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Preparing for a Crazy Travel Month: Stockholm Twice, Copenhagen and Boston

by on March 18, 2011 · 21 comments

in Delta, Mileage Runs, Trip Reports

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As many of you remember and some were able to take advantage of, Delta ran an insane fare “sale” to Europe last month and I was able to book three trips: two to Stockholm and one to Copenhagen – all for $150 total roundtrip each. Due to a hectic work schedule, I only had weekends free, so I’ll be leaving on a Friday night and returning Sunday morning on all three. On the way back from Copenhagen I built in a 6 hour layover in Amsterdam, so that should be fun :-)

My schedule is already making me nervous because so much of it is in coach. Even though I’m a Delta Diamond, I can’t use my upgrade certificates because I’m booked in the lowest fare class (T) and Delta requires Y, B, or M on international fares. C’est la vie, at least I have exit row window seats on all of my flights and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a hail mary upgrade (due to flights being oversold) or even better – volunteering for a bump in an overall situation, which for international flights usually nets $800 in Delta vouchers and confirmed business class on a different flight.

My travel schedule for March/April
March 9-13, Barcelona, Madrid
March 18-20, Stockholm
March 25-27, Boston
April 1-3, Copenhagen
April 8-10, Stockholm

I’m pretty tired heading into this (St. Patrick’s Day celebrations certainly didn’t help), so I’m hoping I don’t get sick. Sleeping on planes, in coach no less, isn’t my idea of fun, but the mileage accrual was just too good to pass up. On my three quasi-mileage runs I’ll net (courtesy of gcmap.com):

JFK-ARN-JFK
JFK-CPH-JFK
JFK-CPH-AMS-JFK
23, 575 base Skymiles + 29, 469 Diamond 125% bonus, + 23, 575 Medallion Qualifying Miles
So for $450 I’ll net 53, 044 miles to be used for award travel (more than 1/2 of a business class ticket to Europe) and 23, 575 towards my elite status requalification. So in essence, I’m paying 1.9 cents per elite mile. At that rate I could earn Diamond status for $2,375 and plus, I get to see Stockholm and Copenhagen – both cities  I’ve never visited.

Both of which are also extremely expensive. I lucked out with Stockholm and used my Starwood points for cash and points redemptions: 4,000 points and $60 for rooms at the Sheraton Stockholm, which is centrally located and gets good reviews. I still haven’t booked Copenhagen, so if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to comment or email me.

If anyone has suggestions for Stockholm and Copenhagen, let me know as well. I only have a day in each and I’ll probably be tired/jetlagged, so I’m mostly looking for restaurant or must-see type things. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a ton of time to research! I have a friend of a friend who works at Noma in Copenhagen, so I’m currently on the waitlist. It’s supposed to be one of the best restaurants in the world, so I think it’s worth the splurge. I’ve been on a foodie kick lately, eating at The French Laundry and Alinea within the past 6 months, so I’d like to cross another off the list. I’ve been meaning to do a recap of my French Laundry experience since it was a couple weeks ago in their private dining room – I’ll get around to it soon!

Safe travels to all – wish me luck in coach!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • James

    I like View From The Wings food reports, you should think about doing some for this blog. I’m sure people are interested in hearing about your experience at French Laundry and Alinea.

  • The Points Guy

    Thanks James- I also had one of the best meals of my life at a hole in the wall restaurant in Madrid, so I’ll share that experience as well. Stay tuned!

  • Athan

    See you in Copenhagen, yaa

  • Lauren

    We did Stockholm a few weeks ago and loved the Sheraton. Got upgraded to a suite and thought their club lounge was fantastic.

    Will be in Copenhagen at the same time and also haven’t picked a hotel (booo no starwoods!) so if you get recommendations please share. We’re also on the waitlist for Noma too :)

  • johndeere19

    @The Points Guy – I’m headed to Madrid in May and was wondering what restaurant it was that you went to.

  • David

    I took advantage of this deal and was just in Copenhagen with my brother and two friends – great city! We stayed at the Marriott ($125/night) and had an excellent experience. Its central location on the canal is great and it is walking distance from the central station so getting to/from Kastrup Airport is very easy.

    The newly renovated Glyptotek art museum is gorgeous and has a beautiful collection of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian sculptures, as well as a nice painting collection. It’s a five minute walk from the hotel and is on the way to the Stroget, Europe’s longest pedestrian street. Other worthwhile sights to see are Amalienborg Palace (the main residence of the Danish Royal Family), Nyhavn (picturesque canal area with colorful houses, bars, and restaurants, and Nationalmuseet (The National museum which has interesting exhibits about the Viking period & Inuit culture).

    Keep in mind that food is very expensive, tips are included in prices, and almost all restaurants charge for tap water! Have a great trip!

  • Lance

    Have fun! Recently got back from JFK-ARN-JFK and as a head’s up, Delta only has one direct flight a day. Keep this in mind as our flight was oversold (and often is apparently according to Delta), so GOT THE BUMP and here’s the recap: Rebooked on AirFrance by leaving ARN an hour later, flew threw CDG, and landed back in JFK 4.5hrs later. Received $1,000 in Delta vouchers (under 4 hrs it’s $500, over 4hrs its $1,000..Delta policy apparently) and bumped to premium economy W on the 777 for CDG-JFK earning 150% MQMS.

    Hopefully you find yourself in luck!

  • Athan

    Well played, Lance! I am going to try to mimic that as well!

    Follow me on twitter @A5Globetrotter

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  • The Points Guy

    Thanks for the tips and emails all.

    @johndeere the restaurant is called Arcade. Not fancy, but absolutely delicious, authentic Gallician (lots of seafood) and of course jamon

    @David- thanks. Marriott looks nice and I like being able to earn points, obviously :-)

    @Lance- my flight this Sunday looks like a potential oversell already.. I’m trying not to get too excited!

  • The Points Guy

    And FYI anyone going to Stockholm- you can buy the Arlanda express train tickets for weekend trips on a discount online at arlandaexpress.com for $50 each.

  • Glenn

    Both Copenhagen and Stockholm are great cities. I enjoyed Rosenborg Castle in CPH. If you like crown jewels it is the place to go. It’s a nice city just to wander around and fairly compact…as long as the weather is fine.

    Last time I was there a few years ago I stayed at Charlottehaven which is a serviced apartments type hotel. Nice places with full kitchen, big units, very short walk to the train in and out of downtown in 15 minutes or so. Health club attached. Small Aldi Marked grocery just around the corner as well as some excellent bakeries over on the main street. Not sure what the prices are these days though
    http://www.charlottehaven.com/en/

  • Allen

    I was in Copenhagen and Stockholm both two weeks ago. It’s funny you mention Noma, because I met a guy who just started working there. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to eat there (also on a huge budget). As far as Copenhagen, expect to pay double on almost everything there, especially food. Nyhavn, Stroget, the Black Diamond, Christiania (free town, Danish government is shutting it down, so it might be last chance to go there), and most of the other places previously mentioned. The Design Center on HC Anderson Boulevard is interesting if you like to see the progression of design for the Danish. Everyone I encountered was amazingly nice and it’s interesting to see how well they have made bicycles and vehicles work together without getting in each others way.
    I was in Stockholm very shortly to see a friend there, but I encourage at least walking around the more modern parts of it and then old Stockholm as well.

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  • http://www.hotelsincopenhagen.com Hotels in Copenhagen

    Copenhagen is a beautiful and well kept city.Enjoy Copenhagen’s rich culture and amazing scenery.

  • Chris Demetriades

    Dear Points Guy:
    I am new subscriber and do enjoy your E-Mails. As a Delta Medallion member I travel monthly to Athens just for fun. Lately I only purchase Business Class or Award tickets. Lufthansa and British Air take me for 105ooo – 135,000 miles. What can I do with Delta for the months of May; June and again Sept; Oct; when ther rates are 200,000 – 325,000 miles?….. (Forget about July and August).
    Thanks – Chris -

  • The Points Guy

    @Chris- your best bet to get low business class to Athens (100,000 miles) is to book on Skyteam partners like Air France through Paris, KLM through Amsterdam, Air Europa through Madrid, Alitalia through Rome/Milan and Aeroflot through Moscow. Creating a Flying Blue account at Airfrance.us and then searching for classic awards is your best bet.

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