Everything Else

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  1. Thank you so much for this, René

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

  2. 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

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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!

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.


  10. 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?

  11. 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!

  12. @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!

  13. 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 !

  14. 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.

  15. 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!!

  16. 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

  17. @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.


  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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?

  24. 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?

  25. 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?

  26. @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.

  27. 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.

  28. @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?

  29. 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.

  30. 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?

  31. 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!

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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?

  36. @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.

  37. 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…..

  38. 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.

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. @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. 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!!

  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.

  47. 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.

  49. @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.

  50. 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 🙂

  51. 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.

  52. 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!

  53. 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.


  54. 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?

  55. @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.

  56. 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.

  57. @Chris – I assume you are talking Regional Upgrade certs? Systemwides are old ones. You must, per Delta.com, fly before they expire:
    “Expiration Date: Certificate expires twelve months from date of issue; all travel must be complete prior to certificate expiration date. Certificate may not be extended, reissued or returned for credit under any circumstances.”

  58. 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?


  59. 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

  60. 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.

  61. 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

  62. @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 🙁

  63. 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.

  64. 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)

  65. @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!

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

  67. 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?

  68. 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.

  69. Rene,

    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?

  70. 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.

  71. 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?

  72. 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.

  73. 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?

  74. 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 ?

  75. @ 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 !!!

  76. 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!!

  77. 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

  78. 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?

  79. 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.

  80. 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 ?

  81. @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)!

  82. 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

  83. @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.

  84. 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”

  85. 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 ?

  86. 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 ?

  87. 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.

  88. @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!

  89. 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?

  90. 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?

  91. 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.

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

  93. 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.


  94. @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.

  95. 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?)?

  96. 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.

  97. 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 🙂

  98. 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

  99. 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!

  100. @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

  101. @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?

  102. 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. 😉

  103. 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.

  104. @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.

  105. 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.


  106. @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)

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


  108. 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?


  109. 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?



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

  111. @René,

    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?



  112. @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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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?


  115. 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.

  116. @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.

  117. 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

  118. 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.

  119. 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.

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

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

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

  124. 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

  125. 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?

  126. 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

  127. 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?


  128. @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.

  129. 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

  130. 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 🙁

  131. 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.

  132. 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?

  133. 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?

  134. @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.

  135. 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.

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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!!

  139. 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

  140. 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?

  141. @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:


  142. FYI –

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

  143. 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.

  144. 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?

  145. 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.

  146. 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!

  147. 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?

  148. 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.

  149. @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

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

  151. @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.

  152. Rene,

    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?

  153. @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.

  154. 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.

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

  156. 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…

  157. @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.

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

  159. 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!

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

  161. 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.

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

  163. 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.)

  164. 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

  165. 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.

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

  167. @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)!

  168. 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)

  169. Renee
    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

  170. 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.

  171. @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) 🙂

  172. 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.

  173. 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?

  174. @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.

  175. 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.

  176. 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!

  177. 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!

  178. 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?



  179. 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?


  180. @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!

  181. 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…

  182. 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.

  183. 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)?

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

  185. 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…

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

  187. 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?

  188. 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?

  189. 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.

  190. @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.

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

  192. 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?

  193. 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”


  194. @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.

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

  196. 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.

  197. @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.

  198. 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 ?

  199. 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.

  200. @Judy,

    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

  201. 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!

  202. 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?

  203. @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 😉

  204. 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!!

  205. 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.


  206. 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!

  207. @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.

  208. 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).

  209. 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.

  210. 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?


  211. 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?


  212. @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?

  213. 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.

  214. 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?

  215. @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

  216. 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.

  217. 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?

  218. 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,

  219. 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

  220. 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?

  221. 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)?


  222. 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?

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

  224. 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.

  225. 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.

  226. 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

  227. 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.

  228. 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?

  229. 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?


  230. 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?


  231. 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?

  232. 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.

  233. 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.

  234. 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?

  235. 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.

  236. @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.

  237. 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.

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

  239. 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.

  240. @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

  241. 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.

  242. 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

  243. 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.

  244. 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)



  245. 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.

  246. @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).

  247. @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?

  248. 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.

  249. 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 ?

  250. 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?

  251. 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?

  252. 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

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

  254. 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

  255. 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?

  256. 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.

  257. 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?

  258. 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.

  259. 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?

  260. 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.

  261. @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

  262. 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?

  263. 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.

  264. @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 🙁

  265. 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.

  266. 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.

  267. @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.

  268. 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.

  269. 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?

  270. 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.

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

  272. 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!

  273. @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.

  274. 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!

  275. 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.

  276. 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.

  277. 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?

  278. @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.

  279. 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.

  280. 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?

  281. @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.

  282. 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,

  283. 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?

  284. @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 😉

  285. 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.

  286. Rene,
    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.

  287. 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.

  288. 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.

  289. 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.

  290. 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?

  291. 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!

  292. @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. 🙁

  293. Do you have any insight into IATA’s recommendation about reducing the size of carry-on bags? This would be a royal pain, especially since my wife and I have invested in nice high-quality Brigs & Reilly carry-ons.

    Any thoughts on how Delta will respond to this and what we can do to voice our opposition to this proposal?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  294. Hi, i’m trying to purchase 2 direct flights from ATL to LON first week in August. For my ticket, I want to pay for the ticket, but use miles for my traveling partner’s ticket. I’m finding better options/prices on Kayak.com, but when it re-directs me to delta.com, i’m perplexed at how i pay for one of the tix with points. I assume i have to purchase the tickets separately, in order to use the points for one and not the other (i want the MQMs from my ticket, which is why i want to pay $$ for mine). But even when i go in and act like I’m buying just one ticket, i’m still not able to pay with points. And when i search on delta.com, it says the flight is pay with miles eligible. Am i missing something???

  295. When using Kayak or some other third party service do you lessen your chance for a complimentary upgrade on Delta? I am Platinum with a Delta Reserve Business AmEx.


  296. Thanks Rene.

    You provide each of us with a great service with this column. Thanks for so freely sharing your expertise.


  297. Hi Rene,

    Do you know if Delta will be installing split-scimitar winglets on all of their Boeing 737-932ER fleet? Thanks!

  298. Rene, I’m sure you’ve posted this somewhere, but,I can’t find it. I may not hit Diamond level this year as I usually do….butt in seat for the segments, so, I’m looking to get MQM’s anyway I can. I have the Delta platinum american express personal card, but, no business cards. Would that be the way to go? Also, is it possible to get the MQM’s on multiple cards?

    Thanks for you help, as always!

  299. AMEX has a limit on the number of cards you can hold. My Delta Platinum Business Card application was just denied because I had too many AMEX cards. I had to cancel two and ask for a review on the new card application.

  300. Stupid question that I can’t find the answer anywhere: Does the SkyClub Lounge at ATL Terminal F provide free bottles of water? I’m sure the answer is “no” and that it’s just glasses of water but I had to ask. If “no”, do they sell bottles of water? Thanks a lot!!

  301. @Glenn, re: your post from a while back on Delta SkyBonus points having to be used by the end of the year, specifically “I’ve got 1MM SkyBonus points that will expire when my 3-person company gets kicked out on Dec 31.”, keep in mind that you only have to order the certificates by the end of the year, you then have a year to use them. So order wisely! 🙂

  302. @Janet – They have large bottles but not for you to take. I would bring an empty and fill yours up.

  303. Rene, I have researching using skymiles for a trip this weekend to SFO (one-way departure on 6/19). I am based in DTW. Looking at my options, it seems Delta is charging more skymiles to hub flyers than those with connections through the hub on the same flights. For example, look at DTW – SFO vs. LAN – SFO. Another example is ATL – SFO vs. BHM – SFO. You will see when you add on a connection, the price drops. Something odd seems to be going on here. I am not sure if this is a topic worth highlighting in your blog.

  304. @John – Yes this is common and has been talked about. Much like $$$ ticket prices are HUB higher. You can look at hidden city prices with sites like https://skiplagged.com/ and then see if they have lower award prices leg by leg.

  305. Just had a Delta flight I booked with MR points change by more than an hour. If I elect to cancel, do they give me a Delta voucher (and when does it expire?) or can they refund the initial purchase tender (MR points here)? (It was well over 24 hours ago).

    Also, it’s an international flight to Istanbul, leaving from Ithaca via Detroit, in case the int’l park makes a difference.

  306. Said they could refund the original tender and suggested I contact Amex travel. Amex travel said they would give me the money back in cash.

  307. Rene’, I’m a Delta Platinum and I “bought down” a first class ticket to a few hundred bucks. After the trip I see that I didn’t get full credit for my miles. I called the Delta Premium line and they said I do not get full credit when I buy down but they calculate the miles as the amount I pay times 5. Based on your blogs, my understanding was a buydown from first would still get me all the miles. What’s up?

  308. Hi
    I recently booked a First Class ticket on delta. There are two legs, one on a 757 and the other on a CRJ-900. Upon checking my flights today, I noticed that my second leg has been changed to the dreaded CRJ-200 (no F, obviously). I called Delta and they told me that they would waive a change fee but that was all. Does Delta really owe me NOTHING besides for a waived change fee after this significant downgrade?

  309. I flew DTW-ATL and back yesterday. First time this year in Comfort + (or whatever they are calling it now). On both flights, no “Enhanced Snacks” were offered. Is this too short a flight (595 miles) to expect this service, or is this a “Fail” on the part of both crews?

  310. So it would seem when you are booked in coach and go to change your seat Delta is now not show taken or open seats in FC anymore. They shoe FC but no seats open or taken, just all blank. What a PAIN to what flights even have seats in FC for a possible upgrade. But I used this site in the past (see below) and it quicker than doing a FC booking process just to see what seats are open. I did (email) complained to Delta about a few days ago, nothing as of yet. I will post the usual “cookie cutter” response I get.

    Thanks for all you do for us FF!!


  311. Hi René !
    Delta lost our bags between AMS & ARN for 6 days last month ( en route to a wedding).
    As a DM, can I politely ask/suggest them to throw us some miles – and in which way, email or letter ?
    If so, do you have an example complaint ?
    Many Thanks in advance.

  312. Any idea how to print a China Southern Airway boarding pass before leaving the US? I fly DTW-PEK this weekend, transferring on CSA to DAL. CSA website errors out on flight number and then wants to send info via SMA. CSA flight booked with Expedia as DL wanted $800 for add-on vs $270 on Expedia, so DL does not recognize the itinerary. However, CSA is a SkyTeam partner. Also, can anyone explain the foreign arrival and domestic departure process in PEK. Both DL and CSA use Terminal 2. Thanks in advance.

  313. I have a question about the priority for Upgrade to First Class.
    Your recent review was excellent but I could not find if Million Miler status and Flying Colonel status were considered in determining upgrade from coach to first class.
    I have 3 MM which gives me Lifetime Gold. I don’ know if Flying Colonel has any relevance.
    Thank you,
    Burton Goldstein

  314. This is the first time I have asked this question.
    Do Million Miler and/or Flying Colonel status have any influence on the consideration for upgrade from Coach to first class on Domestic Flights.
    Thank you

  315. I am a Delta platinum card member and I purchased 2 roundtrip tickets for my sister and I to vacation in Spain. My flight bound for Madrid connected in Atlanta where I was to meet my sister. Unfortunately she didn’t show up and when I called her about 2 hours before our flight left, discovered she thought we were leaving the next day. She lives 45 minutes from the airport and there was no way she could make it. I went to the Delta Sky Lounge and asked for their assistance in making the change. I was advised since the trip was international, I could not make changes but would have to rebook the tickets and pay the going rate which was about $1560, about $150 more than I originally paid. I was desperate and accepted the rebooking, same flights and times, for the following day. Looking back on it, that doesn’t seem right. Shouldn’t I at least have been eligible for a partial refund? The return flight of the round trip ticket was perfectly good and yet I was charged the fare for a new round trip ticket. Help.

  316. Rene,
    Would it be better to fall short of Silver by 500 miles and carry those miles in to next year or go over by 1000 miles, be Silver, and only carry over 1000 miles toward the next year’s classification? Your wisdom please.

  317. Hi Rene,

    I just received my Alaska Gold MVP 75k status and as part of that got 4 complimentary one-day boardroom lounge passes. Do you know if I can use the alaska club passes to get into Delta SkyClubs?


  318. Rene, I am curious whether Delta protects a flier on an award ticket (by re-booking, etc) if a connection is missed due to weather. Last winter (when Delta still allowed open jaws, stopovers and mixed cabin awards), we were fortunate to be able to fly a low mileage itinerary of IAD-ATL-LAX-BNE-MEL, stop for 3 days, then MEL-PER, stop for 17-day cruise, then SYD-LAX-DCA. The outgoing US domestic legs were on Delta in economy, the international and domestic Australian legs were on Virgin Australia in business, and the return US domestic leg was on Alaska in economy. Our departure airport was to have been DCA, but there was a snowstorm on that date such that all the flights from DCA to ATL were cancelled. We were fortunate, indeed, that the Sky Lounge attendant found 2 seats left on a flight leaving for ATL from IAD and that we were able to catch a taxi between Reagan and Dulles in the nick of time. We had to be at LAX for an 11:30 pm flight that same evening. So, what would have happened if there had been no service between IAD and ATL (other connecting routes to LAX had no availability)? Would Delta have re-booked us the following day on the Delta and Virgin flights even though they were award tickets? At the time the award calendar showed no award availability for the next day. We only had Silver Skymiles status.

  319. @Francine – The points don’t matter if there is Delta metal that is it is more a seat open that matters. With partners, most times the same thing when it is weather or other IROPS. They do the best they can but with flights so full it can take a LONG time. You can PUSH to be put on another airline but here is where status and a paid ticket can help more.

  320. Question: Last night, while traveling on a first class ticket (paid), my first leg was delayed. Delta re-booked me to a later flight on my connection BUT i made the connection in time.

    Of course, my seat in first class was given away. Since there were just minutes to go before the flight left, i didn’t make a stink and just got on the plane.

    As the door was about to close, the gate agent came and UPDGRADED someone else on the flight.

    Should I expect any compensation from Delta for this?

  321. @Peter – Unless you were taken with the Porsche from gate to gate then you should have boarded last and pushed them to get the upgraded seat you should have had. If you DID have the Porsche ride I would have sent the Delta VIP services car rep and had them fight with the GA! 😉

  322. Hi René

    Just wanted to thank you for the blog. I made Gold for the first time last year (many thanks for posting the Hawaii-Puerto Rico Mileage Run)!

    Sometimes, it’s hard to add the SJU leg to the Mileage Runs because the price goes way up, so please, do continue to add any SJU Mileage Runs that you can find. I’ve gotten hooked on my upgrades.

    Thanks again!


  323. Hi Rene!

    You’ve been a Delta “sherpa” to me for years. Unfortunately, I could use one more piece of advise. I am trying to change 3 tickets (same flight) to a different city. Since I’m not a medallion Delta wants to charge $150 a ticket (which was more than the cash price for the ticket). No agent is willing to waive the fee.

    Any suggestions or do I just lose the miles?

    Thank you! – Luke

  324. @Luke – Hard unless there has been a schedule change or some other reason you can give them as an “out” to not get them in trouble.

  325. hi
    i was diamond 3 years now platinum but i did not receive he upgrade gift have they all went out?
    thanks robert

  326. Rene:

    I read your blog daily and haven’t seen this latest DL take-away mentioned.

    I am DM and last week I bought an “H” fare ATL-LGA on the DL website as usual. When I checked in, I noticed the comment: Upgrade Not Available at this time. I assumed it meant first class was full. Was that ever a mistake.

    When I got the airport, I noticed that my name was not on the upgrade list board. I asked and was told that as a result of the so-called website “enhancements,” I needed to check the box “Upgrade Requested” when ticketing. By the time I learned this, the upgrade list had closed.

    I know you have mentioned DL deselecting upgrade requests, but I think your readers would be interested to learn about this new degradation of Medallion benefits. Why in the world would a Medallion not request an upgrade? This is so insulting — the only reason is to keep some deserving Medallions from getting upgraded is for DL to make more money from FCM. (I certainly will pay a lot more attention to this matter when ticketing and check My Trips religiously.)

    By the way, the nice SkyClub and DM desk folks are appalled at this latest Delta Descending slap-in-the-face. There is a tremendous disconnect between the front lines and corporate.

    Thanks, Rene, for all of your helpful posts.

  327. Hi Rene, I am DM MM traveling on Delta each week. I am considering switching from Delta to another airline continuing to travel each week. I only travel in the US for work. If you were going to switch airlines & rewards programs what would you chose based on your knowledge of all the programs. Which one would give you the most upgrades, treat you like a valued customer, built up the most miles the quickest? UA, AA, SW, JB, FT, etc. Thanks for taking the time to give me some advice 🙂

  328. @Greg – You have few choices. Depending on where you live, AA is the winning choice. Clearly. IMO.

  329. Rene,
    Thanks in part to your advice, I signed up for the Centurion AMEX card, and I’m working on putting my minimum spend on the car. I got a pitch from Delta to buy American Express Business Gift Cards. I’m considering for my staff for gifts. Will they qualify for minimum spend on my credit card?

  330. @Clint – My experience yes. But start at TopCashBack to get 1-3% back and points (warning use no codes and 2k cards max). I pay for $99/yr unlimited free s&h.

  331. I just got approved for the Delta Business Gold and a Delta personal gold (trying to see if I am able to get the bonus even though I have the Delta platinum) and now once I’ve met the minimum spend to get the bonus, should I discontinue the cards so I may be eligible for another bonus in 365 days or does this ‘hurt’ my value with AmEx or Delta?

  332. Hi Rene,
    I am a DM with AMS as my main hub. When I try to book awards on Delta it will cost a lot of miles, which is not uncommon. However, I learned from the blog that you can also search leg by leg and call a Delta rep. Now I have the following question, is it also possible to route my flights via a different continent and still get the same 62,500 miles in price from Europe to US? In order to join a flight on which my friend is on. (e.g. AMS-DXB-LHR-NYC)
    Keep up the good work, I appreciate it!

  333. Hi Rene,

    Enjoying the blog – thanks for all the tips. As a PM, I’m likely going to have to make a couple of mileage runs this year. Your run posts are great, but often the routes don’t work well for me. I’m wondering if you have any tips for finding routes that are good candidates without somewhat randomly choosing destinations that might generate a significant number of MQMs. Thanks

  334. I’m following your advice about finding the route I want on Kayak and then logging into my Delta.com account before I send the fare over to Delta. Are you finding huge changes in your fares? Mine are almost doubling. I’ve had this happen multiple times on different routes and even on different computers? The fares are mixed when I find them on Kayak. Is that the issue? Thanks in advance!

  335. Rene, really appreciate your very informative web site and advice.

    As a international Delta GM, retired independent traveler from MPLS. does it make sense to status match (if I can, or were accepted) with one of these airlines: AA, UA or Turkeys Airline by the end of the year or even the Middle East carriers? If accepted would I still keep Delta GM next year.

    Thank you for all your help,

  336. @Michel – You do not loose your Delta GM status if you match another airline. Up to you if routes and airline fits your needs better. Go for it but keep in mind most are 1x a lifetime match!

  337. @LA –

    Both Kayak and Google Flights are having severe issues with “deep links complex routing” with Delta (per their teams.)

    I have been working particularly with the Google/Flights team to isolate the issues (of course, Delta’s IT is no help.)

    I just found what I thought was a valid fare on Google/Flights, but it could not price on Delta, found the same fare on Kayak, it DID click-through and showed the posted (Kayak) fare as well. After selecting seats and putting in payment information the fare jumped with an error statement from Delta.

    After a few times, I simply called the Diamond desk and they “forced” the fare for me to match the originally posted (Kayak) fare!

    Got to love the Diamond Desk for true customer care!

  338. How do you go about finding your mileage runs – would love to be able to understand your method so I can use it whenever I please instead of nagging you on Twitter!

    Thanks so much!

    P.S – I don’t have a blog, nor do I plan on starting one – not trying to rip you off, originals are much better than fakes

  339. Hi, Rene. Enroute home from AMS I took a bump in MSP thinking $400 would be nice. No more travel vouchers–AmEx gift card for domestic flights/Visa for international (or GCs to Target, Best Buy, Amazon, etc). So I took the Visa. You also have to wait around until the plane has boarded before agents begin to process you. So after waiting around and getting hooked up with a hotel, meals, etc. I’m still thinking, it’s okay. They send you an email to claim your GC which I (and the others who took the bump) did.

    Today I get an email. The VGC is *only* for use online and only after I have to jump through another hoop of registering with the sponsor, yadda yadda yadda.

    Anyone else run into this? And, really, is it worth the time and trouble Delta is putting people through with this whole thing?

  340. Warning ! Do not rely on the Delta app when you are traveling in a different time zone!
    I am Medallion Delta, and was in Sydney last week, relying on my iPad Delta app. It worked fine to get me to the airport in Sydney but when I returned to Los Angeles I didn’t realise that the app was still on Australian time (one day ahead), so I almost missed my flight to BDL today (Wednesday July 8) as the app showed it leaving Thursday July 9.
    My iPad has had plenty of time to adjust to LA time as I have been using it here all week- and I had no idea that only the Delta app would not reset to the time here in the
    It has cost me $125 to change my ticket, as there was no way I could get to the airport in time!

  341. @Annie – Uh, did you reboot when entering the USA (I always do on my phone etc). Sorry, but not blaming Delta on this one. 🙁

  342. Hello, Rene` – My husband and I took a Delta award trip in May. First leg was ATL-JFK-SVO. Delta offered an upgrade to economy comfort on the JFK-SVO flight. We paid $119 each and picked our seats.

    The itinerary I ran off the night before the trip still showed the economy comfort seats we chose. But when we got to the airport the tickets we received had seats in regular economy. The gate agent said our seats were given to someone who paid for them with cash.

    We were very disappointed and let Delta know – they didn’t care – just confirmed a refund of the money we paid.

    Do you know if Delta does this routinely?

    Many thanks.


  343. @Kay – That should not happen. You can complain to Delta.com and they will give you some SkyMiles. Did you check-in at the 24hr mark and print your boarding pass with seats? I always check-in at exactly (or as close as I can) to that time to make sure I have things right and can call if something is wonkie!

  344. Im trying to book travel with award miles Bos -> Denver for my husband and I. You had recommended someone in the past to help with getting the most bang for your buck. Can you pass that info over again. TIA!

  345. I did complain to Delta and – nothing.

    I didn’t have access to a printer to print out boarding passes 24 hrs in advance. I’ll make sure I do in the future though.

    Very, very surprised and disappointed Delta thinks that treating a passenger like this is okay.

  346. @Kay – You don’t need a printer. You can use phone or tablet and do a screen shot if that is all you have or “print” to PDF and save on phone or tablet for later printing. It is for each his own with Delta now-a-days (think $kyRubles)!

  347. Hello Rene,

    This is an odd question. I applied for Delta Platinum Biz on 6/3 for the 60k miles+10k MQM. It was under consideration for a long time and was finally approved on 7/3. I knew that the offer expired on 6/30 so I am wondering if my card still has the 60k+10k MQM offer or just the 35k+5kMQM normal offer. Thanks in advance for your answer.

  348. Award stopover question here…

    Just curious what i should expect when i call in for this. Does delta in practice allow 24 hour stopover and 2 separate awards. Can I build in the 23 hour visit to paris on 1 award by calling in?


  349. Hey Rene,
    I know I’ve seen this on the blog before, but I’m having hard time locating it now – – if I use my Delta Platinum card to purchase a flight for my mom, does she get to check a bag for free? I will not be traveling with her so I wasn’t sure how that worked. Thanks in advance!

  350. @Franciso – Delta no longer allows stopovers but an international connection can be up to 24hrs. They may balk at this but it is in the rules. Push it.

  351. Thanks Rene for your wonderful info . I was able to change my award flight to fco. It was delta then KLM to ams the another KLM to fco. Return via AF to cdg and AF to lhr and delta to lax. It cost me $186 per ticket.
    I was able to change it to all delta flight. Lax to ATL then to fco and back, all on Delta metal.
    don’t they owe me refund? As the award cost on Delta should he lower?
    I don’t think they’ve issued refund ? Should I request it? I bought 2 tickets.

  352. @danny – You can ask for miles back IF, again IF, the current award price is lower. If it is higher you will NOT have to pay more to change to DL metal.

  353. @Rene, mile needed is same, but I thought reward on Delta metal will charge you less in taxes & fees?

  354. Hey, Rene: I’m diamond this year and will be diamond again next year, all based on non-business travel. I have the key amex cards that give a companion ticket for first or economy. Last year, I didn’t make use of it. This year, I’m weighing the options. I’m single, and have friends I’d like to invite. However, I’m also a mileage junkie and I don’t want to compromise too much. I understand that I cannot pay with miles to upgrade on a companion fare. But what are my odds of upgrade? Am I stuck in economy if I make use of the companion pass? I’m trying to find a way to make use of this pass–otherwise, it will just expire unused like last year. Miles and upgrades are most important to me. I’d love to hear how your solo traveler readers spend these companion passes.

  355. Hey Rene, so I just got royally screwed by Delta for the first time in a while and want some advice. I spent a nice chunk of miles on a business class ticket from TPE to RDU and back. On my return trip, I was routed through JFK and was delayed on the tarmac for so long in RDU that I missed my JFK connection. They then rebooked me on Cathay Pacific in economy (full Y nonetheless) going JFK-Hong kong (16H10M, 10th longest in the world) then to Taipei. I have been calling, tweeting Delta, talking to Cathay Pacific, everything, and no one will help. Even though I’m a PM. Say they already spent so much on the ticket etc etc. So I am stuck flying this in about 30 mins, and will receive no miles or anything since they aren’t partners, so I clearly want some reimbursement. Should I tweet or file a complaint? and how much is fair to ask? I want at least half my miles back but I’m going to ask for it all, any advice?

  356. @Jordan – Hotel on Delta and go next day? They will blame airport and give little. Work with what is possible is my suggestion.

  357. @Rene – I thought about that, unfortunately when I was originally delayed I told them I really needed to get out today to make a business meeting, which I do, and they put me on Cathay without directly asking. Then when I complained they said that would have been an option but it was already paid for….I told them I needed out today so they would try hard to get me out today, not rebook me in economy! So I am stuck, sitting on the plane now lol. I just hope I can get back some miles, it costs Delta nothing and I have always been a loyal flyer and advocate for them. I guess on the bright side I can check off a bucket list item I didn’t know I had, flying one of the top ten longest flights in the world :/ If only it was in business!

  358. Hi Rene, taking your advice and found RT availability on Air France from JFK to CDG at 125k by booking through delta.com. Looks like AF has four classes of service on some flights and three on others. Safe to assume that I will end up in business class? Is there any amount of points that would put me in first? Do you have any thoughts on how to best “game” this? Thanks in advance.

  359. Rene – I’ve maxed out MQMs on my Delta Platinum. If I upgrade the card to a Reserve card will I then have the option to spend $30k/$60k for another round of MQMs? Thanks in advance for your help!

  360. @Kevin – Maybe but do NOT try the UG until you have locked in the 50k spend and 50k MQMs. Then, once posted, go for it but make sure you write down the reps name, the time of the call, etc etc so if they do not pay what promised you have some hope but even then if they do not pay out the hope is just about zero. Better choice may be the business Delta Platinum or Reserve cards as anyone can get them with SSN even if you just buy and sell on ebay!

  361. Hey Rene, with the upcoming devaluation should I start considering moving my mile accrual to Alaskan when flying Delta? Also if I did this, would my Delta AMEX spending roll to Alaskan or stay on Delta? Thanks.

  362. Should I even keep my delta AMEX platinum card since I will probably be switching airlines now that using sky miles or rather collecting enough of them will be a long process for international flights.

  363. Hi. Imagine my surprise today when Delta pointed out that Premium snacks are only sent back to Comfort+ if the flights over 900 miles and select flights that are not listed.. Wow. Seems cheap. Am I the only one who finds this odd?

    Premium snacks available on flights over 900 miles and select routes under 900 miles.

  364. @Bill

    Grab two drinks as they come by with the drink cart, Also, I have found if you are very nice to the FAs they “may” sneak you a snack from the front’s snack basket.

    Gregg G

  365. Thanks for the replies Gregg and Rene. Saw the earlier blog but missed the “short flight penalty” the first time. They are truly stepping over $20’s to pick up $1’s these days…I”m all over them making money but I truly feel for the folks who pony up the dough to get into the deeper seats..

  366. Rene, i have a question that I’m almost positive you had to have run into already.

    So I have been deciding whether to keep my Delta Platinum Card for the companion ticket. I figured i could use my PRG delta egift cards (airline credit) to cover some of the cost of the ticket. I checked the terms and it said i could but I called to verify. I was transferred to the companion desk and the rep there told me that no other forms of payment can be used when redeeming the companion ticket. The full fare must be applied to the AMEX and my gift cards would not be allowed. Is this true?

  367. @CJ – I have tested other Delta AMEX cards and works fine. Others say ANY AMEX works fine. BTW never call. They read the script. Ask me or others. Clear?

  368. @Rene, thats understandable. I was more curious about whether I could use my egift cards in addition to my AMEX. By the time i want to buy my ticket i may have 3 egift cards ($150).

  369. @ Rene, thanks for clearing that up for me. How else could I go about getting the $50 statement credit sign up offer for the Delta Gold card “delta” purchase?

  370. LOL ok, last question. Does the food purchase count on a partner flight like Air France?

  371. I’ve been having success with MS buying PayPal MyCash cards at CVS with my Delta Reserve card, loading them up on PayPal, and then using the linked PayPal Debit Card to load up a Bluebird card at Walmart.

    Unfortunately, they’ve just frozen the PayPal account, even though there’s nothing in this process that’s a violation of the TOS.

    From what I’ve read on the net, fighting this will be a losing battle, so can you point me to an article that will provide some alternatives to replace the MyCash-to-PayPal Account-to PayPal Debit Card steps in this process?


  372. What’s the best use of the free companion airfare offered by the Gold AmExp each year. It’s limited to contenetial US. Any stradgy that could expand it to Hawaii , Alaska. We live in Jacksonville Fl and been flying to the west coast thinking we get the most bang for the buck.

  373. @JJ – The Gold Delta AMEX does not have a BOGOF cert. Only Platinum and Reserve. You can only use it to/from Hawaii if you live in Hawaii.

  374. Hi Rene,
    Everything I’ve read about the EU (EC) 261/2004 indicates we are entitled to 600 Euro compensation each, but Delta has said no.

    our situation: a KLM flight from OSL-AMS was late departing because they were waiting for passengers. This caused us to miss our Delta AMS-SEA connection. KLM rebooked us for the next day, and paid for hotel etc. This put us home to our final destination 20 hours late. I’ve read examples online where this qualifies.
    DELTA: “According to EU recommendations, airline passengers are entitled to compensation in case of delays longer than 3 hours of the originating flight. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the layover time due to a missed connection on another carrier. Respectfully, we’re unable to offer the EU compensation you’ve requested since it’s not due in this instance.”

    I don’t know whether to try to battle back and forth about this, or to try one of the litigation companies. How did yours turn out?

  375. Hi Renee,
    Have you heard this new unwritten rule?? The Lowest Delta has gone to date! I checked in online added my name to list if they needed my seat. I connected thru ATl in ATL ran to gate to board paid first class never asked about the list, if they needed my seat however before they began boarding they announce they really need more volunteers and I hear my name called. I see the Delta rep and redcoat I was on 815am flt they offer $500 and a 1245pm flt I paid $7435 first class and ask Ill be in first class correct? First I am lied to “First class is sold out” I show her my phone there are 2 seats to buy. Then she says new rules we only offer coach when you volunteer??????? I said are you out of your mind I paid $745 and you make me wait 4 hours and refuse to give me first when open no way I stay on flight. Renee that is ridiculous. Have you heard this? this is from ATL!!

  376. @Robert – To me it was a GA that just did not want to help. ATL is the worst. Other stations are happy to rebook in 1st. ATL tends to be stingy. I have seen this before. Don’t think this is a new rule just a bad GA!

  377. Rene, I moved to Elkhart, IN in January and have flown on Delta out of SBN probably a dozen times since then. Not one flight out of SBN has ever been equipped with WiFi. Do you know why Delta never has WiFi on flights to or from SBN?

  378. Rene, I’ve experienced an itinerary change of an hour and called Delta to see about changing the flight (this is a booking using miles). Even though the online T&C says one hour flight change, I’m being told it must be a 90 minute change. I will HUCB, but thought you should know.

  379. I have a ton of Skyclub day passes that are expiring. In an older post you mentioned getting a visitor pass to clear security and visit a skyclub w/o having a boarding pass. Can you expound on how to achieve that and do day passes count or must I hold an annual membership?

  380. Rene: This is a question about getting millage credit after a flight delay forced me to select a direct route to avoid missing a connection. I have heard you in the past say that you could request original millage credit, but in my case, I altered the original flight to add stops (for more MQM) after a schedule change. Now, on the day of the flight I was placed back on essentially the original flight routing, so I didn’t miss a connection due to a delay in the first flight. Do I have any chance at getting millage credit for the extra legs I was ready (and planning to fly)?

    Thanks.Your blog is great.

  381. @Aaron – Nope. If you have flown the changed flights YES but not now that you are back on what you booked first. Now if you had booked the other one first and then due to an issue changed (not really your choice) then yes you could ask for original route credit. See the difference?

  382. @Pam – The problem with a visitor pass is you have to have a reason like going to a REGUS location but that can cost $50 to rent so not a great idea. The other option is buying a fully refundable ticket if you want to get in to the club with your pass for the day. Once more choice you can ask for is to exchange it for a new one – not likely gonna happen but worth asking about.

  383. Hey Rene, just wanted to let you know about a fare sale going on atm to a destination I have never seen on sale, Guam. Not sure how long this will last, but atm you can get a roudtrip from JFK-GUM for $832 and 16,606 MQMs. It works out of many big cities and it looks like you need to spend at least 5 nights, sept-early december, and jan-march. So not really a mileage run but Guam is an amazing place to visit for a vacation and lots of MQMs. IMO its a better island vacation spot that Hawaii. Thought you might want to tell the readers.

  384. I am interested in your Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. Is this a credit card or a charge card? That is, once I get approved and spend the minimum of $ 1,000 in first 90 days, and get my 35,000 delta miles, when I make purchases does the whole amount have to be paid off that billing cycle or else I will lose all the miles I have accumulated? Also, say in the future I decide I don’t want to use the card and want to cancel it, will I also lose my delta sky miles have accumulated? Finally, what is the value of 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles ? How do I use them? Thank you.

  385. Hey Rene,

    Do you know if there is any way to get Delta Points to populate my RSS feed WITHOUT including all of the Boarding Area blogs?

  386. Hi Rene,
    Hoping you can help with a strategy to get compensated for a terrible delay/reschedule experience I had last week. I am a PM and was booked last Monday on an 8am LGA-GSO for a day trip for a meeting. After this flight was delayed 4 hours (prior flight was delayed, and then they couldn’t FIND A GATE?!! for another 2 hours…) I decided to rebook the same flights and reschedule for the next day, and spent an hour in a cab getting home. Half a day wasted.
    Same deal on Tuesday, but only delayed 3 hours. Get out of my meeting to a VIPER text letting me know my flight home was cancelled and I was rebooked through ATL getting home about 5 hours later than planned. I call Delta, only to find out this flight was also delayed. Ended up going through DET and arriving about 4 hours past my original schedule.
    I tweeted deltaassist and got a less than satisfactory answer. What do you suggest I do to get some sort of compensation, and what do you think is fair?
    I travel frequently for business and have not experienced anything like this before on Delta.
    Thank you!!

  387. @Keri – Not much I hate to say. Maybe some $kyRubles or a $200 ETV for your problems. That’s it. Welcome to SkyMiles2015

  388. Rene,

    What are your thoughts on booking a flight from the US to LHR on Delta and then flying BA from LHR to LIS and then flying home from BCN on Delta. Basically, I came up with this to burn up my last skymiles but also because I can fly Business for about the same money (excluding the BA piece) as it would cost Economy all Delta and doing the usual AMS or CDG flight path. Also, at this time there is only 1 ticket left the more direct all Delta and I need two.

    My main concerns are changing Airlines in LHR. I have not ever done this before. It appears that both Airlines use Terminal 3. So I am thinking that if we do not check luggage it should not be to tough but I am not certain of that. Do you have to go through immigration in LHR before continuing on to the BA flight? What if you did check luggage?

    As an aside, I believe the flight we would arrive on would arrive at LHR at 10AM and the flight out to LIS would depart at about 3:25PM so I do not believe we would be rushed just would like to understand the process and pain we might go through to do this.

  389. Hi Rene,

    I was wondering if the $200 Platinum gift card gift choice will count towards MQD’s when cashed in? Not like it is a huge difference but I feel like I will be within a couple hundred of Diamond by the end of the year and it would be just enough of a perk over the 20,000 miles. Thanks!

  390. @Mike – It should but I have not tested. I have never ever seen any kind of Delta credit not count just like cash.

  391. Hi Rene! Love this blog! My husband and I are currently planning a trip to Italy for fall 2016. We have approximately 180,000 Delta miles each that we were hoping to redeem for round trip first class tickets to Rome. My question for you…Do you know what the “peak” versus “off-peak” months are for travel to Europe? From what I’ve read, peak months require more miles so we were hoping to avoid those in favor of saving some miles. Thanks for all you do!!

  392. Hi Rene,

    I’m a PM and have an upcoming PWM ticket in F, TPA-ATL-CMH. Am I able to use a SDC to make my itinerary more complicated and earn more MQM, something like TPA-LGA-DTW-CMH (which would earn twice as many MQM)? From my reading of the rules, I could do this as long as I still traveled on the same day as my original ticket, and there was space available in F on all segments. Is that correct?


  393. @Bob – Yes but… It must be a “legal” route and they tend to gripe if you are adding too many legs over what you had.

  394. Hi! I purchased my husbands ticket for a flight for work. We were a few thousand points away from what we needed to book to go to London, so I purchased 6000 miles through skymiles booster. My husbands project got moved to the week after his flight, so I had to change his dates. I just realized we never got the mileage booster I purchased. I called and was told because he changed the flight we would not get the miles and would lose our $118! I have never had to change a flight, I don’y understand why they won’t credit me back the $118. What would you do?

  395. @Bwood – First off I would never ever ever ever pay for skymiles booster. Really bad way to get points. There are so many better ways:
    Then, as to your issue, add-ons are for a specific flight and are non-refundable. If you do change flights you tend to loose them and can not get the money back (another reason NOT to get them btw). I would just get a Delta AMEX card personal or business and be done!

  396. René, just to verify if DL will not try to trick me: as a DM I can cancel any award booking until 72hrs before departure – regardless for whoever the ticket is booked – as long as miles are used from my own account ?

  397. @Genise – You have up to 72hrs if it comes from your account no matter who is flying the ticket. Correct. There is no cost for PM & DMs to cancel.

  398. I just want to thank you for suggesting we give starbucks or other gift cards to those who shine as we go thru checkin and gates. I started doing this earlier for delta manila staff who are awesome by the way!! OMG its such fun!! And so appreciated!! I had one person call me by name this time which was odd, i asked how do you know me? She said oh we all know you because you are the only person to ever do something nice like that!!! I was floored, now i need to find a different coupon? Suggestion? Lol

  399. I live in Europe, but have Delta Silver elite and a lot of Delta miles to burn (since the devaluing…). I mostly fly KLM these days, but still get the perks of being a Delta Silver (free bags, priority check-in, etc.). Is it possible to upgrade my economy seats on a partner airfare (KLM) with Delta miles? If so, what is the best way to do this (check-in counter, calling KLM, etc.)?

  400. Rene, I’m loyal follower and a DM who fly’s to the Middle East from USA at least 6x per year. My last trip was 32hrs of misery with delays, then delta switched me to Turkish airlines to finish my journey. Long story short my 2 bags are still lost after 3 days and Delta is blaming it on Turkish and giving little help. I’ll be doing a status challenge shortly with either American Airlines, British Airways, or United since these are my only options to get me back to my small USA hub @MSY. What is your take on American as far as Mobile app, international biz class, food, so on.?

  401. I bought a bargain round trip business class fare XXX-jfk and jfk-xxx with xxx being an eastern european capital. The flights are code shares operated by Delta partners. I am flying the JFK-xxx half of the trip soon. The flights are on Alitalia and there is a stopover in Rome. I’m thinking of just staying in Roma and cancelling the final leg to xxx. Will Delta penalize me- make me forfeit the miles for JFK-Rome or otherwise penalize me if I don’t fly the whole itinerary? I’ve never done it before so I’m a first offender-I am GM.

  402. Hi Renee-

    I will qualify for Platinum medallion for the first time ever this year. I will qualify around mid-September. Will I get to select my “choice benefits” for the 2015 year, as well as 2016 i.e 4 regional upgrade certs for 2015 and another 4 for 2016, or just 4 all together?



  403. Rene, I will be platinum soon and my wife gold soon also. When we book a trip is it best for me to book separate for a better chance to get possibly one upgrade? I believe I have read that if I book her with me that we would be brought down to her gold status rather than my Platinum. Thanks!

  404. How many Delta Million Milers are there by
    One MM
    Two MM
    Four MM
    Thank you

  405. Thanks for your help Renee.

    Last question; do you have a favorite as far as which Choice Benefit you feel is most valuable? Keep in mind, my wife is already silver medallion.

  406. I have a trip setup, award tickets from ORD to AMS to JNB next June (2016).

    They are business tickets for 80,000 miles one way, but they are in main cabin from ORD to AMS and Business cabin from AMS to JNB.

    As a Delta/Skyteam Platinum Elite can I get my group of 4 (on my reservation) into Economy Comfort seats for free?

    As it stands, we are hoping the Business seats open up on the ORD-AMS flights, but want to be sure to get the best seats available in case they don’t.


  407. I am now also on a VS flight from ATL to LHR. Arriving in ATL on a DL regional jet from MCI. It is all on one ticket.

    Will the bags be checked through to LHR or do you have pick them up in ATL and recheck them there when checking in for the VS flight? It sounded like you did have to check in for VS in ATL (starting at 4hrs before the flight).

    Trying to post again as the last did not seem to post.

    I know when my wife and I did the MCI – LAX – MEL flight we had to do that for Virgin Australia.

  408. Thank you for your response as to he number / % of MM.( question 636)
    I now you don’t have a crystal ball but would you hazard a guess ?
    Renne, you are doing a fantastic service, I am sure we are all very appreciative

  409. Talked to several Delta agents, all have said, and I am paraphrasing after they returned from putting me on hold to talk with actual KLM agents… “Because it is an award ticket, only I am able to select economy comfort, that KLM policy differs from Delta” and the only thing I could do was to split me from the others pnr and then I could select the economy comfort seats.

    The worst thing is we are flying to JNB, in a business class fare (80,000 miles where main cabin from ORD-AMS and business from AMS-JNB) and we can’t even get into preferred seating on the main cabin leg.

    Hoping that this is a mistake and we can at least get into preferred if not economy comfort seats.

    Your thoughts?

    Thanks again!!!!

  410. @Bob – Setup a Flying Blue account. Once that is done pull up your reservation with Delta PNR to get the KLM PNR. Then tweet to KLM and have them assign the C+ seats on their jets as a Delta elite.

  411. @VC3 – Sorry I was flying Virgin Atlantic yesterday and no wifi. Your bags will go all the way. I checked mine SBN-ATL-MAN-AMS-GOT with a 6+ hour layover in ATL.

  412. Hi Rene,

    I’m looking to book a trip from SEA to Madrid in Feb using skymiles in business class for a vacation. I have never booked award travel. I am silver with a delta Amex card and 122k points. When I use the Delta app, the cheapest business class tickets are 192k points. Is this a good use of points? Would I get a better deal redeeming reward travel through a partner airline (and if so how)? When is the best time to book? Thanks in advance for your help!

  413. Where do I go to book this offer?

    30% Off Delta Awards Between North America And Europe For Elites And AMEX Cardholders! Coach For 21K, Business For 43.5K Each Way!

  414. Rene – I’ve heard of another change. I had a trip impacted by the schedule changes on Saturday. The change meant I would misconnect. I called the DM line. I asked to change the departure/return city in order to address the schedule change. The agent said no problem. After entering the information he needed to enter he had to get a supervisor to approve since the system wanted to charge a fee for the changes. He said it wouldn’t be a problem – and it never has before (the mighty schedule change rule).

    Then he comes back – the supervisor says Delta has a new rule – no changing the city unless there is no other option. I negotiated a bit and got them to do it for me but was told this is a change that will be enforced in the future.

    Have you heard of such a rule change? I would ordinarily say bad agent and HUCB – but this agent was good – he knew what i wanted to do and confirmed that he had done it many times before. He also confirmed that he had seen (but had forgotten) a memo about the rule change. If that is true it’s a big blow to the mighty schedule change benefits.

  415. @Stephen – That has always been the rule really but there is something called co-terminals that is airports w/in 100 miles of each other. Especially for elites this can be done. It is a HUCB thing some times but it can still be done but as you say it needs to be something BIG to get that done. Thanks for the feedback.

  416. I received a Delta email: “Get Ready for your DTW-LGA trip”. In the lower left, it shows a Delta-Platinum AMEX card and suggests that I enjoy discounted SkyClub access.

    But I have a Delta Reserve-AMEX card. I previously followed your suggestion to have it as my only card in my Delta profile, and in some pages on the Delta website, such as Home>My Delta>My SkyMiles, there’s a picture of the Delta Reserve card and it says I’m a Delta Reserve Credit Card member. (Other pages such as such as Home>My Delta>My Wallet show a picture that doesn’t identify the type of AMEX card.) What does yours show?

    What does it show in your preflight emails? Importantly, if mine should show the Reserve card, how would I fix that? Thank you!

    Rookie readers: Holding the Delta Reserve Credit Card can increase your chances of a complimentary upgrade in some cases — that’s why I want the Delta computer to know.

  417. I am very confused. I have booked first/business class tickets from Kansas City to Tahiti (Delta for the domestic routes; partner Air Tahiti Nui for the international) with Pay With Miles.

    Three times now Delta agents have told me I will earn no miles or MQMs on PWM. Yet you have told me I will earn miles and my research of the Delta website says: “For travel on or after January 1, 2015 (regardless of ticket purchase date): Pay with Miles tickets are eligible for MQMs and MQSs. In addition, Pay with Miles tickets will earn mileage for the portion of the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges remaining that is paid in currency after miles are applied to the ticket total.”

    What’s the deal. Sure need the MQMs to keep me Platinum for another year.

    Thanks for your help as usual.


  418. I think my skymiles reward ticket is now cheaper than I paid. (in Miles)

    I have (2) multicity skymiles award ticket in a week 8/22-9/5. las,lgw,sgv,cdg,dub,ldw,las Originally paid that I paid 95000 each. They made a schedule change and opened up new seats which took me to 87500 miles with nonstop from LAS-LGW instead of DTW/LHR. It now looks like its 80,000 today. Can I get those miles credited back to me? Should I be calling to get upgrades? tmcgow1 – just hit 900m DL skymiles, athough stuck in Gold.
    Some segments are with VS, AF, DL

    (correction on itinerary. please update my previous post segment 1 las/lgw,segment 2 sgv/cdg/dub segment 3 lhr/lax/las)


  419. @Tom McGowan – If you can get a free change why not save the miles?!? Yes you can get the difference back. Now with no FREE change (if that is the case) then 15k back may or may not be worth change fee to you. Clear?

  420. I had an interesting item happen to me this past Friday. I was checked in for a flight but when I got ready to board, the ticket showed not valid. Delta had already offered hotel and $800 for anyone that was willing to get bumped (3 people took this). Someone earlier had taken a $300 bump and a flight to a nearby airport with my same last name. But the agent had updated part of my ticket with the information invalidating my ticket. I did get the $800 bump and hotel but am not satisfied with that and wondered if I could get anything else as I had not volunteered to get bumped and really needed to get home. Could not fly out until 2 pm the next day so I lost like 17 hours of my weekend. Thoughts? Best time to call customer service? What are options/items to ask for?

  421. @Darren – You could have demanded CASH (aka a check on the spot):
    Delta has gotten in hot water for this before:
    File a complaint on them about this:
    So it does not happen to someone again – PLEASE! Oh and ask for your money back from Delta too. This is NOT OK. Clear.

  422. Rene,

    I was rerouted yesterday from IAH-MSP-SMF to IAH-SLC-SMF due to storms in Houston. With the reroute I assume my MQMs will post based on what I flew. I would like the 700 MQMs that I would have earned as it will help me towards status (currently platinum). Does Delta ever give planned MQMs. I have actually never ran into this problem before.

  423. I have noticed lately that when I am researching using Google Flights that the KLM price is much lower than the Delta price. This can even be in situations where it is all Delta Metal. Usually, it is the Delta to and from AMS and KLM from there to final city. Came across one today where it was Delta metal there and then KLM back. KLM price was $900 and the Delta price was $1600.

    My first question is why the huge difference?
    Second question, is if I were to book on KLM what are my downsides? I have no points or status on KLM but I am Delta PM.

  424. Thanks. I almost exclusively keep it Delta and KLM. Just because of the MQM issues on other partners (and things like seat selection, airports, etc.). So no issues on that front. Also, did the Credit card thing to take care of MQD. So no issues on that front.

    This is specifically, a USD pricing issue. I am a bit dumbfounded how KLM can sell an all Delta Metal flight lower than Delta can. And if I end finding this issue then what happens if I book this All Delta Metal through KLM but have all the miles credited towards Delta. Further, will KLM recognize my PM status up front or what rules apply in that situation.


  425. @VC3 – Should have no major issues with your PM status and KLM. For seats you may need to use KLM.com or tweet to KLM. Just be 100% SURE when you check-in and confirm with KLM that your Delta PM number is in the reservation.

  426. I have 2 friends looking to book RT award tickets in Dec to join me in New Zealand. They each have about 100K SkyMiles (or Amex points) in separate Delta accounts.

    The outbound is on Virgin Australia (LAX-SYD-AKL)
    The return is on Korean Air (AKL-ICN-LAX)

    In case of IRROPs, should they book separate RT award tickets or one-ways booked together, that way they don’t get split if something happens. I haven’t flown either airline, so not sure if they can link their PNRs.

    Maybe I’m over thinking this, but want to make this is easy for them.


  427. @Arthur – Linking is only hit and miss reliable on Delta. I would NOT trust to work correctly with partners.

  428. Hi, Rene –

    I’m probably a month or two away from making Platinum and I have some one way award flights already booked in international C+. Am I allowed to book another seat on the same flight for myself in business elite and wait to cancel once I’m PM?

    I’m considering calling to make the changes and HUCB if needed. The only reason I don’t want to wait until I’m PM for the free changes is that the BE award has come down substantially for the dates I’m flying. Only 62k miles for a 9hr flight in BE.

    I will say that I’m now seeing Delta discounting the BE for flights that are flying a bit empty. Perhaps it’s the flip side of FC monetization, better to have some fire sales on flights that are not eligible for upgrades because they are BE to South America for instance.


  429. Hi Rene,

    I am flying JFK-HNL via LAX.

    Can you tell me what a regional upgrade can do for me?

    Would it upgrade both legs, or just one? Thanks again!

  430. I already have ticket in C+ I booked in Feb. when I was still PM. I grabbed a one way to South America for 30k now BE has come down to 62k. So wanted to book BE and wait to cancel the C+ once I’m PM. I want to avoid an IT error or having my tickets cancelled because the mothership thinks I’m trying to trick them.

  431. Rene –
    With flight(s) booked using Regional Upgrade (RU), are the MQMs earned at the economy level or are they also upgraded?

  432. Hey Rene,

    Will DL penalize me for not completing a YYZ-ATL-SCL-ATL-YYZ, run and getting off the second time I’m in ATL, not flying the last leg?

    This is, of course, for a status run… I’d like to save myself one more trip from ATL to YYZ and back.

    Any experiences with this? Thanks!

  433. @JC – You will not get credit for the last leg you did not fly. It is unlikely Delta will make a big deal of it unless you do it often. Worst case is an IROP and they want to send you SLC to YYZ. But then you could argue you want to wait as don’t want to miss out on points.

  434. Wanted to confirm before I earn and use GU for international travel. May want to use some Pay with Miles to upgrade on some flights, and/or use GU for mileage runs.
    Also it means that if I use RUs for last minute upgrades to move to top to domestic upgrade list, I’m not really losing out on anything.

  435. @ JC Was the YYZ to SCL a mileage run I missed? I’m ATL based and didn’t find anything great YYZ SCL through ATL. At least nothing compelling. Thanks.

  436. @Andrew G

    Sale was YYZ-SCL-YYZ (via ATL both ways) during select dates of September ($1.075ish on P/Z combination). About 16,000 MQMs altogether.

    I found it posted on Flyertalk, on Premium Fares Deals forum.

  437. Hi Rene!

    As a Platinum, if I book award travel and cancel it for whatever reason, do I get all my points back and just lose the taxes/fees paid? I just want to confirm. Thanks in advance

  438. Rene: My wife and I both obtained American Express Platinum cards in June (through your link as I recall). We both have made the $ spend to get the bonus miles/MQMs. Through a quirk in schedules, neither of us has made a Delta ticket purchase on the card yet and probably won’t within the 90 days to get the $100 cash back. If we buy Delta gift cards, does that count/trigger the credit? Any other ideas? Thank you.

  439. Rene,
    Thanks for all you do. I have tried to search and find this out to no avail as I didnt want to waste your time but I cant so I was hoping you could help…I need to go from Nashville to Belize next year in biz/first. From Atlanta-Belize R/T, its showing as 30,000 miles each way for a total of 60,000 miles which is great. The problem is I need to go from Nashville to Atlanta on the way there, and Atl to Nashville on the way back. There are several direct flights from Nash-Atl and vice versa (but I need the early morning one on the way out and an evening one back to mesh with my connection times from Atl-BZE), so when I run a search from Nash-Belize, it makes the ticket 95,000 miles R/T. The individual legs on those flights from Nash-Atl and Atl-Nash are 32,500 miles….I thought that if I pieced together the segments it would charge me 32,500 miles each way (the higher of the 2 legs) starting and ending in nashville but the computer is not going for that and I called and got the same. Is there any way to do this by adding segments or do the segments have to be the same exact amount of miles to marry them together?

  440. Do you mean though that I have to stay overnight on each leg to get that though because I would prefer to fly the same day on each, or did you mean call late at night?

  441. Hi

    Have a SkyClub question for you. I am currently a Diamond Medallion and have already qualified for DM next year as well as a Delta Reserve card holder. In the past I had Executive SkyClub membership but this year just received Individual Membership.
    Since I receive a membership for being Diamond and a membership for being a Reserve cardholder , shouldn’t that push me up to Executive? Or at least add a year to my membership ?

  442. Rene’, I have a question about using a companion certificate. I can use it for an economy or first class tickets. When I choose flights without the certificate, a first class ticket is $599. When I use the companion certificate link, it is $660. All the flight information is the same. Is this normal or a quirk? Is there any way to get the lower price?

  443. Hi Rene! I have a question on award tickets!

    So I found a low level one way award (12.5k) from Las Vegas to Fort Lauderdale which connects in Atlanta on Novemeber 20th. I want to leave from the Los Angeles Area though. I see a Los Angeles- Las Vegas flight for only 10k miles. Could I pair the flights together and pay the low level award? And how much would it be? When I do a multi city search by putting in each individual segment, the price is super high and the flights don’t pop up correctly!
    Thank you!

  444. Hi René – a quick question: i’m about to book an award PDX-AMS/AMS-YUL(stopover) -PDX. International destination, so 1st bag is free with no DL status.
    However, when I check in at YUL (after my stopover), will I have to pay for my baggage since it’s apparently considered “domestic” North America?

  445. @Joey – if more that 24hrs it is a stop and you can’t check all the way. Check delta .com for current bag fees.

  446. As someone who resides in the United States, is it legal to purchase airfare on AirFrance.fr instead of AirFrance.us since it is cheaper on AirFrance.fr? Thanks

  447. thanks for your reply!

    I have one last question..

    So, I’ve been searching for more flights, and I found SNA-ATL and ATL-EYW at 20,000 miles each. But when I piece them together on multicity it goes up to 32,500? It should be 20,000 right? Do I have to call delta?

    thanks a ton!

  448. Hi Rene, me again.

    Okay so I found SNA- ATL at 20,000 miles and ATL-EYW at 20,000 miles so it should price out at 20,000 miles right? Well it didn’t on the site, so I called Delta.

    When I talked to the agent, she said that it was a “married pair” and it prices out at 32,500 miles? So is there no way around this? Thanks!

  449. @Mark – Not illegal nor anything wrong with this or against Delta or Skyteam rules (interesting btw). You do need to check the fare code of AF vis Delta on Detla .com to make sure you are buying a fare class that is OK to earn points if that matters to you.

  450. @Tyler – Again, it may not be a legal route. You can check a paid ticket and see if you can route that way as a test IE if the A-B includes that option. If not you will either be out of luck or have to HUCB and see if a rep will do it.

  451. @Mark – Not illegal nor anything wrong with this or against Delta or Skyteam rules (interesting btw). You do need to check the fare code of AF vis Delta on Detla .com to make sure you are buying a fare class that is OK to earn points if that matters to you.

    Thanks Rene for the feedback, I purchased my tickets about 3 months ago and started to get worried that my tickets would be void when it was time to fly. Not sure why, but when I purchased my tixs on AirFrance.fr, I ended up saving close to $1500 instead of buying them through Delta or AirFrance.us. Just thought I would share this with everyone else as well as a way to save money when purchasing airfare.

  452. Hi Rene! Thanks for your help!

    I looked as a paid ticket from SNA-EYW, and it does pop up online. Both the SNA-ATL and ATL-EYW book into “M” class! So, should I just HUCB? Oh and I’m a bit confused on what you mean by a vaild route? A vaild route just needs to price the flights (SNA-EYW) online right, even if the price is incorrect?

  453. @Tyler – The value route reg paid must route SNA-ATL-EYW. If it does, as once search not two, then you should be able to get it as an award as well.

  454. Gotcha! thank you!
    Yes it does route SNA-ATL-EYW on one search!

    Okay so just to clarify, I should be able to get it at 20,000 miles because the SNA-ATL is 20,000 alone, and ATL-EYW is also 20,000 alone?

  455. In May of 2015 I was offered an upgrade from my Delta, Amex gold card, to the next level of service…I believe to be the Platinum card. Is this upgrade still available and is it a benefit to this next level of service?

  456. @René – I’d love to get your advice. I travel a lot on NGO/cheap fares, mostly AF, so while I’m over 75,000 MQMs this year, I only just crossed the Gold MQD threshold. If I push the Amex spend this year (which I only got in May), I can get the waiver. However, if I hold back, I’ll be able to roll over ~40,000 miles into 2016 and ensure Gold status through 1/18. This is particularly attractive as I’m likely to be flying a lot less next year and probably won’t get enough MQMs to make Gold on my own. I will, however, be able to make the $25,000 Amex spend waiver. What are your thoughts on going for platinum in 2016 but settling for Silver in 2017, as opposed to Gold pretty much guaranteed 2016 and 2017?
    Thanks so much.

  457. @John – As always a personal choice but keep in mind even on cheap fares as GM+ you get lounge access but NOT as FO. PM you do see many more domestic UGs and you get PM Choice Benefits and I really like my RU certs. Think of how you fly, where you fly, what perks you want and for me PM does get you a year of free award ticket changes. That could be HUGE if you use it a bunch to burn point balance! Does that help?

  458. Rene – I have never had any medallion status before, but this year I will reach DM (around November). Will I select choice benefits for PM and DM for the remaining months in 2015, and then select again for 2016. Or, will I only receive choice benefits for 2016? I’m eyeing those global RU certificates and getting 8 rather than just 4 would be great. Thanks!

  459. Hi Rene,

    I got the same feeling on the Delta website as your recent posts. I was looking for award flights to Asia and the whole website is just a mess! When I use flexible dates to search, there are 70k coach tickets or 140k business class tickets. However, when I clicked in, there is nothing like that available! Also, I would like to get Delta partner flights such as China Airline as part of the itinerary. However, even though I chose to include partner airlines, there are only Delta flights with more connection stops available. Is there a way for me to solve this?


  460. Rene, If one qualifies for both Platinum and Diamond Choice Benefits before the end of the year, should you wait as long a possible to select the Benefits? It seems like the wording says “1 year from date of issuance” which would be when you make your choices, right? My wife still has Regional and Global upgrades to use yet this fall, so should we wait to claim then until the end of the yearly cycle and can we wait to claim both levels of Benefits or do you have to claim Platinum before claiming Diamond? Thanks!

  461. Hi René,

    I just opened a Skymiles account and is the first time I’m traveling in an int’l business class trip on Delta. I’m not sure if I should credit my flight to SkyPesos or to keep crediting to Aeroméxico’s Club Premier. I was thinking about using my SkyMiles account for all SkyTeam travel since MQD’s don’t apply to me since I live in Mexico. I want to know what you think about this. Should I use my SkyMiles account or keep using my Club Premier?

    Also, does my ticket in international business class ticket on Delta include access to the SkyClub in LAX?

  462. @Martin – Your call if you want to keep crediting to Areomexico since you already have points there. You may want to look at credit to Alaska since you are already booked in business class for better value. Yes you get Skyteam access with international business class tickets including the Skyclub.

  463. Hello Rene,

    I have a question about missing flights. I live in B and want to travel to D. I cannot find low award ticket from B-C-D-C-B. However, I do find a cheap award ticket from A-B-C-D-C-B-A. Could I just miss the A-B and B-A for the whole trip? I know that for paid tickets, there may be some problems for getting miles. I am not sure whether it is find for award tickets.


  464. I’m currently a Delta Gold Amex cardholder (personal) and just achieved Gold status in the Medallion program. I just received an email offer “to apply”for a Platinum card with 60k bonus miles, 15k MQM’s (after 1k spend in 90 days) with and additional 20 k MQM’s after $50k spend. I am just shy of the spend level now. Also, there is a time limit on the offer (I believe sometime in October).

    My question is: should I apply or wait and see if I get a similar “upgrade” offer? My thinking is if it is an upgrade, I would hopefully get credit for my spend level for this year.

  465. @KC – I can not really give you guidance on targeted offers as they are not from my links. I will say avoid UGs as much as possible as they can get you little and will void you chance to ever get a NEW card bonus again for THAT card (all 3 Delta cards are, for now, unique products).

  466. It looks like the “premium” food service on the Delta One transcon routes is still in place:


    (Even if the main course in this case was something of a bust, the appetizer platter is still excellent.)

    Not sure why you had such mediocre-looking food when you flew it. Were you by chance departing at an odd time, like after 8pm from JFK, in which case I think there may be a modified “supper” service instead of the usual meal? Or maybe there was just an unfortunate catering mix-up that day.

  467. Hi there! I’m currently AA Platinum and would like to match to DL Platinum (rather than Gold). Any tips on how one could accomplish that? My argument is that there’s no equivalent AA tier, as DL Platinum is halfway between AA Platinum and AA Executive Platinum. Thanks!

  468. @Carl – You can e-mail them and ask but I doubt it. The only thing that I think could work would be faxing or email over that you are spending say over $10,000 a year on tickets showing you would be a valuable match at the higher level!

  469. Rene,
    I’m a PM traveling internationally this week on delta metal. It appears there are quite a few business class seats still available. Any suggestions for potential complimentary upgrades? Economy isn’t close to being sold out so that probably won’t apply.

  470. I am also PM flying internationally on coach, and I did just get upgraded from Sydney to LAX on Delta. They had oversold coach and there was room in business- they said they were upgrading DM’sand PM’s- and so they did. So check the seating before you leave. You have no way of knowing how oversold they are but if coach is full and business is empty it may just happen.

  471. I read a rumor that we can’t use the AMEX airline credits for ecerts. (I looked at your blog post from January 2015 about using AMEX Gold Rewards/Platinum airline credits for delta gift cards.) Have you heard that they aren’t being reimbursed? Thanks for your blog!

  472. @LA – Too soon to confirm anything. I think just a slow to credit issue unless idiots calling AMEX have now tanked it for everyone and THAT is possible.

  473. Rene,

    The strangest thing happened to me last night. I had a rd trip award ticket coming up to Hawaii flying out in biz class and home in coach. (Due to a flight change I demanded they book me on the ATL-HNL in lie flats at the low level thanks to rookie posts!) As a PM I am fairly confident that I will get upgraded on the OGG-Lax flight on the way home so I have been searching for ways to book my soon-to-be wife into first so we don’t have to fly apart. I have been striking out but after my third attempt to get the phone rep to price out a first class ticket last night I gave up and hung up. But, when I checked the app before bed I have a new trip listed! The rd trip to Hawaii is still there and the seats are still the same but now I have a one way Hawaii-Lax-XXX on the exact same flights but I am booked into First (RS) code. I wasn’t charged in skymiles. The app even let me select first class seats so now it appears that I have one seat in first and one seat in econ comfort. Any idea what’s going on or what happened? WWRD- What would Rene do?

  474. @Max – If you have two outbound booking you need to call ASAP and cancel the wrong one or Delta CPUs will just dump one of the two soon and not tell you!

  475. Rene,

    Love your blog and sage advice. Well, after following your advice (and well clicking your application links), I have spent my way to 2016 Delta Platinum status (just got the e-mail today) just in time for my trip to the Virgin Islands tomorrow. So, after sighing and saying “is that all there is?”, what do I have to look forward to as a newly minted Delta Platinum?


  476. @Stuart – More UGs. Free award changes all you want up to 72hrs b4 flight. PM choice benefits for 2016 and so much more. Well done!

  477. Hi Rene,

    Love this forum. Just wondering if you knew the satellite channels that are offered on Delta? Need to fly on Sunday night and have to make sure I can watch football! I feel like I know they have NBC, CBS, Fox…..but I so rarely get the individual tv flights from Boston->Minnesota->Spokane.

    Thank you

  478. Hello, I have an odd question:

    In the past, I’ve always been able to piece together low-level domestic award tickets, partly because of the guides you have on this website. So if I found, for example, ord-atl and atl-jfk both at the low level with an allowable connection time, then I could purchase ord-atl-jfk for 12,500 skymiles. Conversely if I happened to search ord-jfk and find those flights for 12.5k, it stood to reason that each of those segments was also available at the low level individually.

    That rule no longer seems to hold true, unless I’m missing something. I recently searched phl-pns and found several options through atl for 12.5k. But searching atl-pns for the same flights yields only 20k+ options. Try Sept 21 if you want to replicate.

    Could this be the rise of hidden city ticketing using skymiles?

  479. @Bob – You have to look at legal routes (i.e. rules or check paid fare) then find each leg at LEVEL 1 in same cabin then call.

  480. How does “check legal routes” address that scenario? If a simple search on delta.com for phl-pns brings up a ticketable route for 12.5k through atl, then it is a legal route at the low level, correct? That’s the assumption I’m going on, but please correct me if I’m mistaken.

    My issue/concern is that when broken into pieces for the exactly same flights, I cannot find either flight at the low level. I.e. both flights individually price out above 12.5k each. So calling in does not apply here.

    I bring this to your attention because it seems like a departure from past skymiles pricing behavior and perhaps something that you could investigate in more depth than I can. If it is business as usual, please explain why. Thank you!

  481. Help getting Gold 2016. Currently a PM, which has been amazing. I had a business class trip to both Germany and India last year, and I was a GM in 2014. I am trying to schedule a likely business trip to Portland, but I will probably end the year about 5,000 MQMs an $200 MQDs short of GM, and I really am not going to accept silver after a year of PM. I live near DTW, and I already have the Reserve card. I do a fair amount of business travel, but that’s winding down for the year. I need cheap mileage run which must be done on the weekend, as I have no vacation time – any thoughts?

  482. @rene
    Very true Rene. I have both personal and business reserve and easily spend the limit (60k mqms total) on both cards by June every year. I always get DM status for the following year by June from carry over mqms. In fact I have already qualified for DM for 2017 and haven’t even booked a flight in 2016 yet. Delta Reserve and Rene ROCKS.
    Once your DM, you definately never want to go back.

    Thanks for all your insight.

  483. I am 1/18 on upgrade list for a flight tonight with no 1st class seats showing. Can I ask for a bump? I declined when checking in as there were 3 seats left but now I check in again online and it is not coming up-please advise what you would do, thnaks!

  484. Hi Rene,
    I enjoy your blog and appreciate your insight.
    I have been Diamond since the beginning of the program, and have always relied on the Diamond Desk to come to my rescue should a problem arise that can’t be handled online. However, lately I have encountered problems.
    My question is; Do you think the Diamond Desk is staffed by Delta’s best and brightest with the highest level of customer service as the goal?
    I have a flight from Cairo to Atlanta scheduled for this December 31.
    The flight connects in Paris. Recently Delta cancelled my CDG to ATL leg and placed me on a Delta flight the leaves Paris 3 hrs before I arrive from Cairo. I called the Diamond Desk where I was offered a same day flight on an Air France codeshare to ATL. I said no; I’ll spend the night and take one of the wide open Delta flights on New Years Day. (We are a party of two and enjoy our Comfort + in two by two seating.) The rep said ,”No, I cannot authorize a layover when I can offer you a seat to return the same day. ” I told her that she was offering me a different product and did not want to fly Air France. She said ” but sir you are already flying Air France from Cairo. ” I said that I have no choice but to codeshare in and out of Cairo, but transatlantic I booked and prefer Delta. She said she would do the layover but it would cost me a change fee. I asked her to check with a supervisor to waive the fee; she came back and said there was no way she would authorize a layover and reminded the the I was already flying Air Frane for part of the trip.
    I was exhausted. I thanked her,hung up and called the regular reservation number. I explained my problem,and the kind lady asked me which Delta flight I wanted on Jan 1. I asked for the afternoon flight in case I wanted to sleep late. She said “let’s get you on that flight.”
    She asked me if row 23 A and B were OK. I said that 10 A and B would be better. She said “Oh , that’s right; I hadn’t noticed your are Diamond .” The entire call lasted 5 min . She gave me great service because I was a Delta customer with a problem, not because I was a frequent flyer.
    What do you think ?
    Thanks, Frank

  485. @Frank – HUCB can happen from anyone at any elite level. Some DM reps have real attitude. Most are good. If you can get Chisholm aka the old NWA Platinum reps you are in for a real treat. They ROCK!

  486. Rene;
    Tomorrow will flying my 130th segment on DAL this year. Not a big deal, I have been at it for many years. I have noticed though that in the past I would get TSA Pre 98 out of 100 flights but that number has dropped down significently. Now I would say I get it perhaps 75 out of 100 flights or even less. It seems that the less I pay for a flight the more likely it is I do not get the TSA Pre Check. I do not have anything other than a passport, no Global Entry. I wonder if this is another revenue enhancement program Delta is even hitting Diamonds and Multi-Million Milers with.
    Thoughts ?

  487. Hi Rene!

    Love the blog and appreciate your insight and advice. I’m writing this from Atlanta Sky Club in ATL (Term D)…waiting for my flight to Jackson MS.

    I will get Gold Medallion soon on MQS, but I already have over 9K on MQDs….seems like Platinum is in reach before January!

    I live near Boston and have thought of a doing BOS>ANC on Delta to get to Platinum. What are your thoughts on me going for it…my work sends me to the South, but not enough to the next level on MQMs or MQS.


  488. Forgive me if this questions is answered above. Will I get MQMs for a flight booked using someone else’s points?


  489. If you use Pay with Miles (which I know is a poor point value), do you get full MQMs or are they prorated? I am DM with Delta AMEX Reserve.

  490. Just booked a mileage run as three nested round trips. I’m assuming I carry a little more risk with multiple itineraries in case there are IRROPS or delays. Does it help me mitigate risk in any way to call and have them linked together?


  491. @Chad – Ugg. I would NOT. Delta sometimes views this as a way to avoid paying a higher price. I would NOT link them. YMMV.

  492. Hey Rene,

    Where on the AmEx website can you find your current qualifying spend for the Delta cards? I think I’ve reached it, or at least I’m very close. Also, the link that you had to the page to claim the MQM’s is broken–it’s amazing how hard it is to find that page on Delta.com. Thanks for the help!

  493. @Garrett – There is no “check spend” chart or link. Check last statement, add current spend, minus yearly fee = your total. Once your statement closes and shows over 30/60k yearly spend you can use the link (see E18) to claim your MQMs with the Delta AMEX Reserve card:

  494. I am $100 away from the $25K spend on my delta AMEX, and have over the minimum MQMs required for silver. Do I have to wait until my next statement to make Silver, or will delta know when i hit the 25K?

  495. Hi René!

    I got a DL Gold Amex this summer and am now considering upgrading and/or getting other DL Amex cards. I’m on a Medallion status match, so I won’t benefit from any additional MQMs this year (they’d just go to waste since I can’t roll them over). However, I noticed that it says you have 90 days to make a decision about gifting or using Reserve MQMs. Do you know if (hypothetically) I hit the bonus threshold around Dec 31 of this year, if I’d be able to wait a couple of months to take action and then have them apply to my account next year (for 2017 qualification)?

    If I decided to upgrade my existing card (that I’ve had for < 3 months), would that potentially result in them clawing back the 50k signup bonus and/or the $50 credit? I noticed in the upgrade terms it said the annual fee for the new card would be prorated along with the one for the original card (which was $0). Hmmm. The smart thing may just be to wait until the annual fee is due and then convert for no bonus. Thanks for any info!

  496. @Carl – No. No matter when you redeem MQMs the count in the year you earned them. Spend too.
    No don’t UG. You are better off going for new Delta AMEX cards. You get 1 shot lifetime with personal card and UG can go bad. New is so much safer. A few bucks in fee’s not worth any potential loss!

  497. Thanks for your thoughts about the cards and MQMs. The problem is that the Amex language indicates one can now receive a DL bonus only once every 24 months. If I don’t want to wait two years, wouldn’t it make sense to just upgrade since I’ll forgo the bonus anyway? Or do you think that language isn’t quite accurate?

  498. René,

    I’m curious as to whether you’ve encountered this issue. Somehow my ex-wife’s cell phone number became tied to my delta account as an alternate number some years ago. She still gets flight notification etc. which is undesirable. I can’t find the number anywhere in my online profile and the three CSRs I’ve spoken to are also unable to locate it on my profile. Any recommendations?

  499. @Jason – Go into My Delta and change ALL your notifications to email not phone and give it a day or two. Should fix it.

  500. Hey Rene –

    Have you found any solutions to the scenario below? I’ve tried multiple Diamond Desk people and every one so far eventually comes back (usually after talking to ticketing) telling me that they can’t adjust the mileage cost. Same result with emailing delta.com.

    Scenario 1: Booking a trip from the USA (SFO) to Africa (NBO).
    If it routes via Europe on a Delta partner I can get in/out for 70k, which is low-level Business.
    However, the only availability for a long stretch of the dates I can get vacation, was via China Southern, and this routing changes the one-way Business class price to 150k, from 70k, because they charge me multiple times: SFO-CAN, 70k, then CAN-NBO, 80k. This, with no actual stopover in China that would justify this pricing, just a 2-hour connection.

    Scenario 2:
    Traveling within Africa – origin and destination – but routing via CDG, such as NBO-BKO on a particular date where Kenya Airways direct is not available.
    Similar to the above, they charge me as if I’m going from Africa to Europe, then Europe to Africa, even though once again it’s a several hour connection, not a stopover.

    Apologies if you have covered this before, I couldn’t find a precise match in my searching. It seems similar to the ‘delta.com prices wrong’ but so far no agent has agreed – the idea of costs based on origin/destination seem gone with the removal of the award charts.

    The only explanation offered was:
    “After reviewing your reservation I do show it was processed
    with the correct mileage. Award tickets, along with revenue ticket, have
    certain breaks in the fares when traveling the same direction around the
    world. This breaks are typically determined by a maximum mileage
    limitation. ”

    Keep up thew great blog,

  501. Thanks Rene – I had missed that post. I’m going to have to make sure this is a legal route and then attack this with some more reps.

  502. Looking to do a segment run to get from silver to gold status. Any tips on how to research these other than plugging in random cities on DL.com? I am based out of Boise.

  503. Hi Rene, I made a reservation from MSP-NRT-BKK in coach. One day I was reviewing my trips and a res agent told me that I had one unused GUC available in my “credits & certificate” listings, so I had it applied to this res. A couple months later seats came open and an agent called me asking how I wanted to upgrade? I told her to use the certificate. I was then told there wasn’t any and I looked and in “Credits & Certificates” and there was no longer a GUC there, either open or closed! I have contacted the Diamond Desk, sent several emails to Customer Relations and Contact Delta, and they say no and stand behind their people. The certificate somehow dropped out of the system or was taken when the seat cleared and the itinerary was not reissued. What can I do? I exchanged many emails on the problem and it’s me against them, and I have no proof. They will not give me a listing of my past GUC’s. At this point what can I do, try to explain it to a Red Coat face-to-face the day of flight, and hope to get it changed and upgraded? A friend told me that this same type of thing happened to his wife at CDG a few years back and a red coat in the gate area upgraded her.

  504. Rene – I had brought this issue up recently about getting TSA Precheck less often. As a DM & MM I had been getting it 98% of my 170 or so flights per year. Well, it has not been happening as often (getting my Delta paid TSA Precheck) and it seems as if it on the days I am in a hurry. I decided to just go ahead and pay the fee and get my own Precheck number. As I was applying at the ATL airport the TSA Agent told me they are expecting to be very busy as Delta will soon be discontinuing paying for Precheck for any and all of its fliers. Fliers beware.

  505. Hello Rene,

    A rumor, Delta is now offering 15,000 bonus points for new SkyBonus signups after they fly there first flight within 90 days of signing up!

    Code: DAL15SB02

  506. Hello Rene,

    Delta is running a new promotion with SkyBonus. No external marketing but got promotion code: DAL15SB02 offering 15,000 bonus points after your first flight.

    Hope this help!


  507. Hi Rene, We took advantage of the RTW before Delta shut it down and are leaving soon for 6 countries in 5 weeks. I have looked at travel insurance, including Am Ex, and found AXA policy at $6K (our out-of-pocket costs not incl. miles, points) for around $250 total (including 1 week rental car). What are your thoughts on travel insurance and are there specific things to make sure to include? Used Juicy Miles for flights and my rep does not really do insurance. Would you recommend someone specifically to check with? Thx
    Love the blog, by the way!

  508. @Mr. G – Yikes. Not good. I have not been told about this bug yet. Makes me want to make sure I print a PDF of my UG and the GU (or RU) used. We are talking Delta IT so things can go wrong as we know 😉 I would reach out to Delta.com on this and get a chain going. If they can not fix Elliott.org has the contact info to e-mail the CEO etc direct to get help.

  509. @Hal – I don’t. I have thought about getting a “yearly” policy to cover all my trips. It is not that much if you travel a bunch but I just never have. I would check with your personal agent and if nothing good for one trip then Google and see. Any of the major names should be good I would think. Sorry I do not have better guidance on this one.

  510. HI Rene
    I currently am PM. I am going to be very close, but might be able to make it again.
    I need to go to India before year end. Can you give me some tips, or someone to talk to that can help me maximize MQMs.
    Thanks as always