The Alegria Resort on Maho Beach, Sint Maarten SXM – a RenésPoints Readers Meet-up Review

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

The Alegria Resort, an Ascend Collection Property on Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

A Guest Post from John (@laptoptravel)

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_038

Alegria Resort, Maho Beach, Sint Maarten (SXM)

Recently I attended a meet-up with fellow bloggers of Angelina Travels, The Forward Cabin and readers/followers of RenesPoints blog and Twitter followers.  This began as a Mileage Run from Phoenix that went wonky for myself and another when weather got bad in the southeast USA.  René had organized the meet-up and had selected Sint Maarten, home of the famous Maho Beach for the location. Our host hotel would be The Alegria Resort.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_037

One of my 3-Sided Views from my Suite

The Alegria is a Choice Hotels property which is situated on the perfect piece of land at the point which separates Maho Beach and Simpson Bay; both of which border the Princess Julianna Airport (SXM) on the island of Sint Maarten. Sint Maarten actually is composed of two nations; the south side is the Dutch and the north (Saint Martin) is a French overseas collectivity.

map-of-sint-maarten

Sint Maarten & Saint Martin

Besides just being an island in the Caribbean which is reason enough for most folks to visit, it also is one of the top airplane spotting locations. Maho Beach fronts the flight path of runway 28 aircraft approaches for landing at the airport. The runway is just nine feet above sea level and the beach spans about 150 yards from northeast to southeast, but the width is merely 80 feet and butts up to a very narrow two lane road and then the fence which separates the airport land from public access.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_011

A narrow strip of beach marks Maho Beach; a top airplane spotting location

The hotel is an easy twenty minute walk from the airport but you are better off choosing a taxi if you have any larger (checked) luggage. The path (yes a path) to the hotel is narrow and primarily a footpath three-quarters of the way. The last 150 yards you would probably be forced to walk on Maho Beach itself to the Alegria as local traffic would force you off the road most times.

Taking a taxi is an easy process. Walking out from baggage claim, turn right and find the official (white} taxi stand. There will be a taxi coordinator. Tell him where you are going and the number in your party. Mini-vans seem to be the most common taxi models, regardless of the number of people traveling. I got a minivan for my single rider return to the SXM airport. The charge should be $4 USD per passenger or $8 for a single rider.

The Allegria’s lobby is small, but efficient. There is a single couch and two chairs for guests perhaps waiting for others, a taxi ride or tour from the hotel. The front desk has room for two clerks and two check-in lines, if needed.  There is also a small tour desk attached to the front desk stocked with tour pamphlets and brochures.  This area also features a computer to be used by guests for printing boarding passes.

alegria-hotel-sxm-st-maarten-renespoints-blog-1

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_020

Tour Information & Local Guides along with Guest Access Computer

At check-in I received a welcome glass of champagne as well as a unique Wi-Fi password; good for two devices. Unfortunately for others, including René, they were not offered champagne upon their arrival. The Wi-Fi is complimentary to hotel guests although the hotel offers a paid ‘premium’ service, which I did not try.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_018

A Champagne Welcome Beverage

Most of the hotel is formed in a U-shape wrapping the pool area and is four stories.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_037

My rate was booked in advance for 20,000 Choice points per night. You could also book at the Cash+Points rate of 6,000 points and $105 USD.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_014

Points Only or Cash + Points Rates Available

There are elevators; slim and narrow, those help you avoid walking up somewhat steep stairs. I often took the stairs down from my third floor just for exercise and speed.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_030

You could, potentially have a lot of stairs to your room

My room happened to be one of the best on the property; an enormous suite located at the far end of the building with three sided views of the pool area, toward the south and toward the west and the Maho Bay area. Have a look. The rooms have a sliding plastic “Do Not Disturb” / “Welcome Please Knock” sign.

do-not-disturb

Guest bathroom located to right of entrance hall.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_024

My Guest Bathroom; Never Used During My Stay

Living Room with sliding glass door access to wrap-around balcony.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_017

Living Room has Access to a Wrap-Around Balcony with Chaise Lounges Waiting

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_006

Lots of Open Space for my Suite’s Living Room

Dining Room with seats for six, a bar area with stools…

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_028

Bar Counter Stools, Dining Room for Six and Full Kitchen

A full kitchen with stove, microwave, oven, refrigerator and some small appliances. Also included were utensils, silverware and necessary plates and glassware.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_010

Full Kitchen for Suites

A master bathroom with large walk-in shower.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_005

Master Bathroom; Be Advised It is about 48″ from edge of seat to Toilet Paper Roll!

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_029

Eartherapy Toiletries Provided

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_023

Large Walk-in Shower

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_004

Laundry Area Provided inside my Suite

Master bathroom with closet (a digital safe inside) and access to a private balcony overlooking the pool area and Simpson Bay.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_026

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_025

The digital safe, located inside the closet was not operational. After several attempts to get someone to come fix it (it was missing the back door to the batteries) it was determined it could not be repaired during my stay. It was a hopeless cause.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_001

My Safe; Missing Cover to the Battery Case

As you can see the flooring is all tile, which is common in beachfront properties. It is cool on your feet after a day walking the warm sands of Maho beach, but it also can be slippery when wet.

The balconies were wonderful with chairs and a table off the master bedroom and chaise lounges along the wraparound balcony.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_034

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_033

My ‘Smaller” Balcony off the Bedroom A Full Wrap-Around is attached to the Dining Room and Living Room

The champagne and the room were the highlights of the property. It quickly went downhill from there.

The hotel’s Wi-Fi is a timed access and although it should last 9 hours it often drops the connection and re-connecting is a nuisance and often not without several failed attempts. With too many attempts the system rejected my password indicating the password was already in use or no longer valid.  Others in our group experienced the same results forcing us all to contact the front desk for additional codes.

screenshot_2017-01-08-19-36-17

Unable to Login; I saw This Screen Way Too Many Times

The pools, although beautiful in their design, were extremely cold and the Jacuzzi attached inoperable. During my stay I never witnessed any guests making any use of either. There were only three or four guests even sitting on chairs around the pool over four days and none of those stayed for longer than an hour.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_008

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_036

alegria-hotel-sxm-st-maarten-renespoints-blog-2

There is a bar shack located in the pool area but only seemed to have any guests seated there after the nearby Sunset Bar & Grill closed each night at 6pm. Even in its peek there were never more than three patrons at any time.

alegria-hotel-sxm-st-maarten-renespoints-blog-3

The water view

Members of our group reported many deficiencies with their Alegria stays.  It seemed that toilet paper was actually rationed to guests not staying in a suite. Even clean towels were not available on request by many guests. The front desk responded that after enough sufficient towels had been washed by housekeeping the towels would be delivered; that commitment often failed on follow-through.

alegria-hotel-sxm-st-maarten-renespoints-blog-4

No beach “at” the hotel

My own experience asking for additional toiletries reinforced my observations and belief that the hotel operated on a tight budget and quite probably might be having money issues. As I walked the property I noticed some interesting indications that everything is not well with the resort. There is evidence of a previous fire, but that section appears abandoned and long-standing. What looks like an effort for a small and private beach area for hotel guests has been abandoned and is littered with rocks, trash and discarded building materials.

Besides the pool area, the housekeeping staff seemed over-extended and cleaning in many circumstances resulted in the bare minimum being completed. Items such as dirty grout or stained walls went uncorrected.  The Maho Bay facing portion of the property showed signs of damage and disrepair. The Simpson Bay side had buildings left uncompleted and exposed to the elements for years. In contrast, take notice of the designs which cover the hall area leading from the lobby to the pool area.

Here, the Alegria attempts to reveal their master plan for the property.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_002

Future Development Concept for the Alegria Property

Hmmm, when do you think these will become a reality?

The Sunset Bar & Grill, owned by the same group that owns the Alegria, is located next to the hotel but does not allow charges to the room and on some occasions enforced a minimum twenty-dollar charge to use credit cards.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_019

The Deck of the Sunset Bar & Grill is the Most Popular Location

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_035

Besides the view of Maho Beach, Many Patrons at the Sunset Bar & Grill Can See Portions of the Airport’s Runway

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_032

Bar Shack on Deck of Sunset Bar & Grill

Refuge, a restaurant sharing the same deck area as the Sunset, also owned by the operators of the Alegria follows the same policy with credit cards. It is a much nicer place to have dinner, and is only one of two choices to eat after the bar closes. It also features its own pool ($5 charge).

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_027

Dining at either is a practice in patience. Service at any meal always resulted in incorrect and missing items, mixed up bills and frustration all around.  Speed of service, regardless of the meal time never impressed.

Although the prices were quite reasonable for a beach resort and the most popular spot on the island, the menu seemed very limited and no one seemed focused on the customer experience.  Actually you will find many people occupying tables and chairs along the deck’s edge (facing the approaching and taking off aircraft over Maho Beach) without making any purchases. The restaurants seemed uninterested in enforcing any ‘pay to sit’ policy.

The menu features pizza selections named after airlines which serve the island.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_016

Pizza Menu at Sunset Bar & Grill

Wi-Fi is offered at the Sunset Bar & Grill and although it is not a ‘timed-access’ system it continued to drop connections continually.  Apparently, it is not atypical of other locations. A friend staying at the Sonesta all-inclusive resort on the northeast side of Maho Beach also reported similar issues.

I use Sprint as my carrier but they do not include Sint Maarten in their free international roaming plan so I was at the mercy of Wi-Fi access; good or bad as it may be. René thought he was covered and ran up a $50 data roaming charge in one day!

This certainly added to frustrations during my visit. It made it difficult to keep up with friends as everyone is wandering off to various locations for either food, sun & fun or to find the perfect spot for that next arriving aircraft. Wi-Fi or cellular service is essential to keeping up with arriving and departing flights.

The arriving of aircraft was thrilling and I certainly recommend a visit for any aviation lover.  However, the Alegria Resort hotel may not be your best choice. The Sonesta, across the beach, offers competitive all-inclusive rates (including alcohol) and pairs up with many charter packages.  I also highly recommend trying Airbnb (a private residence rental service)  since there are some beautiful properties on the island of Sint Maarten.

Hopefully the Alegria will make future improvements, but you cannot argue their location is ideal, even if the experience is less than what you should expect for an Ascend Collection property.

alegria-resort-hotel-sint-maarten-review-laptoptravel_021

Come Join Us for Another Meet-Up!

Hopefully you will come visit us on our next meet-up and Mileage Run, or come learn how to travel better on points and miles at FTU (the next one is in Seattle, February 24-26th.) The FTU event will feature  RenéJamie Larounis of The Forward Cabin  and myself (laptoptravel) as speakers.

Have you had the opportunity to visit the Alegria Resort?  Are you tempted now to visit Sint Maarten and sit on the sands of Maho Beach and watch commercial aircraft and private jets take-off and land just above your head? Let us know in the comments below! – Thank you, John @laptoptravel

Why You Should Consider a Mileage Run Booked by a Professional

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 A Guest Post by John @laptoptravel

costa-rica-mileage-run-laptoptravel

Click on Image to Enlarge

Let’s just admit the fact; we are all natural procrastinators. It is not that anyone plans to NOT get things done on time…it’s just that life gets in the way.  Every person has work, family and personal demands on their lives. Then sometimes unforeseen events simply take the best laid plans and throw everything into a kilter.

For all elites in the major airline programs there is an annual requirement to meet a specific segment or elite mileage qualification requirement to renew those statuses or to reach a new level. The end of each year, therefore, becomes a mad rush for many seeking to reach or renew an elite status with an airline (or any loyalty-based) program.

Every flyer should know that Mileage Runs are not dead!

A good start…you should read what I believe is the first article I ever wrote for RenesPoints blog more than a year ago:  Are Mileage Runs Still Worth It?

In fact, they are often cheaper than buying MQM’s from Delta, as René wrote a few weeks back:

“For the past four years Delta has, in November or December, offered the option for most elites to buy MQMs. While the prices have at times fluctuated depending on whom you are or how many points you had the max prices each year were:

$ 995 for 10,000 MQMs in 2012 or ~10 cent each

$1995 for 10,000 MQMs in 2013 or ~20 cents each

$2095 for 10,000 MQMs in 2014 or ~21 cents each

$2995 for 10,000 MQMs in 2015 or ~30 cents each
 
You can see a scary pattern going on here and one that I would think will continue this year, that is, 2016. While I have no confirmation that Delta will again sell MQMs, if they do, expect the price to go up yet again. How high can it really go and people still buy points I ask? My guess is this year will see a “modest” jump to $3095 for 10,000 MQMs (still a completely insane number).”

Mileage Runs are occasionally posted on the internet, and Elite Mileage Runs and my own blog laptoptravel are great places to follow. For quicker service, follow @EliteMileageRun as well as @laptoptravel on Twitter for immediate alerts!

costa-rica-mileage-run-laptoptravel

Crazy Cheap Mileage Run to Costa Rica

However, I find it necessary near the end of each year to post less of those as our team is working full-time finding Mileage Runs for clients and so we cannot ‘split the baby’ during these times.

As a professional mileage run and award travel booker (I currently work on staff at JuicyMiles) I always start off the new year by reaching out to our previous year’s clients reminding them to get started early with their status goals.  Personally, I do take my own advice.  In fact I renewed my Delta Diamond Medallion status in June of this year and now am able to ‘cherry pick’ the best deals out there and just earn extra Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s) for rollover.  By the middle of December this year I will be almost ready to rollover enough MQM’s for Diamond status in 2018 (good through February 2019.)

To my point of this post; perhaps you should consider using the services (and resources) of a Mileage Run service like Juicy Miles. The advantages are we have the experience, resources and commitment to find the best deals most efficiently.

We work all hours of the day, often while you are sleeping…. we are searching for amazing deals to reward you with cheap elite qualification miles to meet your targets. We do it for every airline; every program.  In fact, I have just begun to share my own tips and techniques in travel seminars (like the Chicago Seminars, and hopefully soon Frequent Traveler University sessions.)

Here is an example of my own personal commitment to your needs:

This past week, our internet service became unstable and practically useless as a result of continued rains.  It seems that squirrels had spent some of their time during the warmer, dryer summer days nibbling on Century Links’s transmission wires.  After a few days of prolonged rain the water seeped into these lines and rendered the system worthless.

Sure I spent a few extra hours at Starbucks and other sites for Wi-Fi service to continue working for clients and their Mileage Run requests. Over the weekend, however that became an impossible solution. With more than fifteen requests in my hand I relocated to a Doubletree (by Hilton) with premium internet service to handle my clients’ needs.

It was not all wonderful, though. In the middle of the first night (around 2am) we were evacuated from the hotel due to a false fire alarm and had to walk down ten flights of stairs…and I still kept working on client Mileage Runs upon my return to the room after the ‘all clear’ was sounded.

doubletree-laptoptravel-juicy-miles-mileage-run-weekend-evacuation

Relocated to Doubletree (and Got Evacuated) to Work on Clients” Mileage Run Requests

It is that type of dedication and relentless effort that you get when you hire Juicy Miles. That is just one benefit.  You get people who specialize in the special nuances of finding amazing deals, understand the fare classes, partner rules, upgrade potentials as well as award ticket options to make your next booking the best possible experience for you with the minimal amount of input and time.

year-end-mileage-runs-juicy-miles-laptoptravel-twitter

Recently I tweeted out the above

This is actually three tickets that cost a total of about $390 (plus a use of SkyMiles to re-position twice.)  The payoff is more than 32,000 MQM’s, that’s less than 1.2 Cents Per Mile (CPM.) Now this is a rare exception, so it is no promise of future results, but it illustrates the point; Professionals do perform better, on average, in finding you the best Mileage Run deals.

When it comes to award ticket bookings; well each one is a story within itself as well as a formidable job in most cases. Having someone who knows the rules and inner-workings between mileage programs and partners are priceless resources when you want to take that aspirational trip, to take that special someone…to take the family!

So two things to do now:

First, take an inventory of where you currently are in your airline program(s) and contact a Juicy Miles professional today to help you meet your goals. My suggestion? Do not delay! Do it today as the window of time (and opportunities) dwindles ever so quickly as the holiday travel season is upon us! Secondly, make a commitment to start out the New Year by getting a mileage run booker working for you when there is no time-crunch like you might be facing today!

If you like the idea of letting a professional do the work for you…try  JuicyMiles  and see what they can do for you. There’s no risk; you give them the parameters- the time frames, the airports and if they do not find anything that works there is no fee to you!

Thank you for reading the blog and I hope to see you at a seminar, or reader meet-up (Coming Soon) or always in the sky in the near future!  — John (@laptoptravel)

 

PS – Don’t forget about the AMAZING 70k SkyMiles plus 10K MQMs Delta AMEX card offer ending soon!

 

Attack Fare Means Delta Mileage Run to Tokyo from Phoenix $536 Earn 12573 MQM’s at 4.3CPM

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Thursday, July 14, 2016  by John @laptoptravel

PHX-NRT Delta Tokyo

PHX-NRT Delta Trip Summary

Delta’s Trip Summary – Click on Image to Enlarge

PHX-NRT Delta Details

Flight Details – Click on Image to Enlarge

 

 

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 sale for as little as 5,000 SkyMiles roundtrip as well Phoenix is reached cheaply by many airports within several hundred miles.

 

If you want a great deal then by all means grab this deal NOW!  It may only last a few hours, maybe a day or two!

I found only a few dates (in August) that worked for the lowest fares.  In you want to go in September, a similar trip would cost you about $100 more, but still a great price.

Now if you try to book this make sure you have the Seattle connection on both the outbound and return itineraries to get the maximum Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s) for your dollars. Or, in the alternative, try to get two connections in both directions.  There are many routing options from Delta on this fare.

However, to get the Boeing 747 (Queen of the Skies) you have to select a Seattle connection.

This is a fantastic run if you seek about 12,000 – 13,000 Medallion Qualification Miles.  It takes place in three days, with a single night layover.

 

The cheapest days to depart are August 29th and August 30th for $546.

 

PHX-NRT Delta FC

Available Departure Dates – Click on Image to Enlarge

 

 

Now, I was able to make this work directly through Delta’s website. I would suggest you put in PHX to NRT and select Flexible Travel days and select the ‘5 Weeks’ option, starting with August 15th. That should display a good range of departure dates for you. Note: Even though you put NRT as your destination, Delta will also show fares for HND included in the results.

Another great thing about this Mileage Run is it is a ‘Pay With Miles’ eligible fare, so you could ‘buy down’ the fare even more with your SkyMiles and still earn MQM’s!

You also could opt to credit this flight to your Alaska Airlines MileagePlan and earn redeemable miles at the rate of 1 miles per 2 flown on Delta, which is a lot more than Delta will credit your SkyMiles account.

The comparison:

Delta will give you 12,573 MQM’s and 2,250 Redeemable Miles (based on 5X base fare)

Alaska would give you 12,573 Elite Miles and 6,287 Redeemable Miles (Minimums, could be higher if you have Elite status with Alaska Airlines)

 

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

MQM’s:     12,573 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Fare:         $536

Cost:           4.3 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

 

August 29th, 2016 One Night Layover, Return on September 1st

 

Will you be taking advantage of this latest ‘Attack Fare’ by Delta?

 If so, will you credit to your SkyMiles or MileagePlan account?

 

Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs  – Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

San Diego to Austin 1st class $688 and 9304 MQMs at 7.3CPM – Delta Air Lines Elite Mileage Run

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016  by John @laptoptravel

 

San Diego to Dallas Flight Banner

San Diego to Dallas Flight RouteMap

San Diego to Dallas Flight Book

San Diego to Dallas Flight

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 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 newly remodeled San Francisco SkyClub.

No worries, though right? You are enjoying these flights in the front of the aircraft and will enjoy meals, a comfortable seat and the service you have come to expect from Delta domestically. Your fare class is ‘P’ for all segments so that means a 1.5X miles flown (6,203) for your Fare Class.

Now, I was able to make this work directly through Delta’s website.

and so I created a special booking link that does work below.  Since you are flying First Class you are not worried about upgrades, therefore you can choose to enter your SkyMiles (or another SkyTeam partner’s, or even Alaska Airlines’ MileagePlan) number and then purchase this route.

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

MQM’s:     9,304 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Fare:         $688

Cost:           7.3 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

San Diego – Detroit – Austin  –  Detroit  – San Diego

August 5th, 2016 Same-Day/Overnight

Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs  – Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

Dallas to San Francisco 1st class $561 at 6.1CPM Delta Elite Mileage Run

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Friday, June 10, 2016   by John @laptoptravel

 

Dallas DFW - San Francisco SFO DL Aug 2016 Banner

Dallas DFW - San Francisco SFO DL Aug 2016 Book

Flight Itinerary – Delta Click Image to Enlarge

Dallas DFW - San Francisco SFO DL Aug 2016

A Choice of Two Itineraries : Two Prices

 

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 Deal” that will take you through to Delta’s booking site.

Dallas – Detroit – San Francisco – Detroit – Dallas       August 8th -9th (Overnight)

FARE:        $561

MQM’S:    9,200 Medallion Qualification Miles

COST:        6.1 CPM (Cents Per Medallion Qualification Mile)

In searching for dates (a very complicated process, without much help from many of the online travel agency (OTA) sites) I found only the one date of an August 8th departure for this fare deal. Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs  – Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

 

 

Dallas to San Francisco $511 Delta First Class Elite Mileage Run at 5.6CPM

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Friday, June 3, 2016   by John @laptoptravel

Banner DFW-SFO First Class

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.

DFW-SFO First Class (1)

A Sample of a Coach Search Result                   Click on Image to Enlarge

 

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 to First Class for $50.25/per person/per segment. So for an additional $201 you are getting your confirmed First Class seats, food service as well as 50% bonus MQM’s.

 

DFW-SFO First Class (5)

DFW-SFO First Class (2)

Look Closely: Click Image to Enlarge

 

For some reasons that I really did not have time to investigate many of these First Class fares are not showing up on the typical searches the public might use.  That is why this little upgrade trick is  so sweet!

Neat, huh?

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 Deal” that will take you through to Delta’s booking site.

Dallas – Detroit – San Francisco – Detroit – Dallas  June 14th-15th (Overnight)

FARE:        $518

MQM’S:    9,200 Medallion Qualification Miles

COST:        5.6 CPM (Cents Per Medallion Qualification Mile)

In searching for dates (a very complicated process, without much help from many of the online travel agency (OTA) sites) I found the following Departure dates:

June 7th     June 13th      June 14th     June 16th

and June 28th (Note this fare is a bit cheaper at $510.60 for First Class)

 

DFW-SFO First Class (2)

Check out this fare!      Click on Image to Enlarge

 

Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs  – Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

 

 

Los Angeles to Dallas $498 First Class 7,000+ MQMs at 6.9CPM Delta Mileage Run

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Saturday, May 28, 2016   by John @laptoptravel

LAX-DFW Delta MR Aug 10 2016 Banner

Los Angeles LAX - Dallas DFW Delta Air Lines First Class Mileage Run Aug 10 2016 Booking

LAX-DFW Delta MR Aug 10 2016 Map

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 MQM’s; one that delivers 7,164 Medallion Qualification Miles! It also all fits neatly into a single 24-hour day on my example.

There are a few dates scattered through August and September that I found that are valid for this fare and routing:

The layovers at the airports will allow you try out the Minneapolis Escape Lounge (MSP), which recently joined as a Priority Pass partner, or the Centurion Lounge or the newly re-opened DFW SkyClub both in the Dallas aiport.

Don’t forget you are going to be fed on these flights with Delta’s first class service.  You are enjoying these flights in the front of the aircraft and will enjoy meals, a comfortable seat and the service you have come to expect from Delta domestically.

 

Los Angeles LAX - Dallas DFW Delta Air Lines First Class Mileage Run Aug 10 2016 Kayak

Flight Details – Make Sure You Select this Itinerary

Click on Image to Enlarge

The booking link below will take you to Kayak and from there you can simply click on “View Deal” (as shown in my screenshot above.)  That takes you through to Delta’s website where your flights are pre-filled, where you can review the itinerary, and then purchase this route.

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

MQM’s:     7,164 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Fare:         $498

Cost:           6.9 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

Please login to your Delta Airlines / SkyMiles account before you click on the booking link below:

DIRECT BOOKING LINK (Kayak)

Los Angeles – Minneapolis – Dallas (DFW) – Minneapolis – Los Angeles

August 10th, 2016 Same-Day

When looking, make sure you select the itinerary shown above:  it is the only one that has the cheapest fare and the most MQM’s. There are a lot of other, much less Mileage Run worthy, alternatives.

Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs  – Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

Austin to San Francisco 1st class $752 & 9785 MQMs at 7.7CPM – Delta Air Lines Elite Mileage Run

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Saturday, May 28, 2016   by John @laptoptravel

AUS-SFO MR Flight DetailsSan Francisco Banner

AUS-ATL-MSP-SFO-DTW-AUS MR Map

Now this is how we like to see a Mileage Run path!

AUS-SFO MR FLight Details

Flight Details   –  Click on Image to Enlarge

 

AUS-SFO MR Orbitz

Booked Through Orbitz

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:

AUS-SFO MR Fare Calendar

Click to Enlarge

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 newly remodeled San Francisco SkyClub.

No worries, though right? You are enjoying these flights in the front of the aircraft and will enjoy meals, a comfortable seat and the service you have come to expect from Delta domestically. Your fare class is ‘A’ for all five segments, so that means a 1.5X miles flown (6,523) for your Fare Class.

Now, I was not able to make this work directly through Delta’s website and so I created a special booking link that does work below.  That takes you through to Orbitz where you can review the itinerary, enter your SkyMiles (or another SkyTeam partner’s, or even Alaska Airlines’ MileagePlan) number and then purchase this route.

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

MQM’s:     9,785 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Fare:         $752

Cost:           7.7 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

ORBITZ  –  DIRECT BOOKING LINK

Austin – Atlanta – Minneapolis – San Francisco – Detroit – Austin

September 3rd, 2016 Same-Day/Overnight

 

Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs  – Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

Los Angeles to San Juan American Airlines $289 Summer Sale Elite Mileage Runs Act NOW!

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016   by John @laptoptravel

A LAX-SJU Summer Sale

LAX-SJU Summer Sale (1)

LAX-SJU Summer Sale (2)

Sample Overnight Itinerary

LAX-SJU Summer Sale (3)Summer Fare Calendar

Available Dates in July and August

Following up on our recent Mileage Run post, San Francisco to Dublin, we offer a Caribbean Summer Sale and Mileage Run for our American Airlines AAdvantage readers and followers. If you do not follow us yet on Twitter, then please click here to start!  That will keep you ‘in the loop‘ with the latest Mileage Run tweets.
Today, I found that American Airlines is aggressively pricing cheap fares to Puerto Rico.  I have been tweeting many of these, but wanted to offer this fantastic SUMMER DEAL here, since it covers two full months and has so many available dates for travel; plus it these can be simple Mileage Run itineraries or full vacation fares.
I did a similar run not too far back and I paid about $70 more for the flights.  This Mileage Run comes in at $289 and you can simply touchdown and turn around, or stay a few nights (for about $5 more.)
There are a lot of dates open and we will share two examples in this post. But using our booking links you can search for alternative dates.

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

EQM’s:     7,199 Elite Qualification Miles (EQM’s)

Fare:         $289

Cost:           4 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

Please login to your American Airlines / AAdvantage account before you click on the booking link below:

This link books through AA.com  –

DIRECT BOOKING LINK

Los Angeles (LAX) – Charlotte (CLT) – San Juan (SJU)  – Charlotte (CLT) – Los Angeles (LAX)  August 6th-7th, 2016 – Now here are the flight details for those dates:

 

LAX-SJU Summer Sale (4)

Click on Image to Enlarge

LAX-SJU Summer Sale (2)

Click on Image to Enlarge

And here is an alternative, a week-long stay for a true vacation in sunny Puerto Rico:

LAX-SJU Summer Sale Week

Click on Image to Enlarge

And here is the DIRECT BOOKING LINK for that itinerary (July 11th – 18th)

Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs  – Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

Denver to Ireland $538 & 9,636 MQM’s at 5.6CPM Delta Elite Vacation Run / Fare

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Friday, May 13, 2016   by John @laptoptravel

 

DEN-DUB Oct Nov DL Dublin

The River Liffey flows through the center of Dublin

DEN-DUB Oct Nov DL Book

DEN-DUB Oct Nov FCal

Click to Enlarge

Available Dates in October / November

 Following up on our recent Mileage Run post, San Francisco to Dublin, we put forth another opportunity to get to Dublin, Ireland; this time from Denver.

It appears that there are some weaknesses on several international routes, as evidenced by recent earnings statements by the Big 3 U.S. domestic airlines.  As a result, passengers can take advantage of sale prices that we are seeing sporadically.  American has been very aggressive with Asia routings and now we have found a great fare to Europe for those of you considering a Fall trip; this time to Dublin, Ireland.

Although this is a great vacation fare to Europe it may not technically qualify as a Mileage Run (priced at 5.6  cents per mile) but still is a low airfare (for Delta) to Dublin that is NOT an error fare; it is just priced that way by Delta Air Lines.  Delta has been targeting United Airlines’ hub airports, so Denver is a great value for as low as $538 round-trip in September and October.

I personally did Dublin last year when a similar Delta fare deal was offered and had a wonderful time and enjoyed great weather!

For a fare this low, you must stay a week, or longer.  There are a lot of dates open and we have just shown you one here in our example.  But taking our booking links you can search for alternative dates.

A great tip for this fare would be to use FlexPerks and book the trip for only 30,000 points!  Now that would be a sweet deal!

Also, this is a ‘Pay With Miles’ eligible fare for those of you who hold a Delta/American Express co-branded card, so you can ‘buy down’ the fare with your SkyMiles and still earn full MQM’s! Another myth busted for those who still think you will lose all MQM’s if you use “Pay With Miles.” You will still get the MQM’s, but you are reducing your redeemable miles as they are tied to the base fare PAID.

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

MQM’s:     9,636 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Fare:         $538

Cost:           5.6 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

Please login to your Delta account before you click on the booking link below:

This link books through Delta.com  –

DIRECT BOOKING LINK  Denver – JFK – Dublin – JFK – Denver

Another tip:  For our Alaska Airlines readers, you could credit this to your Mileage Plan account and earn 4,818 redeemable miles and 9,636 Elite Qualifying Miles to that program. Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs

I also suggest that you take the time to read this article I wrote on Mobile Passport and load it onto your mobile device before taking this trip and see how great it works in the JFK Airport, which was just added in April! Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

 

San Francisco to Ireland $477 & 12,154 MQM’s at 3.9CPM Delta Elite Vacation Run / Fare

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Friday, May 13, 2016   by John @laptoptravel

SFO-DUB Sep Oct DL Temple Bar

SFO-DUB Sep Oct DL FCal

“Available Dates in April / May” to “Available Dates in September / October”

SFO-DUB Sep Oct DL Book

It appears that there are some weaknesses on several international routes, as evidenced by recent earnings statements by the Big 3 U.S. domestic airlines.  As a result, passengers can take advantage of sale prices that we are seeing sporadically.  American has been very aggressive with Asia routings and now we have found a great fare to Europe for those of you considering a Fall trip; this time to Dublin, Ireland.

Besides being a great vacation fare to Europe it also qualifies as a Mileage Run (priced less than 4 cents per mile) and is one of the lowest airfares we have seen in years from the West Coast to Dublin that is NOT an error fare; it is just priced that way by Delta Air Lines.  Delta has been targeting United Airlines’ hub airports, so San Francisco is a great value for as low as $477 round-trip in September and October.

I personally did Dublin last year when a similar Delta fare deal was offered and had a wonderful time and enjoyed great weather!

For a fare this low, you must stay a week, or longer.  There are a lot of dates open and we have just shown you one here in our example.  But taking our booking links you can search for alternative dates.

I also like the Atlanta to Dublin and return the same path.  That way you get a longer international flight and you will earn more Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s) this way rather than flying between JFK and Dublin..

A great tip for this fare would be to use FlexPerks and book the trip for only 25,000 points!  Now that would be a sweet deal!

Also, this is a ‘Pay With Miles’ eligible fare for those of you who hold a Delta/American Express co-branded card, so you can ‘buy down’ the fare with your SkyMiles and still earn full MQM’s! Another myth busted for those who still think you will lose all MQM’s if you use “Pay With Miles.” You will still get the MQM’s, but you are reducing your redeemable miles as they are tied to the base fare PAID.

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

MQM’s:     12,154 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Fare:         $477

Cost:           3.9 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

Please login to your Delta account before you click on the booking link below:

This link books through Delta.com  –

DIRECT BOOKING LINK  San Francisco – Atlanta – Dublin – Atlanta – San Francisco

Another tip:  For our Alaska Airlines readers, you could credit this to your Mileage Plan account and earn 6,077 redeemable miles and 12,154 Elite Qualifiying Miles to that program. Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points and Elite Mileage Runs

I also suggest that you take the time to read this article I wrote on Mobile Passport and load it onto your mobile device before taking this trip and see how great it works in the Atlanta Airport (and the JFK airport has also been recently added!) Best Wishes and Happy Travels. Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

 

Are Mileage Runs Still Worth It? An Analysis of Delta Air Lines SkyMiles and Medallion Benefits

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016  by John @laptoptravel

Quick Note:  I am posting this a a guest article on behalf of René, who is a bit under the weather. Hope you get better soon, buddy!

Once upon a time, the backbone and foundation of the points and miles landscape was the ‘game’ know as Mileage Runs, or mileage running.  Personally, I have been doing that for a number of years but only recently has it made it to the ‘big leagues’ and the forefront of a lot of loyal elite members’ minds.

LAX-LIR RouteMap

One of My Typical Crazy Routings “Mileage Run”

What is a Mileage Run?

Following the September 11th attacks, airlines saw their passenger counts fall dramatically; it was a scary time for both travelers and airlines. It was not just limited to air travel, but included trains and cruise ships as well.  The airlines quickly took evasive action; parking airplanes in the desert near Tucson (more specifically, the Davis-Monthan Air Force Boneyard – in fact we are doing a trip there in March…come join us)

lots-of-old-jets

Davis-Monthan Air Force “Aircraft Boneyard”

and filing for bankruptcy protection. Then airlines turned to their loyal members of their frequent flyer programs and offered incentives to fly more than ever better benefits and plentiful upgrades. The recession of 2008/2009 then provided even more incentives by the airlines to encourage us to take to flight.  “Mileage Runners” began to get creative with routings with multiple stops at out of the way hubs to get the maximum miles out of (what otherwise would be) a simple A to B flight; perhaps with a single connection.  As airlines often priced multiple segments to a location the same (or in some cases lower) than the direct route the mileage runners were further incentivized to take circuitous routes. They would then reap the maximum benefits for themselves with additional miles and thus increase the number of miles earned for their frequent flyer accounts.

What’s the Logic Here?

The logic behind mileage runs is that airline points (or miles) have a relatively fixed value yet the cost to accumulate them can vary widely based on itineraries that are priced dramatically differently.

So there used to be two reasons for someone to take a Mileage Run:

  • To Earn Redeemable Miles (Miles that can be redeemed for Award Travel), and
  • To Earn (or renew) Status on an Airline of choice (as each airline requires a number of miles flown each year to achieve or keep status)

Well, the truth is mileage runs are, for the most part, a relic of a bygone era.  The primary reason for this is that, in general, mileage runs just don’t figure out to be economically feasible anymore for the typical flyer.  This is largely due to the introduction of revenue-based earnings; that is, the number of miles earned are tied to the base fare ticket price and based upon a person’s status with the airline and if they used an airline co-branded credit card (earnings can range from 5 miles per dollar spent to 14)  to make the purchase, the miles are no longer tied to the distances flown. Therefore a cheap ticket that flies a passenger twice as many miles would not earn the flyer any more or less than the same priced ticket for a much shorter distance. Delta and United have this revenue-based model in place and American Airlines will go to this in the latter half of 2016.  American Airlines had been the last bastion of hope for many mileage runners until that recent announcement. Now, you may say “what about error and mistake fares? Don’t they make sense economically?” Well, that is a topic for another day and not what this post is about today.

We can see that redeemable miles are no longer an incentive to mileage run. Certainly there are much easier ways to acquire these type of miles.  Credit card sign-up bonuses are easily attainable and require no flying. Earn 50,000 redeemable miles while still at home?

So, the next question is the big one in this new era of airline frequent flyer programs.  Does it make sense to mileage run for status? Yes and No.

Do Status Runs Still Make Sense?

Status comes with perks. I will address my comments here solely to Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, as this will be appreciated the most by RenéPoints readers.

I believe that mileage running today is to qualify for elite status, not so much for earning redeemable miles and that is where I put my personal and professional energies and resources to work.

Delta Medallion Status Requirements

Let us also set the bar for each of the Delta Medallion status requirements:

Delta Medallion Qualification Chart_01

Delta Air Lines has some pretty specific benefits for each Medallion level. I will not go into all of them, but touch on the highlights. You can research them all here on Delta’s website.

Here are some of the charts that explain the benefits by Medallion Level:

Delta Medallion Benefit Chart_01

Delta Medallion Benefit Chart_02

Delta Medallion Benefit Chart_03

So, the fact remains that if you want a status you must fly to get it or earn MQM’s in some way (you could stack AmEx co-branded credit cards and spend tons of money and get MQM bonuses, but that is not for most folks)

Upgrades…Upgrades

At the top of most elite members’ list in benefit priorities are upgrades. Well, Delta promises complimentary upgrades for Diamonds and Platinums (at 5 day prior to departure window), Gold Medallions at 72 hours and Silver 24 hours or less.  But in reality we know that upgrades are becoming more scarce.  It is Delta’s business plan to market and sell more, even at discounts, rather than give them away to a loyal elite. To me, this is mind-boggling since if they upgraded a Medallion they would accomplish three things:

  • They would take much of the burden off the shoulders of gate agents trying to deal with ‘at that moment’ issues to get a flight out orderly and on time
  • Delta would be showing its appreciation of a valued elite (just like they tell us when they say “thank you for being a [fill in status]”
  • The airline would open up a coach seat for which it could charge a lot more money as a ‘last-minute’ availability.

Case in pointI recently flew a long segment with Delta and there were cancellations due to a storm earlier that affected many other passengers; many from another carrier.  The gate agent told me he was selling these seats for $1,300 a piece! He was very proud that he could do that.  Ultimately, although he initially offered to upgrade me, he stuck me back in coach and lost a premium sale (not to say how he made me feel.) Why not upgrade me, make me happy and sell the seat to a waiting passenger who really wanted it? My mother always told me “actions speak louder than words” and we all know the saying “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.” It seems Delta has forgotten both of those old adages.

As First Class Monetization increases, these upgrades will dry up. Delta has a corporate goal of leaving less than 20% of the First Class seats out there for upgrade inventory in the not too distant future.

To maximize your opportunities to still get upgraded, must you join #TeamBoardLast? If this becomes a trend, it could get ugly…just think “No, you get on, no you, no I insist after you…”

Complimentary Upgrades are also available for your companion, but as upgrade inventory diminishes you can bet your companions will be hard-pressed to experience an upgrade.

With the coming changes to travel after May 15th, 2016 a huge benefit will be lost to ALL Medallions; regardless of what status you hold!  You see, Delta Air Lines is selling Comfort+ as its own ‘fare class’ (‘W’ fare) and that changes everything for Medallions at the time of booking and for travel with companions.  It could also affect future first class upgrades as explained in this Sunday guest post.

Now for your 2017 Medallion Choice Benefits, Delta has ‘split the baby’ so to speak by allowing a Diamond to choose 2 Global Upgrade Certificates and 4 Regional Upgrade Certificates in the same choice. That may affect a person’s decision on whether going for Diamond makes sense if they do a lot of domestic (especially the transcontinental JFK to either San Francisco or Los Angeles) and could use the RUC’s to get more flat-bed seats.

Still, Global Upgrades remain a highly sought after and valued prize (a benefit potentially worth thousands of dollars) for achieving top elite status with Delta. Similar products are available to the top tier elites of American and United. Regional Upgrade Certificates are very valuable as well and become available to both Platinum and Diamond Medallions with Delta.

If you anticipate making a lot of changes to your itineraries or seem to also be making and then cancelling award tickets the waived fees for such activity may be worth a lot to you.  Baggage fees are not so much a perk as any AmEx co-branded card will get you and your travel companions the same benefit. The same can be said for a SkyClub membership; currently only available as an individual membership but the same can be had by carrying the AmEx Reserve card.

International Travel

International travel plans may affect your answer to whether Mileage Runs are still worth it.  Check out Noah’s post about how great SkyTeam Elite members are treated in international airports. SkyTeam Elite status comes with Silver Medallion and SkyTeam Elite Plus comes with the other (higher) Medallion statuses.

Partner Perks

Another piece of the puzzle might be if you are a true Road Warrior, probably for business, could you benefit from the Hertz Rental Car bonuses. Crossover Rewards with Starwood Hotels is also a nice perk if you have at least a Gold Level status with SPG.  That way you are getting Delta SkyMiles and SPG points whenever you use one or the other.

So, things have definitely gotten tougher for elites…but it is (no longer) specific to Delta. It’s a consistent move by the Big 3 domestic US airlines.  Do you think it will get better at Delta now that their CEO, Richard Anderson has announced his retirement in May?  René has a different take on that…

Is There Help?

If you are convinced that you (still) want to do a Mileage Run let me say you should not try it without professional help. I write a blog specializing in Mileage Runs. RenésPoints maintains Elite Mileage Runs plus you should definitely read this post!

laptoptravel Mileage Run

Some people just fly for fun and recreation!

What’s The Answer?

So, the answer to the question “Are Mileage Runs Still Worth It?” is still very specific and unique to each person’s personal preferences and travel habits.

Does anyone here still do Mileage Runs? If so, why do you continue; what is your motivation?  And lastly we would love to hear what you think were your most beneficial runs in your past?

I would love to hear your thoughts!  Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

 

 

Houston to Hong Kong $589 and 17246 EQMs at 3.4CPM (Potential of 34492) Miles American Airlines Elite Mileage Run

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016  by John @laptoptravel

Hong Kong Night

Houston to Hong Kong American Airlines March 2016 Mileage Run Booking

Houston to Hong Kong American Airlines March 2016 Mileage Run Calendar

Houston to Hong Kong American Airlines March 2016 Mileage Run March Calendar

Houston to Hong Kong American Airlines March 2016 Mileage Run RouteMap

 

Here is a chance to fly one of the longest non-stops from the USA.  American Airlines operates their Boeing 777 Wide-Body aircraft for the Dallas to Hong Kong flight on this Mileage Run.  You originate in Houston (Hobby Airport) and change planes in Dallas (DFW)

It is also a chance to get as many as 34,492 Redeemable AAdvantage Miles (depending on your status)

You will earn 17,246 Elite Qualifying Miles with American and if you are already an Elite with their AAdvantage program you can earn bonus miles as follows:

 

Elite Mileage Bonus Benefits

Executive Platinum    100%

Platinum    100%

Gold     25%

 

 

This could be a great time to contact American Airlines and request a status challenge, if you have not already achieved status with the airline.  Currently the only way I know of to begin, or enter this challenge is to call American Airlines.  You can call them at (888) 697-5636. The cost for the Platinum Challenge is $200 and the Gold Challenge is less at $100.

As you can see from the calendars and flight schedules I have posted you have a lot of options!  The easiest way to book this is to use one of the two links I have provided you below:

*NOTE: Make sure you sign into your AAdvantage Account before you click on either of these booking links.

DIRECT BOOKING LINK   HOU-DFW-HKG-DFW-HOU

 

DIRECT BOOKING LINK   HOU-DFW-HKG-DFW-HOU

 

The tightest schedule gets you into Hong Kong at 6:35pm (a day after your Houston departure) and then departs the next afternoon and gets you back to your Houston origination at 6:00pm two days after you left Houston!  That’s quick for so many EQM’s!

 

If you have any Systemwide Upgrades from American Use them on this Dallas to Hong Kong flight! It is booked at 17 hours, 5 minutes! Phew!

Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

EQM’s:  17,246 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM’s)

RDM’s: 34,493 for Executive Platinum and Platinum Elites, 21,558 for Gold Elites

Ticket Price:  $589

Cost:   3.4 Cents Per Mile (CPM) 

We hope you enjoy this great find!

 

I am really excited about the possibilities for big Mileage Runs as American is sure to take Delta on more aggressively this year and as posturing for the Asia markets increases.

 

Thank you for visiting and following us, hopefully throughout 2016 here at Renes Points andElite Mileage Runs

Best Wishes and Happy Travels!

Enjoy your travels!  – John @laptoptravel

 

 

New York to Anchorage $542 &7865 MQMs at 6.9CPM 2015 Year-End Delta Elite Mileage Run

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Monday, December 21, 2015  by John @laptoptravel

JFK-ANC_Dec_2015_Kayak

JFK to Anchorage December 22, 2015 Overnight Mileage Run

JFK-ANC_Dec_2015_Delta

New York (JFK) to Anchorage Year-End Mileage Run Delta Booking

Well, I am throwing up final salute to you NYC area runners with this Mileage Run out of your home area.  Hurry, up and pack your carry-on and you just might get a Complimentary Free Upgrade to First Class on a few (if not all) of these four segments!

Yep, yet’s take a look…and since we are a “full-service” blog here at RenésPoints I am showing the seat maps for the one example I used for this post.

JFK-ANC_Dec_2015_SeatMap

Delta SeatMaps for JFK to Anchorage Mileage Run


 So, a couple of quick points.  The third segment shown (ANC-PDX) is on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737, but you will get full MQM credit (it is after all a Delta-ticketed trip) and secondly the flight will be much better than either one René or I experienced in our ugly painful interesting flights on our Mileage Runs to Anchorage.  Nope, I bet you you’re going to be much more impressed with these flights.

SO, I found two dates that work; this one which is depart tomorrow (Tuesday, December 22nd and get back in the afternoon of Wednesday, December 23rd) or the Wednesday, December 23rd departure which gets you back into New York City on December 24th. The flight swill probably be much less crowded on the latter, but you have to make that decision in case you have any holiday plans with family or friends…

Now, if you just can take an UBER, taxi, drive, take a train, maybe a (cheap flight?) and re-position yourself to New York then go, go, go if you need the 7865 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s) you will receive for an easy overnight trip!  And it’s a last ditch effort to get you some MQM’s before the clock strikes Midnight on December 31st!

Anyone within 500 miles of New York should jump on this if they need the MQM’s!

So, you can also choose another flight that gets you back into New York City later (around 7:40pm) on both alternatives…it’s your choice.  On the long layover in Anchorage you can (if you are a SkyClub member) take advantage of the Anchorage Alaska Airlines Board Room lounge.  I did and loved it!

Once again, another great Mileage Run story to tell all your family and dinner guests! Anyway here are the numbers:

The Details:

MQM’s:  7865 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Ticket Price:  $542

Cost:   6.9 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

Bookable on Delta.com DIRECT BOOKING <-LINK

A total of four segments, here is your routing: JFK-SEA-ANC-PDC-SEA   Overnight December 22nd-23rd, 2015 and you can also do an Overnight December 23rd-24th

Please LOGIN first you your Delta.com account before clicking any links. Then, once you are signed into your Delta.com account then click on the desired link (Shown Below) and then choose your flights by pressing SELECT on the flights displayed that match the Mileage Run I have posted. You will then be taken directly into a Delta window where you can see the flights, the miles, and the cost. From there you can also choose “Pay With Miles” (if you have a Delta co-branded American Express card) and Purchase the ticket!

I will continue to search for you…but you need to make a commitment to do something before time runs out!  This is probably one of my last Mileage Runs for this year; It probably will just get uglier from here on out until December 31st.  -Enjoy your travels!   – John @laptoptravel

 

Miami to Anchorage $854 & 8654 MQMs at 10CPM 2015 Overnight Weekend Delta Elite Mileage Run

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We will receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards
 

Monday, December 14, 2015  by John @laptoptravel

MIA-LAX-MSP-ANC_Matrix

Overnight Delta Mileage Run Miami to Anchorage Flights

MIA-LAX-MSP-ANC_Calendar

Overnight Delta Mileage Run Miami to Anchorage – Calendar

MIA-LAX-MSP-ANC_Delta

Overnight Delta Mileage Run Miami to Anchorage Booking

I know this is not an ideal Mileage Run, but let me say that it is really getting ugly here the last few days to take a Mileage Run before 2015 ends.  I am hearing from a lot of you that you “just need something” to get you over the MQM hump for the year. On the plus side it is a WEEKEND RUN, and it is after the big Holiday!

Okay; here you go.  This is 8,654 Medallion Qualification Miles for less than $900.  Truthfully, we are approaching a 10 Cents per Mile (CPM) starting price for Mileage Runs of any real length.  So many people are flying for vacations, their own Mileage Runs and I have seen a lot of flyers these past few weeks cashing in their Regional and Global Upgrade Certificates.

I wish I had some good First Class Mileage Runs, and I will get back to searching for those after this post. Well, hopefully many of you were able to capitalize on our previous two First Class Elite Mileage Runs last week.

So, I am sending you far away to Anchorage on this Mileage Run. Let me prepare you and tell you these aircraft between Minneapolis and Anchorage are worn out planes from Northwest.  Delta still flies these since they carry so much cargo/mail.

As you can see by the posted calendar, there are a handful of dates that work in December, and the prices get so  much better in January, if you want to start the year off with another run.

The Details:

MQM’s:  8654 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM’s)

Ticket Price:  $854

Cost:   10.6 Cents Per Mile (CPM)

Bookable on Delta.com

(Wednesday’s Dec 26th) –  DIRECT BOOKING <-LINK

A total of four segments, here is your routing: MIA-MSP-ANC-MSP-MIA

Please LOGIN first you your Delta.com account before clicking any links. The, once you are signed into your Delta.com account then click on the desired link (Shown Below) and then choose your flights by pressing SELECT on the flights displayed that match the Mileage Run I have posted. You will then be taken directly into a Delta window where you can see the flights, the miles, and the cost. From there you can also choose “Pay With Miles” (if you have a Delta co-branded American Express card) and Purchase the ticket!

I will continue to search for you…but you need to make a commitment to do something before time runs out!  It probably will just get uglier from here on out until December 31st.  -Enjoy your travels!   – John @laptoptravel