Completely new!!! Please help?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by XveganX, Jun 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. XveganX

    XveganX Active Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status Points:
    80
    Hi! My name is Austin! I am a traveler!

    I want to get into Mileruns, but I don't know where to start.

    I live in San Diego, with easy access to LAX.

    I have a Delta Gold Skymiles Credit-card, with 46,804 miles on it.

    I fly to the other side of the globe (usually Istanbul) about three times a year.

    Any suggestions on where I should go from here?

    Thank you for your time!
     
    marcwint55 and Gargoyle like this.
  2. XveganX

    XveganX Active Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status Points:
    80
    /forums/threads/dl-lax-atl-dxb-817-a-i-4-28c-m-nov.63089/

    Is this a good miles-run? LAX to Dubai? $817? How many miles would that give me?
     
  3. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,267
    Likes Received:
    2,298
    Status Points:
    1,225
    The trick to a mileage run, is to earn more miles than it would cost to fly the route as full revenue. Divide the number of earned miles by the fare to calculate how many cents per mile you're paying for those miles. Obviously the lower the cost the better.

    Things are a little more challenging on DL since their miles carry so little value and award seats can be very difficult to find, but if DL is your airline of choice, hang out in the SkyMiles forum, or in the Mileage Run forum, and you'll learn a lot.

    There's some general guidelines to abide by, such as calculating the cost/mile, but only you can ultimately decide if a route/flight is worth it. I find that I visit a lot of cities I wouldn't normally spend time in when I do mileage runs, so there's some added benefit and in that case I'll pay a little more per mile, but that's my case. Some people treat it as a real science and won't do a mileage run unless it's < $0.03 a mile, others are a bit looser, and ultimately that's your decision.

    You might also want to share what your ultimate goals are. If you're goals are to use miles for upgrades, reward flights, hotel transfers, etc., then the science changes a little.

    You can plug that into any number of websites, including Delta's website, and it'll tell you exactly what the mileage accrual is.
     
  4. garyst16
    Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    1,028
    Status Points:
    825
  5. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Another place to get an answer is the WebFlyer Mileage Marker, link here:

    http://www.webflyer.com/travel/mileage_calculator/

    Plugging LAX-DXB and return you get 8320 miles one way, and 16,640 round trip, presuming no plane changes. Going through ATL each way brings it to 9520 one way or 19,040 round trip. It may be off by a few miles, though, since it seems each carrier has its own distance calculations but it is a good general answer. That would be for status miles, if you're eligible for bonuses, the redeemable miles may be much higher.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  6. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,015
    Likes Received:
    96,543
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Good point. If the OP is doing three r/t's a year LAX-IST, should be at least silver (125% bonus on redeemable miles) and with some careful planning 200% gold bonus.

    Note that with the Delta gold amex card, there are status miles (MQM) bonus for spend levels- 10,000 MQM's for $25k spend per year, and another 10k mqm's for higgint $50k.
     
  7. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,517
    Likes Received:
    4,573
    Status Points:
    2,570

    I would seriously think about switching to another airline if you want to accrue miles and use them for travel. Delta points are not the easiest to use for awards unless you don't mind paying extremely high prices for awards. If you decide on another airline, there are usually credit card bonuses that can help you accrue lots of miles towards travel.
    Choosing an airline really depends on where you want to travel and what class of service you want. Delta points can't be used for partner first class tickets, although that may not be important to you. Another issue with Delta is that they just reduced the points you can earn on partner airlines. United is a good choice if the Star Alliance partners are good for you, or American if you find the One World partners to be more to your liking.
     
    Counsellor and MX like this.
  8. marcocean

    marcocean Silver Member

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    77
    Status Points:
    275
    Also, United is great for San Diego because you can get an easy 500 miles when you get Premier status and fly through LA. Carlsbad is also a great, easy way to do this...and sometimes flights out of Carlsbad are cheaper than San Diego.
     
  9. XveganX

    XveganX Active Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status Points:
    80
    The only perk I really would like are cheaper tickets. Also, if I could use them to buy discounted tickets for my Girlfriend. I am not really one for First-class or extra luggage or anyhting like that.

    I met a woman from milepoint who was staying at LAX Hilton, and she also referred to Delta in a poor light: referring to them as Delta pesos.

    I could easily switch to a different Credit Card -- either to United or American -- if the rewards are better.

    There are group of people who meet up and collectively do large mile-runs together, no? I would be interested in getting into this as well.

    If I just wanted discounts on airfare, and not necessarily the other perks, which would you recommend: American or United?

    Thank you for your time!
     
    marcwint55 likes this.
  10. Travelsavant
    Original Member

    Travelsavant Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,234
    Likes Received:
    15,667
    Status Points:
    10,720
    I fly both UA & AA as top tier flyer & I do so exactly because of the elite perks. My airport is SFO & UA has better flight schedule over AA but AA is good too + love flying out of Terminal 2 @SFO. I have found it fairly easy to redeem miles for awards & usually can get saver awards, not standard, with both Airlines. I also like the partners for both UA/Star Alliance & AA/One World. Both airlines are very good for free domestic upgrades on most routes. Having a credit card with one or both is also useful but not necessary if you are doing 100K BIS miles per year. Have never flown Delta & thus not the right person to advise or judge their program.

    AA/USAir is merging this year, while UA/Continental merger is done; that might give UA the edge & make them a better bet out of SAN for you right now while you learn all about MR's, Elite Perks, etc. :D
     
    marcwint55 likes this.
  11. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,267
    Likes Received:
    2,298
    Status Points:
    1,225
    Spoken as someone who hasn't experienced much first class. Once you start sitting at the pointy end, you get spoiled and never want to fly Y again.

    The United Explorer card is quite good, if you do $25k/year annual spend (which gets you 10k in bonus miles). They also recently brought a change to this card that eliminates foreign transaction fees. This is my current card of choice given my spend habits. UA also has a pretty diverse shopping program giving you miles at everything from Banana Republic to Drugstore.com that helps you earn miles in addition to spend. I seem to accrue at least 1,200 miles a month on top of spend, just by using their shopping partners. I've also joined MileagePlus Dining, and a lot of our top local restaurants that we go to frequently are on there. With your trips to IST, the United Club card may be worth looking at for the club access on your layovers. I believe it's only UA branded clubs, but others can confirm.

    There are MegaDos, which are run by the same leadership here at MilePoint. I haven't participated yet, but I'd love to do one. There's also some coordinated fly-in activities around the interwebs, where people will meet up at an airport. Typically a true Mileage Run is done for the purposes of earning miles at great rate. It'd be pretty impractical for people to get together to do it, unless you all lived in the same city. The cost of me flying to ORD to do an ORD originating MR with someone, would likely negate the entire purpose (unless it was a really really awesome deal).

    Just to be clear, you're not likely going to get "discounts on airfare". Virgin Atlantic has a program called "Miles plus Money" which lets you pay say half of the fare, and make up the other half by cashing in miles, but as far as I'm aware none of the major US based carriers do this. I believe I've seen something similar on some of UA's last minute deals, $100 + 10,000 miles, but I've only ever seen it on those deals. You can't just decide to book a ticket to BRU and pay with cash + miles.

    Unless someone else here proves me wrong, you're going to be saving your miles up for full redemption, or buying Y class tickets and using miles for upgrades. Now there are benefits to holding status when it comes time to redeem those miles for award tickets. UA for example, shows elite tier folks different availability for award tickets than non-elites. When we redeemed miles to LHR last year, my girlfriend's account showed no availability (she has no status), but I was able to book through my account (with status).

    If you're doing three RT's per year to IST, you should have no problem securing at least a Silver elite status on UA. Silver doesn't get you much anymore. Your upgrade chances are slim (though you say you don't care about that--you may be the only person on this forum that feels that way). Silver now is pretty much an honorary status that just recognizes you're (slightly) more valuable than the once a year traveler.

    At the very least though, maintaining loyalty on your three trips should get you at least Silver, which would help in your quest for redemption.

    I haven't flown AA since 2002, but while UA is my primary carrier, I did take 14 segments earlier this year on US (a spread of about 70% mainline, 30% regional). Unlike UA which continues to cram as many people as possible in a CRJ, US still seems to fly more mainline aircraft between major cities, but I digress. I've been pleasantly surprised at how much work has been done at US over the last 5 years or so. US has certainly gone from a carrier I couldn't stand and wouldn't consider, to an airline I don't mind flying (if it's either more convenient or significantly less expensive). Now that they're leaving star, they'll go back to my no-fly list, simply because I average around 50 segments a year, and if I want any chance of getting to gold, I have to put all of my eggs in one basket.

    The AA/US merger scares me a little simply because they're such drastically different carriers. Everyone loves to rake Smisek over the coals for his comment about high ranking UA customers being "over-entitled"... I've already got the popcorn ready to watch the show when US policies take effect on AA's top tiers. Given the policy changes that are inevitable, I don't think AA/US is a place I'd focus if I was just starting out. It may be a viable option for a challenge in the future, but I don't see this merger being all that smooth.
     
    marcwint55 and Travelsavant like this.
  12. Travelsavant
    Original Member

    Travelsavant Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,234
    Likes Received:
    15,667
    Status Points:
    10,720
    All mergers are a bit scary but having survived UA's, I can weather AA's too. Of course I'm counting on Doug being so damn proud of what he pulled off that he might be a bit more generous than most expect.
     
    marcwint55 and webdes03 like this.
  13. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,517
    Likes Received:
    4,573
    Status Points:
    2,570

    Neither airline would be great for discounts. If you truly are looking for discounts, Spirit Air may work for you. They are a no frills airline and they also have a credit card through Bank of America. If you want luxury or perks, forget them. If you just want a cheap seat, they may work for you on some domestic, South American or caribbean routes. Water will cost you $1.00 and overhead bin space also costs, but they have extremely cheap fares, sometimes as low as $9.00 per ticket.

    Another thing that you may want to consider is the American Express membership rewards program that comes with some of the Amex cards. You can use points to pay for airfare, although the rate is not the best. While the airfare is not discounted, you can pay with points and avoid using cash for a ticket.
     
  14. XveganX

    XveganX Active Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status Points:
    80
    Thanks for the replies!

    I am applying for the Chase United Explorer card, and I'll cancel my Delta Card. As that seems a better option.

    Spirit Airlines looks really interesting--as I am in a position to leave for weeks at a time with zero luggage. It is worth it to sign up for their $60 annual club in order to get those super cheap tickets to the Caribbean--or is that airline simply a scam no matter how clever the budget traveler is?
     
  15. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    7,567
    Status Points:
    6,510
    No help to provide on your questions, but I wanted to say welcome to MP! :)
     
    Counsellor likes this.
  16. JellyFish

    JellyFish New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status Points:
    15
    Just kayak search it.
     
  17. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Likes Received:
    2,757
    Status Points:
    1,445
    I would not be on the end of the Delta naysayers. I fly them almost exclusively and enjoy their product and service. From what I read people are not disappointed with Delta product they just haven't been able to utilize Delta's miles program to their liking. You already have over 46k miles with them, it wouldnt be much to push you into a coach ticket to Europe. I personally wouldn't cancel your card just yet. You are just getting started with this hobby and will soon learn there is more than one way to skin an airline ticket. With more research you just may find that Delta can offer you nothing....or that it might be able to offer you something. If in case you decide nothing feel free to send me your pesos, I will gladly take them.

    I believe the Gold does not have the annual spend bonus, but the Platinum definitely does.
     
    deltagoldLass likes this.

Share This Page