Newb - Yr End Strategies for Gold

Old Oct 16, 19, 1:30 pm
  #1  
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Newb - Yr End Strategies for Gold

I am a "recreational" traveler. Frequent trips from DTW to BWI for family (approx 400 miles). Plus travel to Europe, CA, NYC, Boston. etc. But a trip to Asia this yr has put me within 4,457/MQM and 42/MQS to Gold. (MQDs always met through robust credit card spending!).

I have two more trips scheduled to the East Coast which should get me to approx 2,800/MQMs remaining (if I am figuring this out correctly; I usually buy Main and/or Comfort).

I welcome any strategies to either reach Gold for 2020. Or advice to roll over into next year (trip to LHR x 2, plus Sicily, and regular domestic). If possible, in layman's terms. Thanks!!
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:57 pm
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Assuming your East Coast trips are DTW-BWI, you could add a connection. DTW-ATL-BWI will earn 1171 MQMs each way which would come out to 4684 MQMs if you connected in ATL each way on two trips.

If you have three round trip international flights next year, presumably in coach, Gold is probably worth it for lounge access, Sky Priority, and greater chance of Comfort Plus seating.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by mattp1987 View Post
Assuming your East Coast trips are DTW-BWI, you could add a connection. DTW-ATL-BWI will earn 1171 MQMs each way which would come out to 4684 MQMs if you connected in ATL each way on two trips.

If you have three round trip international flights next year, presumably in coach, Gold is probably worth it for lounge access, Sky Priority, and greater chance of Comfort Plus seating.

DTW-BWI fares require non-stop routing. Trying to force a connection in ATL will create a fare break and then you have to deal with end-on-end fare combination restrictions which will likely result in an upfare. Will likely be cheaper to book separate DTW-ATL and ATL-BWI roundtrips as then you will not be force to upfare to allow end-on-end combinations. DTW-RDU and RDU-BWI fares are cheaper than DTW-ATL and ATL-BWI fares (although it's slightly less mileage).
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Old Oct 16, 19, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
DTW-BWI fares require non-stop routing. Trying to force a connection in ATL will create a fare break and then you have to deal with end-on-end fare combination restrictions which will likely result in an upfare. Will likely be cheaper to book separate DTW-ATL and ATL-BWI roundtrips as then you will not be force to upfare to allow end-on-end combinations. DTW-RDU and RDU-BWI fares are cheaper than DTW-ATL and ATL-BWI fares (although it's slightly less mileage).
Good point. Looks like upfaring to Z is less than $100 rt more than V on the dates I searched for DTW-BWI. So OP could fly in F on both flights and be less than 1500 MQMs away.

Alternatively, I'm seeing DTW-CVG-DCA rt in V for $244 on random dates in Nov. Fly that twice and you're at 4k of the needed MQMs. Upfare one direction of one trip to Z and you have 4500 MQMs and Gold Medallion.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 3:58 pm
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This is all very interesting, creative And helpful! But can you help me out with the alphabet? How do I figure out what is V, Z, etc

yours truly,

the newbie
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Old Oct 16, 19, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Cricket7 View Post
This is all very interesting, creative And helpful! But can you help me out with the alphabet? How do I figure out what is V, Z, etc

yours truly,

the newbie
Sorry, Cricket, I realize you asked us to keep it in layman's terms.

Those are referring to fare classes. V is the lowest (cheapest) Main Cabin fare excluding Basic Economy (E fare), while Z is the lowest First class fare which can sometimes be found for a very small markup over the Main Cabin. You can see the fare class in parentheses when selecting your flight on delta.com.

V and most Main Cabin fare classes earn 100% of miles flown as MQMs with a minimum of 500 MQMs awarded per segment. In other words, DTW-BWI will earn 500 MQMs despite being 400 miles. DTW-CVG-DCA would earn 1000 MQMs (500 per segment). Z and other discounted First Class fares earn a 50% bonus, so your DTW-BWI trip would earn 750 MQMs each way.

Hope this helps and welcome to FlyerTalk!
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Old Oct 17, 19, 10:35 am
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I now see where I can find the fare code when booking online (Up under Main, Comfort, etc.). But when I click through to the chosen itinerary, it doesn't seem to include the mileage (although I remember seeing that when I received my confirmed itinerary). Also, I see Main 1 and Comfort both with an "S" fare code despite a difference in pricing.

Clarification?

Thank you so much for your time!
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Old Oct 17, 19, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by Cricket7 View Post
I now see where I can find the fare code when booking online (Up under Main, Comfort, etc.). But when I click through to the chosen itinerary, it doesn't seem to include the mileage (although I remember seeing that when I received my confirmed itinerary). Also, I see Main 1 and Comfort both with an "S" fare code despite a difference in pricing.

Clarification?

Thank you so much for your time!
You need to be logged into your account to see the Mileage Calculator. S fares are only for Comfort+. There is no class-of-service MQM bonus for Comfort+ fares (S/W), only for First Class fares (the cheapest of these are I and Z fares).
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Old Oct 17, 19, 11:59 am
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Devil's advocate here before you decide whether go for Gold or roll-over, you need to consider the following:

1) What do your travel plans look like for 2020 & 2021, does it make sense to hit Gold now and struggle to re-qualify for Silver next year; or does it makes sense to rollover and hit Silver early in 2020 and a change to reach Gold later in 2020?

2) Do you feel you'll be able to get the value out of being Gold vs. Silver, as in any specific benefits you'll be able to leverage based on your travel patterns?

The two biggest benefits for Gold vs. Silver are the waiving of the Same Day Change fees and Sky Priority boarding, and maybe a few upgrades at off-peak travel times/flights.
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Old Oct 17, 19, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by DTWflyer View Post
The two biggest benefits for Gold vs. Silver are the waiving of the Same Day Change fees and Sky Priority boarding, and maybe a few upgrades at off-peak travel times/flights.
And lounge access on international flights (which the OP said he had at least a couple of next year). Being DTW based probably means that the outbound lounge isn't so useful, but coming back or if there is a long connection might make that worth a few $$$. Also SkyPriority check in and security if you don't have Pre or CLEAR.
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