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Welcome to this week’s RenésPoints PodCast episode number 5. I am having a ton of fun with this and I am learning as I go. I am working with the tech stuff and I have to say upfront the audio this week is not perfect but for now this works. Who knows, this PodCast thing may not last anyway but I plan to keep it going for May at least. Now on to this week’s topic, that is, “Just how good is Delta food really? An interview with Noah Mark (Delta fan boy)!” take a listen and see what you think: It is always a blast to talk to Noah. If you have not had the privilege of meeting him you are sooooooo missing out. What a great guy and the definition of unbridled enthusiasm. Anyway, below are some links to what we talked about in the PodCast: All about…

We all want to find the best deals to get free or discounted travel, perks, rewards, and experiences. Delta may be loving Medallions less and less these days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the rewards from other airlines, hotels, and credit providers willing to earn your business. Let me start by saying I love Starwood Hotels! I have stayed at many Sheratons, Ws, Alofts, Four Points, A Tribute Portfolio hotel, and The fabulous Westin Palace In Madrid, Spain. However as far as having a Starwood Amex, I wanted to consider my options for the personal card I held, and perhaps change or cancel this card. I wouldn’t want SPG to leave my wallet, so independent of this I was considering applying for the Business Card version of this card. The business version has two perks of interest to me that the personal card doesn’t have; Sheraton Club Lounge…

One of the benefits I enjoy as a PM are Skyteam Elite Plus benefits you receive around the world. Delta GM+ are considered Skyteam Elite. Benefits a Skyteam Elite can receive range from priority and dedicated check-in, security lines, customer service lines, priority baggage handling, lounge access, and perhaps, if a flight was full you could receive an upgrade. I can understand why René is going for Delta million miler status because FO, or Silver Medallion, members may not always receive full Skyteam Elite benefits, in some cases around the world, you receive several of the same perks and benefits. The treatment of Skyteam Elite is seemingly inconsistent, but ironically I saw more Sky Priority benefits extended to Delta Silver Medallions than Delta gives their own members! If you are flying out of London from LHR, Delta FOs (Skyteam Elites) CAN use the Sky Priority check-in area for Airfrance &…

As a frequent flyer the term “time flies” has an extra special meaning, and time has indeed flown by, real fast. Just this past week the blog you are reading now known as RenésPoints celebrated it’s 4th year of blogging. Congrats, René and well done! While the site may have gotten a new name, the idea remains the same, getting the most benefits for your money on your travels using all available tools, tips and best practices out there. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt as an avid reader of Rene’s Points the last 3 years, my traveling adventures became that much more exiting, enjoyable and fun! I have been very fortunate to have my share of time in the premium cabin on Delta, KLM, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic. I have enjoyed some really good delta food along the way; I even enjoyed my bread…

After enjoying London, Paris and Amsterdam, my recent European adventures culminated with a final stop in Madrid, Spain. Now, there were two original reasons I picked Madrid, the first reason was I wanted to check out popular chef Dabiz Munoz’s amazing restaurant DiverXO. Being a foodie, their incredible short film promoting the restaurant caused me to instantly book the weekend in Madrid. The other reason was finding Low Level 1 flights entering and exiting Europe. I was able to book one itinerary for 125k Skymiles entering Europe from MIA-LHR-CDG. I was able to stop for a few days in London because I booked this on 31DEC14, the last day before Delta Removed Stopovers on award tickets. The flights exiting Europe were Madrid to Fort Lauderdale via Atlanta. All 4 flights were just 125k and $99.60. I saved a lot of taxes by not departing to the states via LHR, it…

René wasn’t the only one spending time in Europe this summer flying around on Virgin Atlantic (VS) and Skyteam flights. I also, thanks to finding Low LEVEL 1 award flights to and from Europe, was able to enjoy a summer to remember heading to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Madrid! One of the things I was most excited to experience was flying on Virgin Atlantic’s Queen of the skies 747-400 from my hometown in Miami. You can check out Renés experience on the VS A330 to and from Atlanta and Manchester. But one of the benefits of traveling to London Heathrow in VS Upper Class, or DeltaONE, is access to the Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 3. Arriving from Miami at 11:30am, after clearing the immigration hall though the Fast Track lane since I was in the Upper Class cabin, I headed for my baggage, cleared customs and followed…

If you don’t know me yet, my name is Noah Mark and I’m a foodie. I’m the guy that travels the world for food. I’m the guy that must get the right photo of my food, in the right light, and use the right filter, and if you’re with me I might very well take a photo of your food too! I love all types of cuisine, from the secret BBQ joint down the street with the common picnic tables, to a 5 star Michelin restaurant with a bill that resembles more of a car payment than a dinner out. When I first followed René’s blog, many years ago, the idea of flying on a domestic US carrier and receiving an upgrade to first class, along with a meal, seemed all but impossible! Then, by combining my regular travel habits, staying loyal and following some of René’s great travel tips…

As an avid reader of Renés blog I have learned the do’s and don’ts in getting the best value from points and miles programs and not just Delta’s. I have obtained value from Membership Rewards Points, SPG points, Flex Perks , and yes even Delta SkyMiles, although as we all know, that ship seems to be sailing faster than a cruise that “Frequent Floater” MJ On Travel likes to take! One of the greatest sins of redeeming your points, and what everyone knows, is to stay clear away from most non-travel redemptions, such as gift cards and merchandise. Why? Because you lose incredible value when you redeem for less than what the points could potentially get you for other uses. Here’s a simple example. Delta $kyRubles are always worth at least 1 cent to me as long as I have a Delta American Express Card. Why? Because I can use…

Earning my Platinum Medallion status, after reading tips from Rene’s Blog DeltaPoints, I have had a lot of fun as an elite flyer and reaping all the benefits that come with it. With the current benefits erosion aside, one of the things that Rene has always said, and I wholeheartedly agree with, is that Delta FA’s, GA’s and staff are some of the best domestic staff around! It’s a shame us Platinum Medallions now only get two JWD (job well done) certificates to hand out (Diamonds get four, btw). I really wish there was a way to get more because I would be happy to reward the dedicated men and women who help keep the airline running day in and day out. Anyway, last year as I headed to New York to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon it just so happened to be National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. In honor…

Most long time readers know that my family heritage with aviation runs a few generations. My granddad worked for Pan-Am way back when and my uncle was a pilot (not with Pan-Am) for many years. With parents living all over the world I always traveled. I loved hearing stories of my mom’s Pan-Am flying experiences from “back in the day”! So when Noah Mark (a frequent contributor here on the blog) told me about the adventure he was going on I really wanted to go, but I was in Sweden for much of May this year so it did not work. But after seeing his guest post, I think I need to book time to go one day! – René As a frequent flyer and aspiring #AVGeek I cannot tell you exactly when I first heard about The Pan-Am Experience at Air Hollywood in Los Angeles, California, however once I…

Hi everyone, I am Noah Mark and I have always been a collector of points and miles as far back as I can remember. Originally from New York and moving to South Florida in the late 90’s, my travels included many return visits back to New York. Since south Florida (MIA/FLL/PBI) to NYC (JFK/LGA/EWR) is a hot leisure market there is always a bit of an “arms race” and especially so in the early-mid 2000’s with airlines trying to one up each other offering comfort and affordable travel between the two markets. JetBlue came online, and Delta created Song (remember them?). Both products offered Live Satellite TV, leather seats, and a modern feel. I started to participate, now and then, in all ground mileage promotions, sign ups, such as Skymiles Shopping, Skymiles Dining, etc. I was happy as a clam riding domestically in economy and happy to receive my points…

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