Today is a big day for me: I’m taking my first flights since March 2020!
(I received my second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine a couple of weeks ago,) There are several new experiences I’m excited to enjoy. Plus, I have a brand new Bento Bag from Nomad Lane I’m eager to try.
Where Am I Going?
Just a quick roundtrip from LAX to Salt Lake City. (If you see me at LAX or SLC this afternoon, please say hi!)
I look forward to visiting the new Delta Sky Club in Salt Lake City — and the new SLC terminals, in general. Plus, I’d be letting down my readers if I didn’t try the new Old Fashioneds (what a great oxymoron!) and margaritas Delta now offers. 😉
Most of all, I’m thrilled to travel again.
This is the first of eight trips I booked during the past couple of weeks. I have travel planned for almost every month the rest of 2021..
Am I Nervous to Travel Again?
I won’t lie: I’m slightly anxious.
Like, I’m not concerned that I’ll catch COVID-19 — though I acknowledge it’s a minute possibility. (So is choking on my breakfast or getting into an accident on the way to the airport.)
But traveling during a pandemic is a new experience for me. The closest feeling, I guess, is like the first day of school: I have an idea of what to expect and know everything will be fine. There’s a combination of nervousness and excitement
How I Paid for the Trip
Perhaps like you, I’m sitting on a mountain of vouchers from 2020 trips that were canceled. (Well, I was sitting on a bunch until my little shopping spree.)
My roundtrip total was $208.80. I applied a $200 Delta voucher from my Choice Benefits. The outstanding $8.80 was paid with my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
My Platinum status allowed me to jump up to Comfort+ shortly after booking. I chose a bulkhead seat — and, of course, the middle seat is empty because of Delta’s safety protocols in effect through April 30.
The flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City isn’t very long (about 1:45 gate-to-gate there; around 2+ hours on the ride home). Kicking it in Comfort+ for a couple of hours (especially with no one next to me): easy peasy.
But then a tempting buy-up offer appeared: upgrade to first class for $106.43 or 9,900 SkyMiles each way.
And, of course, the seat next to me would remain open. (How often does that happen in first class?!)
Here’s what even better: I’d earn a 50% fare class bonus on MQM because of the upgrade to a premium cabin (Z class). Then that triggers a 75% MQM bonus for the entire trip. So instead of earning 1178 MQM, I’ll haul in about 3093 MQM. And I’ll earn a 75% MQD bonus.
So I took the offer and redeemed 19,800 SkyMiles for the privilege of sitting up front. (Sssh. Don’t tell René. He hates first class monetization. It’ll be our secret, okay?)
(I like the back rows because I can recline my seat without feeling too guilty 😉 ).
Given that I paid $8.80 out of pocket (the other $200 was a gift from Delta), that comes out to about 3/10 of a cent per MQM. Works for me.
I know many readers have traveled during the pandemic. So it’s not like I’m charting new territory here.
I’m finally comfortable to start popping my head back into the world. (And gosh knows I need some new original pictures for the blog!) I look forward to sharing some reviews with you during the next few days.
Featured image: ©iStock.com/rebius
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