After living in the midwest for a little over a year, I realized I needed to open my mind to a new choice for airlines and alliances. Previously having spent the last few years on United and Star Alliance (it made sense for a lot of trips between Boston, LA and Europe), I’ve begun searching for other options.
I had a fantastic flight coming back from Boston last weekend with some really good customer service. The flight was 45 minutes late, but I was impressed with Delta’s ability to proactively help customers with tight connections on an individual basis. In addition, the inflight food and entertainment options were great (who doesn’t love Biscoff cookies?!). Considering my Amex Platinum access to Delta Sky Clubs, I became increasingly interested in looking at Delta as a new network to bring some loyalty to.
I am by no means a road warrior, and most of travel is self-funded sans 2-3 business trips per year. Regardless, I was lucky to earn United Premier Silver status in 2016, but it expires in February of 2018. Fortunately, Delta offers a Medallion Status Match Challenge, whereby they will match my silver status for three months and extend that status all the way until January 2019 if I fly a certain amount.
What’s great about this status challenge is there is no spend requirement. Typically, one has to spend $3,000 in addition to flying 25,000 miles in a calendar year to gain status. I will be able to keep it for all of next year just by flying 6,250 miles with no minimum spend! I filled out the online form last week and received a reply the next day confirming I had been accepted. My Delta profile now shows Silver Medallion status and I can make use of the perks it offers! While its the bottom-tier status for the airline, I’m still interested in seeing how it stacks up against United.
Looking at my upcoming travel, I already had two trips planned out of MSP for the balance of 2017, one to Boston and the other to Las Vegas. These trips will net me 4,847 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM). That meant I was just 1,403 miles away from keeping my newly-gained status! I began searching for cheap flights that I could do one weekend to get over the hump. Chicago was out because it was too close (only netting 500 miles each way). I considered some other cities, such as Denver, Salt Lake and Portland, but didn’t see any deals coming up soon.
Today, I stumbled across an awesome flight for this Saturday. My routing will take me from MSP to Atlanta and then on to Tampa, then I’ll turn around and fly back. I’ve got some funny looks in the office when I’ve shared what I’m doing, but I honestly love to sit on airplanes! Even better, the flight is a full-fare economy ticket, which means I can change and even cancel it without penalty should things still be disrupted with the recent hurricanes. I also get a 50% bonus on the MQMs, which will mean I’ll gain almost 4,000 miles from this one trip. The cost was around $170 after a gift card I had, which seems decently priced.
I’ve never been to Atlanta, and plan to check out the Delta Flight Museum while I’m there. I’ll also check out some of the Sky Clubs in both the Atlanta and Tampa airports. And who knows, I may even score an upgrade on one of my four legs (fingers crossed!). Look out for some fun trip reports in the coming days!
747 picture by Delta News Hub (747 Sneak Peek Tour) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons