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I have come to a whole new appreciation for the “lowly” FO or Silver Medallion level. Seriously, if you have NO status with Delta, you are missing out on so much. For crying out loud, by getting both the Delta Personal and Business Reserve cards, and spending just $1.00 on each (plus the non-waived fee for each card) you will need just one coast to coast trip to reach the 25,000 points needed to be FO. So why am I singing the praises of this lowly medallion level? Let me walk you trough my Wednesday and you will see why.
I started day 1 of my 48 hour 8 leg mileage run (see more about these trips from the rookie post this week) with no bump on flight number one. On flight two, they needed just one and I was late to the gate and was number two on the list. This sounds so much like last week’s trip that you would think I would have learned something by now but nooooooo! So, this time, in LAX on my overnight flight, I gave up some time in the Skyclub to be #1 on the volunteer list. Guess what, they needed just one in the end and that was ME! Score. Now you may be saying:
Wait Rene, you had that long RANT about the ETV rule and you would never take a bump unless Delta paid you cash!
Yes I did! But I said I would bend that rule for mileage runs and here is why and why I LOVE my FO status! Check this out. First let me give you a history lesson on Delta bumping. Back in the day, when Delta bumped you, it was as Eddie Money would say, “two tickets to paradise“! You could use a bunch of vouchers at once to buy a new ticket. Not just that, but when you were rebooked on the next flight it was full “Y” or full fare coach and you got extra MQM bonus points and Skymiles and instant upgrade to first many times. Those days are gone – sorta. While you now can only use ONE ETV per ticket, and you will only get MQM & RDM credit for your original fare class, you will still be rebooked in “Y” class.
As I said, I made sure I was early to the red-eye from LAX. The result, little old FO moved from 43rd on the upgrade list from LAX back home to #1. Yep, I am writing this post at 32K in 1st class so thank you Delta! BTW, as a tip, I spent my time while the rep was getting the night flight out, looking at what flights still had 1st class seats open to buy so when I did pick the route home, I could maybe score an upgrade!
Oh, and next this run gets even better and here’s why you should, when on a multi-day mileage run, get bumped ASAP. Since I am now delayed one day, I had to have my next day of flying moved forward one day. No problem right? It was a simple thing for the GA to move me and I ended up again rebooked in “Y” class on those flights too. I will be #1 on the upgrade list for all my flights for my final day as a Silver Medallion Delta Flyer (and worst case I am in exit rows). One of my flights is even an internationally equipped 777 with full-flat seats. Oh I hope I can score that upgrade too.
My final bit was that I was NOT looking forward to a 5+ hr drive each way to PIT to start my next run in a few weeks. I have thus already spent my above $400 ETV+$5.20 cents of my own money and the night before I will fly out to PIT and then back home after the run. I will pick up an extra 2000+ MQM’s and save myself $150+ in gas plus 10 hrs of my life in a car! Keep in mind, the run, I paid just $137 each all-in for these tickets. Plus, they were paid for with an old ETV so it cost me only the $100 in gas/tolls/parking. Well that and 4,000 Starwood points for a night in CLE at the Sheraton (review later btw) that Delta did not take care of as they put me up in LAX at a basic and mostly clean La Quinta overnight. 10,000+ MQM and 12,500+ RDM for FREE and travel in 1st class is a nice way to earn my status for 2013! (And to end it all, I had the privilege to fly with [not mine] baby’s first trip ever up in the air) – Rene