I’m waitlisted for Harry Carey’s on Saturday night 😉

    • @Semper – Yep think we are full on Saturday but looking forward to Pizza!

  14. So, now there is a dinner Sunday as well?

    I’m hotel-hopping again in the Chicago area, but possibly up for another dinner that night…especially for the ‘die-hards’ who don’t ever seem to know when the (fun) seminar is over!

    *Count me in with THAT group. 😉

    • @Laptoptravel – Sunday PRE-747 PRE-ChicagoSeminars. I don’t think you are in town that soon ie the 15th?

  15. SelenePhoenix Reply

    Hi Rene I can make the pizza dinner on Thursday and can’t wait for STEAK!
    Re the MR, not going to work but I did get a RT GU with Dot and Toshiba between us and NRT
    Can’t wait!

  16. SelenePhoenix Reply

    PS and dinner Sunday too! Wow lots of nummy food fun !!!
    Pizza steak and Sunday

    • @SelenePhoenix – The Sunday dinner is on the 15th. Will you be in town a week before the Chicago Seminars?

  17. SelenePhoenix Reply

    Oops not the Sunday. Before the seminars, but yes, will be present
    The Sunday on the CLOSE of seminars
    Can’t wait

  18. I second @John ‘s comments on Wensha spa in MNL. I thought the max time was 9 hrs but might have changed in the last 2 yrs. Also you can ask for “paper underwear” if you’re uncomfortable without a bathing suit bottom.

  19. Poor Old Dave Reply

    Rene and @carolk I will try to get the big bob suburban from car rent place so we can have a larger vehicle which carol can drive!

  20. Rene-
    Will you be ditching us in coach and using a diamond up cert? I may be diamond by then, how is the upgrade situation looking? any idea? Thanks.

    • @EL – I will 100% be in C+ on the way back (unless they oversell coach and OPUP us). On the way over I have requested GU but who knows. I am in same boat as you!

  21. @rene I will be doing the Sunday pre-MNL dinner after all, as I’ll be getting in earlier than I thought.

  22. the walking food tour was fun in chicago..went to 7 places to try different foods of local type,,, the architectural was very nice too!! i guess it is too late to do the MNL run

  23. Steve Tims Reply

    Was at the Sheraton Suites, will try to move to the HI Elk Grove Village, I’m there for the seminars anyway. Would like to go to Harry Caray’s for the steak if there is still room? Skipping the 19th as I am flying in on the 20th.
    Thanks again for all you did on Friday and Saturday and I agree that the Hofbrauhaus was way to loud!


  24. Steve Tims Reply

    BTW, coming in on Sunday from DTW at 1:28pm, so should be at hotel by 3:00 no problem, so Dinner at 5 works…


  25. Steve Tims Reply

    Cancelled the Sheraton, booked Holiday Inn….

    See you there,
    Thanks Again


  26. @Rene – cancelling the Four Points Sheraton and booking HI for the 10/15 overnight. See ya’ll there.

  27. Rene:

    I’d like to join the group for dinner on Thursday the 19th if you still have room.


  28. Michelle Monical Reply

    Looks like Chris will be joining me in CHI! Any room for one more Thurs for pizza?

    • @Michelle – You bet all are welcome. What about play time in CHI before pizza. I am working on something special!

  29. kenneth kercher Reply

    enjoyed BBQ in Seattle this yr. with you, et al. Any room for a beef lover on Saturday at HCarey?
    Ken K

  30. Brian McDonald Reply

    I should be able to make it to pizza Thursday evening depending on how early I can get out of work, and probably traffic through Chicago.

  31. Brian McDonald Reply

    Should be able to make it to dinner on Thursday depending on traffic and what time I get out of work.

  32. Where is the pizza dinner Thursday? Want to attend if it’s in the city!

  33. Holly Rylee Reply

    Hi Rene,
    Just returned from this mileage run … thanks to you! Some random thoughts that may be worthwhile for your group:
    At Narita all Manila passengers were questioned before boarding. My first question: “What is your reason for travel. “i am doing a mileage run” It seemed to me to be a time for truth. “Ah, mileage run. You must stay in Manila for 24 hours, you know, for security reasons” “Well, I am coming back tomorrow.” He shrugs his shoulders. I pass on, slightly concerned since an 11 hour layover is not 24hrs. As it turns out no word about the 24 hours was ever spoken by anyone else and I did indeed return on the next morning flight.
    RE activity during those 11 hours. Customs in and out was easy, no questions, but they do take your picture. You do have to leave one the entry building and walk next door to Departures. Search for a Delta counter involved the unsuccessful assistance of several airport employees. Subsequently I did, by chance, spot a Delta terminal. One Delta terminal! And was able to print my next day boarding passes without any problem (See above 24 hour concern) I am happy … the Delta machine is in the “C” area and is pretty much directly opposite the departures/customs entrance. Where I now attempt to enter in order to find a strong drink in a friendly lounge. “No, you may not enter … your plane is tomorrow”. But I wish to visit the Delta lounge. Lounges are closed (it is somewhere around 9 pm.) I do not get past security.
    Since the information on the airport website had indicated at least one lounge was open 24 hours I had not made a plan B. The Terminal looks fairly new, and the 3rd level has a large number of fast food type restaurants and many shopping opportunities. Really like a not so high end mall. I saw no restaurants with a bar. I went on an unsuccessful search for the sleeping rooms you had mentioned. Another very courteous employee sends me back to an area I’d already walked through twice, so I do it a third time, without success. Sometime later she sees me and asks if I did not find The Wings. Hearing I had not, she went off and found an equally pleasant employee who is going to take me there, which he did. The first of so many very nice people who actually makes something happen The Wings is in a deserted corner of the 3rd floor. Walk toward the rear of the building, beside McDonalds, turn left and you will find it. Since I had no reservations, a “Lounge” reclining chair was my only option and found myself in a room with side by side reclining chairs (meaning touching) and sleeping people in all but one, I crawled onto my bed for the night and happy to have it. And the air-conditioning was blowing strongly which was very welcome. The terminal is quite hot and sticky. I slept like a log for 3-4 hours and woke up,took my shower (extra charge) went on the internet for awhile and proceeded to departures around 4am. I was admitted this time. Found my gate and the lounges. Funnily enough “The Delta Lounge” does not accept any Delta credentials. They do accept Priority Pass however, so I had some machine expresso and luke-warm food offerings. There is no bar, just some bottles of liquor. I can see why it was closed early in the evening (if it really was closed).
    And so ends my 11 hours in Manila.
    As always, an adventure and lots of points in my quest for a final year of Diamond status. You are the best, thanks for being such a great mentor and support.

    • @Holly Rylee – Thanks for the help. I was told by another runner that you did not need to enter Manila but could transit to your next flight? Not so? Also, The Wings lounge is on the secure side level 3 or pre-security? Lastly, you did not get a massage for like $14 an hour? 🙂

  34. I think you are in the air, and hope your run is uneventful! I was told at the transfer desk that I had to enter Manila.

    The Wings Lounge is pre-security

    No massage, at any price.

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