Noob here, How do I do a delta mileage run?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Stevemcmahon40, May 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Stevemcmahon40

    Stevemcmahon40 Member

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    I just signed up for this site. I would appreciate any help you ppl can give me. I'm a silver delta medallion me,ber who flies Florida-nyc 6x a year. This year I flew twice on miles so I'm not anywhere near what I need to move back up to gold (I got medallion status by asking for and doing a challenge last year, made gold).

    How do I go about doing a mileage run. I'm retired and have a bad back. 8 bad discs, but I'm willing to suffer through a couple of these runs if they're not too expensive and can get me moved up to gold or higher. Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP stevemcmahon40. You need to determine how many more miles you need to obtain gold status. Figure out the mileage between your FLA airport and the NYC area airport you fly. Factor in how quickly you would like to acquire gold for the next time period and determine a series of trips that would get you the desired result. It may be worthwhile to read the mileage run threads to help you find flights where you can get a big bang for your buck. You may also want to post in the Delta forums. They are very helpful. Good luck in retaining Gold status and happy travels.
     
  3. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Hi Steve - Welcome to MP.

    Why, may I ask, are you considering a miles run? Is it simply to make it to Gold Medallion? If so, have you done the math to see if it makes sense? If you fly LGA-FLL 6x a year, you are only flying 12,000 or so miles a year. You'd need to do a lot of butt-in-seat miles to reach Gold. (If that's all you are flying, how do you even keep Silver?) Is it worth flying 30k extra miles just to get Gold for 12 flights a year that you actually need to take? Plus, add in the cost of getting to/parking at the airport, food along the way, etc.

    One thing you might consider to add miles to your existing trips is to connect. I think you can connect in DTW, and maybe even MSP, to fly from Florida to NY. That will add a bunch of miles to your existing trips - likely without any cost.

    You might also consider the American Express Delta Reserve credit card. This card gets you Sky Club access, and if you spend $60k a year ($5k a month) on the card, in addition to the 60,000 miles you get, you'll get 30,000 MQMs...which count towards Gold status. (If you only spend $30k, they'll give you 15k MQMs.) I carry this card and find it a helpful way to boost my MQMs each year.
    http://www.sitinfirst.com/2011/10/amex-delta-reserve-card-just-right-for-certain-customers/

    Good luck!
     
  4. Stevemcmahon40

    Stevemcmahon40 Member

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    Wow that was fast! I'll read through the forums you suggested and go from there. Thank you for your help!
     
  5. Stevemcmahon40

    Stevemcmahon40 Member

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    Thanks for your tips! I recently upgraded to the Amex platinum card, specifically for the sky club access. It's $100 cheaper than green card fee plus a year of sky club at silvers rate. I also have the gold delta Amex. I may have picked the wrong Amex platinum, I just read on here that they offer a delta platinum Amex.

    I fly west palm to la guardia. I have 8 degenerative discs, retired to fl and my health insurance is in nyc, b/c I retired from a nyc health plan and the benefit set is much more robust than the fl plan they offered. I also visit family and friends when I come up, usually fly back from Boston.

    I'm trying to see what I can do to make gold, then see if I can keep it with these mileage runs or any other method that will work. Because of my back problems, I really really like the upgrades to 1st class that the silvermlevel never seems to get me. In the long term I hope to make the miles needed for comped silver annually, then go from there to try for upgrades. I know I have a lot to learn and a long way to go to get somewhere but I'm hopeful that I can figure something out. I read an article that said some people manage to get 10s of thousands of miles in one trip for just a couple hundred dollars. I'd take a day or two and my passport and fly almost anywhere if I could find a deal like that.

    I got gold through a challenge last year and this year moved down to silver, so I see that without some creative thinking I'm doomed to become a regular sky miles member come February.

    Oh, I connect usually on the way home Boston-Atlanta-west palm
     
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  6. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    There are a bunch of different Amex cards. The regular Amex Platinum Card (not branded Delta) and the Amex Delta Reserve card get you into the Sky Club. The Amex Delta Gold, Amex Delta Platinum, regular Gold and regular Green to not.

    The fee on the Reserve Card and the regular Platinum card are about the same. The Reserve card points go straight to DL each month and gets you delta base miles (if you spend $30k or $60k a year). The Platinum card accrues membership rewards points (which can be xfered to DL, sometimes with a bonus), and gets you into the AA, AS and US lounges (in addition to DL). Which one is right really depends on your spend level, and if you care about benefits beyond the DL MQMs.

    For the cheapo (often error) fares, keep an eye on this forum - http://milepoint.com/forums/forums/mileage-runs-mattress-runs-travel-hacking.6/ Most of the typo deals and special deals end up here. There was a way to fly to Singapore on Delta for $700 or so a few months back...that would net you 20k miles (MQMs, too) from one trip. Against that, you're stuck sitting in economy for the better part of 40 hours on that round trip. Not a good trade / use of time for me....plus you could end up with 10 degenerative discs after a trip like that! ;)

    Not to be negative, but I don't think you fly enough at 6x a year PBI-LGA to make it worth doing miles runs simply to get a higher status. The pain you'll have to endure - in economy - is far greater than the benefits you'll get from reaching GM. Plus, there are still two levels in front of you as a GM...so the benefits of Gold are far from certain.

    YMMV (your mileage may vary)... good luck with your travels.

    Cheers.
     
  7. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint!
     
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  8. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP Stevemcmahon40!
     
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  9. Stevemcmahon40

    Stevemcmahon40 Member

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    Thank you! Maybe you're right. I guess my logic was that since I have the time I wouldn't mind doing a run once or twice a year to get there. Of course I'm new to all this and maybe it is too much work for too little reward. I set my sights on gold because I know it's the next level up and I can get there with one or two of these mileage runs. I figured that since my back and neck discs deteriorate more each year, getting a build up of mqms would help me. I got googly eyes when I saw that someone go 35000 mqms on one flight for around 300 bucks. 28 trips like that over a few years would get me million miler

    That link you gave me is the forum I would need the most, so thanks a lot for that. It's very kind of you and everyone who replied to help out a guy who doesn't have anything to offer except wit and my appreciation.
     
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  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    New Yorkers always have at least one thing to share for free with stangers...our opinions! ;)
     
  11. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    The experts are right -- don't do it. It is not worth the pain and expense for the few trips you take. But silver might work if you trade your Amex Platinum card for a Delta Reserve card and have $30,000 in spend.

    BTW PBI-SFO is over 5,000 miles RT if non-stop. Since there are no NS flights you need to go via ATL or DFW. That boosts you to over 5,200 miles. You might add a second stop for even more miles.
    LAX is also good but a few less miles. Where SEA is a few more miles, cheap flights there are rare when compared to SFO and LAX.
     
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  12. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP. Just to clarify... most of those articles are 90% fabrication. (Not saying this didn't happen.) Several years ago, it was pretty easy to get those deals, but they are extremely rare now. The 35K was probably not qualifying miles, but was total miles earned for someone that was already top tier with the program and included bonus miles.
     
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  13. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Steve,

    Welcome to MP!! One thing to keep in mind that upgrades to/from FL can be tough even for PM's and DM's, let alone FO (silver) and GM. The two I missed last year were as a DM on a K fare between ATL and TPA.

    It could be worth it to look for "P" fares which essentially are instant upgrade economy fares that put you in F. I'm not sure how the prices runs for these tickets from NYC/BOS, but it could be more economical given the amount you fly over trying to requalify for GM.

    Again, welcome!

    :)
     
  14. Stevemcmahon40

    Stevemcmahon40 Member

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    Thanks for your response! I read somewhere that sometimes people sell their 'gift' status - I'd be interested in that too. I usually fly out on tues/wed morning and fly home on Fri/Sat. I'm finding it's not so easy to get back up to gold status. Flights on P class, from what I'm seeing are a little over 3x as expensive as the lower class economy fares. I'm hoping for a challenge or something. I really don't want to pay almost $1000 for a trip I normally pay between 200 and 300 bucks for. I saw a couple of posts, but they're old, mentioning that sometimes people sell the gift memberships from between 300 and 600 dollars - I'd be happy to find someone willing to do that. Even if I don't get upgraded a lot, I found that last year when I was gold the upgrades came pretty frequently. Not every flightt but close to 2 out of 3.

    I don't think my spending is high enough to make a reserve card worthwhile. I've got an Amex platinum, and the fee is negated by not having to pay for sky club anymore.

    I'm willing to take an extra trip or two, possibly even fly to California if it helps, but I messed up this year badly. I didn't realize that using miles to pay for tickets would mean I don't get miles for taking those trips and now that I've done it twice this year I'm getting credit for only my first trip.

    On a side note, this last trip I got upgraded on one leg because the woman sitting next to me wanted her daughter to sit with her. The daughter was an adult in first class, probably from an upgrade, and was allowed to switch with me. I offered to get them into sky club as we left the plane, but it was their final dest.
     
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  15. Stevemcmahon40

    Stevemcmahon40 Member

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    I was soooo hoping for a trip like that. Sacrifice one day and a few hundred bucks to be upgraded to gold and have a few miles left over for next year... If you do happen to run across one that's anything near that, please let me know. Things are looking bleak for making any status at all next year.
     
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  16. LizzyDragon84
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    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

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    Hi Steve and welcome to MP! Here's a different idea that might work for you. Rather then trying to get status on the airline, why not try to rack up as many redeemable miles instead via various promos and credit card spending. Then use the miles for first-class tickets to NY. Or if Delta offers them, use the miles to buy an upgrade. Since it looks like you're not using the miles for anything else (based on the fact that you've already booked two award tickets for your usual route), this may help you with your ultimate goal of being up front.
     
  17. DLFlyer

    DLFlyer Active Member

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    Hi Steve, everyone has given you great advise here. Once you get free medallion upgrades, it's easy to see why we all want to keep or improve our status. Just to add another tidbit, you can also sit upfront by paying for a K fare on delta and using your miles to upgrade to first. You can use expert flyer to check availability or just call Delta and ask. You will have to call Delta anyway to upgrade. It's not the best use of your miles, but one other way you can sit upfront. PM's and DM's get several SWU's per year but it's pretty restricted on fares we can use them on. I love Delta but this remains as one of my existing gripes. Best of luck!
     
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  18. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    One more comment: DL T&C prohibit the sale of FF stuff, including gifted Gold status.
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Agreed, that's probably a more cost-effective way.

    For example -- and it really is just an example, sign up for the Club Carlson promo, earn 140k+ Club Carlson points for three nights at low-cost properties and transfer the points to Delta. That may not be the best overall use (in the big picture) of the CC points, but if the goal is miles for upgrades or domestic F tickets, it may be worth doing.
     
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  20. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP Stevemcmahon40!
     
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  21. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    SWU's are a Choice Benefit - can be selected as a benefit upon earning PM or DM in addition to other options (miles, voucher, etc.).
     
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