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Saturday, October 22, 2016 – A Guest Post from John (@laptoptravel) On Thursday, October 20th, 2016 Delta unveiled their newest flagship Sky Club. It opened for a Private Preview Event which was invitation-only. In spite of other reviewers who are members of the press or allowed to attend media events earlier in the week, I actually am just a long-time Delta SkyMiles member and entered through the doors without special privilege (other than the invitation.) So, enjoy this true, first-hand review of a person who was actually there and not writing a review based on a set of ‘press photos’ dispensed to reviewers (who never set foot in the Sky Club) from Delta and at a live event with lots of invited guests and Delta personnel. I just flew back in from Seattle the same night of the preview… This Review is ‘The Real Deal.’ This new facility has an…

Sunday, October 9, 2016 – A Guest Post by John @laptoptravel I recently wrote about Delta Air Lines’ new promotion, “12Status,” which is just another jab in the continuing saga of the ‘Battle in Seattle’ between Alaska Airlines and Delta.  It is a ‘turf war,’ with Delta being the newcomer. For years Alaska Airlines has been the ‘hometown’ airline to Seattle and has a loyal following. Alaska also boasts an all-Boeing (Seattle-based manufacturer) aircraft fleet.  Alaska Airlines even signed the NFL Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson as their CFO (Chief Football Officer.) This flies in the face of Delta’s ‘12Status’ NFL promotion for SkyMiles members to earn free SkyMiles. Not to be outdone by Delta’s free giveaway, Alaska has come up with their own free miles giveaway promotion; Fantasy Bonus Miles. Qualification is limited to those Alaska MileagePlan members who live in one of five states; Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and…

Saturday, July 16, 2016  by John @laptoptravel We are seeing a continuing attack fare by Delta Air Lines on United Airlines’ hubs and this means great opportunities to fly to Dublin, Ireland from San Francisco’s Airport.  Delta seems to be offering this great deal to Dublin (and somewhat higher, yet competitive fares) and other European airports. I just posted a couple of days ago a great attack fare from Phoenix to both of Tokyo’s (Narita and Haneda) airports as they were targeting American Airlines’ routes. Plus, this becomes a Vacation Run in that you can stay as little as one day and night and fly back. Re-positioning should be really easy right now in several ways; Delta is having an award sale for as little as 5,000 SkyMiles round-trip as well San Francisco is reached cheaply by many airports on the West Coast. Now, I was able to make this work directly through Delta’s…

Thursday, July 14, 2016  by John @laptoptravel We are seeing an attack fare by Delta Air Lines on American Airlines’ Phoenix hub and this means great opportunities to fly to one of Tokyo’s two airports; either Narita or Haneda Airport.  Delta seems to be offering this deal to both airports, based on the itinerary. Haneda is much close to the city of Tokyo so may be a better choice if you want a sightseeing day in the city. There are even itineraries that include a ride on a Boeing 747 in either or both directions (Seattle to/from Narita.) Plus, this becomes a Mileage Run in that you can stay as little as one day and night and fly back. Also, visit a Delta SkyClub in the Narita Airport, see Rene’s recent visit report here. Re-positioning should be really easy right now in several ways; Delta is having an award…

Tuesday, July 12, 2016  by John @laptoptravel It’s been way too long (in my opinion) since I have been able to find another First Class (domestic Business) Delta Air Lines Mileage Run, but suddenly this deal popped up on our fare screenings. The San Diego to Austin run is an overnight run (so not hotel required) but it is a long time from departure to return. If you are okay with that, then by all means grab this deal NOW!  I found only two dates (August 5th and August 12th) that worked for the San Diego departure dates.  Now if you try to book this make sure you have the Detroit connection on both the outbound and return itineraries to get the maximum Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s) for you dollars. This is a fantastic run if you seek about 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles.  It takes place in almost the same-day, but…

Friday, June 10, 2016   by John @laptoptravel Well for followers of the Elite Mileage Run blog and our Twitter followers we have a great First Class Mileage Run found on Delta Air Lines again. I am actually currently in Hawaii on a working trip but worked out this search this morning and just had to share for ‘mainlanders.’ This is quite similar to our recent Dallas to San Francisco Mileage Run for June. On this example you can actually select one of two itineraries, for a fare difference.  My example is $561, however there is another one (as shown in the image at the top) of the other fare ($625) which works out to 6.8 CPM.  Either one is a great bargain for First Class. Well, here you go.  Don’t forget to first log into your Delta account and then proceed with our booking instructions. KAYAK DIRECT BOOKING LINK  Click on the “View…

Friday, June 3, 2016   by John @laptoptravel Well for followers of the Elite Mileage Run blog and our Twitter followers we have a great First Class Mileage Run found on Delta Air Lines again. I am actually heading out shortly on a huge trip but got a weird alert on my computer search this morning telling me there was a ‘fare discrepancy’ (make of that what you will…) So I felt compelled to check it out and dig some more. Sure enough, I found a little trick that will help you great a First Class itinerary earning 9,200 Medallion Qualification Miles in a single overnight itinerary; one which I have done twice myself. So, once you search for the lowest coach fare (I found these for between $310 and $318) which is still not a bad coach run…you can then wait for Delta to offer you the opportunity to upgrade…

A Guest Post by John @laptoptravel Back in April of 2015 I wrote “I am absolutely certain that one of the biggest fare war battles is starting to brew in Latin American and Caribbean routes. Richard Anderson (CEO of Delta at that time) has made it very clear that he intends for Delta to become the preeminent carrier in those regions. The recent partnership alliance with AeroMexico is just a hint of what’s to come…” Fast forward to today and we can see that Delta has increased its ownership in Aeromexico and is raising its stake in GOL (a Brazilian partner) in its pursuit of increased presence in the Latin and South American markets. The U.S. airline industry has gone through a lot of consolidation leaving us with what will be four major airlines; American, Delta, United and soon to be Alaska (post Virgin America merger.) While large successful airlines are…

Saturday, May 28, 2016   by John @laptoptravel Let’s follow-up our earlier post, a First Class Mileage Run from Austin to San Francisco with a Los Angeles to Austin run.  Yes, this one is also a First Class run that comes in under 7 Cents Per Mile (CPM)! I am finding a few First Class Mileage Runs, and most are coming from or going to West Coast hubs. I love it when we can share a good First Class (domestic Business) Mileage Run, and you really should take advantage, since these seemed to have recently dried up.  Anytime one pops up I try to take advantage if it works out with my schedule.  After all, First Class means 1.5 times air miles flown for MQM’s and you usually get a meal, plus some of the best service in the skies from a domestic airline! Routing through Minneapolis in both directions maximizes your…

Saturday, May 28, 2016   by John @laptoptravel It’s been too long since I have been able to find a good First Class (domestic Business) Mileage Run, but last night a lot of interesting opportunities opened up.  The Austin to San Francisco run is enhanced by the fact that I was able to force a connection to Atlanta first, then on to Minneapolis and San Francisco.  The return connects through Detroit and that delivers 9,785 Medallion Qualification Miles! Here are the dates I found that are valid for this fare and routing: This is a fantastic run if you seek about 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles.  It takes place in almost the same-day, but you do arrive back in Austin early on the second day; a result of having five flights on this itinerary.  The long layover at the San Francisco airport will allow you try out the Centurion Lounge there or the…

 A Guest Post by John @laptoptravel I am very excited, as so many are, and intrigued by the merger between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. For myself, as an MVP 75K member, it opens up new opportunities, increased capacity and more choices (especially along the West Coast.) Alaska has a team dedicated to the transition and we are anxious to hear exactly how they plan to integrate Virgin’s fleet and operational uniqueness into the Alaska system. There is a lot of speculation of what Alaska will or won’t do when it comes to absorbing Virgin America’s ‘hip peculiarities’; Boeing versus Airbus, Hip versus Conservative, Routes, Interiors, Perks and an endless myriad of policies.  How will they do it?  What are they thinking? Thankfully, this week, we got another peek into the mindset of Alaska regarding some of those issues. Here are some highlights from a recent presentation by Scott Habberstad, Director…

EDIT: Correction can be found HERE. Crew was  NOT  asleep but communication was lost for ~30 minutes between the flight and air traffic controllers.   A Guest Post by John @laptoptravel The tragic loss of EgyptAir’s Flight 804 is still fresh on the minds of the world, and especially the travel industry.  Without any definitive answers we are left to wonder what caused the loss of so many lives. Within a few hours of the disappearance of MS804, a Delta Air Lines jet was also streaking across the skies above the Mediterranean Sea; Delta flight 8957 (a Boeing 767-400 charter flight from Frankfurt Hahn to Kuwait.) Air traffic controllers around the world were on a heightened alert status and as the DL8957 strayed into Greece’s airspace they took immediate and decisive action to prevent what could have been (in their minds) another potential airline disaster. Controllers based at the Athens airport continually…

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