It’s time to choose
Yesterday I asked readers to help me construct a mileage run so that I could secure Delta Platinum status this year. I promised that whoever posted an idea that I use would get their choice of: a) Frequent Miler’s undying gratitude; b) a Boarding Area t-shirt; or c) a few Delta snack & drink vouchers.
I received some great suggestions, but I’m still on the fence as to what to do. Below is a summary of the proposals and my reactions to them, but first let me say a huge THANK YOU to everyone contributing to this conversation!
A reader named Chris suggested that I post this request to the FlyerTalk mileage run forum. In general, this is a great suggestion. That’s the place to go to find the experts. In my case, though, I’m hoping blog readers will find this interesting so I’d like to keep the discussion here.
Fellow BoardingArea blogger Darren from Frequently Flying sent me a mileage run suggestion via email.
Detroit to Atlanta to Sacramento, overnight layover, and then return again through Atlanta all for only $300.80.
This is a great option. My only problem with it is that it not only involves an overnight layover, but also doesn’t get me home until 9:41 PM the next day. If I’m going to do an overnight, I’d like to at least be home by afternoon the next day. This is still a contender, though.
Detroit to Seattle to LA, overnight layover, then return LA to Detroit for $480
Since this is more expensive than Darren’s suggestion and also requires an overnight stay, I’m not planning to pursue this one (but you still get my gratitude!).
Detroit to Atlanta to Ontario round trip in one day for $356
This is a great suggestion and one I’m definitely considering. My only problem with it is the pain factor: it requires flying out of Detroit very early in the morning and returning very late at night. Ouch. On the plus side, I get to sleep in my own bed. This is a very strong option.
Detroit to LA to Sacramento, back to LA, then red-eye to Detroit for $317
The first flight leaves Detroit at a very reasonable 12:05 PM on a Saturday and the final leg returns on Sunday morning. If I go with this one I’m sure I’d be wiped out tired on Sunday, but somehow and for some reason that seems like it might be less painful than the all day trip to Ontario proposed by Scott. Overall, I’m leaning towards this one.
Two people proposed alternatives to mileage runs that could get me the 4,288 MQMs I need for Platinum status:
Kara reminded me of a Delta promotion from last year in which people could earn MQMs by giving money to charities. If Delta repeats this promotion, I could earn 5000 MQMs simply by donating $500 or more to certain charities. If I knew that the promotion would be repeated, I would pick this option in a heartbeat. In fact, I would probably donate enough for 15,000 MQMs and let the extra 10,000 roll over into next year.
Mordy asked why I don’t apply for the Delta Reserve Business card in order to get the 10,000 MQM signup bonus that the card offers. I actually tried to do something very similar. I have held the Delta Platinum business card for quite a while, and as discussed yesterday, I just signed up for the Delta Reserve personal card. What I tried to do was add a second personal card by signing up for the Delta Platinum personal card which offers a 5,000 MQM sign up bonus. This was denied. I was told by an Amex representative that for the collection of cards (Platinum and Reserve) I could only have one personal card and one business card. I was really surprised by this since I’m sure I’ve read about people who have all four cards. I don’t know whether American Express has changed their policy or if the person I talked to was misinformed, or what. Anyway, assuming he was right, I’m currently maxed out on credit cards that offer MQM bonuses.
So, what do you think I should do? Should I go for the red-eye journey to Sacramento and back? Or, get up early, go visit Ontario for a few minutes, and come back late at night? Or maybe, I should go with Darren’s suggestion and stay overnight in Sacramento so that I can book a room at the Radisson there? Or, should I just wait and see if Delta duplicates last year’s charity promotion? That would save me the pain of an unnecessary flight and would do some good in the world! If I wait until December 1st and there is no promotion, would it then be too late to schedule a decent mileage run? What do you think?