The Good, The Bad & the Ugly – What a week for Areomexico, Delta & Air France!

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The Skyteam trifecta this week!

Silly me – I thought the rest of 2017 would be quiet and uneventful. Who knew that so much was going to happen in a short few weeks. Let’s dive in and recap all that we have learned recently and what went well and what did not.

Just LOVE this earnings chart.

First the good. The sweet Aeromexico 1st class deals from last week stuck and I doubt, at this point a week later, they will be canceled. The results, for those looking to credit to Delta, will be amazing. Look at the numbers for each round trip flight from Chicago’s O’Hare:

  • Price ~$550 for an “I” fare class ticket round trip.
  • SkyMiles I will earn (200% of distance flown): 17,268 thus getting at least $173 value back.
  • (note: as a Diamond I earn a bonus so 27,616 worth at least $276 value back)
  • MQMs I will earn (200% of distance flown): 17,268 thus 3.2 CPM in business class (WoW)!
  • Delta MQD dollar credit I will earn (40% of distance flown): $3,453

I have 4 of these booked and thus will knock out $13,812 of my required Delta $15,000 MQD spend to earn my 2019 Diamond Medallion status. So, no, I will not need to spend ¼ Million next year on my Delta Amex Reserve card in 2018. I will still keep the card, and spend at least $60,000 on it for the bonus MQMs and SkyMiles, and the fact that spending at least $25,000 does help my upgrade chances (as well as just holding the card) is another plus.

Also, since I paid for the tickets with my Citi Prestige card I will also earn 3x points worth at least 1.25 cents each (booking just about anything) and the outstanding travel insurance that comes with the card. Bottom line, I am personally  net  out of pocket just over $1000 and will get time to explore Lima, Peru! Not too bad at all and I will use the almost 70,000 SkyMiles earned to fly Delta One to Europe. Confused on any of this then re-read this post talking about how it all works.

I just love the CRJ200s – Don’t you?

Now on to the bad. When I say bad, I should say it started bad but thanks to an amazing Delta Medallion rep it flipped from bad to good. You may recall my post about the insanity of Delta wanting to charge me 80,000 extra SkyMiles to change seats on a CRJ200 (all the seats are the same fyi). Well it got worse. The direct flight from Atlanta to Europe I was booked on was canceled by Delta. Not good.

I was re booked on a triple connect SBN-DTW-NYC-Europe. And, guess what, the lovely C+ CRJ200 booking issue came up. On the reissue I was in C+, now on a CRJ900 with 1st class, but the system would not let me fly in 1st even though I was in 1st class on the new leg 2 and in Delta One on the flight to Europe. Finally a “Strive for Five” rep manually fixed what the computer would not allow. Oh, for the day when all the CRJ200s are rusting in the Arizona dessert – it can not come soon enough.

I got an insulting call. Maybe I should fly Air India?

Oh Ugly Air France, I so wanted to fly your 1st class product and the A380. I am sad you decided, and took a long time to let me know, that you canceled my confirmed ticket. Now let me clearly state I am not surprised that this clear error fare was not honored. Had it been say $2,500-ish then I would argue, much like the cheap Aeromexico price above, that it should have been. But what does bug me is the way AF went about it, that is, just canceling and not letting anyone know for days. On the topic of mistake fares I think airlines, like you and me, should have ~24 hours to cancel a ticket. After that, there should be penalties just like you and I must pay when we make a mistake in booking. We move on and will work on the next deal – error or sale or whatever!


Let’s talk about a bunch of other news bits that have poured out from Delta as of late. One minor change, that I really like, is Delta seems to have updated the IT to allow those who are eligible for free C+ upgrades to pick them right away at booking rather than first book a main cabin coach seat and then instantly upgrade. Not sure if this is happening system wide but I hope it does as this was how it was in the past. Good move Delta!

I want more upgrades – you?

This next one is not really new news but a helpful reminder as I touched on above. The Delta Amex Reserve card remains for 2018 a help to get more free medallion upgrades. Considering how few there will be as Delta keeps selling upgrades cheap we need every advantage we can get. Notice the point 5? The spend number for this perk is $25,000 NOT the ¼ million number. Thus, if you can spend that ASAP after 1JAN18 you will have this helping you get more upgrades.

There is even more! Delta is now, under really limited conditions, allowing you to use SkyMiles to upgrade on Aeroomexico. Here is a tip – don’t. The price in points, if you can get it, is likely as much as a Level 1 award itself.

#SkyMilesLife #DeltaMedallionLife

This one is so #KeepDescending worthy I do not even believe it myself. Delta has, cuz I guess they can, stated that if you, on social media, use the tag #SkyMilesLife or #DeltaMedallionLife and they get sued they can sue you to get money. I am no attorney but as I have said over and over: Delta is not really an airline after all, they are a southern law firm that happens to fly a lot of jets. Readers in the legal world – can they really get away with this one?

Will you miss this?

Delta seems to be ending the “shuttle” experience (not the flights – but some are being upgaged) on a number of routes. This does not shock me as LAX is beyond a mess and will be for years to come. I have never been impressed with this branding anyway, no matter what the route. To me the bigger issue is in LGA with Delta departing the marine air terminal that was a quick way to get through security and get into the air. Ah well. Does this change impact you?

I think those are all the current and recent events to get caught up on. Dare I say the next week will be quiet? I just can’t wait for the 1st to arrive so we can start playing with all the new rules Delta has in place now. You? – René



  1. > I have 4 of these booked and thus will knock out $13,812 of my required Delta $15,000 MQD spend to earn my 2019 Diamond Medallion status. So, no, I will not need to spend ¼ Million next year on my Delta Amex Reserve card in 2018. I will still keep the card, and spend at least $60,000 on it for the bonus MQMs and SkyMiles, and the fact that spending at least $25,000 does help my upgrade chances (as well as just holding the card) is another plus.

    This is exactly the reason why I read your blog and follow your social channels. You’re the expert. So many tips in this tiny paragraph.

    I’m partially sad because I didn’t get to qualify for Diamond 2018, ended up at 110k MQM this year, lost half of a MR on AM/DL LIM-MEX-AMS-JFK because I missed EZE-LIM 🙁 so… guess gotta have to work up next year. I hope more AM runs keep appearing, because I tend to hate MU runs (tho they are useful, their crew and planes aren’t as good)

  2. This Aeromexico deal is about the best tip ever. To heck with putting $250K spend on a delta card to keep my DM status. I suspect delta may now impose a requirement to fly X segments on delta to go with the MQD requirement. But while thinning the herd is good for the DMs who remain, thinning the herd also leads to a smaller herd. “Low value” DMs who get kicked to the curb by delta can easily take their business elsewhere.

  3. Wow René! IMO the biggest news is that like the rest of us you’re not going for the DM spend waiver. History in the making.

    Viva AeroMexico!!!

  4. I am still LOST on the “MQD’s”. How do you get $3453 X 4 Roundtrips = $13,812? If, 40% of $550 = $200……. confused.

  5. Speaking of CRJ200, Rene, I forwarded you the hilarious email from delta that offered me the opportunity to upgrade my CVG-MSP flight to first class. You either didn’t get it or didnt have time to respond but I did find it amusing considering that airplane doesn’t have a first class cabin to upgrade to. Also insulting considering I had purchased a first class companion ticket and my other flights are in first class. How did no one at delta not catch that before hitting the send button?

  6. Great stuff RD. While I’d love to jump on AeroMex dealio I am unable to with work and the fam.
    Here’s to Diamond in ’18!
    Keep up the good work.
    Oh, and I agree with john above. How long until DAL forces some other requirement to Diamond to avoid this exact scenario?

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