Earning max Velocity SCs with Delta within USA | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Earning max Velocity SCs with Delta within USA

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Hey guys,

This topic was touched on in another thread but thought it would do well enough on its own!

So, what's some tricks and tips to getting the most SCs using Delta for domestic USA flights?

(I've already booked mine, but maybe I can change a few things to get more SCs. Or just learn for next time.)

Thanks heaps all!
 
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Boris spatsky

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1) Why fly direct when you can connect :)

2) Fly F - more reasonably priced than Oz J
 

serfty

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serfty

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ITA can help.

Google own ITA these days - here's how to use an offshoot.

Load Flights - Google Search

Select Business Class.

Select one-way.

Select the origin.

Select the destination.

Select Delta as the airline (or Virgin America).

Select the date.

See what price/destination combinations come up!

Clear your destination.

Have a look at the map at ports near the destination taht may be significantly cheaper.

Try the same with the origin.

Search, Check, search again.

Try the same on ITA.

See how you go.

SFO-xATL/LAX-MSY can be done in First from USD559.

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=sfo-lax-msy,msy-atl-sfo


Both will earn 120 SC (40-LAX-80 / 80-ATL-40) but via ATL earns more Vpoints.
 
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calroth

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Yup, as above, all good advice. Here's how I see it.

You take the following basic rules:

  1. Delta first class counts as "business" for Velocity SC earn
  2. Many first class flights in Delta are cheaper "Y-up" or "instant upgrade" types, which count for the full SCs; but there are caveats, so keep in mind
  3. It's Delta, so you usually get the option to (of course) connect in Atlanta
  4. Flying West Coast to Atlanta in F is usually 80 SC; flying East Coast to Atlanta is 40-60 SC. So make those connections work: this is pretty much repeating what serfty has said!
And the following rule:

  1. The airline industry is competitive. Find a competitor who offers cheap first class fares between the city pairs you're travelling, and Delta may have something to match
Another random worked example: from the Washington DC area to San Franscisco in late September in first class. On AirTran (owned by Southwest) departing Baltimore (BWI) is US$534. Delta's price is US$568.60 (departing IAD or DCA). Both airlines connecting in Atlanta. That's competition for you!
 

serfty

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One thing to look for is that the DL HUB at MSP while being more than 1500 miles from the West coast is further from the East cost perhaps enabling more of those 750+ mile connections that ATL would.
 
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Wow, great tips!

Still slightly overwhelmed by it all, but it sounds like the pick is to try and fly further and longer each flight? Say, by making sure you transfer at Atlanta.
 

notzac

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Yes, connect somewhere - but pay attention to the sector length (you want to aim for sectors just over 751 miles and 1501 miles rather than just under those distances). For example..:

LAX-ATL is 1946 miles
LAX-MSP is 1534 miles

So if all things were equal in terms of cost and convenience, it's better to connect via MSP as it's just over the line for zone 3 - if you connect via ATL, there's 445 miles that are "lost" in terms of SC earn. That's a very simplistic example; you'd need to balance that against a number of other factors, but it's very possible to finesse extra SCs out of itineraries by changing where you connect.

Hope that helps :)
 
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Helps heaps!

But do think all these extra connections would upset any travel companions leaving you up to booking the flights! (Which will happen for sure in my case.)
 

Quickstatus

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Getting max SC while flying DL in USA really is the same for any other airline,

DL and most other US airlines have discounted firstclass fares. Get these tickets as they are cheaper than domestic business on virgin or qantas if you buy them early enough. But they do not give you access to their lounge.

For DL lounge you only need a australian platinum american express charge card

Also try and connect via a hub. Turning a flight from one sector into two sectors increase your SC harvesting.
 
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Still haven't worked out how to get "discounted" first class tickets...

They all seem really expensive! Was going to upgrade my NYC - LAX flight to first class on the 20th June but it's around $2K vs $300.
 

serfty

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NYC-LAX is a "Premium" market and generally very expensive in any class.

Try Amtrac to PHL/WAS ($40-$70) then PHL/WAS to LAX. I can see some for $600.

Remember you are in First/Business Class and earning at least 80 SC's - 120+ with any connection.

That $300 fare may earn 30 SC's.
 
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bass_ke

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I got cheap fares from a small air field near ny (white plains I think??) to lax, about $550 in F. If you've got time and a need/ want to head to SEA as I'm doing I've seen it as cheap as $550 as well running LGA/JFK - ATL - SEA
 
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