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Where Are the Delta MQD Partner Runs?!

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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.


Travel is starting to ramp back up — and so is the pursuit of Delta Medallion status.

It wasn’t too much of concern last year. After all, it was around this time Delta automatically extended everyone’s status and rolled over all MQM into this year.

Some people are pushing the panic button when it comes to earning Medallion status for 2022.

Mileage runs can help significantly — especially those on Delta partner airlines. Why? Most are business class for decent-to-great prices. But the real kicker is this: MQD earnings are calculated by a combination of fare class and actual mileage flown — not dollars spent.

Delta SkyMiles Medallion status bag (brag) tags.

Take, for example, this New York to Sydney business class run we found early last year. Even though it cost about $3140, it would’ve earned over $9700 MQD. Plus, the projected hauls were 36,682 MQM and a base of 51,000 Delta SkyMiles. On top of that, it was a business class trip to Australia, for goshsakes! (Don’t worry — there are others that come with lower price tags!)

A KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner, tail number PH-BHG and inscribed with "The Flying Dutchman," is seen parked at gate D3 during sunset at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

With Delta keeping middle seats blocked through April (well, except for some operational snafus), we blogged a few Basic Economy runs. The prices are cheap and you don’t have to worry about other people (ew, gross!) sitting next to you.

Then we moved on to Main Cabin and First Class Delta mileage runs. The airline is offering 50% MQM and MQD bonuses on Basic Economy and Main Cabin tickets. They’ve sweetened the deal for premium cabins: 75% MQM (on top of the bonus MQM first class tickets already earn) and 75% MQD.

A 75% MQD bonus is better than nothing, sure. But it doesn’t come close to most of the partner business class deals.

And people are constantly asking us:

“Where are the MQD Runs?!”

Well, we’re poking around here and there.

Keep in mind the business class trips are almost exclusively international itineraries. And some countries are going back into lockdown. While the United States seems primed to open up, Europe is seeing some alarming COVID numbers.

The US requires a negative COVID test for everyone arriving into the States (well, at least by air). So mileage runners will need to find a place to get a COVID test before boarding their flight back to the USA.

China Eastern was a fantastic option for partner runs to Asia — and even the occasional trip to Europe (taking the really long way). But travel to China looks rather difficult right now.

Warsaw, Poland. 28 May 2018. Passenger airplane F-GRHV - Airbus A319-111 - Air France is flying from the runway of Warsaw Chopin Airport
(©iStock.com/Bartek71)

Good ol’ Aeromexico has shown some promise. (Even though it had some money issues and filed for bankruptcy protection.) But when I looked again yesterday, their prices were kinda meh.

So we’re focusing more on the domestic runs right now — because there’s far less potential for drama and hassle. Trust me: I want to start blogging more MQD runs. (Mileage runs posts are actually pretty fun to write!)

But there is someone who’s busy booking some crazy good MQD mileage runs.

I was on a call last week with one of the Juicy Miles reps. This guy is an expert at arranging Delta and SkyTeam runs. He talked about some Air France-KLM trip to Johannesburg that yielded the traveler something like $7800 MQD and 43,000 MQM. The trip cost around $2800 or $2900.

Book mileage runs through Juicy Miles!

So if you’re stressed about MQD totals, it might be worth contacting Juicy Miles. They can help find runs, positioning trips, and all sorts of other fun stuff. (Keep in mind some Juicy Miles runs can be paid with American Express points.)

And remember Delta is offering MQM on award flights through the rest of 2021. Juicy Miles can help with that, too.

Sign Up for Emails — and Follow Us

We will start blogging MQD runs again — and hopefully soon!

There are plenty of times we blog a run — and it quickly disappears because people have jumped on it.

So make sure to follow RenesPoints and EliteMileageRun on Twitter. Those are probably the quickest ways to hear about the mileage runs. And signing up for our mileage run emails is also a good idea.

Final Approach

I truly have fun finding and writing about mileage runs. We know people value and appreciate those posts.

Until the international travel landscape comes more into focus, most of our efforts will be on Delta mileage runs.

But if you can’t wait for us (I won’t take it personally!), get in touch with Juicy Miles ASAP.

 

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.

8 Comments

  1. Jason Crawford Reply

    Bogota has been the sweet spot this year on AM. Made diamond by end of February on SEA-MEX-BOG round trips in J for 539 netting over 3000 in MQDs. Still a few out there from ORD and a couple other gateways. TIJ-MEX in J is another cheap quick option that seems to surface often

  2. Theoda Frazier Reply

    I definitely took advantage of AM ORD to Quito. As well as Ord to lima. Prices are over 1k now but i purchased at 550 to 850 per tix. Should make diamond for next calander year.

  3. YMMV but Delta Vacations can be a decent option too. I saved about $800/person on a trip to Hawaii in First by bundling a rental car, but MQD earnings are based on mileage, so I made out really well there.

  4. Hello all:

    Me, personally, I just do think it is worth the risk to make mileage run outside of the USA until our government makes the announcement that they are waiving the COvid test requirement for Americans. Also, there are a lot of countries which require quarantine at your own expense. Hong Kong for example requires a 21 days quarantine at designated hotels. Even if you go countries that don’t require quarantine, just remember the following… and I am not trying to scare you, but we all have to be conscious about it:

    1) A PCR Covid Test costs about $130 to $175 each; and insurance DOES NOT pay for it because it is not for medical reason nor should one lies to the test provide in order to go around paying. It is dishonest. Thus, for a round trip you need to budget at least $200 more in addition to the plane ticket.
    2) If you don’t tell the COvid test provider that it is for travel, you may not get this result on time for your flight and you may not get the required information put on the test result. EX: if you want to go to SPAIN, your test result/report must should your passport number.
    3) Yes, I know Mexico may not require a Covid test to enter; but you still need a negative Covid test to return to the US, until the US government waives that requirement.
    4) You still can tested positive EVEN if you have been vaccinated. Think about the possibility that you are tested positive while you are in transit outside of the US. You will be trap in a Covid no return situation which will require that you be quarantine for at least 10 days before you are even allowed to take another test. There are many reported cases of such while people are vacationing in Mexico’s all inclusive resorts. All you need to do is Google and you will find the news.

    For all of the above reasons, I think I will just do my mileage run within the USA; and I think that is why Delta came out with the bonus MQD, MQM, MQS scheme because they realize that it is hard to reach those mile stone when flyers cannot travel internationally.

  5. I understand the US requires a negative Covid test taken within 3 days before arriving in the US . If I do a mileage run JFK-BOG-JFK in the space of 18 hours round trip (turning back same evening at BOG airport), will US allow me entry with a Covid test taken in New York *before* I started the mileage run? Or does US require the Covid test be taken in BOG? It would be “within 3 days of arriving”.

    • Hi, George. Per the CDC:

      “Can a test taken before departure from the US be used to return within the 3-day timeframe? How will testing requirements be handled for short trips?

      If a trip is shorter than 3 days, a viral test taken in the United States can be used to fulfill the requirements of the Order as long as the specimen was taken no more than three days before the return flight to the US departs. If the return travel is delayed longer than 3 days after the test, the passenger will need to be retested before the return flight.

      Travelers considering this option should additionally consider the availability of appropriate testing capacity at their destinations, and the time frame needed to obtain results, as a contingency when making plans for travel.”

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