Deal Alert: New York JFK-Seattle for $185 Roundtrip on Delta
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Per this Flyertalk thread, there is a great mileage run from New York JFK - Seattle SEA for $185 roundtrip on Delta that's running several dates in October and November available on stays of anywhere from 1-7 nights, so you can make a real turnaround mileage run out of it, stay for a long weekend, or even make a long trip out of it. A roundtrip will net you 4,842 Medallion Qualifying Miles, and with the fare at $185, your cost per mile (CPM) is a very decent 3.8 cents. The actual miles/points hauled is much higher, especially if you book with a card that gives a bonus on airfare, like 3x on the Premier Rewards Gold or book through a portal as outlined here.
The first thing I do when these come up is check Google's ITA Matrix and use the calendar search function including a range of nights for length of stay to find out what dates these low fares are available, and I found dozens of days in October and November, as you can see from the following search screenshot:
When you click on the low fare, you'll see how many days it's available for and which airlines and can pull up the specific flights as well. The one thing you can't do on ITA is actually book the tickets, so to do that, you can either go to an OTA or directly to an airline website.
In this case, it is Delta who's offering the low fares, so I went directly to Delta.com and plugged in a few dates that the ITA Matrix told me should work.
The fare worked on this weekend in October - if you wanted a quick getaway. And then the special fares are also available in the reverse direction from Seattle to JFK and back, as you can see from the below itinerary I found.
It looks like Delta is trying to highlight its new route network via Seattle with these special fares. The airline is currently updating its 767 fleet on this route and the first of these aircraft with lie-flat BusinessElite went into service in March. Delta also has plans to upgrade its transcontinental 757-200's with a new BusinessElite cabin, though that won't begin until 2014 - so if you have a choice, try to get on one of the 767's since they are currently getting the upgrade.
Delta does upgrade Medallions to BusinessElite domestic routes, however for JFK-SEA, one of their big transcon routes, I wouldn't expect to get cleared for an upgrade until you're at the gate itself. One edge you can give yourself is if you have the Delta Reserve card because Delta prioritizes Reserve cardholders higher than those without – so if you are up against someone with the same Medallion level and fare class, you’ll be higher on the upgrade list if you have a Reserve card and they don’t.
These fares are booked into a discounted V ticket class, so unfortunately you can't use your systemwide upgrades on them if you have any since they're only good on published economy class fares booked in Y, B, M, S, H, Q, or K class.
Still, even if you're stuck in economy, this is a pretty great low fare and a cheap way to rack up some MQM's if you're still strategizing about elite status qualification for the rest of the year.
Hat Tip: ryandc99 on Flyertalk.