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Newbie questions - Should I chase Delta status?

Newbie questions - Should I chase Delta status?

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Old Feb 15, 19, 4:16 am
  #1  
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Newbie questions - Should I chase Delta status?

I wasn't able to find the newbie forum, so I hope its okay to post here. I've started working remotely and flying a lot, and only just got into this whole miles/FF/points game. Delta seems to have the most reasonable fares for most of my routes (US-Asia-Aus), and I can make little trips out of these "mileage runs" so it works out okay for me from a cost perspective. Here are my questions:
  • Am I right in understanding that if I were to chase only status, I would need to be looking at MQMs? Do these get calculated at 100% all the time regardless of which booking class? (note: I'm not a US resident so I think I'm except from the MQDs.)
  • Hypothetical situation: let's say I did PVG-LAX-PVG 10 times this year, I would earn 129,700 MQMs? (According to milescalcutor each roundtrip is 12,970 miles)
  • If I were to do them all within the next 3 months, does that mean I would get Diamond medallion status right away, or do I have to wait till next year? (seems stupid to ask but I couldn't find any clear info on this)
  • Is it stupid to chase status like this? Am I missing something? I'm finding great fares and I think I could hit it in a year (with trips I was planning on making anyway) for under $4000 in total airfare.
  • As diamond member, what is the likelihood that I'd be getting upgrades? I realize this depends on routes, but in general, is this worth it? Do I have to bid for upgrades or not? Do I get a limited amount?
Feel free to point me in the right direction to other resources for any of the questions above. I've found whenever I look for any answers I just end up sidetracked and overwhelmed by information I wasn't looking for! Thanks in advance.

Last edited by bajso; Feb 15, 19 at 6:22 am Reason: formatting
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Old Feb 15, 19, 5:03 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by bajso View Post
  • If I were to do them all within the next 3 months, does that mean I would get Diamond medallion status right away?
Yes.

You should spend some time with the Choice Benefits page to understand complimentary 'domestic' Medallion upgrades, the routes eligible to use a Regional Upgrade Certificates (commonly mentioned in this forum as RUC, available to Platinums) and where you could use a Global Upgrade Certificate (GUC, a choice available to Diamonds). You should pay particular attention to the eligible partners and required fare classes for use of GUCs on partner carriers. Go deeply into the footnotes.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...html/#benefits

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Old Feb 15, 19, 5:21 am
  #3  
LBJ
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The Medallion complimentary upgrade program is for domestic First Class flights only (which also includes short-haul international flights). You will not be entitled to complimentary upgrades on long-haul international flights (to the Delta One business class product), such as flights between the US and Asia or Australia. Only the Comfort+ seats are complimentary upgrade eligible for Medallions on long-haul international flights. Delta now has a Premium Economy product (Premium Select) on long-haul flights, but like Delta One, these are not complimentary upgrade eligible for Medallions. Diamonds can select 4 Global Upgrade Certificates per year which can be used for a one-way upgrade on long-haul international flight (you will need to use two for a roundtrip), but are subject to availability (Delta does make all seats on a flight available for these certificates).

The following explains the Delta complimentary upgrade program --
https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...-upgrades.html

Last edited by LBJ; Feb 15, 19 at 5:37 am
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:12 am
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Hello Basjo,
Welcome to FT,

To better understand your situation...

"(note: I'm not a US resident so I think I'm except from the MQDs.)"
- From what country are you base ? (I am from Canada). It is important in this case NOT give an USA address when you open your Skymiles account.
  • Am I right in understanding that if I were to chase only status, I would need to be looking at MQMs? Do these get calculated at 100% all the time regardless of which booking class? (note: I'm not a US resident so I think I'm except from the MQDs.)
Yes, you are right (for non US resident, only the MQMs are important (or if you can reach the status by segments)
Yes it is a MINIMUM of 100% the distance for DELTA flights and some partners (some partner is not 100%, and some class give you more than 100% (example PE is 150%)).
  • Hypothetical situation: let's say I did PVG-LAX-PVG 10 times this year, I would earn 129,700 MQMs? (According to milescalcutor each roundtrip is 12,970 miles)
Yes, you are right on DELTA flight (be careful about share code).
  • If I were to do them all within the next 3 months, does that mean I would get Diamond medallion status right away, or do I have to wait till next year? (seems stupid to ask but I couldn't find any clear info on this)
Yes, you will have your Diamond status when you have receive the credit of 125,000 miles in your account (take 24h to 72h after your flight (most of the time)), you did not need to wait, and can even choice your "choice benefit" in 3 months.
  • Is it stupid to chase status like this? Am I missing something? I'm finding great fares and I think I could hit it in a year (with trips I was planning on making anyway) for under $4000 in total airfare.
I did not "chase", but it is good advantage to have it, each person is different. But I like the access to the lounge (for international flight), seat selection, Global upgrade (diamond) certificate is a HUGE +, ...
  • As platinum member, what is the likelihood that I'd be getting upgrades? I realize this depends on routes, but in general, is this worth it? Do I have to bid for upgrades or not? Do I get a limited amount?
The difference between Platinum & Diamond is HUGE,,, if you can ... go for Diamond. your chance for upgrade are "low" as Platinum. On international flight if they oversold economy, you will be higher on the chance to be "upgrade" with a status (Diamond).
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:21 am
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Thanks for the responses everyone!


Is it me or does it seem like there's a huge discrepancy between US and non-US members? Not having to hit the minimum spend of $25,000 makes it seem ridiculously easy to get Diamond status. According to some quick calculations, I'm about $1700 worth of flights away from Diamond status (for example, Delta seems to offering some crazy cheap flights on PVG-LAX route).


Do airlines care/like it if you do mileage runs? Last time I booked with Delta and had to call in to confirm my ticket (credit card issue), the rep on the phone didn't seem to believe the price I had and didn't seem too happy about it either for some reason (same day turnaround flight)
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:23 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by FBplatinum View Post
The difference between Platinum & Diamond is HUGE,,, if you can ... go for Diamond. your chance for upgrade are "low" as Platinum. On international flight if they oversold economy, you will be higher on the chance to be "upgrade" with a status (Diamond).
The chances of getting an operational upgrade on long-haul international due to oversold economy is very slim (even as a Diamond). I would not chase after Diamond status just for that. If OP does little domestic US flying, the higher upgrade priority of Diamond status will be of little value. Of course the Diamond Global Upgrade Certificates are quite useful, but I can't really see how its worth making 10 roundtrips in coach (if they aren't really necessary) just so you can potentially later upgrade 2 roundtrips.

Last edited by LBJ; Feb 15, 19 at 6:29 am
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:33 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by bajso View Post
Thanks for the responses everyone!

Is it me or does it seem like there's a huge discrepancy between US and non-US members? Not having to hit the minimum spend of $25,000 makes it seem ridiculously easy to get Diamond status. According to some quick calculations, I'm about $1700 worth of flights away from Diamond status (for example, Delta seems to offering some crazy cheap flights on PVG-LAX route).

Do airlines care/like it if you do mileage runs? Last time I booked with Delta and had to call in to confirm my ticket (credit card issue), the rep on the phone didn't seem to believe the price I had and didn't seem too happy about it either for some reason (same day turnaround flight)
The spend threshold for Diamond status is $15,000 per year, not $25,000. You are looking at the DL Amex spend threshold to get an MQD exemption (for Plat or lower status). United also exempts those with foreign addresses from it's PQD requirements. American does not.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
The chances of getting an operational upgrade on long-haul international due to oversold economy is very slim (even as a Diamond). I would not chase after Diamond status just for that.
I agree with you, but it happen to me some time in 2018 (I am lucky on Af flight).
But I prefer to be on the top of the list , than on the bottom.

All time I call for booking, I never feel agent are "unhappy". (I have some "special" itinerary sometime. and I also have good price on flight (example: YUL-MSP-ATL-PVG (9515 miles)), are around 850 $ CAD (+-650$ USD) sometime, for a total of 19030 MQMs both way)
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:42 am
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Side-question: PVG-LAX round trip Main Cabin (V) is giving me:

MQMs: 12970
MQSs: 2
BASE MILES: 1130
BONUS MILES: 0



Am I missing something here? Shouldn't miles be 50% of 12,970 for V?


Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
The spend threshold for Diamond status is $15,000 per year, not $25,000. You are looking at the DL Amex spend threshold to get an MQD exemption (for Plat or lower status). United also exempts those with foreign addresses from it's PQD requirements. American does not.
I suppose it makes a lot more sense now, since the Diamond upgrade are more beneficial to US based members.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by bajso View Post
Side-question: PVG-LAX round trip Main Cabin (V) is giving me:

MQMs: 12970
MQSs: 2
BASE MILES: 1130
BONUS MILES: 0


Am I missing something here? Shouldn't miles be 50% of 12,970 for V?
50% for MQMs ? (no, you will receive 12970 MQMs (even it is V class)), some airline will give you less, but Delta flight on Skymiles program will give you 100% of the distance in MQMs for all "paid" ticket.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 7:16 am
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Originally Posted by FBplatinum View Post
50% for MQMs ? (no, you will receive 12970 MQMs (even it is V class)), some airline will give you less, but Delta flight on Skymiles program will give you 100% of the distance in MQMs for all "paid" ticket.
I mean Skymiles in this case. MQMs seems correct.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 7:21 am
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Base SkyMiles - redeemable miles - are a function of ticket price less taxes (not distance) for Delta-coded flights.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Base SkyMiles - redeemable miles - are a function of ticket price less taxes (not distance) for Delta-coded flights.
That seems oddly low. I just checked my miles and I received 3,900 miles on a flight a few months ago. I just checked the same itinerary (for the same price) on delta website and the trip summary tells me I'm only eligible for 650 Miles. What's going on here?
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Old Feb 15, 19, 8:27 am
  #14  
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Base mile earnings for Delta-coded flights are a function of price. Partner-coded flights can be a function of distance and fare code. It's been that way since 1/1/2015.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...-partners.html
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