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Medallion upgrade from Hawaii to mainland US - how many miles needed for upgrade?

Medallion upgrade from Hawaii to mainland US - how many miles needed for upgrade?

Old Jun 13, 10, 9:49 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
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Medallion upgrade from Hawaii to mainland US - how many miles needed for upgrade?

I recently applied (and was approved) for the Delta AMEX Reserve Rewards card. It's supposed to help you attain Medallion status faster - my question is this....

I live in Hawaii and want to be able to use my status to upgrade to business class when I fly to the mainland - I was told using Delta SkyMiles is not the way to upgrade - only to get travel awards - medallion miles must be used for upgrades. It seems like there's alot of restrictions when flying between Hawaii and the US, what would be my best course of action to be able to get upgrades for future upcoming travel. Keep in mind - I'm new with the delta program and I have no elite status so these questions might be pretty "rookie-ish". But I want to know how many medallion miles are needed to upgrade between Hawaii and the west coast (SEA specifically).

Any advice would be much appreciated.
ewaiea is offline  
Old Jun 13, 10, 10:16 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by ewaiea View Post
I recently applied (and was approved) for the Delta AMEX Reserve Rewards card. It's supposed to help you attain Medallion status faster - my question is this....

I live in Hawaii and want to be able to use my status to upgrade to business class when I fly to the mainland - I was told using Delta SkyMiles is not the way to upgrade - only to get travel awards - medallion miles must be used for upgrades. It seems like there's alot of restrictions when flying between Hawaii and the US, what would be my best course of action to be able to get upgrades for future upcoming travel. Keep in mind - I'm new with the delta program and I have no elite status so these questions might be pretty "rookie-ish". But I want to know how many medallion miles are needed to upgrade between Hawaii and the west coast (SEA specifically).

Any advice would be much appreciated.
I think you were given bad information. There is no such thing as "medallion miles." And MQMs (Medallion Qualification Miles) are not "spendable" miles.

You can use SkyMiles to upgrade as long as you are flying in an eligible fare class. I believe there are special provisions for Hawaii residents but I'm not sure what they are.
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Old Jun 13, 10, 10:31 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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HI mileage upgrades.

Am flying to HI in December and am particularly interested in this. Here's what I dug up on DL.com

"From Full Coach Fare 7,500
From Select Fares1 15,000
1Applies to select published fares and specific fare classes. Please check with a Delta reservations representative for eligible fares applicable to your itinerary. "


According to my buddy at cwsi.net, however, "select fares," while usually only Y, B, M domestically, are different for HI:

"Note 2: Please note that while domestically only Y, B, and M class of service are upgradeable with mileage awards, Hawaii is an exception. For Hawaii, Y, B, M, H, Q, and K class of service are eligible for mileage upgrades." from cwsi.net/delta.htm

Don't know how many miles to upgrade HQK, though... likely more than 15k.
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Old Jun 13, 10, 10:46 pm
  #4  
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I think I applied for the wrong card....the gold card is more my thing...

You guys are right, the gal who approved me for the reserve rewards AMEX must have misunderstood. MQMs are just "traveled miles" and the reserve rewards card gives you bonus MQMs after you spend 30K and eventually 60K on the card in one calendar year -- something I would never do. The gold card is more up my alley - 25K bonus miles which can be used for upgrades. I think it's 15K miles for upgrade between Hawaii and the west coast mainland.

When the reserve rewards card comes in the mail I won't activate it and see about re-applying for the Gold card - a much better deal for me (plus a MUCH lower annual fee).

I'm a United Mileage Plus member considering a switch to Delta (or at least wanting to have a few upgradeable miles on reserve should I fly delta periodically).....I'm only in it for the upgrades.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 7:59 am
  #5  
 
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If you are wanting upgrades out of HNL, you may want to consider another program. Continental has complimentary upgrades for their elites from HNL to the west coast cities. I think UA has a similar policy, but am not sure.

David
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Old Jun 15, 10, 1:28 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by DiverDave View Post
If you are wanting upgrades out of HNL, you may want to consider another program. Continental has complimentary upgrades for their elites from HNL to the west coast cities. I think UA has a similar policy, but am not sure.

David
I know Northwest used to give upgrade certificates for Hawaii-based elites. Does Delta have any similar program? Or did this benefit disappear?

Also, does Delta give lounge access to its Asia based gold elites? Or has that benefit disappeared?

PS. I'm sitting in the lounge in Narita remembering how much I like this lounge!
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Old Jun 15, 10, 9:48 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by DiverDave View Post
If you are wanting upgrades out of HNL, you may want to consider another program. Continental has complimentary upgrades for their elites from HNL to the west coast cities. I think UA has a similar policy, but am not sure.

David
AA is best for Hawaiian upgrades, especially if you're a 100,000+ per year flyer: they are complementary (space-available) even from DFW or ORD, where nice 767s with international business class-style seating is available. 25k/50k+ per year flyers may also upgrade in this manner but their upgrades must be earned or purchased.

One can also upgrade to Hawaii with an eVIP and no co-pay or with miles + a co-pay on any fare.
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Old Jun 15, 10, 2:43 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by ewaiea View Post
You guys are right, the gal who approved me for the reserve rewards AMEX must have misunderstood. MQMs are just "traveled miles" and the reserve rewards card gives you bonus MQMs after you spend 30K and eventually 60K on the card in one calendar year -- something I would never do. The gold card is more up my alley - 25K bonus miles which can be used for upgrades. I think it's 15K miles for upgrade between Hawaii and the west coast mainland.

When the reserve rewards card comes in the mail I won't activate it and see about re-applying for the Gold card - a much better deal for me (plus a MUCH lower annual fee).

I'm a United Mileage Plus member considering a switch to Delta (or at least wanting to have a few upgradeable miles on reserve should I fly delta periodically).....I'm only in it for the upgrades.
Are the 25K bonus miles with the Delta Gold AmEx a one-time signing bonus or will you get the miles every year?

The Reserve card's MQMs based on spending will be given every year; these cards usually also offer some bonus miles for signing up.

In doing the calculations, remember that if the MQMs get you from FO (Silver) to GM (Gold), your elite bonus miles on every flight increase from 25% to 100%. Hypothetically, if you fly 40,000 miles per year:

Gold Card: 25% elite bonus miles (10,000) + 25,000 card bonus miles, or 35,000 additional spendable miles from Gold Card

Reserve Card: 100% bonus miles (40,000), or atr least 40,000 addtional spendable miles from from the Reserve Card

In addition, at least the Reserve Card gives additional bonus miles for DL tickets purchased using the card; I'm not sure whether the Gold card gives these miles or not.


So in this example, you end up with more bonus miles in addition to higher status by taking the Reserve Card, which of course has a much higher annual fee.

Which is the better card depends on your personal circumstances.
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Old Jun 15, 10, 10:52 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by diceman2777 View Post
Don't know how many miles to upgrade HQK, though... likely more than 15k.
I upgraded a K fare (well the NW equivalent prior to combining reservations systems) earlier this year for 15k miles per ticket one-way. I agree with the other posters that DL's program isn't competitive if you're based in Hawaii.
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