Rookie Wednesday: Don’t Request Missing Delta Partner Credit Too Fast (Plus Other “Don’ts”)

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this featured topic.

Wait – NOOOO – Not Q fare Delta!

One of the hands down best ways to rack up a boatload of points (and MQDs credit) with Delta is via their partners. However, one great partner AeroMexico, is notorious for sending over the WRONG fare class information to Delta often due to Y-UP fares (#ProTip – Want a custom mileage run from your home airport? We have a team ready to help you).

But take a gander at the screenshot above from the Delta.com page about requesting missing credits. I was waiting for one of this year’s AeroMexico runs to post and wanted to hurry it along. Thankfully, I looked closely and did not take it to the next step. Why? Notice the indicated fare class in the screenshot? Yep – “Q” – when I had flown and paid for “I”. The difference between the two fare classes in earnings is MASSIVE. So I just waited and the correct numbers did post. This is one simple “don’t” but let’s look at some others today.

  • Don’t set a simple password on Delta.com. If you use the same password for Delta as other sites you are asking for trouble. Oh, and please make your password REALLY hard and long. There are currently any number of threads on social media about folks’ Delta accounts being hacked and drained to zero!
  • Don’t upgrade Delta Amex cards. Over the 8 years while I was full-time blogging I loved answering literally thousands of reader emails – other than one kind – that asked if they should upgrade (or downgrade) a Delta Amex card. NOOOOOOO! Never ever do this as you burn your 1x lifetime shot at a new card bonus. Apply for a new Delta Amex card THEN close the old card if you wish to do so.
  • Don’t pay for checked bags! OK if you have a steam trunk you may not be able to get it through the TSA machine but many bags do fit. Why pay Delta when you can take the bag to the gate and then get them to check it for free!
  • Don’t cancel a Delta Amex card too soon. Please please please never ever cancel an Amex card short of 365 days since you were approved. The reasons why are many. First off, they can claw back the new card bonus. Next, in the case of the Delta Amex Platinum Card (learn more here) or the Delta Amex Reserve card (learn more here) you get a BOGO cert year 2 (and thereafter) of card membership. Once loaded to Delta.com it does not go away even if you cancel the card. So if you are going to cancel wait till it loads in before you close an account.
  • Don’t let a Delta Amex BOGO go unspent. With the above in mind, you can book tickets for any two people you want with your BOGO cert and you can pay for the tickets with ANY Amex card (not just the card you got the cert from). So check the fly by expiration date and make sure someone enjoys the savings of a free +1 ticket (free plus tax that is). See post E22 in the Essentials tab for more help with this.
  • Don’t ever buy MQMs from Delta in December. I hate, I mean really HATE, when folks do not plan ahead and end up donating money to Delta Air Lines. Please take the time to look now what points you think you will need and plan accordingly. Either buy up to 1st class if the price is right to earn extra points or book a mileage “fun run” somewhere. Do not give free cash to Delta!
  • Don’t buy Delta tickets with a Delta Amex card. Wait – what? But I can earn 2x and help reach my spend goals for the year. Yeah, well, you can earn 5x much more valuable Membership Rewards points if you pay with the (non-Delta) Amex Platinum card (learn more here). You can send those instantly to Delta if you wish and you can see that 5x is clearly better than 2x. Find other things to reach spend goals with your Delta Amex cards.
  • Don’t assume a flight is not oversold due to open seats in the Fly Delta App. There is so much we do not see plus the day of flight things are always changing. Other flights can cancel and roll to yours and a wide-open flight could be oversold in a moments notice. Always print an extra boarding pass and ask the gate agent if the flight is oversold (and give them the extra paper copy to hold).

These are my major “don’ts” when it comes to being a frequent Delta flyer. I bet I have left a few out and sharp readers can help us out. Are there other Delta don’ts that you always cringe when people do? Please let us know in the comments below! – René

 

$524 Orlando Florida to Dominican Republic AeroMexico / Delta Business Class Elite Mileage Run 9597 MQMs $2560 MQDs & 12,796-20,474 SkyMiles

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This run is a whole bunch of ugly but the yield is sweet. There are scattered dates all of 2019 and you will have to tinker to not have REALLY long layovers. Most of the combinations I have found require an overnight in Mexico City so that does add to the cost of this run – know this.

Start at TCB for $16 back

Easy to find flights on JustFly

Next up is the fact you can not seem to book this one AeroMexico (I can find one-way but not return flights – maybe you will do better). You can book starting at TopCashBack sending you to Justfly.com to save $16 per ticket (I have done this many times in the past). A #ProTip – do NOT pay for seats or anything else at Justfly as you can pick free on AeroMexico later. Also know you have NO ZERO ZIP free cancellation time on Justfly.com

What you should earn on an I fare credit to Delta SkyMiles flying AeroMexico

This  is  a “Y-UP” fare  so there is a chance you may have to fight with Delta if AeroMexcio does not code this correctly and send over the data to Delta for the full “I” class published fare.

Here are the numbers:

  • MCO-MEX-SDQ-MEX-MCO
  • 6398 Miles flown
  • 9597 MQMs (1.5x distance flown for “I” fare)
  • $524 ticket price yields 5.5CPM (for the elite mqm points)
  • 12,796 SkyMiles + Medallion bonus (Diamond + 120% i.e. an extra 7,678; Platinum + 80%; Gold + 60%; Silver + 40%)
  • $2,560 MQD credit (ticket price does not matter only 40% of distance flown as MQD dollar credit to Delta)

Again, if you book this – go in with eyes wide open that it may take work to get the published credit you should receive. At the same time the cheap price and massive rewards may be worth it for this fun run!

 

 

HURRY! Toronto to Amsterdam ~$2000 Business Class AeroMexico / Delta Elite Mileage run 23,436 MQMs, $6,250 MQD credit + 31,232-49,980 SkyMiles earned!

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Wide open in Nov & Dec 2019

First letter codes a “I” in fare class

“real” discounted biz class

This one is a MASSIVE amount of points and spend credit in a quick 2 days of flying and especially nice for those elite flyers near Detroit (and can drive to YYZ) who is looking for Delta points. There is a red-eye to MEX if you want to skip a hotel night in YYZ the night before the run. You can make this a vacation run as you stay for a while in Amsterdam if you would like (a fun place to visit btw)!

Fare to choose on AeroMexico.com

You can book this direct on Aeromexico.com (not all flights show up) or via OTAs to get all the flights that ITA Matrix finds (see link below how to search)

Credit AeroMexico to Delta earnings

Start 2020 with a fun run!

The nice part about this one is the fare class coding starts with an “I” so you should have no issues getting the correct points yield if you do choose to credit these flights to Delta for your Medallion status. This is NOT a “Y-UP” fare but a real restricted business class fare. Also, there ARE flights to start 2020 so you could with two of these runs knock out a MASSIVE $12,500 in MQD spend for about $4000 out of pocket! Oh that and earn a crazy number of Delta points back!

Here are the numbers:

  • YYZ-MEX-AMS-MEX-YYZ
  • 15,626 Miles flown
  • 23,436 MQMs (1.5x distance flown for “I” fare)
  • $2049 ticket price yields 8.7CPM (for the elite mqm points)
  • 31,232 SkyMiles + Medallion bonus (Diamond + 120% i.e. an extra 18,749; Platinum + 80%; Gold + 60%; Silver + 40%)
  • $6,250 MQD credit (ticket price does not matter only 40% of distance flown as MQD dollar credit to Delta)

 

I have taken a ton of runs over the years but this one is truly simple and amazing plus you get to fly the 787 in business class over the water both ways. Not a bad way to keep your status this year 2019 or next 2020 with Delta!

 

 

Atlanta to San Jose (Costa Rica) $728 Business Class Delta / AeroMexico Weekend HUB Elite Mileage Run  8094MQMs at 9CPM

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Click any photo for full screen shot

Open Nov and Dec dates 2019

I don’t love this one but this one is reasonable and convent for those who can ONLY take a mileage run on a weekend and do not want to position to some other start city to get a run done. It looks open in Nov and Dec for the best flights (HT to premiumcabindeals.com for the find). At the find site they have other options but I find the flight time and overnights just not worth it so sticking with the best one for this post.

2 days out and back

All “I” class fare

Not a “Y-UP”

The nice part about this one is the fare class coding starts with an “I” so you should have no issues getting the correct points yield if you do choose to credit these flights to Delta for your Medallion status. This is NOT a “Y-UP” fare but a real restricted business class fare.

Look at “I” class earnings

Make sure you see business class

The only way I can find this and book is either via Priceline (but is playing really strange so avoid) or via FlightNetwork.com. I am not finding these flights on AeroMexico.com site direct unfortunately. Here are the numbers:

  • ATL-BJX-MEX-SJO-MEX-QRO-ATL
  • 5396 Miles flown
  • 8094 MQMs
  • $728 at 9CPM (I like sub 8CPM in biz but this is a HUB weekend run so…)
  • 10792 SkyMiles + Medallion bonus (Diamond + 120% base; Platinum + 80%; Gold + 60%; Silver + 40%)
  • $2158 MQD credit (ticket price does not matter only 40% of distance flown as MQD dollar credit to Delta)
  • Quick link for the Nove 2/3 flights is HERE
  • Quick link for the Dec 7/8 flights is HERE

A few other tips with Flight Network. Do NOT pay for seats. Once you have a ticket you can pull it up on AeroMexico.com and pick them free. Be sure to follow my suggestions to make sure you get full points even with all the above checked off! Lastly, this is also bookable into 2020 should you wish to have some points to start the year quick. – René

 

 

Chicago / New York to Havana Cuba AeroMexico Business Class Sale ~$500 Round Trip!

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Wide open dates

UPDATE: Per Delta.com “Travel to or from Cuba on flights operated by partner airlines is not eligible to earn miles.” https://www.delta.com/en_US/skymiles/how-to-earn-miles/airline-partners Thus only the USA-MEX legs will count for points earnings! If you booked on AeroMexico.com you do have 24 hours free to cancel these tickets fyi.

What an amazing price. You can travel from from either Chicago or New York to Havana, Cuba in AeroMexico business class for just over $500 round trip (note: most of the better routes / times / flights are closer to $600). If you are willing to have long layovers (like really long) you can fly the 787 dreamliner out of JFK both ways.

Let me get some important bits out of the way. I am not suggesting this as a “tourist” visit as that is not legal from the US. In fact read the following:

One of the key things I take from the above is that the reason for your visit needs to consume more of your time than other activities. You are the one who chooses the legal reason for your visit to Cuba. Also, you will need a “Cuban tourist card that should cost you $20 (also known as a Cuban visa)” per AeroMexico web site it says in part:

“What do you need to travel to Cuba? Traveling from the U.S. to Cuba with us has never been easier! We sell the Cuban tourist card (also known as a Cuban visa) at the Cancun and Mexico City airports, at both the check-in desk and the customer service desk near the departure gates — no need to obtain this document in advance!”AeroMexico.com

With that out of the way, if you do chose to go for a valid reason, here are some of the the prices I found and dates seem to be wide open:

Now on to the frequent flyer points you would earn as a Delta flyer who would credit the AeroMexico flights to Delta and some other important bits.

This is a “Y-UP” fare from AeroMexico (<-See post for more info) that is, a coach fare that has been “upped” to a full “I” business class fare. It does not appear to be a mistake fare but a real sale. As an “I” class fare it “should” yield you full Delta points per the Delta partner earning charts that is 2x distance MQMs, SkyMiles (plus Medallion Mileage Bonus is based on Base Miles earned: Diamond + 120%; Platinum + 80%; Gold + 60%; Silver + 40% on top of that) and 40% of distance MQD spend credit (not the price of the ticket that matters: see this post)

From Chicago with a stop in Mexico City you will yield (about):

  • 6844 MQMs
  • 6844 SkyMiles plus whatever elite bonus example Diamond = additional 4106 SkyMiles
  • $1369 MQD credit (again ticket price does not matter)
  • Book direct on AeroMexico.com as shown above
  • Update: The MEX-HAV-MEX legs will NOT earn points per Delta.com

From New York with a stop in Mexico City you will yield (about):

  • 8464 MQMs
  • 8464 SkyMiles plus whatever elite bonus example Diamond = additional 5079 SkyMiles
  • $1693 MQD credit (again ticket price does not matter)
  • Book direct on AeroMexico.com as shown above
  • Update: The MEX-HAV-MEX legs will NOT earn points per Delta.com

I currently value a SkyMile / SkyPenny the way Delta does, that is, 1 cent each. Thus as a Diamond from Chicago you would earn back  $245 UPDATE: $110 – not bad on a ticket costing just over $500!

I have never visited Cuba and have always wanted to go so am looking forward to one of these trips (no I am not going on the 4th of July as shown above and no I am not going to post when I am going). Also know I am no expert on Cuba or Cuba travel – I am just sharing what I found regarding the flight sale from AeroMexico – Do not ask me for legal advice on these flights! – René

 

 

New York to Quito Ecuador AeroMexico (credit to Delta) business class $844 Delta Elite Mileage Run 12147 MQMs at 7CPM plus $3239 MQD credit!

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Results for a Diamond Medallion!

UPDATE: All is AOK it seems! If you do not get full points let me know in comments below for a fix!

 

Lots of open dates 2018 with same day turn

Decent price for year end Delta run (on AeroMexico biz class)

What you earn on an I fare

If you have never done a partner run – you are missing out. But you also have some catching up to do. These are fun, nice, often in business class, but it takes a bit to MAKE SURE you do get full credit as promised on Delta.com. So read the following posts please:

Next, once you have it booked and can see the PNR on AeroMexico and can choose seats – be sure to follow the advice in the post above as well as at check-in. You simply MUST see your Delta number on the boarding pass and have a copy of it to save (i.e. be ready for a fight to get your points)!

Now that you get it the step are this. Start at TopCashBack <-LINK and search for JustFly. You get $16 back on international tickets. Then use the open dates shown above for the deal (or another OTA of your choice like Amex travel, etc). Here are the results for an “I” class fare:

Cost: Net $844 after TopCashBack $16 credit

Base earnings i.e. distance: 8098 Miles flown

SkyMiles earned: 16196 base (+ elite bonus Diamond – 120%; Platinum – 80%; Gold – 60%; Silver – 40%)

Elite MQMs earned: 12147 (150% of base distance)

Elite MQDs earned: $3239 (40% of the base distance)

Bottom line this is a great way if you are short of MQMs and or MQDs to score a bunch in a hurry and all of it in business class. Any of this too much? My friend ADAM and his team can help you book these fast!

 

New York to Ecuador Delta / AeroMexico Business Class Elite Mileage Run $835 & 12,147 MQMs & $3,239 MQDs at 6.9CPM

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’s Points for Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

Wide open dates

D business class fare

Current earnings AeroMexico Credit to Delta

Search and book via PriceLine

I like this one and the price is very respectable at sub 7CPM for a business class run (I like under 8 cents per mile for biz and under 4 cents for coach). It is all in AeroMexico business class (similar to Delta’s domestic business class) [UPDATE: there are a few 787 Dreamliner flights from JFK]. You are earning under the partner earning chart (see above) thus if you are flying AeroMexico and credit to Delta Air Lines you are earning not for the price of the ticket but based on fare class, distance and percentage of distance for MQDs (if confused see THIS post to understand).

If you book this be sure you also read THIS post to make sure you do get the points you are expecting.

Here are the (approximate) numbers (crediting to Delta):

  • Cost: $835 in “D” business class fare
  • 12,147 MQMs at 6.9 CPM
  • 16,196 Base SkyMiles (elites also get bonus based on status level)
  • $3,239 MQD credit towards your Delta elite status (40% of base distance credit as MQDs)
  • Book via PriceLine <-LINK
  • UPDATE: If you can not book via PriceLine, another choice is starting 1st at TopCashBack <-LINK and then from there go to JustFly. You can get $16 back this way in cash via TopCashBack!

Make sure you put in your Delta SkyMiles number and follow the other steps (link above) when you fly to get full Delta credit. There is all kinds of flexibility with this one if you want to turn and burn or stay for a while in Ecuador. You can do this also as a weekend redeye as well. Lots of choices!

 

 

ALERT: Aeromexico MQM / MQD / SkyMiles Mileage run. ~$550 for 17k+ MQMs & SkyMiles plus $3454 MQD credit!

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’s Points for Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

Not an amazing seat but an amazing price

These runs are just crazy good. I only have time to put up a quick note on this but see these links to read up and book this. I have booked a number of them for next year (sorry keeping dates pvt). There some flights with full flats and some with domestic biz seats but are really cheap. See:

and

and

You can check you are in ( I ) fare class once your ticket is booked and you can pull it up on Aeromexico.com web site (and put in your Delta SkyMiles number then as well). These are cheap prices but you may want to wait a while to make sure they stick. Airlines have been dumping even booked cheap flights as of late.

NOT booked on Delta.com w/SkyMiles number

 

HURRY! Chicago to Ecuador $797 & 10818 at 7.4CPM Delta 1st class Elite Mileage Run 2017 (same day turn)

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Many open 1 day turns

Sweet biz price

Cheap coach biz is better

Again look at biz

This one is GOLDEN folks and you can, with a HT to tomasdev on FT, route from NYC and other locations. I would look at this one in 1st class vs coach as the value is much higher. The best part is it is same day turn i.e. no overnight. To score this kind of MQMs in about 24 hours is simply amazing. If I needed MORE MQMs I would jump all over this one. Just stunning.

I would use the tools below and search from your own home town airport of if you need 911 help to book this reach out to ADAM and his team to get this done for you. This price WILL NOT LAST LONG!

If you happen to have US BANK FlexPerks points you may be able to book this for 20k in coach and 40k in biz round trip (I have not tested but real value if you can find it).

Here is a sample set of numbers:

Cost: $797 in 1st class with bonus MQMs

Cost: $387 in main cabin coach

10818 MQMs at 7.4 CPM in 1st

6706 MQMs at 5.6 CPM in coach

Book direct on Delta.com

 

PS – Don’t forget you can get 40k SkyMiles and 10k MQMs with EITHER Delta Amex Reserve card with the LTO going on!

 

 

Last-Minute MQM Run Atlanta to Mexico City $409 & 3010 MQM’s at 13.5CPM 2015 Year-End Delta Elite Mileage Run

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015  by John @laptoptravel

 

Medallion Qualification Miles Eleventh Hour Mileage Run

Time is Running Out for a 2015 Delta Mileage Run

So, you’ve waited until the dreaded minutes before midnight, end of the year 2015 to finally get all your Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s) in, right?  No problem, just grab a quick flight out of Atlanta; surely Delta has lots of cheap flights the last two days of the year, right?

Nope, no way…not gonna happen!

A quick scan over last-minute airfares will send you to your local bank asking for a second mortgage on your home to get some of those flights! Ouch!

Well, I have another solution for you! Fly AeroMexico for Cheap! Yes, AeroMexico and Delta Air Lines are “big-time” partners now that the “Atlanta boys” own a piece of that Mexican flag-bearer airline (and they are buying more.)  What does that mean for you? You can fly to lots of last-minute destinations in Mexico for cheap and credit your flight miles to your Delta SkyMiles account.

Here is the chart that Delta provides to explain your earning potential on AeroMexico:

Earning Delta MQMs on AeroMexico

Chart Explaining Earning Delta MQMs on AeroMexico

Now, the best (cheapest) deal right now is Atlanta to Mexico City via Cancun.  That is good for 3,010 MQM’s on your Delta SkyMiles account.

AeroMexico Atlanta to Mexico City 2015 Last Minute Mileage Run Route Map

3010 MQM’s

 

AeroMexico Atlanta to Mexico City 2015 Last Minute Mileage Run Kayak

Click to See Flight Details


So, a couple of quick points.  After you click on the SELECT Link for the flight you want buy, in this case you are sent to CheapOAir.com  There is a Toll Free Telephone number to call if you have any questions (Toll-Free: 1-888-516-3050.)  The ONLY thing you should be concerned with is the Fare Code.  That is because Fare Codes E, W, N, R and V on AeroMexico only earn 50% MQM’s for the mileage flown.

Here is the CheapOAir Booking Screen

Here is the CheapOAir Booking Screen

Now I just spoke with CheapOAir and I checked with AeroMexico’s website and many of these seats are booking into U and M fare buckets. So, that means for the U and M fares you are getting 100% MQM’s for your miles flown.  The M fares actually give you an additional 25% on your redeemable miles. Refer to the chart above if you have more questions. All I am saying is that if you have any questions about your fare class call the telephone number (888-516-3050) or call AeroMexico directly at (800) 237-6639. Normally I do not go this far, but I think you better be safe and not sorry since this really is the “Eleventh Hour” for Mileage Runs and I certainly do not want you to be disappointed.

Now, here is the DIRECT BOOKING LINK to get these flights to show up for you on your browser.  Make sure you filter the flights to AeroMexico only.  Good Luck and we would love to hear your experience if you take one of these last-minute mileage runs!

Once again, another great Mileage Run story to tell all your family and dinner guests! If you take my example flights shown you will be back in Atlanta with plenty of time before New Year’s Eve!

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

MQM’s:  3010 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Ticket Price:  $409

Cost:   13.5 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

Please DO NOT COMPLAIN about the Cents Per Mile Cost this late in the game!  I could show you lots of Delta flights at 35 CPM and higher going out in the next two days; some for less than 1,000 miles roundtrip!

So, we do listen to your concerns here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs  Best Wishes and Good Luck if you do take this trip; you’d be my hero!  -Enjoy your travels!   – John @laptoptravel