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  7. John DELTA Reply

    Thank you so much for this, René

    This will be a great resource for everyone as a continuous thread!

  8. Have you sat in economy comfort on a330-300 international flight? Can’t decide if I should book 10a&b or 11a&b. 10 is front row but next to galley. But row 11 will have 10 reclining into it. Just wondering if you had a preference. Got my info from seat guru . . .thanks

  9. Delta Segment Flyer Reply

    Love this! So with Delta’s new enhancement as a Diamond my Skyclub membership will be downgraded to individual on March 1st.

    Other than picking it as a benefit what options are there to go to Excutive?

  10. Can you upgrade an economy award seat to economy comfort? A generous family member has given me and my husband enough economy miles for a RTW trip (it was booked before 12/31/14) but I am very tall and worried about the long trans-Atlantic flight and trans-Pacific flight in economy. Thank you.

  11. I am considering gifting my $60k AMEX Reserve MQM bonus to a friend in need. I just reached the threshold with my statement that posted a few days ago. I know that if I select them for myself, they get credited to 2014. Is this the case if I gift them as well?

  12. Hi Rene,

    I’m still trying to get my arms around how this works. I’m a PM with a Delta Reserve Amex.

    Let’s say I’m looking at a ticket that costs $500 total. If I buy the ticket with cash, I obviously get all the MQMs (for the actual mileage flown), and then $500 x 9 (Platinum medallion multiplier) = 4,500 points

    I think I’m pretty clear that if I pay with miles, I still get the full credit of MQMs; my question is about the regular points.

    For example, if I buy the ticket for $250 cash and $250 worth of PWM, do I still get the 4,500 points, or only 2,250 points for the actual dollars spent?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  13. Rene — this one’s driving me nuts. Trying to book travel to Asia. I go to delta.com and key in outbound DFW to DPS (Bali) with the return CNX (Chiang Mai) to DFW. Outbound June 10 and return June 28. Up pops several $1255 fares — great deal!! I go thru the whole process even to the point of inputting my Am Ex security code. After declining to input a stateside contact, a screen pops up saying my fare has changed — jumped from $1255 to $5853. Wow! I call Platinum line and the guy makes it sound like I should have known that the “partner airlines” would not go with a $1255 fare. So, why show it at all, Delta? If it doesn’t exist, why indicate that it does? Your kind thoughts, Rene?

  14. Hi. Just took my first Delta flight of the year, then looked at details in my SkyMiles account. Yikes. I am a Platinum member. I can follow the new Base Miles and Bonus Miles calculation (base fare x (5 + 4)). But I don’t understand the MQMs. One the outbound portion of the trip, I got MQMs for the actual mileage flown. But on the return portion, they have me a “50% MQM Bonus”. (No upgrades because my wife was travelling with me on a free companion ticket.)

    1. Last year I got a 100% MQM bonus on all flights. That’s gone now?
    2. This time, why no bonus one way and 50% bonus the other? Only thing I can think of is: Fare class was V outbound and T return.

  15. Rene,
    I am doing something this summer I vowed to never do, taking the family on an airplane. I am trying to get the most for my effort, money

    I have delta amex reserve, so I get a free companion ticket, I have 300K+ sky pesos.

    I am trying to basically get my ducks in a row prior to calling Delta.

    I want to fly from CHS to MIA, can I combine and basically pay for my ticket, get the reserve ticket, then pay for 2 more tickets with sky pesos all on the same itinerary? I was going to buy a FC ticket with cash to get the corresponding comp ticket and then 2 tickets for sky pesos in coach and me and the boy sit in the back and wife/daughter get good seats. I can go ahead and buy FC seats with sky pesos as well.

    Basically, I don’t know the best combination here, I have called Delta once and asked and I think I scared the lady on the phone. Any advice would be welcome.


  16. How do you suggest using regional upgrades? Calling Delta and asking to apply them when booking? I did this for 2 tkts ABR-LAS and they told me I would have to wait until closer to the flight date….??There is at least 9 open seats on both segments that I wanted….why wouldn’t they be applied immediately?

  17. Good morning, Rene’, did you see this article in Travel Skills daily yesterday regarding seating assignments for DL Medallions on Virgin Atlantic?


    If true as the writer/flyer states, it is a better deal to get upgrade and early boarding on Partner airlines, i.e. KL and AF, than on an airline that is owned 49% by DL – Virgin Atlantic!

    • @Rick – I did. You never can trust partners even KLM etc. That is why you edit KLM AF seats with their PNR on their web site. You can NOT trust Delta. As to VA, well, I will only book in biz and it will be a non-issue. Or fly Delta metal. #SeamlessTravel – HA!

  18. RE: Pay With Miles. As a Platinum or Diamond, I understand that I can book an award ticket and change it at no cost/ loss of points. I also understand that there is a hefty fee if I change my itinerary on a ticket paid with cash/ credit card. Am I also correct, in that a ticket paid with a combination of miles and dollars (“pay with miles”) will be treated as a paid ticket and not an award ticket, with respect to changing the itinerary or dates with a hefty fee? Thanks !

  19. Is KLM twitter support useless for DL ticketed KL flights when asking for seat assignments? I have a trip to CPT in March, but can’t select Economy Comfort seats on DL.com or KLM.com and their only response is to recheck for seats during check-in. KLM.com shows my non-status FB # instead of my DM status on the ticket which may be the problem.

  20. You will live to regret this! Your advise is too good and you just added an hour to your day keeping up with our questions. But we thank you!!

  21. tracy rich Reply

    Rene’ I have and amex card and i just found out you can only transfer 250,000 points to delta. I need at least 280,000 points for the tickets i need. Can i get an the delta sky miles card get the 30,000 bonus points then transfer my points for the tickets?

    thanks and i am a rookie and i love the sight

    • @Tracy Rich – that way an idea they changed once the new agreement with AMEX was signed. Here is the link at Delta.com saying they are NOT doing that.
      Transferring Points From SkyMiles Partners
      Looking to transfer miles to your SkyMiles account from our partners? We’ve got good news.
      As part of our continued partnership with American Express, we will no longer implement a 250,000-mile transfer limit for American Express Membership Rewards. The 250,000-mile transfer limit will also not be implemented for any other SkyMiles partners.


  22. Hi Rene- Love your blog and being able to commiserate regarding the dreadful non-stop enhancements of my Gold Medallion benefits and perks. Anyway, I just booked one of the 1200 dollar Business Class round trips from Budapest to JFK and back. I’ve got a 10 hour layover in Paris on my Air France outbound and then a month later an 8 hour layover in Rome on my Alitalia return to Europe. I’ll position both ways by flying to and from Frankfurt where I have friends and I’ll sightsee my way to and from Budapest to reach my positioning flights. I’m excited to fly premium cabins in two Sky Team partners for only 1200 bucks, see Paris and Roma on the way to and from Budapest. I plan to book award tickets to Frankfurt and then home again from Frankfurt since I have friends there. So far availability isn’t so good and there only one day with low level coach availablilty (30K miles plus 5 bucks) for the out bound. Flying home from Frankfurt (in Business) costs 62,500 miles but also 328 euro of which 114 is for fees and taxes. So now you must pay with miles and dollars (euros) for an award ticket? Sheesh. Jeff

    • @Jeff – You will love them. Enjoy. Well worth the price and the reward will be sweet too.

  23. Rene,

    Been searching the web, Delta’s website, your blog – pretty much everything I can think with limited success. With the 747 showing up on ATL-HNL this summer it is a tempting trip to avoid Europe or ICN but am unsure the quality of the meal service. Is this simply an enhanced meal service on the outbound or is it a business elite lite or even a full business elite dinner? If it is not even close to a business elite (Delta One) style service I will stick to a true intercontinental trip.

    Thank you

  24. Thanks – that’s what I thought though I’ve read some reports on FlyerTalk about enhanced deserts such as ice cream and a bit more elaborate of a meal but nothing like an intercontinental experience. Keep up the great blog!

  25. Rene, I have a trip MSP-HEL coming up next month. I can pretty much choose my flights – and It then will be booked/paid for by another company (I assume in coach). I am flush with both DL and AA miles. Do you have any idea which I would have a better chance of upgrading with miles to business class (especially for the TATL leg)? I’ve read the fine print of both programs but can’t see which would be better. I’ve never attempted to use miles in this way. TIA.

    • @OF – if you are talking upgrade with miles be sure to be M class or higher and Delta metal!

  26. So which is higher upgrade status potential at time of booking online (not a later change), “upgrade requested” or “upgrade eligible?” 2 Diamond Desk agents have told me as follows:

    1. Upgrade Eligible is higher, meaning you are automatically added to wait list.

    2. Upgrade Requested means seats are available but you have to call to get on wait list.

    Is this your experience?

  27. Last year I earned 40,000 MQM, earning FO and rolling over 15,000 MQM. This year I’m trying to get DM for my wife, so I plan to gift her all MQM from my Reserve card. She then will gift me GM status.

    Assume that the plan works and my wife gifts me GM in 2015. Also assume I earn another 20,000 MQM from my own flights this year, and end 2015 with 35,000 MQM. How many MQM would I roll over at the end of 2015? 35,000? 15,000? Zero?

    • @Charles – You must earn 50,001 & MQD spend or exempt to rollover 1 MQM.

  28. I have two questions, if I book a ticket on Delta with Expedia, will I earn Skymiles? Will I earn MQD?

    My second question, if I use the Pay With Miles option and use some cash and some miles, will I earn and Skymikes and/or MQD?

    • @Bluedevil – You should. Only Priceline is warned against but it can be a YMMV going forward. Safest is book on Delta.com. You SHOULD earn full points now with PWM according to Delta. See THIS post. See THIS post about non-Delta AMEX Plat fee credits.

  29. Oh, and a third question, I just upgraded my Amex Gold Rewards to a Platinum card. If I select Delta as my airline, can I get Delta gift cards in $100 increments and have that count on my statement credit?

    On a related note, would economy comfort seats count as reimbursable fees?

  30. Rene, I actually read from your cited post to two Delta Diamond reps, and both declared the opposite – upgrade eligible trumps upgrade requested. My pre-2015 experience agrees with you, but they say no. Also, she said certs and mileage upgrades will trump free Diamond Medallion upgrades even with a Delta Reserve AMEX.

    • @Glenn – RU & GU do shoot you to the top(ish) of the list yes. That was the case last year too. Same goes for K+ domestic fares with miles upgrades. The Delta Reserve is just a tie breaker. The key, that you seemed to be asking about, was upgrade eligible. The post shows many are eligible but do NOT request the upgrade correctly. Clear?

  31. Rene, I am clear except how to “correctly” request an upgrade. The ‘request upgrade’ box is checked when booking online, but the reservation screen states only “upgrade eligible’ not ‘upgrade requested.’ What else should I do? Thanks.

  32. I guess I’m not very smart but I don’t see where I can go to sign up for this weeks’ SWAG. Is it a website or an email? if so, to whom? Rene? or Deltapoints?

  33. If I opt for the PM Choice benefit of $200 Delta voucher, will I be able to use that to help pay for the primary ticket when using my Delta Reserve card’s companion certificate. I read the terms on the certificate, and it wasn’t clear. Thanks Rene!

  34. will the platinum amex airline credit work for economy comfort seats on an international flight?

    • @Bluedevil – it should, yes. just about anything Delta should work. but for gift cards stay at $50

  35. My wife (a Delta 1 million miler) and myself (a Delta 3 million miler) have both been Diamond since the inception of that status on Delta. As we tend to purchase higher level seats, we are not sure of what the changes in the Skymiles program will mean to us). We have seen a marked increase in the price of flights, despite the marked decrease in oil prices. My question: I’m about to become a 4 million miler. Is there any info on the perks for receiving that status, and do 3 or 4 million millers receive any higher “status” for upgrades than Diamonds with fewer miles ?? Thank you for your continued good information.

  36. If i am paying the $29 guest fee to bring a guest into a skyclub with my amex platinum card, does the $29 fee need to be charged to that platinum card? Thanks!

  37. I am trying to think something through and I would love your opinion. I am flying TPA-BCN and then FCO-TPA. Delta is my preferred airline (I will drop to Silver as of 3-1-15), but I also have some miles (but no status) on AA.

    I can pay about $2000 for that ticket on the dates I want which according to the web site, would get me close to re-qualifying for Silver for 2016 (if my 22,000 rollover miles ever post). I could also use 130,000 miles to pay for the trip in coach.

    I am a Delta Amex cardholder, but do not see the pay with miles option on this itinerary.

    I could also fly a combo of US Aiwways, and BA for about $1400.

    What would you do?

    • @Bluedevil – depends on what the status is worth to you. for your card, take it out out your profile, log out, log back in, put that card as the ONLY card back in, log out, clear cache, and you should be good to go for PWM.

  38. storminorm Reply

    I have a Delta MR coming up the end of the week ATL-BOS-DTW-SEA-DTW-BOS-ATL.
    Question….under what situations can a flight be cancelled but still get full credit for mileage and mqm’s ? I believe you commented on this some time ago…..

  39. René, is it possible to pay the $195 difference from the DM individual SkyClub membership to the Executive level? It only shows paying for the next year; instead, I want to upgrade the current year.

    When all these changes were originally announced, I remember seeing you post something to that effect.

  40. I searched your wonderful blog but can’t find a post about seat selection on different Delta metal. I’ve looked at SeatGuru, but I’m wondering what BE seats (or ONE, how confusing) you think are best on a B767-400ER, 76D? Thanks for all your help!

  41. Francisco C Reply

    Rene, Thank you for your Delta-centric blog! I probably missed this somewhere on your posts. Are the Delta Gold AMEX credit cards still available every 24 months or does AMEX more stringent policies apply to these as well? I recall (and used to do) alternating personal and biz cards every 12 months. If still able to, I will use your link 🙂 thanks!

    • @Francisco C – Thanks! The personal are 1x lifetime but YMMV. Some are reporting success with clear cache and clean browser and not logged in at AMEX but again YMMV. With business cards it is cancel, wait 365+ days, and good to go for new card bonus again. BTW all three Delta BIZ cards are now looked at as unique products 🙂

  42. Hi,

    About how long does it take for the Amex platinum credit for preferred airline fees to credit?

  43. You have probably been asked this a million times but since the site search isn’t showing up for me (I only see the explore categories up top, not sure why) I’ll ask you again here.

    With the current Delta Skypesos program, in your experience, what’s the best way to get to Hawaii in first from NYC? What about to Tahiti? I have over 400k of skypesos to get rid of.

  44. jstraussnc Reply

    I’m Delta Gold Medallion this year and as I understand it, on March 1 I’ll lose the ability to pick Economy Comfort seats when I book – I’ll have to wait for them to clear 72 hours out. But I’ve already bought some tix later in March and it lets me pick the EC seats for those flights, even though the flight itself is after the 3/1 change.

    So it seems to me that if I know I’m going to travel this year, I should go ahead and book flights now so that I can pick the EC seats, especially so I can bring my non-status hubby with me. Does that sound correct? Thanks for all the great info in your blog!!

    • @jstraussnc – book now free but if an equipment swap happens or a schedule change you will be back in coach.

  45. Rene – Update of “upgrade eligible” vs “upgrade requested.” When booking (logged into my account, not guest), it shows “upgrade eligible.” After I pay for the ticket and view booking in Trip Details, it now says “MEDALLION UPGRADE REQUESTED.”

  46. Hi,
    I have a A.E. Delta SkyMiles Gold credit card. I wanted to ask if when making a Delta Reservation, do I need to pay with the Delta Credit Card to be able to get the benefits of Early Boarding, Free First Bag etc. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and prefer to use this as my payment method to get the 2X points for Travel which I can use in the future for securing a award flight.

    • @Jeff – just have to hold card but make sure it is in your MY DELTA page.

  47. Anna Davis Reply

    Oh goodness! My head is about to explode from visiting websites and trying to figure things out. I am looking for 2 tickets from Nashville to Rome, Sept 12-27. I am looking for YBM or equivalent class that can be upgraded to Business class for around $1800. Is this unreasonable?

  48. Hi Rene,

    My wife and I are looking to book European flights w/ Delta points. Can she and I both send our Amex points to the same Skymiles account, so that we have enough points to book? I already called Amex and they won’t combine our amex accounts.

    • @Matt – You should be able to send to your wife from Membership Rewards. Add her as a card user then try and should work fine then.

  49. I should’ve probably been a little more specific. I have 100k skymiles already, she has 100k Amex, I have 200k Amex. We just made her a skymiles account. Amex is telling me that she cannot transfer her amex to my skymiles, or transfer from her amex to my amex. We need all 300k amex to go to my skymiles to give us 400k for flights. I asked amex if i could just link both of our amex accounts to my skymiles, and he said delta would reject that.

    Hope this makes sense 🙂

    • @Matt – again, add her as a user on your AMEX. Then, you will be able to send her amex to your amex. Clear?

  50. She is an authorized user to a few of my amex cards. She also has an amex plat that is under a different account that I am not an authorized user on.

    • @Matt – She needs to be on the account you want to send points to. Clear?

  51. Clear. I’m on Amex live chat now, and they’re saying she has to be the primary card holder of the account to send the points to. She is just an authorized user. By the way, thanks for the quick responses!

  52. So, I am currently a silver medallion with 18500 rollover MQMs from last year.

    I also have a delta amex.

    I wonder – is it worth doing the 25k spend on the delta amex, to get around the spend requirements?

    I’m concerned that I’m going to end up with 50k or more MQMs this year, but not actually have nearly enough spend to gain status.

    I fly weekly or every other week, but mostly short-ish hops, $300-500 round trip.


  53. Thanks @rene. One follow up question though. The 25k would represent essentially my entire credit card spend for all cards combined, for the year.

    In light of that, is it still worth doing the Delta exemption over anything else?

    • @Zachary – If you are flying each week being GOLD would be very nice compared to Silver or not. Plus, do look at “other ways” to MFG spend so as to not impact you so much. See the linked post.

  54. Hey Renee, love the blog!
    I have been PM with Delta for 2+ years and dropped to silver this year. I had a plan to make Gold, but did not know I had to earn MQD AND MILES, I worked hard and spent money to get the MQD, but anyways I was very upset so I status matched to American for Platinum and immediately received GOLD.

    My question is for my choice benefits I chose 4 system wide upgrades, but never had to use them, they expire feb22 this year. Can those be booked toward travel after feb?

    As a former Delta employee and Atlanta resident it hurts to leave Delta.

  55. René,

    Here is my question for you…

    I have to take my son to Portland Oregon two or three more times before June. I am GM on DL.. If I book our seats before the new seating plan goes into effect, will I be able to change the seats to Economy Comfort at time of booking?


  56. John DELTA Reply

    René –

    It’s been quiet on the Mileage Run front…

    Hoping you are looking at finding something soon, especially in light of the ‘supposed’ air fare sales coming this week for Spring travel?

    ~Hopeful in Seattle

    • @john Delta – Yep hard to hit my targets for 2015. Get close many days but not at target levels.

  57. This is a very basic question, Rene. If I book award travel on DL, do I have 24 hours to cancel it with no penalty? I have no status with them. I looked on their website but couldn’t find the answer.

  58. Kathy Stecke Reply

    Hi Rene. With my Am Ex Delta Reserve card, I am $1076 short of the 1st $30,000 spend required for the 1st 15,000 MQMs. (So no way for the 2nd 15,000 MQMs). I overpaid my bill in December, so Am Ex got more than $30,000 from me … I currently have a credit. I’ve called Delta and Am Ex each more than 10 times, looking for a “small” exception … each says the other can credit me with the bonus 15,000 MQMs. Any ideas? Shucks, Kathy

    • @Kathy – You are talking LAST year 2014. How much you pay matters not at all. Only how much you spend. Unless you got the spend posted by 31DEC14 you are out of luck and stuck and there is nothing you can do. Spend MUST be posted and done by end of year each year! Sorry 🙁

  59. Rene,
    Just finished my first international flight under the “improved” 2015 Skymiles. Last year I consistantly received 36-38K per the same trip. For my trip in January, Delta blessed me with 14,432 miles. (Though I did “receive” a 17,621 MQM credit.) You want to speculate when the rules will again change and MQM earned will mirror total miles awarded? I”m so glad Delta has changed the program based on what their loyal customers want. I so wanted half the miles I used to get.

    • @Dale – AA still pays out full points unlike Delta – Just say’in 🙁

  60. I sometimes take advantage of the FTD 35x points offer which shows up around flower-powered holidays. https://www.ftd.com/34795/ Is this a good deal for something I would have spent anyways? E.g.,5,250 “miles” for $150 (2.9 cpm)

    • @Jeff – IMO paying for Skymiles is NEVER a good deal – EVER. There are so many ways to MFG them almost for free. Paying for MQMs is a good deal. Lastly keep in mind a Skymile is, with Pay with Miles, worth 1 cent. That should be your base to see if there is value for other things. To “buy” Skymiles I would never pay more that 0.5CPM that is 1//2 a cent per Skymile!

  61. Was wondering if its true you can no longer cacel a delta card and then reapply 12months later and get welcome bonus? thanks

  62. I am sorry what do you mean @David – Correct. That only applies to the business cards now.
    ? Does that mean you can get the welcome bonus for business accounts if you open and shut? Or if you have a personal account and later open a business account you could get 2nd bonus?

  63. Grace Bhang Reply

    Hello, Rene!
    I and my fiance are planning to visit LA-Las Vegas-Caccun for my honeymoon on May this year. Since we’re both working we couldn’t spare time as much as we want(I’m from Korea, and the Korean work culture is pretty tight), so we could spend at Cancun just 4 nights.

    The flight from Cancun from LA was Delta which was supposed to be arriving in LA at night.. but schedule change suddenly happened… and it will be arriving in LA around 3 PM.. and that means that I have to leave Cancun in the morning and wait for another flight in LA for more than 7-8 hours…

    I want refund and change to another flight.. but my ticket is non-refundable.. (“refundable” tickets are way more expensive usually..).
    What can I do? Should I just waste my time? or waste money?

    Thank you.

  64. Rick Strand Reply


    Do know what international business class seat is most comfortable on Delta? If the following, which is most comfortable 767-300, Airbus A330-300 of the big 747?

  65. As a frequent international business traveler, I swear by the book “How to Beat Jet Lag.” Essentially, it uses light manipulation to incrementally adjust you to your destination time zone. You sleep or wear sunglasses, or stay up and seek light according to # time zones and east/west. The schedules are in the book.

    Almost every flight I take to and from Europe and Asia require that I stay awake most of the flight. For example, when I fly AMS-DTW on the 10am flight, I see most passengers use their lay flat seats to sleep the whole flight. So, after boarding in the morning after a full night’s sleep, they sleep another 8 hours on the plane. Then when they arrive in the States in the afternoon, they find it hard to get to sleep that night.

    I stay up during the flight and am ready for a normal night’s sleep and going to work the next morning. My point – forget which lay flat seat is better and take the flight that best fits your itinerary.

  66. Deltaflyer Reply

    Hi Rene. I remember that there was a post about this, but can find it.
    Is a 41 minute connection (via Delta ticket) realistic for Atlanta airport?

  67. Randall Meullier Reply

    Hi. This might be a silly question but does Delta look at Diamonds in different way depending on how they made Diamond? I made Diamond for 2015 on segments and the group of people I travel with (band and crew) did it on miles. I have the reserve card. All of a sudden the upgrade situations seem to have changed even when we all have the same fare class. I used to consistently hold number one on the list but now get bounced all over the lists first 10. Definitely all feels different these days. Even my Delta friends at my home airport just shake their heads and say it’s weird. Just curious.

  68. When booking flights, when should I use pay with miles or is that a good choice? What about using miles to book business fares?

  69. What strategy would you suggest for a status match to American? I’m a DM on Delta, more concerned about free upgrades than accumulating miles for free travel.

    Would it be better to wait until the AA/US integration is complete?

    • @Kevin – I would match when it best fits your needs. I don’t think merger will have a ton to do with choice.

  70. Yesterday no problem booking an award for my son while being logged in as a Diamond Medallion (for the free-cancel-option) – today I get the message for a similar award booking: “Because this itinerary was created using Medallion® availability, the names of Medallion passengers can’t be changed. Medallion members must be traveling to receive greater award seat availability. Learn more”
    My own name is listed and cannot be changed on the itin.
    Is this a new “enhanced feature” and if so, what to do now if booking an award for a family member from your own account/miles ?

    • @Genise – Not new. You must be traveling with them for them to get your perks!

  71. @ René – Of course DL wanted more miles when not logged in as a DM, but it took an hour or so and IT re-adjusted with the DD to the saver award for 60k miles (to ZRH) that I was seeing, just not able to finalize booking with the usual “error” message after “complete purchase”.
    Victory !!!

  72. Rene,
    I’m positioning myself to drop the Platinum Delta AmEx if things get much worse with the SkyMiles program this year. Due to an odd quirk of some large expenses, I might still spend $25,000 on the card even if I drop it by June (my renewal date). Do you know if the 25k MQD exemption will count for this year even if I drop the card before the year is out? Sorry if you have already covered this, I have read several of your articles on the topic and didn’t see it mentioned. Thanks if advance!!

  73. yes if you spend 25K then cancel card they will count it just make sure the acct shows 25K spe4nt However they say they can change that at anytime Costco just dropped AMEX its all over news Amex stocks have fallen steeply and they have been losing airline deals so go google search its all over net this morning thanks robert

  74. Rene, I wanted to cancel my AE Delta Platinum before paying the annual fee. The companion cert has been issued and in my wallet. CSR said I would forfeit the cert if I cancelled the card. Is that true? If it is what if I have already used it and paid for the flight?

  75. this may sound silly,, but could this blog show the posts in reverse order? As it continues to grow, we have to scroll past all the old Q&A to see the latest ones.

    • @Gregg – Ah but notice a trend, the same questions over and over. Thus look for answer on the way 😉

  76. As you previously advised, I waited to select the GUC as my choice benefits for as long as possible, until I would be sure to use them.
    Now I’m sensing that insiders seem to fear these will go away.
    Do you think we (Diamonds) should speed up selecting before the new “enhanced” 2016 Medallion program is announced by Delta in all its glory – and not wait till after March 1st ?

    • @Genise – You can pick your 2015 gifts as they should have become active as soon as you reached PM or DM last year. I would HOPE delta will not retro-change those already published (then again nowadays you never know how low they will go)!

  77. Rene,
    Sorry I am confused. You say we can still find and reference award charts. Are these the 5 week calendars you can click on when dates are flexible? I’m sorta confused otherwise. Yes, I remember the charts showing that tickets will cost in miles on what days of the momth, but doesn’t the 5 week calendar do the same? I’ve try to follow the 8 different post to walk us through and had to stop of a cup of coffee halfway to clear my head. If someone wants to see an ‘awards chart’ that you speak of, what are the clear and simple steps to follow? thks

    • @Dale – You must search leg by leg. For example. To get to Sweden I looked until I found on Delta.com LEVEL 1 from wherever to Sweden. Then next step, from HOME to that starting point. Once all LEVEL 1 called Delta and kept calling till I found a rep to make it happen! See E7 posts: http://deltapoints.boardingarea.com/essentials/

  78. Karen Menard Reply

    Rene, are you a fella and if so been with Delta for many years? I may know you, Karen

    • @Karen – I do not work for Delta if that is what you are asking. I am a Diamond all on my own and the blog is my own.

  79. Hey Rene,

    Possible new devaluation. I’ve been taking the shuttle from LGA-ORD past 2 weeks. Instead of a snack basket, we are now only offered a bag of mixed nuts. F or Y, no choices. Still free beer and wine, though. I asked the FA about it, and she said “its all we’ve been catered with lately”

  80. Rene, a quick question before I repeat my mistake again (and forget): if I made Diamond status in 2014, do I NEED to pick my choice benefits before 2/28/2015 ?

  81. Thanks for the clarification!
    Should I be concerned of what might become of choice “benefits” after 2/28/15 or would this not affect 2015 status ?
    As an insider, what are your thoughts on this please ?

  82. Hey René, thanks for all the work on the blog! Interested in your thoughts/perspective… I am a new Diamond. I have the AmEx Platinum (Priority Pass etc) and DL Platinum AmEx (personal). Have been debating upgrading the DL AmEx from the Platinum to Reserve. Mainly for the help re UG lists/priorities – do you think it’s worthwhile/would make a meaningful impact? Other than the F companion pass I can’t think of any other real reason that would justify the increased annual fee from the Platinum. FWIW re travel, internationally company pays for J, domestically I am usually on changeable/flexible economy fares, that’s where I’d like the help, esp when connecting through elite heavy hubs.

    • @Bradders – It does help on UGs. Plus, you can make more MQMs per year with spend. With a little flexibility the BOGOF in 1st does pay for the card in full each year.
      Rather that UG I would look at BIZ Reserve card then cancel persona plat for bonus MQMs from new card!

  83. When booking business class on delta, what fare will earn me the most mqm”s? A or G or another fare? Or do they all earn the same mqm”s?

  84. Another Q…..
    When using my RUC’s, can they be used on a ATL-JFK-SFO leg flying in BE from JFK-SFO? if upgrade is available? What would be the best use of them distance wise?

  85. Rene
    Just got this. – So why only through March 31. Seems like this could be a good policy long term. or just a test to see if they can do it?
    What do you think?

    Wherever your destination, the baggage carousel probably isn’t on your sightseeing list. So breeze through baggage claim guaranteed — or bag a bonus.

    Now through March 31st, if your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less, you’ll receive 2,500 bonus miles. We are committed to outstanding customer service, and we’re holding ourselves accountable — down to the last bag.

  86. Deltaflyer Reply

    Rene, is there a specific rolling carry on you can reccomend that will fit on the CRJ 145/200?

    • @Deltaflyer – Good question. A purse? Not sure bin hight but must be on web someplace

  87. René,

    I received a Delta offer for up to 50,000 bonus miles for staying with Marriott and having my stays credited to Delta. every other stay will get me 2500 bonus miles.

    I am Plat @ Marriott and currently have about 350k Marriott points.

    I do use points to stay at properties for personal use when the cash price of a room is high.

    Trying to understand which is a better deal.


    • @Gregg – Well if you also have a Delta AMEX card you can use those 50k as Pay With Miles so worth at LEAST 1 cent each so $500. Use that as a base price. After that it is what SkyMiles is worth to you. If you want to use for business class award may be worth more to you.

  88. Hi Rene, In applying for Amex credit cards (personal SPG & business SPG), I understand that I shouldn’t apply for both in the same day. But, to avoid calls to customer service about why I need a 2nd card, in your experience, when is a good time/how long should I wait for the 2nd card app (i.e. the day after the 1st app? 5 days later?)?

  89. John DELTA Reply

    René in the News:


    René de Lambert of the blog Delta Points wrote, “Delta does not respect you enough to tell you what it should cost for an award ticket anywhere in the world. They do not want you to understand that you are very possibly overpaying for those valuable SkyMiles…”

    Delta spokesman Anthony Black told Credit.com the decision to remove the chart from the Delta website was due to a lack of interest from users.

    “There is a segment of people who rely on award charts, but the overwhelming majority doesn’t look at the charts,” Black said.

  90. Deltaflyer Reply

    Thanks for the quick response.

    Not looking for a purse, just a good rolling bag that works well for an overnight trip that doesn’t have to be checked planeside in most cases. I fly almost exclusively Delta. I thought that you probably have some reconditions.

    Maybe it’s a good question for a swag Saturday 🙂

  91. Hi Rene’
    I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now. I also met you at the Chicago Seminars in the fall of 2013. Keep up the great blog.
    I have a question for you. My wife and I used 500,000 Delta miles to fly business first from ORD to JNB via ATL. We arrived home Feb 17.
    We were supposed to leave JNB at 8:55 PM. The incoming flight from ATL had to make a medical stop enroute to JNB to drop off a sick passanger. That caused the crew to go past their alloted time and they needed more rest in JNB. Our flight that was scheduled for 8:55PM did not take off until 4:00 AM, 7 hours late. That caused us to miss our connection to ORD in ATL. When we finaly ariived in ATL it took a while, but they rebooked us on a later flight, in coach not the First we had originally had, and we arrived to ORD at 7:00 PM. Not the 8:30 AM we were supposed to arrive. That caused other ripple problems for us.
    What would be your advice as what we should do as far as asking for some sort of compensation? What are we legally entitled to? What do you think we deserve? We did use points, but we had earned them. We do not have status with Delta at this time.
    Thank you,
    Joe Dunne

  92. Rene,

    I have the Reserve card and was able to spend over $30k on it so far (thanks RedBird). My next statement closes March 9, and my next flight is March 11. The MQM I earned will bump me up to the next level, which I obviously want to do before my next flight.

    I have a few related questions:
    1) how long after my statement closes will the MQM post?
    2) any way to expedite the MQM? Would I talk to amex or delta about that?
    3) once I get my MQM and earn silver (or gold if I meet the next threshold too), will I be able to request an upgrade, even though the ticket was purchased before I had any status?

    Thanks very much!

    • @Bob – as soon as you see the RDMs post your MQMs are there. It takes 1-3 days after statement close. No way to speed up. Status will update 1-2 days after MQMs. – Rene

  93. John DELTA Reply

    @René –

    Doesn’t he have to wait for an email from Delta or American Express to post his MQM’s to his account?

    And after that then his status is updated for the bonus MQM’s he receives for his bonus Amex spending.

    I thought that was a procedureto it.

    Isn’t that correct?

  94. Thank you for the information, Rene and John. Although I am disappointed, I apprecaite it!

  95. Hi Rene, one of the few perks that’s still of good value for being PM is the special phone line and the more-helpful-than-average reps you get on the other end of the line. Many a travel quandry have they helped me solve. Sometimes I’ll ask for their help with my wife or a family member’s reservations as well, especially if they are connected with my own travel plans. But what about calling and asking their help on behalf of a friend with no status, whose reservation has nothing to do with me? I’m away on business at the moment and a colleague has trouble with his return ticket tomorrow. Is it okay to call the PM line and ask for help with his reservation? Or is that sort of thing ‘simply not done’, or otherwise crossing some sort of line? I’m a stickler for propriety. 😉

    • @Jamey – You can do it. I do this now and then but DO NOT ABUSE IT. Do keep in mind they do not get your perks. I never ask for EC seats but do try for EXIT and often get that. Again, I doubt I do this more than once a year for family or a close friend.

  96. Thanks so much for this wealth of info. Quick question: Once you’ve signed up for a new credit card and harvested the nice mileage bonus, do you cancel the card before you get hit for the next year’s annual fee? Thanks. And sorry if you’ve already addressed this but I couldn’t find it.

  97. John DELTA Reply

    @René –

    What has happened with your EU (EC) 261/2004 claim with Delta?

  98. Hi Rene, is there a place on your blog that might help me better understand the options I have with companions traveling with me as a PM? I am particularly interesting in the benefits of joining a companion to my reservation or splitting them off to get my PM upgrade priority.


  99. John DELTA Reply

    @René –

    Do we have plans for the MSP dinner yet? What did you think of my idea to dine at a restaurant within the Mall of America?

    LOTS to discuss on #SlyMiles (not a spelling error)

    • @John Delta – Will have a post in about 2 weeks or so. Still almost 2 months away.

  100. Hi Rene, have you had any luck with the Hertz/Presidents Circle upgrade? I requested 10 weeks ago and have not been upgraded.


  101. Hello,

    should I book a Delta awards trip now or after March 1st? I found RT MSP – Bangkok for 80,000 miles this fall. Will this go up after March 1st?


  102. How to determine a good value for MQMs..

    I need to take my son to PDX from FLL again. I can get a ticket for about $387 FLL-ATL-PDX, PDX-DTW,FLL and 3080 MQMs for for $447 RT I can get FLL-ATL-PDX, PDX-SEA-DTW-FLL for 3554 MQMs.

    I used http://fly.qux.us/smcalc/ to find the MQMs. In this scenario the MQMs for the difference are about $.1266 per MQM. The travel time does not change per se, as I would get home the same time either way.

    What are your thoughts?



  103. Joey Patterson Reply

    Have not received my 2015 Platinum package with luggage tags, etc. yet. Any idea when these were sent out.

  104. Gregg Goldstein Reply


    I understand on a mileage run, I want to stay as cheap as possible. The question more is what is reasonable to add more MQMs to an a non mileage run, do you have a preferred formula that you would use to justify the cost of the extra leg?



    • @Greg – I always try to add more MQMs if price is the same or I can get more for the prices talked about. Personal choice.

  105. Rene
    Received our Gold cards and tags this week. My wife noticed that the ‘expiration date’ was 1/16. Last year it was 2/15. They have taken another month away. Keep Descending strikes again.

  106. I’ve got 80K Skymiles that I want to use for an upcoming trip some time in April 2015. My wife and I will be flying from either BHM or ATL going to either LAS or SFO. Got any tips on the best way to maximize my reward booking two first class tickets?


  107. Steve Case Reply

    Hi Rene,
    You are a brilliant columnist and I am a regular reader. This isn’t a question as it is more of a statement of experience. I have a paid first class trip on DL and I just called DL reservations to see if I could change the date without a “change” fee. Well, to my surprise, the res agent told me that on my paid first class itinerary, it would cost $200.00 each to change. I then asked if there would be a change if I were a GM member and I was told yes.
    I guess my point is that at AS, there is no change fee on “paid” first class tickets. Also, as an AS gold member, there are no change fees on any ticket class. Why can’t DL do the same?
    Keep up the great column, I enjoy reading it.

    • @Steve – Yep. Those are Delta rules. They ONLY thing you can do is a SDC or same day change free in 1st class as medallion but even then it must be same day not another day. If there were a HUGE schedule change you could maybe get it done free.

  108. In regard to 767-400 BE, where do you generally board this plane, at cockpit area or between BE and coach or is it an airport or gate decision? Just curious

    • @Norman B – It depends on the airport and jet bridge. Clearly better to board and turn left!

  109. Hi, Rene. I made 2 reservations using Skymiles right after Christmas when the miles needed were much less than they are now. The flights are: MSY-LAX-YVR (DL and AS) for 12,500 points and ANC-SEA-PHX for 12,500 points. The MSY-LAX flight has changed by almost 2 hours (earlier) which is fine, but it makes a long layover in LAX even longer (5 hours). The SEA-PHX leg has changed by over an hour. I know I can’t make the changes online, so I will need to call Delta. Do I have the right to ask for an earlier flight out of LAX without it requiring more Skymiles? Do I have the right to ask for an earlier flight out of ANC so we could make an earlier flight out of SEA? Thank you for your advice.

  110. Can I request any flight available and get it without any additional points?

  111. Steve Case Reply

    Rene, thanks for answering my question yesterday. Wow, I can’t believe that DL doesn’t waive the change fee for “f” and “p” fares.

    I have one last question for you. We will be flying DL to UVF in first class. On non-meal flights, what can I expect? I have seen references to a first class snack basket, an enhanced snack basket and a basic snack basket. I did read your snack basket blog from January 5th.
    Here is what Delta says about meal service:
    First/Business Main Cabin
    SLC to JFK Refreshments, Complimentary Refreshments and Premium Snacks for Purchase Complimentary Refreshments and Premium Snacks for Purchase
    What are premium snacks and do I really have to pay for them in first class?
    I read your C+ f/a instructions, do DL f/a’s really only had out one peanut or one pretzel or one cookie? Do they use tongs or their hands to dole out the single nut, pretzel or cookie?

    Thanks for clearing these up for me. You write a stellar column and DL gives you plenty to write about.

    • @Steve – Very light snacks. If you want food – bring it or yes you can pay for food off EATS menu if loaded.

  112. David Benton Reply

    Has Delta Done it again? I have been planning a short trip to Madrid to meet friends. I was under the understanding that we now got points with “Pay with Miles
    ” (RDM cash value + medallion bonus) and full MQM’s). I have been looking at flights and up until today when I used the “pay with miles” option I always got the screen showing how many miles (RDM’s and MQM’s you would get) yes the RDM’s went down but the MQM’s stayed the same. Today you get a WHOLE different screen when you use this “pay with miles” option. Apparently now you get nothing. Your great! love following you.

  113. JP Traveler Reply

    Rene – Do you know what the specific parameters are for the 20-minute bag delivery guarantee? What starts and stops the “clock”? I was just denied on my claim for bags that made it to me 45 minutes after the captain turned off the fasten seat belt light upon landing.

    • @JP – the promo is a total joke. I have not even blogged the promo because they are just denying claims. Total #FAIL

  114. Donna Prentice Reply

    I got notified to update my delta app at the app store. I have an iPhone 6. I did that and have not been able to log on since then. Every time I try to log on I get the same error message. It says: “Sorry, that didn’t work. An error has occurred. Please try again later.”
    I have tried deleting the app and reloading it. Same thing. I am so frustrated because I use(d) this app all the time. Please help

    • @Donna – You need to talk to Delta. There is nothing I can do. I do not work for Delta.

  115. Hello Rene , I just had a horrible experience with Delta at Manchester NH….anyway I told them I loved Delta but in this case the Delta agent just lost control and could not handle the situation…I asked for compensation and said that I filmed the agent going nuts. I told Delta they do not want me posting this on Youtube.I ended the complaint with “I feel sorry for the agent and Im normally happy with Delta”My question to you is.. do you think I went overboard telling them that unless they do something I will post this embarrassing video?

  116. thanks Rene they just really upset me!…i wont post the video but they need to know that there staff could not handle this situation.
    Thanks, Billy

  117. Rene,

    If I spend $60,000 on my Reserve card within one billing cycle, how will that work when claiming my MQM? Do I have to click through the process twice?


    • @Bob – not 100% Sure but as you can see gift more is option so i would think have to do twice

  118. @Rene – Possible blog post for you… probably not a major thing but another disappointment to me.

    Delta companion passes/tickets from the DL Plat Amex (and presumably others) were previously able to be used for anyone. This was pretty useful for moving family around for us. July 2014 I successfully booked for others. Went to do the same a couple days ago and the web site now forces the primary passenger to be the holder of the certificate.

    For us, that’s a real devaluation to the value of the Amx DL Plat & Reserve cards.

    Went from 80% Delta back in 2010-2013 to less than 20%. Mostly flying AA/US and a bit of WN these days. Just another disappointment.

    • @Bryce – I am already on this one and am just waiting to hear back if a bug or a change.

  119. Hi Rene:

    Sadly, I have been downgraded to lowly silver medallion this year on Delta and am traveling to Heathrow in July. We have a 4-5 hour layover and want to access a skyclub but I dont see anything that I can access. I have an Amex/Delta Skymiles Platinum card. Can you point me in the right direction for a club that 4 of us can use – even if we have to pay for it? Love your blog! Fran

  120. Hi Rene, How long does it takeDelta to respond to a complaint?..Thanks, Billy

  121. Rene,
    My amex 15k mqm bonus from last year finally hit my account this month. And bumped me to Platinum (which I didn’t want as I anticipate having a hard time getting back to Gold with travel this year). Last year my mqm bonus hit in February, but they never applied it to my previous year’s mqm status. Do I have any control over this? They don’t seem to be applying these miles evenly from year to year. And how can I get my Platinum package now that I have already received my Gold package?
    Another question: any way to sell or get any value out of my amex bogo certificates? I now have four straight I have been unable to use/cost the same as buying two first class tix out right. Anyone else have trouble with these? Travel from MEM 🙁

  122. Betty McKissock Reply

    I am a Delta Platinum and have the Delta Platinum Amex card and a FlexPerks Visa card. However, since some of the places I am going in Austria soon will only take MasterCard I need to add that to my cards. I wondered if you have a recommendation as to which ones I should consider. I have looked at Barclay’s and it seems to offer good benefits but are there others I should compare it to? Thanks.

  123. On the last couple of occasions when I have tried to book round trip flights between DUB & ICT on Delta.com the flights I have wanted have not appeared in the search results (both simple & advanced search). I have been able to find the flights on KLM.com (on Delta metal) and book with Delta by phone.

    If I decide to book on KLM.com do I suffer any disadvantages other than not getting double Skymiles for using my DL AMEX? Will KLM.com give me access to free EC seats as a PM?

  124. Rene, why doesn’t Delta honor and clear global upgrades when you call and request they apply to a flight? I’ve always been put on the wait list, even when there are +20 seats open on first class. Is this something we might push and ask for?

    • @Dale – Book much further out and you can get it instant. They are holding as many seats as they can to sell even to the day of travel. It really is all about selling every seats possible.

  125. I have always been upgraded immediately on system-wide upgrades … even just a month before flying. It depends on how many they choose to save for possible future sales, variable for each flight.

  126. Flying Delta 767-400 from FCO to DTW. I purchased Econ + already and am in 15A&B. IT’s first row, bulkhead seat, but now I’m nervous no foot room. Have you sat here before? I can’t find any good info on it and seat guru says it could be bad. We like the idea of no one reclining in front of us.There are still available seats in E+ I can change to. Thanks for your help.

  127. Ok, thank you for the quick post. I read some negative reviews about that first row in E+, but then also positive but can’t find any good pics of the actual seats on the 767-400. Travelling with my wife so hopefully she’s ok with the sides not moving. Thanks again.

  128. Hi Rene,
    I know the SDC change rules for platinum and diamonds. Recently Delta has been saying first class award travel must be in same fare class or they will make you pay more miles. I told them and read them the rules that fare class only pertains to coach. First class as long as there is a seat you may change no fees 24 hour in advance of your original flight. I read them the rules. They say no. When I bought the tickets on Diamond line they said the correct rules . As long as a seat is there in first no more miles taken. They are changing or rewriting rules not posted in their rule booklet. Am I wrong can you tell me I have to call in one hour for this again and for a 15 minute flight im not paying additional miles for first class original seat what is the truth. Delta again OMG thanks so much Rene!!

  129. Hi Rene,
    In the Medallion Benefits charts it shows and as before when you call it says “You have reached the Diamond medallion line” or “You have reached the Platinum medallion line” However it now really says you have reached the Elite line????? so all 4 elites go to one line now? Why

  130. So if I PWM I get full mqm credit and no miles but if I book award seats nothing? No miles or mqm’s.

  131. I recently booked an award ticket (First Class) and then was notified by Delta that equipment change eliminate my First Class option (Delta Mainline flight changed to Regional carrier). What do you think I should do…contact Delta and ask them to refund part of my Skymiles?

  132. John DELTA Reply

    @René –

    Would you comment and do a post regarding the “demotion” of Alaska from a “Group 1 Partner” to a “Group 4 Partner” with Delta?

    Of course, this has to be one of the last “shots across the bow” before the dissolution of the DL-AS partnership! This move is meant to discourage ALL SkyMiles members from even CONSIDERING flying on Alaska Airlines.

    Alaska looks towards VA Ave & Atlanta and says “Where is the love, my old friend?”

    Reference here:


  133. John DELTA Reply

    FYI –

    All Alaska Airlines marketed flights, even if ticketed by Delta (ticket number begins with “006”), are not eligible for Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs).

  134. my small total (14,500) Skymiles is expiring and I’d like to redeem rather than lose entirely. Can I get anything other than magazines? It seems the ‘marketplace’ requires an American Express card I don’t want.
    Thanks so much for your expert, objective help to Delta flyers.

  135. Hi, I am trying to book domestic travel for my family using skymiles. Online the cost is 30,000 miles each way but I was able to find individual segments for the minimum 12,500 per ticket using some of your suggestions. I called Delta to try to book the flights (4 segments each way) in hopes of taking advantage of the schedule change rule to change to more reasonable flights later. The rep I talked to said that is called “point to point travel” and that Delta does not book such tickets. Do I just need to call back and hope for a better rep next time?

  136. Rene, I have an executive sky club card that my wife and I use. We will take our 14 yr old grandson with us Monday , will I have to pay for him to enter?
    Always enjoy and learn so much from your blog.

  137. Hi René. Quick question for you re: the upgrade “tiebreaker” that the Delta Reserve card can serve as. Let’s say I have multiple AMEX Delta cards, say the Platinum and the Reserve, both of which are properly linked, etc. For the Delta Reserve to serve as a tiebreaker (which I still have seen happen to the contrary), does the Delta flight being flown have to have been charged on said Delta Reserve card? For example, let’s say I’m working on hitting my MQM threshold spend on the Platinum, as I’ve already hit it on the Reserve, hence putting spend for that Delta flight spend on the Platinum. So my question is: Does the charge for the Delta flight in which I want the AMEX Delta Reserve card to be able to serve as a “tiebreaker” if need be have to actually be charged on that Delta Reserve card? Or is just having it linked enough?

    Thanks so much and keep up the great work!

  138. Hi Rene,

    under Skymiles 2015 do you receive miles for cancelled tickets that are not used? Or if you pay the change fee to change your flights, does that fee count towards your total MQDs and earned miles?

    • @Ryan – You have to fly something to get credit at all. Change fee’s do not count no.

  139. Hi René!
    Before I apply for the Amex Reserve (maybe both), could you please confirm that MQM earned from credit cards will rollover ?
    While doing my research I came across a remark from a PM that his MQM miles earned from spending on his card were subtracted as rollover miles.

    • @Genise – Thanks for using my links first off (links inside)! 😉
      Yes! I earn 30-60,000MQMs on cards each year and ALL my MQMs rollover always! But you MUST make sure you make it to at least SILVER Medallion and either spend $3000 in MQD or spend $25,000 on a combo of your two Delta Reserve cards to rollover any MQMs. Clear? – Rene

  140. I suppose this requirement – at least Silver status – is also required for the RECEIVER of gifted MQM’s ?

    • @Genise – Not to get them but to roll them over YES! If they have say 10,000MQMs and $1000 MQD spend then ZERO MQMs rollover.

  141. Chris Lindberg Reply


    With the new skymiles enhancement where you can no longer have stopovers. I am trying to figure out a way around it. I have found where I can fly from SLC-ANC-SEA-ANC-DLG with each flight pricing out at 12.5K with no stops over 4 hrs. But is it alright to go from ANC to SEA and then right back to ANC?

    • @Chris – You can have an open jaw, sorta, as you can do two one way that is go SLC-ANC-SEA and then home SEA-ANC-DLG but you can not stop in ANC no. You can only stop in SEA.

  142. 747 vs 777? I’m burning through my SkyRubles this year while I can. So my GF and I are taking a trip to Japan, business elite! The question is – I have booked a flight back for both of us in a 747 flying NRT-DTW and a 777 flying NRT-JFK. Which would you suggest as the better BusinessElite experience? We’ll be sitting in the adjacent middle two seats in order to chat with one another.

    • @Moe – Oh I HATE the 777! Worst Delta ONE seats IMO. 747 any day 100% not even close!

  143. Thanks for the quick response. 747 it is! I can’t wait, it’s her first international trip traveling business/first.

    • @Moe – You bet. Upper deck is amazing. Enjoy (I wish I was riding along)

  144. Rene,

    I’m not one of these it-benefits-me-therefore-i-like-it guys, but I have to say that you should get what you pay for. MSP to DTW is typical an $800 flight for me. I travel there all the time for a lousy 528 MQMs one way. I have to say — I think Delta will most likely award MQMs in the future based on airfare value, which is how it should be in my mind. If you pay more — you get more. After all, Delta is in the business of making money, right? Two trips to Detroit cost me about $1500 (2-day travel during the week) and that’s enough for round trip ticket to SYD, which yields 18,000 MQMs. Now let me ask you: does that sound right to you? I’ll hit Diamond this year, but I’m currently PM…

    • @Steve – No! 🙂 BTW if you pay for 1st or even high end coach class you DO get bonus MQMs so just pay a little more.

  145. Rene – looks like the VR program is changing for the negative. Have you noticed the proposed changes?

  146. I have a question about Delta One. If all long haul international flights now have Delta One, why does my reservation still say Business? I’m flying on a 767-400. Thanks!

    • @MB – Delta will be updating the wording. It will take a while. We are talking Delta IT after all 😉

  147. Rene, thanks for the awesome blog. Last night I found out that Delta has a bags on time promotion. If your bag does not arrive within 20 mins on the carousel, you can be awarded 2,500 bonus miles. This promotion seems to be only from Feb 19 – March 31. http://www.delta.com/bagsontime
    Has Delta ever done this kind of promotion before? My home airport is Logan which is notorious for late bag arrivals. I just found out about it last night and Im bummed that this is the one and only time I will get the 2,500 miles. If you have heard of this promotion before, let me know.

  148. René, in your opinion, what’s the best use of SkyBonus points? (I obviously know this could be subjective.) Keep up the good work!

  149. I redeemed Skymiles for a main cabin award ticket. Is there a way to upgrade that ticket to Comfort+? (I’m FO, in case it makes a difference.)

  150. Raghu Narayanan Reply

    I want to book a delta flight from SJC to GRB May 18-22
    When I checkedaward flights on Alaska web site I got itneraries with a 2 stops and total travel time 12 hours

    Is this typical or which is the best place to search for award space on Delta metal

  151. How often does the AmEx SkyMiles offer jump to 50,000? I had gotten a card earlier this year for 30,000 and the next week it went to 50,000. Looking to get a card for the husband but the offer is back to 30,000 from what I can tell.

    • @PizzaKat – in the past it has been September each year (or late August) for the biggest bonus deals.

  152. Thanks. So any recommendation for a card giving good bonus miles/points that I can transfer to Delta?

    • @PizzaKat – My personal favorite choice is the non-Delta AMEX Platinum card. After spend you end up with 43,000 points you can send over to Delta plus all the perks pay for the hefty $450 first year fee (i.e. $200 credit this year and next for incidentals and you can buy 4x$50 Delta e-gift cards and that works, and you can do it again after 1JAN16 – GOES $100 credit and on an on)!

  153. Raghu Narayanan Reply

    Thanks Renee. Another question. If I have Skymiles in my account can i book tickets with miles for my wife and son travelling ( I am not travelling)

    • @Raghu – Sure. You can book for anyone you want even if you are not flying with them.

  154. Raghu Narayanan Reply

    Thanks for the education out there. I keep reading about Schedule Change working in our favor. Question is, how often does this happen. Also on 3 leg journey from SJC-LAX-MSP-GRB , I want the schedule change to happen either at SJC or LAX for me to get some benefit. Does this happen always? What are the chances

  155. Would you think about sorting these posts so the newest are on top? That way frequent readers can see the latest posts without having to scroll all the way down.

    • @FBO – No, as this question has already been answered and if readers take the time to look they will often find their answer above (aka like yours) 🙂

  156. Hi Rene, booked a trip as a PM traveling with a companion. I split the PNR, and we now have two confirm #’s. I now upgrade at my status window. My companion keeps the C+ seat, but loses Sky Priority and her PNR no long shows “Medallion Upgrade Requested” she also doesn’t show up on the upgrade list at the gate. This has happened twice. I am sure you know that Delta.com says that she should clear no sooner than 24 hours. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks in advance.

  157. Hi, I tired to use my regional upgrade to fly from BHM to my home airport – LAX. I was on the phone with delta for 45 minutes as they tired to use it. The person on the phone said there was a change in policies as of 2/01/2015. She didn’t tell me what they were. I emailed delta, and the delta agent told me that people can no longer use regional upgrades when they are flying into LA – regardless on the city of origin. (I wasn’t flying through JFK. I was flying from BHM to ATL and then to LAX. Here is the response from delta.
    “However, please know that effective March 1 the regional upgrade certificate cannot be used for travel to Los Angeles.”
    I still haven’t seen this in any of the restrictions or published policies regarding regional upgrades. Have you heard anything about this?

    • @David – That would be flat our wrong and you need to HUCB! If you get an agent like this again, please have them read the T&C above all the bullet points that says:
      This certificate entitles you to a complimentary one-way Delta One™/Business/First Class upgrade with the purchase of a published applicable Main Cabin fare for travel in markets where Medallion Complimentary Upgrade are available.

  158. OK, getting close to 2 million miler mark, about 30K away. Any suggestions for a domestic route to pass over the 2 million mark? I know it’s a pretty open question but want it to be special and respect your input. I am thinking via DTW because that is the airport I have spent the most time in over the past decades. The second most visited domestic airport would be LGA (lived in New York for a few years) but it is not going to be included in this run.

  159. Hi René! I have been following your posts for a few months now. I really enjoy some of the great insights and techniques you have mentioned and wanted to try some for my last family trip before we move to Europe this summer. I’m wanting to fly from RIC to SJU on 17 Jun and wanted to treat the family (4 of us total) to at least 1st/Bus class, one way. (I only have 150,000 miles and am willing to pay for the flight back…especially since I was given a recent “bump” voucher for $600 on a trip back from Hawaii)
    When I input oneway RIC-SJU for 17 JUN I get 37,500 per person with a layover in ATL. Not bad I guess. When I try one way from RIC-ATL I get 30,000 each and then with same connection flight as the previous search from ATL-SJU , I get 30,000…. Should the flight actually only be 30,000 points per person total from RIC-SJU? When I tried the multi city search RIC-ATL and then ATL-SJU, it game me 55,000 per person. Which is the correct calculation? Thanks!

  160. Thanks for the info René. I see in my upcoming trip, a call to customer service is probably going to be the preferred route in order to save on miles for the family trip. I appreciate your site and posts!

  161. Hi René,

    Thanks for all your great advice and insights. My fiance and I are in the process of booking our honeymoon flight to Japan (SYR to NRT, NRT to JFK) using Skymiles and have been told by both Delta and Korean Air that our Skymiles will only get us into their “Prestige Class” and not their “First Class”. We can get First/Business on our Delta flight from SYR to NRT, but coming back, since we heard such great things about Korean Air’s “First Class” cabin, that’s what we wanted to do…but we can’t get in there with our miles. Is there a work-around to this or is this an actual hard-and-fast rule that Korean Air will not “sell” First Class seats to Delta Skymiles award tickets?



  162. Rene,

    I have a strange situation coming up and can’t seem to get an answer from anyone at the Delta. I am currently an FO with a flight booked next week with my non-status fiance. I will reach gold in the next few days which is well before my trip. My strategy to get us both on the upgrade list was the following: I booked a PWMT for my flight, booked my fiance on a revenue ticket (sep reservations) and called to link us together. My thought is that in the next few days when I reach gold I can call Delta and request to be added to the upgrade list. In addition, my non-status companion should be elgible for an upgrade as well considering the fact that she is on a revenue ticket.

    Do you see any flaws in my thinking?


    • @Max – Looks good. However, do keep in mind it takes 1-3 days for your status to upgrade after you reach it. That may be the ONLY issue I see in your very smart planning!

  163. Carol Blue Reply

    I’m a lowly FO and followed the posts about the new Medallion benefits. Somehow I missed the fact that Silver Medallions no longer get a discount on domestic Comfort+ Seats. There’s a 25% discount on International, but not on domestic. So today I was disappointed when booking SAV-SAN … and I don’t want to wait until 24 hrs before the flight to hope that two Comfort+ seats remain. Thanks for allowing me to vent…

  164. Rene: I am considering getting the AMEX PLAT card, but I am concerned that since I already have a DELTA PLAT AMEX card, I will not receive the bonus offer, per the T&C: “If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer.” Any idea if the bonus will be withheld?

    Thanks. Love you blog.

  165. John DELTA Reply

    René –

    If I purchase two tickets using FlexPerks Rewards, one for myself and one for my companion made as two separate purchases….can I get the $25 credit for a Delta purchase twice (one for each passenger)?

    • @John Delta – Yes you can ask and they often ask YOU if it was for two. Try and worst case you get only $25.

  166. John DELTA Reply

    René – So what is my best answer? Yes, I purchased two tickets for the same day and each passenger made a separate charge eligible for their “travel allowance” (in truth, I am purchasing two $50 Delta E-Gift cards, per your recommendation)

    Their T&C states: “Get up to a $25 airline allowance with every award travel ticket good towards baggage fees, in-flight treats and more.”

    So they ARE separate travel tickets…

    • @John – You do not need to buy two. Just one $50. Then mention two tickets when you call for credit.

  167. I am considering redeeming an embarrassing amount of miles to fly in business to Australia in June. 350,000 roundtrip!( Should have planned further in advance!)
    My question is should I be able to get decent sleep on the Delta LAX-Sydney flight in business? Anything I should be aware of?

  168. Matrix isn’t giving accurate information. Last week it showed flights from TVC to PHL for $745. When I went to book it was $1200-$1400. I just searched flights from TVC to LGA that showed $269 and when I went to book the cost was $498. Seems like a waste of time using Matrix. Where else besides the Delta website can I research flights?

  169. AF is showing low level award business availability from DTW to MUC (via CDG) on a date I want. It is not showing up at all on DL.com. DL is showing me the same low level business for CVG to DTW, but AF will not show that or allow me to route from CVG-DTW-CDG-MUC. Will calling Delta or AF allow me to book the whole thing as a low level business award? DL won’t even let me route that way and pay it, much less award it.

    • @Brian N – No. Must see leg by leg low level space on Delta.com. Delta does not care what AF is showing on their site.

  170. Is there an easy formula for when you have access to the skyclub? Status, layovers, international, ticket type, etc?

  171. Thanks for that. I saw the latest article which prompted my question. I am a new 2015 platinum elite. I fly domestically only and mainly on the east coast. I can take advantage of any lounge?

  172. Is there such a thing as legal routings when it comes to SDC?

    I’ve gotten routings with ITA matrix that when I attempt to SDC I’m told by the reservation agent that they have to be legal routings.

    I have an MR that is ORD ATL SFO DTW ORD. ITA matrix shows an option for ORD ATL JFK SFO JFK ATL ORD all flights are same 24 time frame. Delta.com only shows an ORD JFK SFO JFK ORD as an option they would sell. I understand the SDC fare class rules and other restrictions. So was the agent giving me a line or are there some routings that aren’t “legal”


    • @Andrew G – It is up to Delta and the fare details what is “legal”. My best suggestion is search on Delta.com and if you find a route there it is legal.

  173. Hi Rene – How can I upgrade using SkyMiles? It’s a V-class fare. Thank you for your time.

  174. Rene can you help me with this trip:
    For an open jaw and stopover, i’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the concept. So is this the correct way of implementing it?

    The wife and I want to go to athens, venice and paris with a side trip to sorrento leaving from atlanta in early fall.
    ATL-NAP, VCE-CDG-ATL. Am i maximizing my points that way? Also when i look these up on delta multi-city it tends to charge me for the VCE-CDG. also the business class seats are i think 247K each. I did find the 30K mile one-way flights but they go quick.

    • @CJ – With the change to no stopovers you can only do open jaw as you are talking about. I would call Delta to have them plug it in. Delta.dumb is so broken to the point of worthless and if they want to charge you a phone fee tell them you can not do it on Delta.com so wave fee.

  175. Herbert Kaufman Reply

    I have a Global Entry Number,am a silver elite. Frequent flyer, and am an 83 year old professor. My profile is correct. Why Cani I get TSA prechck on Delta? What do I need to do for my trip from San to Atl ?

  176. This may be a little off-topic, but can’t find info anywhere else. Flying Delta from DTW to MEX where we catch Aeromexico flight to SJD. Reading the “carry on rules” flying Aeromexico, I’m getting conflicting information about knitting needles and hair curling irons. My question is, once I go through TSA checkpoint in DTW, do I have to do that again in MEX? With four flights, I really don’t want to check and…I need to knit on the plane to keep my sanity.

  177. John DELTA Reply


    Although your knitting needles are permitted on US domestic flights and are approved by the TSA the fact is that the Mexican TSA has different rules.

    First, they are considered sharp and potentially dangerous items. Mexico authorities can subject you to a random search at which point the needles could easily be confiscated.

    Returning from Mexico you certainly face a greater chance of having them confiscated.

    Best course of action would be to pack them; otherwise you face a trip without your needling.

    We have done SJD, MEX, PVR & CUN

  178. Can you shed any light on Delta’s status challenge? I submitted for my husband almost 2 months ago.

    Thanks for all the work you do on your blog!

  179. Rene, Here’s a stickler for me. What would you do?
    1. I’ve got 1MM SkyBonus points that will expire when my 3-person company gets kicked out on Dec 31.
    2. I’ve got 4 Global Upgrade certificates from DM.
    3. I will travel alone to China 2x this year and to Europe with my wife 1x.
    4. My current 2015 MQM are 25K and I will get 40K from Delta AMEX this year.

    So, should I burn 700K Sky Business points and forgo the MQMs to China on trip 1 or pay $1800 to buy coach and use Global Upgrades?

    • @Glenn – Personal choice. I am all about the MQMs. I will end the year again over 200k. I would use GU and earn but again that is me. SkyRubles never expire but the do drop in value 😉

  180. Heyy Rene!!

    I am new to Delta points so was wondering if you could help me!

    I have 62K delta points and 51K Amex Membership points, so I could transfer 8K points to delta to get the 70K required to get to India in business class….Obviously I would love to maximize my redemption….which carriers should I be looking at?

    Thanks in advance!!

  181. Fran Leach Reply

    Rene: My wife and I and two guests are traveling thru Heathrow in July and have a 4 hour layover. I am silver medallion but a skyclub member and am looking for access to a skyclub at LHI. Can you give me any suggestions as there does not seem to be a Skyclub at LHI.


  182. Rene,
    My nephew is flying from Amsterdam to Detroit and Delta seems to have the most direct flight. Where should he credit his miles if he chooses this flight? He is thinking of crediting to Alaska but would he get revenue miles or flown miles? If flown miles, would it be a percentage? Thanks!

    • @Glenda – AS miles are more valuable that SkyMiles so not a bad choice even at lower earnings. There are no GREAT choices I hate to say.

  183. Rene’, just double checking, I am Gold (ST Elite+) and will be flying DTW-AMS-PRG. I just want to verify that my wife will get free entry with me to the DTW SkyClub (in case I have to “educate” the dragon).

    • @Mark R – Yep. But only departure & connecting in AMS not at arrival in PRG.

  184. KLM Club when connecting in AMS: Note there are 2 clubs, one on the international side and one on the intra-European side. If you are flying into AMS and connecting to PRG, you are supposed to first clear immigration and then head to the intra-European club. Makes sense time-wise and KLM on the international side may deny you entry since you have completed the international leg of your journey.

  185. hi!
    I have read previous posts, but I am not quite sure I understand things exactly, so I figured I’d ask the expert.

    First, some background. I am currently a silver medallion and would like to be gold again. I have 36,7510 miles currently thanks to rollover and will need to qualify for the spend waiver with my credit card because I will be nowhere near the MQD for gold.

    I need to buy a ticket to Europe. On the spend screen, it said I would earn 10244 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs).

    If I use pay with miles for some of this ticket, will I still earn all of those MQMs? That would get me really close to gold with several months go to to qualify. Would earn redeemable miles based on the amount paid with cash?

    As you can tell, I am more concerned with qualifying for status rather than redeemable miles?


  186. Great site. Question about ticket issuer – I have a couple of flights on Air France coming up. Unfortunately, the ticket numbers start with 057, not 006, and thus I’ll only be eligible for a percentage of the MQDs I’d get if it was a Delta-ticketed flight. Is there anything I can do about this after the fact, e.g., getting Delta to reissue the ticket with a 006 ticket number so I can claim the MQDs?


    • @John – Ouch. Doubtful. My guess is you got it on AF web site or paid with a site outside the USA or used a foreign credit cards? The only other thing, and I have not check what is best, is credit to Alaska for possibly more redeemable points vs less MQMs your way?

  187. Rene and John
    I was able to convince Delta to change some KLM coded flights to Delta coded flights – I think last year. Can’t hurt to do the phone rep shuffle. My excuse was the inability to see my flights easily and make special request, seat changes etc.

  188. Hello Rene, been enjoying your blog!
    My wife and my 3yr old son would like to travel to Thailand yearly, we reside it Atlanta. In the past we just relied on our asian travel agent and she always booked us Korean Air. I’ve been doing a lot of research on travel hacking and points and now have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Amex Everyday Preferred and the Capital One Venture. Would you suggest filling my Delta Acct with the Amex or should I continue with filling my Korean Air with the Sapphire? I am now thinking Delta may be the better deal, your thoughts?

    • @Robert P – I found low level biz on Korean no problem using SkyMiles but I booked 6+ months out. As long as you are booking a long way out you should be able to find some decent space on KE. Thanks for supporting the blog btw http://www.DeltaPonts.com/bpc

  189. Rene, The Delta IT folks are at it again. Just did a search OMA-GFK RT May 30 – Jun 3 2015 with flexible dates. I got different results when I logged in vs not logged it. $404 not logged in. $419 logged in.

  190. Rene, I booked 5 low level award tickets from SLC to MCO back in Sept.. I added a one way to SFO. If my wife and decide to go alone what will Delta do about the other 3 tickets? Will they charge me if the kids don’t show up?

  191. Hi Rene…..first of all, great blog on Delta….one of the few things i track regularly! So I was a UA Global Services when my job changed to Portland and suddenly i found Delta was my company’s travel agency choice selection because they regularly undercut UA by thousands (I am talking heavy int’l travel in booked J class). Fast forward 2 years to 2015 and I am rewarded with Club 360 status….very nice indeed! But starting in 2015, now Delta is 30% or more higher than UA! I have some flex in my travel booking but I am talking Delta being an extra $4k to $7k higher on each quoted itinerary! As much as I want, i am forced to UA! Disappointing….a shame that there is nothing Delta can do to win my business back….I don’t mind expensing $8 or $9k for a trip if it is competitive, but cannot justify $14k (last quote for trip to Italy/France). Thoughts from you, the expert? thank you,

  192. Rene, I forgot to say that we flew from SLC to MCO back in January. so all we have left is the one way to SFO

    • @Eric – They will charge you MORE than you have already paid if you fly or don’t fly.

  193. Good morning Rene, how do I use my skymiles to book flights on air france or alitalia? specifically greece to venice.

    As a followup to my previous question, were you saying that I can no longer book a stopover through the delta website? ATL-ATH, VCE-CDG, CDG-ATL, is this the proper way to do a stopover?

  194. Hi Rene,

    I’m a GM and my wife has no status. Is it possible for me to purchase a cash ticket and then use miles (not PWM) to buy her a ticket on the same flight, link the reservations, and then both be eligible for upgrades (or at least EC)?


  195. Earning points/rewards for paying my mortgage has been getting harder and harder and now it’s impossible. I had a Bluebird- lovely when I could load it with vanilla reloads up to 5K a month and pay my 2K mortgage payement with the Bluebird bill pay. Vanilla beans went away so I switched to Serve and had to settle for 1K per month loading using my Barclays Arrival card- at least I got 2 points per dollar to pay half my mortgage. Then Serve and Bluebird stopped accepting anything other than American Express cards for credit card load. OK, no problem, I’ll use my Delta Skymiles Amex reserve to load the 1K credit card limit on my Serve. – at least it will help me meet my 30K spend on the Reserve and I’ll get my 15K Skymiles and Qualification Miles bonus and be exempt from Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement. WRONG!! I just spoke with customer service- I knew you didn’t get any SkyMiles for using the Reserve to load Serve but I read that it does count toward annual spend. When I got my Amex reserve statement after using my Reserve to load Serve for the first time in April-not only did I not get any Sky Miles for that (expected) it did not reflect the 1000 dollars I loaded to my Serve in the annual spend count. I called Amex and they confirmed that it doesn’t count. At least there was not cash advance fee charged.
    But something is strange, when I go to Delta.dumb and check my annual spend, it says 12-13K spent when the statement I go says 11.1 K spent year to date. I only have 200 bucks in charges since the statement closed so it looks like the Delta website is giving me credit for the 1K load but the reserve statement says otherwise. What is going on?

    • @Jeff – keep in mind Amex, if you call, says Amex GCs don’t count but they do

  196. I signed up to be notified about follow-up comments. Can you take me off of that notification. Thanks.

  197. OutboundATL Reply

    Rene: I am thinking that one could gauge your likelihood for an upgrade based on how low a price delta offers you to FCM after purchasing a ticket. For instance, I have been offered a lower price when I am more competitive across the medallion pool (so lower FCM offer = higher upgrade chance). Any thoughts on this? I’m not gonna buy an upgrade anyways, but it would be a pretty sneaky way to squeeze a few more dollars from medallions looking to ride upfront.

  198. Rene,

    Thanks for the response. I think I worded my question poorly: neither ticket would be PWM; one would be an award ticket, and the other would be paid for with cash. Can I link those and then be eligible for upgrades?

    Thanks again.

  199. Hello,

    My flight from CDG to JFK on American Airlines was cancelled and I was forced to fly home the next day. The flight was originally delayed due to mechanical issues. Once they were resolved, we boarded the plane and started out on the runway. However, by then so much time had passed that the crew was had surpassed their time limits and were no longer able to fly. No other crew was available and the flight was cancelled.

    I submitted a claim to AA for 600 euros compensation per EC 261/2004. After a two month delay in responding, AA finally responded by saying that because the flight was cancelled due to an issue with the crew, which they consider “exceptional circumstances” that my claim was denied.

    I sent another e-mail and told him I would continue to pursue this.

    I just received another response saying I am not eligible for any compensation because I do not reside in the European Union.

    Rene, please tell me if this is correct? My understanding is I am eligible even though I am American. Any advice?

    Many thanks, Kelly

  200. P.S. I realize your blog is about Delta, not about AA, but I am just wondering if you know if American citizens are eligible for compensation under EC 261/2004. Guess I could have just asked that and left out all of the details! Sorry and many thanks.

  201. I would like your advice on the following issue.

    We are hoping to fly VS from NYC to LHR and then connect to LHR to EDI (possibly). We want to fly during the day – VS has a day flight from NYC to LHR.

    We need 3 tickets.

    We currently have 120K delta points (my husband and I each signed up for delta gold, personal and business so 30K x 4).

    Problem is how can I get another 60K delta points and fast?

    Also, right now delta.com is not showing any VS availability. Is it too late or too early for late August?

  202. I am going to be travelling from ICT to DUB (in economy), via MSP and JFK. I am PM and the Skyclub access rules say “SkyTeam Elite Plus® (including Delta Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallion® Members) traveling in any cabin on a SkyTeam international flight* or a SkyTeam domestic flight connecting to/from a same-day international flight (includes same-day travel on a Delta domestic flight connecting to an international Delta—or any other SkyTeam partner—flight). If traveling on a international itinerary, please show a physical frequent flyer credential for lounge access. Note: SkyTeam Elite Plus benefits are provided only at the departure airport and not at the arrival airport unless connecting to a qualifying SkyTeam flight.”

    Since I have an international itinerary will I be allowed access with a guest to the Skyclub in MSP and JFK?


  203. I recently read where AA/US offers military personnel FREE access to admiral clubs when traveling with them while on orders. I read through the Skyclub info but couldn’t find if Delta extends the same offer. Do you happen to know?


  204. Rene:
    United question, but you’re an expert on US Bank’s Flexperks.
    I have a $491 ticket I’m buying on United via 30,000 Flexperks points. (PHL – DEN). Any idea how to get more value and approach the $600 level – especially since United gives miles based on ticket price?

  205. Kelly Sobczak Reply

    I flew KLM metal on a DL ticketed overseas flight at the end of January. I do not care about RDMs, but rather only MQMs. It was a mistake airfare, meaning it was extremely inexpensive.

    I did not receive any miles with Delta and was repeatedly told that Skymiles had to manually enter them and just to be patient. In mid-March I was told that the ticket did not quality. I was then told by another supervisor that I would get the miles. She “guaranteed” it, she told me. I had her put that in my record. She made a request to Skymiles on March 25.

    I spoke to a supervisor last week who told me to be patient and that it could take 6 to 8 weeks.

    Another supervisor told me today that the ticket does not quality and offered me the miles as a good will gesture, but only as RDMs, not MQMs. Everyone I talk to gives me conflicting information.

    Any thoughts/suggestions, Rene? Just accept the RDMs and call it a day, or should I pursue the MQMs? Thank you.

  206. I fly approx 8x/year, mostly routes to places like TN, ID, TX. Due to health issues, I do much better when I fly first/business class. I am starting at square one, so could you give me a plan to make this happen? Thanks for your time.

  207. Pingback: Rookie Wednesday: Starting at square one with Delta - What to do. - Delta PointsDelta Points

  208. Rene, when trying to find international flights i have read to look for the connections then go from there. For instance others suggested flying through amsterdam to get to italy. Or rather searching for amsterdam to rome then going from there. This is the part i dont get. I search for a flight from ATL and see a flight with a connection/layover in amsterdam but not sure what difference that makes. Why search amsterdam first?

  209. From reading your blog I’ve gleaned mileage runs for 4-5 cpm seem to be good values. What’s considered good value for international trips. I’m about to hit gold on Delta and am considering a trio to Dubai. I can fly coach for 650 and get 16,000 MQM (4 cpm ) or business class for 3,000 and get 25,000 MQM (12 cpm). Obviously coach is cheaper but then I have to fly coach and fly another 9,000 to reach platinum, which I likely wouldn’t do organically, so I’d have to try a mileage run.

    So, is PM meaningfully better than GM? What’s a good value for biz class flights? I just returned from a trip to SE Asia and it was challenging in business class, so although 650 is a great price for dubai to NYC, not sure I want to be uncomfortable that long.

    I’m a leisure traveller based in NYC and fly to Florida, Vegas, DC, and international, hence my choice of Delta as my primary airline .Great blog and thanks for the advice.

    • @DS2 – The price / value / goal price is the same no matter where you go. 4-5 coach & 8-9 biz to me is real value for the MQMs. If you don’t mind coach for that long – go for it! If you can stand 12CPM in biz then enjoy. No right and wrong here it is just a personal choice.

  210. Thanks for the quick reply. International business class (Europe and Asia) is almost always more expensive than domestic however, correct? At even 10c a mile, NYC to London wolud be 700, which is unheard of. Ive seen values in coach such as this fare to Dubai, but are you suggesting a sale fare in biz class for Europe or Asia could be less than 10cpm?

    How much more valuable is PM than GM in your estimation? Part of my calculus is if I want to get PM and fly coach to Dubai, I’d have to do another 9,000 MQM and spend 2,500 more. Or, if I fly biz class on this trip, I reach MQD and MQMs immediately and start enjoying PM status sooner,

    Thanks again, keep up the great and informative work.

    • @DS2 – If you value being able to have almost unlimited award redeposit flexibility is can be VERY valuable to be PM or DM!

  211. Hi Rene, I have many Sky Bonus points but have not yet redeemed any. It seems complicated. Can you recommend a place that gives a good explanation of how to manage Sky Bonus redemptions with helpful hints? We will no longer be eligible for this perk after next year so want to use the points before they are gone.

    • @CJR – I have a number of Skybonus posts but few on redemption. Let me work on that for a post and get back to you. Txs – Rene

  212. Delta is killing SkyBonus at end of 2015 for smaller-than-5 verifiable employees. With over 1MM SB points, it is hard to use them. All US and international upgrade certificates can only be used with full fare coach seats which are often close in price to discounted business fares. This could be useful if your company permits only coach travel. SB points are better used for award coach or business class tickets. I just burned 700K for a roundtrip business to Asia. The loss is Delta’s as I would have preferred to pay for coach (and get MQMs) and use SB to upgrade, if they had not forced my hand by canceling the SB program.

  213. Rene,
    Those of us who read you regularly know you love Delta food. My assumption is that most of your food is ‘up front’. As I usually ride in the cheap seats and do some international travel, I have routinely ordered a special meal to get served faster. Could you work up a post on the different types of special meal offers and what they may usually contain. for example, the low fat international breakfast usually is a box of raisins and an egg white on thick toast sandwich (not that good). Thank you

  214. Randall Meullier Reply

    Hi Rene, along with the many disappointing things Delta has done I just found out that Delta is said to be the main transporter of hunting trophies out of South Africa and has zero restrictions . They have not responded to a petition to stop as other airlines have. That is truly sad and wrong that they consider making a buck that important. Hunting beautiful animals as trophies is obscene.

  215. Hi Rene,

    How would a lower level medallion (SM) find out ahead of time how many MQMs he’ll get from a PWM ticket? Specifically, PDX to ATL (nonstop)



    • @David – The quick simple way is do a fake booking on Delta.com and never buy the ticket. Make sure you have the same fare class selected as higher coach and business class do yield higher MQMs. Or, you can use the tool at CWSI.net but ignore the SkyMiles as they are PRE-2015 that is just focus on MQMs (they are very close to spot on).

  216. Rene, I have a Delta Gold Amex which is due for renewal. I also have a PRG, CSP and Arrival+. I’m planning my current europe trip for this fall which will wipe out my skymiles and MR points. I dont fly often but for work and just got a southwest companion pass status. Do i need to keep my Delta Gold? Will this benefit me at all while booking my award flight? I may use award booking service also, if that matters. Thanks.

    • @CJ – If you are going to keep flying Delta I would do this – upgrade to the Delta Platinum card or switch for the bonus points to the Delta business Platinum card. Here is why, the BOGOF cert and the rest of the perks from the card. Yes it is $195 per year vs the Gold card but after you get to year two and onward the BOGOF cert can pay for the card fee for years at a time. Plus you get the free bag and Zone 1 boarding etc. If you are going to keep flying Delta, sad to say, you need to have some kind of Delta AMEX card. Does this help?

  217. Rene thanks for the suggestion and I just may do that after my current spending finishes. Are you suggesting a card upgrade or should i close and reapply for the platinum? I’ll pay the fee now though just in case. Thanks.

  218. As gm is it possible to ask for ( and actually get) same day confirmed change from 2 segment flight to 3 segment flight for example for purposes of increasing mqm ?

  219. Rene,

    I am a GM, and whenever I see saver space (12,500 miles one-way…yes, I still do see it reasonably often, believe it or not), it says that these are not upgrade eligible. What gives?

  220. Hi Rene,
    Thank you so much for the great blog! I truly enjoy reading it.
    I recently made a trip from MCI to LAS. My flight from MCI to ATL was delayed and made it impossible to make my connection at ATL. I had to work the next day and there was no way I spend a night in Atlanta so I changed my flights to MCI-MSP-LAS. Everything went well except I earned less MQM and so I asked Delta Assist about it and they told me they can’t do anything about MQM since it was a voluntary change. I apologize if you have covered this in your blog but was there anything I could have done to earn the original MQM?

    • @Hibiki – Press them. Yes voluntary change but due to Delta delay you should get route credit.

  221. Hey Rene,
    I am planning on flying to Paris in December and am looking to purchase Premium Economy seats with the hope of upgrading them to Business Class? On the Delta site, Premium Economy is not an option since Air France runs the flight. Do you know of a way to select Premium Economy on Delta? Also, is there a way I can find out how many points are needed to upgrade from Premium Economy to Business?
    Thanks Mark

  222. Hi René. If I buy the economy comfort upgrade at the time of purchase, do I increase my chances of being moved to business class? Thx

  223. I don’t usually fly Delta, but I’m going to accumulate enough flights to be just short of Gold Medallion this year. Should I make the effort to achieve Gold though? Since it’s not likely that I’ll achieve status next year, should I let my miles rollover so that I can achieve Silver with little effort?

    If Delta provides a soft landing for status, it’s a no brainer, but I cannot find any information as to whether Delta provides hard or soft landings. Do you know?

  224. I am a gold medallion and plat Amex holder. I am flying round trip from msp – fnt and both flights will be on crj-200. Since there is not upgrades or economy comfort on this plane, is there any harm in booking a basic economy ticket and saving $20 from a regular economy ticket? I don’t really care about seat choice as their aren’t really any good seats on this plane and all luggage will be plane-side checked anyway.

  225. Thanks for the assistance on my earlier question. I have an additional question about Air France/Delta.When selecting the Premium Economy option on Air France’s site, it states that the Delta leg of that flight would also be Premium Economy. Since Delta does not offer Premium Economy, what would be the comparable Delta class?

  226. Rene – Have you ever had luck with last minute award travel changes? I am DM with three family members traveling tomorrow (within 72 hour deadline). We have 4 tix at 20k each (cheap by new delta standards) but need to now stop in ATL instead of continuing on the next leg. I have HUCB but they keep telling me that the legs are married and a reissue will be double. I know the rules but hoping for an exception for common sense. Thank you.

    • @Bob – Much much much simpler on paid tickets. Very hard on award plus all must be GM+

  227. In your post today you say that as a Diamond you get both DM and PM choice benefits (and, thus, can get PM regional upgrade certificates and DM global upgrade certicates). I have never heard about getting PM as a DM. Where is that option on the Delta website?

  228. Bruce Weinberg Reply

    I hope you can help me with a boarding pass/pre-check question. I have booked flights (DL booked and HA codeshare for last leg) for me and family STL-ATL-HNL-LIH. When I went to print boarding passes, all were ok except non of the family BP showed up for the HA flight. I was the only one–we are all on the same reservation. Any idea why or what I can do?

    Lastly, on the return flights, I have a KTN and does Delta share that with HA as a codeshare partner so I get Precheck in LIH?

    Thanks. Love your forums.

    • @Bruce – Setup a HA award account and enter you KTN there and try to print boarding pass with their PNR (you can call Delta to get it). Txs – Rene

  229. Hi ..I have booked a Cancun vacation through Delta and are sitting in economy seats. Am I am able to upgrade my tickets using points?

  230. Bruce Weinberg Reply

    Thanks, @Rene. I went ahead and signed up on HA with my KTN. Any idea why the boarding passes to to LIH (DL codeshare) did not show up on the DL site when I checked in? Only my BP showed up for that leg; all other travelers on same reservation were not available for the LIH leg only.

    • @Bruce – They are no longer close partners (really not at all) or more than 3 legs or they want to be able to charge you for a bag fee 🙁

  231. RichmondFlyer Reply

    Thought you’d be interested – I struck Gold last week and this Thursday/Friday as well. As PM w/AmEx SkyMiles Business I get my fair share of RUs but last week i went 6 for 6: RIC-ATL-MCI-MSP-DEN-ATL-RIC and this week RIC-LGA-RIC confirmed RUs That’ll make it 8 for 8. Impressive – not glamorous mind you because there are relatively short hops, just impressive.

  232. I’m currently at 27K MQM, and 6.4K MQD. I should have around 47K MQM by the end of the year. Is it worthwhile going for GM status? If I stay at FO, I would roll over around 22K MQM, nearly enough to requalify for FO status for 2017. If I get GM, however, I’d roll over almost nothing, making it hard for me to keep silver in 2017, let alone gold.

    Low-level status is always better than no status, and the differences between FO and GM don’t seem as significant as they used to be.

    What do you think René? Is GM really that much better, or would I be better off knowing that I’d keep Silver for 2017?

    Note: my travel mainly consists of hops between DCA and CVG (direct or connecting), 2-3 longer haul domestic trips, and a paid Delta One RT to Europe each year. I’m also willing to do mileage runs, as long as the prices are right.

    • @William – If it was got for PM vs GM I would say no brainier and go for PM. As you say, the cut in GM perks makes is less of a simple choice that it once was. Getting C+ choices 3 days vs 1 day for FO is not all that much better. Plus, as you also point out rolling over FO is very nice. I am sure you UG shots at GM will not be that much better as a GM and out of DCA all UGs are hard. I can not tell you what to do but if FO works for you sticking with FO could be a nice spot.

  233. Intentionally Anonymous Reply

    I work for an organization that books 4-8 group flights of 25-35 people per year on DL. I am one of two or three people with decision-making capabilities and access to the reservations. Very few people traveling on these flights take advantage of SkyPesos and enter in their FF information.

    Other than it being completely dishonest, could I theoretically punch in my FF number under every name in my reservation and receive mileage and segment credit? If I fly from one coast to the other and I have one stop on each leg of my trip, I’m looking at anywhere from 100-140 segments per trip, and 100k-140k miles per trip.

  234. I’m finding today, delta is blocking the view of open first class seats on my future flights when accessed through either the DeltaApp or on-line. But, if I attempt to make a purchase, I can see the open seats. Same for you, or a temporary glitch?

  235. Regarding your post today on AX cards and bonuses, I have a Platinum business card. If I sign up for a Platinum personal card, will I receive the 10,000 MQM bonus? Thanks.

    • @Scott – As long as you NEVER have had it before EVER yes. PS txs for using my links in advance!

  236. Got a question about batch applying for credit cards, what do you do with the cards after you get the bonuses? Cancel the cards? Suppose they have annual fees? Can you keep you doing this with AMEX cards or can you only get the bonus miles ONE time…forever?

    Great Site, THANKS!

    • @Michael – Amex personal cards are 1x ever yes. Biz card are once every 2 years (or there about). I tend to not cancel ever if I don’t have to. Often use retention calls (See E13) or I downgrade to no fee type card and into sock drawer.

  237. Hi Rene. New to points/miles, so a question. Suggestions for getting from Phoenix to Delhi India mid October 2015 using points and least amount of $$. I have a Delta Amex, but only 23k, as well as an IHG MC with 70k. Also have a new Alaska Visa on the way. Will I need another card, and best option? Thanks!

  238. Lish Rutman Reply

    I don’t get it. My Skymiles profile says 1 more MQS or 3846 MQM’s until silver. I am gold right now…so 1. why would it drop to silver? and 2. how come it doesn’t tell me how many more until platinum? Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • @Lisha – Thus you are just short so just Silver. Need over 6k plus MQMs or MQSs.

  239. sorry to keep bothering you. but are you saying that once i have over 6k of MQMs i will be platinum? (I’m on a flight right now!), MCO-DTW-MSN. and next week I will be going from MSN-ATL-SJU. then in July MSN-MSP-DFW.

  240. I have the Delta Reserve Business Card. Can I get the 60K Skymiles 10K MQM sign up bonus if I apply for the Skymiles Business Platinum? I hope so because I was just accepted and I know that Amex considers the business cards separate products and I’ve never had a business Platinum. Did I screw up here?

    • @Jeff – You should be fine. All my instructions are telling me the biz Delta products are all 3 views as unique products! Enjoy the MQMs.

  241. Thanks- I NEED the MQM, I’ll ENJOY the Skymiles- I still seem to be able to get Level 1 TATL Business Class tickets when I need them. Also, my total spend on the Reserve will of course be added to my spend on the new Platinum and when I cancel the Reserve and when I hit 25K spend I’ll both get MQM exempt and another 10K MQM from the Platinum bonus, right. 25K spend is easy for me, 30K is a bit of a stretch.

  242. Rene, with the recent upgraded bonuses on the AMEX Delta cards is it a good idea for a couple to have both? Is it a hassle with Delta separate reward reservations for two people with accounts as opposed to all points from one account?

    • @CJ – You know, that is a GREAT rookie question. I love it. Will answer you this week on Wednesday so you and others can benefit and will link back here then.

  243. Rene,
    I already have a gold Delta AmX. Can I upgrade to Platinum and get the mileage bonus? If yes, do my YTD charges transfer to satisfy MQD? Thank you,

  244. I have looked all over for this information. There is a lot of advertising about Delta’s 10,000 flights. How to I find the flights that fly out of Boston?

    • @Nancy – Limited markets where Delta must compete more. Keep in mind Delta is not one to give out MORE information than they think you should have 😉

  245. Rene, have you noticed that sometimes the seat map online is different from what is on the app screen or in real life? Case in point we are going to LAX tomorrow and as a Gold I can’t get C+ seats at booking anymore, so I was hoping to snag some at the 72 hour mark but with our little ones I decided to buy it instead this weekend to make sure we could get the IFE for them to keep them occupied on the 4hr flight. However now I notice that online the seats that we gave up (row 13 on a 737-900ER) which on my App were not C+ are listed as C+ online at delta.com This is just bizarre and did I waste money on C+ seats I all ready had? I may call Delta today and double check b/c this is outrageous if I had C+ seats to begin with. Have you experienced this or is this a bug people have encountered? Thank you for your time.

  246. Jamie Wood Reply

    Thank you. I did call Delta and sure enough I had C+ seats originally and the Delta App was incorrect….and I asked for a refund of what I paid and they gave it back to me, and couldn’t explain why there was a difference. Maybe a plane change? I am still confused but happy I got my $200 back.

  247. Hello,
    I have two questions.
    1. After years of flying I finally achieved DM last year and fortunately I achieved DM already this year for 2016. Question is why have I not been notified of my gifting ability of Silver & gold yet. I made PM end of February and DM end of April this year. Last year when those levels were achieved I received options to give away SM & GM. Do you only get to do this once?
    2. Did delta do away with the free cocktail vouchers and vouchers for the flight attendants? I haven’t received any of those this year either.

  248. Hi Rene, I can’t thank you enough for your blog – it has been life changing (I don’t say that lightly)! Thanks for highlighting issues with the Delta website. I am trying to book an award flight in business class. ATL-BOM via LHR on 7/29. While there is low-level award space for each segment, when you try to add it all up using the multi-city option, the space disappears and I get an error message.

  249. Hello Rene,

    Thank you for this great site! I have a question for you. I live in SLC, a Delta hub. However, I rarely, if any, see a mileage run deal with SLC involved. Is it real or is it just my wrong feeling? Do you have any suggestion for people based in SLC to take more advantage of the mileage run deal? Thanks.

  250. Currently I am a GM, will be PM once my Delta Platinum statement closes later this month. If I book an award ticket while I am GM, but then once I become PM, will the PM benefit allow me to freely make changes to the award which was booked before I became PM?

  251. Hi Rene,

    I am a PM who was a DM last year, and used one of my rewards on the 4 Global Upgrades. I am trying to cash those in. I read your post here: http://deltapoints.boardingarea.com/2015/01/14/rookie-wednesday-delta-regional-global-upgrade-certificates-medallions/ , but my question is a bit more in depth. After talking to DL via phone (including a supervisor), they informed me there was no open “upgrade eligible” seats for the flights I was looking at (BNA-ATL-HNL, use the GU’s on the ATL-HNL leg). What would you recommend my strategy be to utilize these and be able to book the flight far enough in advance that the cost doesn’t go up too much, but I could also guarantee the ability to use these, since DL does not disclose the number of seats they make “upgrade eligible” in a scenario like this?

    Thank you for any insight you may have!

    • @Clint – You can be wait-listed and be #1-ish for upgrades. No guarantees but if you fly off days you are more likely to clear. Sorry wish I had better info for you. 🙁