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On the menu: elite-qualifying miles from Delta

As the year winds down, travelers aiming to achieve elite status in their airline programs by the December 31 cut-off begin scrambling to push their elite-qualifying mileage total past the 25,000-mile mark. That's the number of miles members must fly annually to reach elite status.

In most cases, that means squeezing in an extra flight or two, sometimes even making a "mileage run"—a flight taken exclusively to reach elite status, or to elevate one's status from a lower elite tier to a higher one.

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But while elite-qualifying miles are generally awarded only for actual flight miles, there are occasional opportunities to make progress with non-flight activities. One such activity is featured in a new promotion from Delta: eating.

Between October 1 and November 30, Delta SkyMiles members can earn 1,000 elite-qualifying miles, plus 1,000 base miles, when making four qualified dines of $25 or more at four different participating SkyMiles Dining restaurants.

That's not a lot of miles, to be sure. But as always with dining miles, since they're miles awarded for a meal you would have purchased anyway, they're gravy.

Unfortunately, the gravy ... I mean the bonus ... may only be earned once per member.

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