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Delta Skymiles FF Dont Get Upgraded Anymore  
User currently offlineAngelonyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 9 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7555 times:

I'm not sure if it's just me, but here it goes.

I'm platinum medallion with Delta, and for the past few years, I have nearly always gotten upgraded to business class within the specified time window, depending on my medallion status.

Although I have been platinum medallion for a while now, on a recent number of flights, I did NOT get upgraded with the 5-day confirmation window, and when I call up Delta they give me this whole speech on upgrades based on availability, and they are waiting to see if they can sell all the business class seats first, then I can get upgraded at the gate. Whats the point of the 5-day upgrade window, or me flying over 75,000 miles to hit platinum medallion?  Angry

This has never happened in the past. Even when I was gold or silver medallion, I would nearly always get upgraded within my 3-day(gold medallion) or 1-day(silver medallion) window. I am wondering if anyone else has seen this or if anyone can make sense of it.

Any input would be appreciated.

59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineB4REAL From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2629 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7509 times:

Don't try to figure it out. It is quite complex. You won't see an empty seat if you don't get the upgrade, however.

Lastly, a silver paying Y/B/M will trump the platinum paying T. Sad fact of life, but truly it is fair.



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineB4REAL From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2629 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7475 times:

One more thing.. I took a revenue flight recently (I'm Gold) - paid T. CMH-ATL-SJC-ATL-CMH, all on either mainline or DCI with a first class. I only got one of the segments upgraded.

It is a tough seat to get now, and DL has less F seats available, domestically, and it is much easier to get Platinum.



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4645 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7475 times:

I rarely get upgraded as silver anymore. I got it both ways on ATL-IAH CR9's and i think that was only because the F/Y ratio is so high, on the IAH-ATL segment i was the last one to get the upgrade. If im traveling on a T or a U fare, i pretty much know im not going to get it.


Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlineAngelonyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7458 times:

The thing is if i check the flight seating chart, business class is nearly empty, maybe 30% occupancy...

what happens to all those empty seats? My status on the Delta website just says 'upgrade requested', and I called again, this time the explanation was that I will get the upgrade at the gate... wierd..


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21472 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7429 times:

This speaks to my "too many elites" comment in the "dump FF" thread.

Same is happening on CO. Upgrades for me are a thing of the past unless I'm flying to TPA or MCO on a large 737 or 757. Otherwise, there are just so many elites and businessmen paying the full Y auto upgrade fare, the only real benefit of being elite is the priority baggage drop, boarding and security screening. Which is still worthwhile, but not so much to keep me loyal, so I've been flying more other carriers recently…



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineLipeGIG From Brazil, joined May 2005, 11416 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7413 times:
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Quoting Angelonyc (Thread starter):
Although I have been platinum medallion for a while now, on a recent number of flights, I did NOT get upgraded with the 5-day confirmation window, and when I call up Delta they give me this whole speech on upgrades based on availability, and they are waiting to see if they can sell all the business class seats first, then I can get upgraded at the gate. Whats the point of the 5-day upgrade window, or me flying over 75,000 miles to hit platinum medallion?

It's a matter of availability and they says complimentary not mandatory upgrade. I flew 20 segments this year, from which 4 were international C, 3 were domestic F and the rest domestic Y. I got upgraded on ALL domestic segments (including JFK-SFO-JFK) except for a LGA-ATL with a M class ticket (part of an international ticket already upgraded to Z Class with Platinum Certificate). It happens...
This week i got upgraded on my next friday LGA-ATL flight exactly on Monday by 1 AM.

So, it's a matter of demand ! For me, the program is working fine (i'm also a Plat)

Felipe



New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
User currently offlineAngelonyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7369 times:

Right, I can see the availability issue, obviously if they have paying customers, the seats will go out to them. But my argument is - with so many empty seats available, why have I not gotten the upgrade within the 5 day time window?

Have they cut down on the number of upgradable seats? Does it even work that way?
I thought if there were empty seats 5 days out, in the case of platinums, you would get one of those seats....


User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7372 times:

Essentially, airlines are now shifting their elite status programs to benefit (a) passengers paying full fares, and (b) the very-top tiers of their elite strata.

For example, AA Exec Platinum members now get unlimited upgrades, so as a Gold (or even Platinum) flyer, it's much more difficult to get the upgrade nowadays. Essentially, they can only afford to give the upgrades to those paying high $, or their very most frequent flyers. Just part of the industry's financial health nowadays.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineDTWAGENT From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7357 times:

I never have a problem with DL on getting and upgrade or getting a flight with my miles. UA and US yes. DL/NWA no.

User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7310 times:

You could always actually PAY FOR A BUSINESS CLASS SEAT. Would it not make sense?

User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6707 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7291 times:



Quoting Angelonyc (Thread starter):
Although I have been platinum medallion for a while now, on a recent number of flights, I did NOT get upgraded with the 5-day confirmation window, and when I call up Delta they give me this whole speech on upgrades based on availability



Quoting Angelonyc (Reply 4):
The thing is if i check the flight seating chart, business class is nearly empty, maybe 30% occupancy...

Yes, but they hold back a number of seats until day-of-flight based on what they predict they may be able to sell as actual F tickets or as Y tickets to elites who get an auto-upgrade. Even as a Platinum, if you're trying to upgrade on an L/U/T fare on a peak day/time between LGA and ATL, it's probably not going to happen. It doesn't happen on BOS-ATL for me (as a Gold) unless I'm flying at some weird hour/day. I've been on a 4-5 PM Friday 757 (so a relatively large F cabin) from BOS to ATL where I was 25th on the upgrade list (with a total of about 50 on the list) with perhaps three or four F seats available for upgrades.

Quoting Angelonyc (Thread starter):
Even when I was gold or silver medallion, I would nearly always get upgraded within my 3-day(gold medallion) or 1-day(silver medallion) window. I am wondering if anyone else has seen this or if anyone can make sense of it.

It depends on when you're flying. Also, the planes are more full these days and the average aircraft size in the domestic system is smaller, so there are fewer F seats.


User currently offlineSkymiler From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 521 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7283 times:



Quoting Sevenair (Reply 10):
You could always actually PAY FOR A BUSINESS CLASS SEAT. Would it not make sense?

YES! Thanks for stating the truth!
I am not only a PM, but a lifetime PM, and do not always get an upgrade. Next best thing is the "A" fares, which are usually available from major destinations such as New York. I use them a LOT.

Try 'em, you'll like 'em.



I love to fly, and it shows!
User currently offlineAngelonyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7224 times:

Yes, ATL is one of those segments it is very difficult to get an upgrade on.
So my recent segments were from NY to DFW, from NY do MDW, and now from JFK-SFO on a 752, fairly sizable cabin.

These are business trips, so my company pays for the fares, and i have a Q fare. i do pay for fares when I am flying for pleasure, like last year, i paid for a business elite fare to Europe. However, since I flew over 150k miles last year, I don't think it's too much to question this issue. it's also about loyalty to the customer. I flew 5 transatlantics (all business - and LONG flights, Athens, Rome, Tel-Aviv etc) and who knows how many east-west coast domestic... Theres others out there that fly even more..
isn't that why we have FF programs, so if you stay loyal to the airline you get free upgrades, among other perks?

So now the way i am understanding it is, out of all the business class seats - they only hold a certain number that will be available for complimentary upgrades, but it seems as if that number is very small, or perhaps has decreased...


User currently offlineJkj777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 397 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7136 times:

Even though unlimited upgrades for international travel are not complimentary, I am assuming they still happen. I am only a lowly silver and will be traveling to BCN during the offseason (late fall, early winter). Is it possible to get an upgrade to business with a T fare?

User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3589 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7068 times:



Quoting Jkj777 (Reply 14):
Is it possible to get an upgrade to business with a T fare?

No. International upgrades (either with a PM cert or with miles) are only available with Y, B, and M fares on DL.


User currently offlineStar_world From Ireland, joined Jun 2001, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7011 times:

When are you seeing this 30% occupancy - at the T-5 day mark, or sitting on board when the door closes?

If you're seeing it 5 days out, then this is completely up to DL - they can release as few or as many upgrade seats as they like, and this will vary by flight too. It's not uncommon to do all the upgrades the day of departure.

But if you're saying that the aircraft is taking off with only 30% seats filled, then this is a different story. Which is it?


User currently offlineBillReid From Netherlands, joined Jun 2006, 981 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6996 times:

I am also a PM with DL. My question is whether this thread is refering to "Business Elite" on international or first class on domestic.

I am guessing that you mean 1st class domestic, which really isn't first class any more, its economy with a slightly larger seat in reality.

My experience domestically is that DL is not keeping upto its promises on one account. They are not always releasing the seats five days in advance as they state they do. Recently I took a flight on a Saturday showing twelve empty seats in first, yes twelve on a Mad Dog with 14 seats in 1st. No FF's were upgraded prior to flight time. I was upgraded along with the other FF's and in the end there were four seats that went empty in first. I asked the DL staff what was going on and they told me:
"The head office does not upgrade enybody EVER in advance on this segment. We have asked why and they say --- Because". It should be noted that advance upgrades makes life quite simpler for the DL gate staff as they have reduced staff to one gate agent on most flights.

As for the Business Elite upgrades this is a sore point for me. I fly over 130,000 MQM's annually for now six consequtive years and request the upgrades using the Platinum Upgrade Certificates when going international. The policy for having a "No Upgrdes On Day Of Travel" is insulting. We know there are no shows all the time therefore, if there is a PM with the B,Y or M fare with the support for the upgrade and there is an empty seat the airline policy is to tell him to take his seat in the back. Brain-Dead. After all the lowest upgradeable fare is now over $2,000 return, not shabby revenue.

As I am no longer gaurenteed the upgrade as a loyal customer using the certificates they give us, I take my Int'l business to their partners. The upgradeable C on DL can cost as much as $2800 to Europe yet I can get a "GO4FUN" inventory on KL that gives me positive space in C and far superior food and avod. DL sometimes is too busy losing billions or merging with another "loser" to get it.



Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5395 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6960 times:



Quoting Angelonyc (Reply 7):
I thought if there were empty seats 5 days out, in the case of platinums, you would get one of those seats....

Have you ever thought that they might be 10 other platinum members on the list in front of you?

Unless the aircraft departs with empty F/C seats, they are filled with fare paying pax or elites that were higher up the list than you.

Doesn't DL show you your position on the list at the gate?

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineMichman From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6961 times:

Just to clarify folks - NONE of the US majors give complimentary upgrades to Business on International flights to European and Asian markets. You will either need to use miles or some sort of cert to upgrade these (and they are usually restricted to certain fare classes, as noted above).

As far as domestic upgrades, I've had pretty good success on NW as a Gold. Generally about 70-80% of the time. Of course, there are certain markets that are more difficult for upgrades (i.e. hubs to LAX, SFO, LGA, DCA, etc.)

[Edited 2008-04-23 10:59:15]

User currently offlineCvg2lga From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 630 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6876 times:

I thought Delta implemented a new program a few months ago that anyone eligible for an upgrade was put on the standby list upon check-in? Is this not correct?

Tchau

DA-



They don't call em' emergencies anymore. They call em' Patronies.
User currently offlineYamatthey From Switzerland, joined Aug 2005, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6832 times:



Quoting Angelonyc (Reply 13):
So now the way i am understanding it is, out of all the business class seats - they only hold a certain number that will be available for complimentary upgrades, but it seems as if that number is very small, or perhaps has decreased...

All is question of booking %, non-assigned passenger, statistic for the flight and statistic for the day. More and more often you will be upgraded at the gate and not in advance. Revenue Manager (Yield Manager) keeps seats available for paying passengers and not for FF. Especially now, all airlines have so many VIP, Platinum, Gold, Silver and other Elite members.

I was revenue manager for long time before becoming consultant for an airline in Europe, I always use to keep First or Business class seats open for paying passengers as long as possible. Releasing upgrade only 24 hours before the flight, sometimes only 61 minutes before the flight (before transferring inventory control to gate agent).


User currently offlinePanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4863 posts, RR: 25
Reply 22, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6826 times:
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Quoting BillReid (Reply 17):
DL is not keeping upto its promises on one account. They are not always releasing the seats five days in advance as they state they do

I don't believe that they ever promised that you would automatically get an upgrade seat at the 5 day window if you are a Platinum Medallion, regardless of inventory. All the 5, 3,1 day windows (on any airline) mean, is that you're eligible to be upgraded at that point in time if upgrade inventory is available. The airline can choose to make upgrade inventory available or not available depending on what they anticipate the loads to be (based on historical experiences mostly) and whether they anticipate selling those seats in those last few days. Sometimes, first/business class seats are also kept open until day of departure in case the airline needs those seats to handle "irregular operations" passengers (those on cancelled flights or were bumped, etc.)

Quoting BillReid (Reply 17):
I fly over 130,000 MQM's annually for now six consequtive years and request the upgrades using the Platinum Upgrade Certificates when going international. The policy for having a "No Upgrdes On Day Of Travel" is insulting. We know there are no shows all the time therefore, if there is a PM with the B,Y or M fare with the support for the upgrade and there is an empty seat the airline policy is to tell him to take his seat in the back. Brain-Dead

I am not saying that this is good or bad but the rationale from Delta regarding this policy is that people would not buy a Business Class seat if they knew that they could always standby and get the international upgrade at the gate. There would be many ways for people to game the system - e.g., they could simply make fictitious reservations in J ahead of time and then cancel them on day of departure (after all, these are totally refundable fares, etc.) thus opening up seats for the standby upgrades.
The other airline that has a similar international transoceanic upgrade policy is CO - where upgrades to BusinessFirst using miles is pretty much not allowed within 24 hours of departure (used to be 72 hours), i.e, the upgrade has to have cleared 24 hours before departure. Again, the rationale from both CO and DL is to protect the Business revenue stream.


User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6707 posts, RR: 32
Reply 23, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6797 times:



Quoting Angelonyc (Reply 13):
isn't that why we have FF programs, so if you stay loyal to the airline you get free upgrades, among other perks?

So now the way i am understanding it is, out of all the business class seats - they only hold a certain number that will be available for complimentary upgrades, but it seems as if that number is very small, or perhaps has decreased...

Well, it's why they have the elite levels of the frequent flyer programs...

But to state things more accurately, they don't hold seats for complimentary upgrades; they hold domestic F seats for purchase up until the day of sale and for elites who may have to purchase Y/B/M seats at the last minute.

But it also varies; I've gotten an upgrade at the window on a certain route as recently as two weeks ago on a U fare and when I checked the seat map, the F cabin was full.

Then again, I don't get too bent out of shape about having to fly in Y.  Smile


User currently offlineAgentXE1225 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6785 times:

FYI-DL elites will never be upgraded on CO flights, as DL will not upgrade CO elites on their flights! (I'm an agent and this came straight from the CO agent help desk.)

25 Charlipr : They same thing is happening to me, although I am solely a Gold Medallion. Last time I questioned the F upgrade window, they told me that they were h
26 AgentXE1225 : [quote=Charlipr,reply=25]Last time I questioned the F upgrade window, they told me that they were holding seats to last minute F ticket purchases. Per
27 ScottB : It's actually about the same price. You might pay $50-100 more for full F over full Y. Often discounted F (A) is cheaper than full Y.
28 Davescj : For international travel, YES. For domestic travel? Rarely. Dave
29 AgentXE1225 : Even same-day purchase/travel? I will be the first to admit, the fare rules are quite confusing. But that's where the help desk is invaluable!
30 B4REAL : Not officially. Only in an overbooking situation. I had it only once in a bunch of flights. Yes, but if you look at the 738 seat map and see 3 of the
31 AgentXE1225 : Some airlines have also changed upgrade priority and procedure. CO upgrades OnePass elites and their companions in order of status (Platinum, Gold, S
32 Ken4556 : I am Platinum Medallion with Delta, flew over 110,000 MQM miles with Delta last year and I, since making Platinum have been upgraded on about 60% of m
33 FlyASAGuy2005 : Here's some advice; don't trust Delta's seat availability. I use to work for them and we would be able to check availability on the Delta intranet, w
34 AgentXE1225 : Hey, I am all for Elite upgrades! The number of miles flown by many of them is mind-boggling, and they, without a doubt, are the passengers who make m
35 Av8ajet : What about ATL-HNL is this a high mile/cost upgrade?? Seems as though there are little upgraders on these flights.
36 Halls120 : I'd add to the above c) status passengers willing to pay more for an economy seat (but less than a Y fare). I've used this strategy very successfully
37 B4REAL : Well put. By comparison, AA doesn't have free upgrades for even their highest elite levels!
38 WorldTraveler : there is a simple explanation - airlines do not want international passengers to get hooked on upgrades the way they have on domestic flights. There a
39 Ikramerica : Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are your friends if you want upgrades. If you are a freelance worker like myself, I can often choose to fly then f
40 PSU.DTW.SCE : As a NW Platinum I've gotten nearly 100% upgrades over the past 3 years on all domestic flights. The only times I have not been upgraded is when I'm b
41 DeltAirlines : I'm at about 50% as a DL Silver this year. Just got upgrades on Friday on GSO-ATL (was No. 5 on the list out of 6 Medallions going for 5 F seats) and
42 BOAC911 : Just pay for your upgrades. You will find that in today's cost and fare structure the difference is not that great.
43 PagoFlyer : But shouldn't DL keep a few seats up front for employees? Laughing out loud of course.(
44 BillReid : The problem here is having a PM status in the first place. DL is losing alot of money and hasn't a clue what service is for their repeat customers. I
45 Skytroll : pay for business class and fly business class. no one should be up graded just because they think they should be
46 BillReid : Is a $2,800 upgradeable Y fare with a Upgrade Certificate issued to the top tier ff's as paying or not? Also, do you find a 50 day advance purchase a
47 Jumbojet : I disagree with Saturday being a good 'friendly' day to travel for an upgrade. If you happen to be traveling for business overseas that requires you
48 Angelonyc : I think i deserve a break since i go out of my way to fly Delta. first off, on business trips, my company's travel dept pays for the fares, so I have
49 Jkj777 : Business Class from LGA-MDW?????? That is a new one for me. Shouldn't it just be domestic first (which in no way is even remarkably close to flying B
50 BillReid : The premise is OK, but I am not sure it works. All the stats indicate that about 40% of travelers generate about 75% of revenues. I believe it makes
51 FruteBrute : The thing some seem to be forgetting is that if you are a platinum or gold ff on an airline in many cases you go out of your way to fly them because y
52 Ocracoke : This has been DL's policy for over 10 years now. In those 10 years, DL has gone from being the most profitable airline on earth all the way down to b
53 Flybyguy : This is a very logical statement. So many threads like this about FFs complaining about having less perks in these troubled times in U.S. commercial
54 B777ER : And a barrel of oil around 120 dollars has never happened in the past either. Its simple, they want a paid butt in the seat, not an upgraded one.
55 Micstatic : Be careful what you wish for. If that's the case, the incentive to avoid the discount carriers and be loyal to a legacy quickly goes away. If I am co
56 GOCAPS16 : Wow, thanks for the update. I was "downgraded" to silver medallion after being gold medallion for the last 2 years because of my inactivity for 2007,
57 FruteBrute : You simply have no idea how business travel works then when you are a freq traveler for a company. Are you sure you don't work for DL? Riiiight. Get
58 CVG2LGA : Ha! But you know..they actually do! Twice in the last two weeks I've went to Sao Paulo and Atlanta. Business. I don't deserve it I know. But it sure
59 Tango-Bravo : Looks like you answered your own question before you even asked it. What's the point of Delta underselling themselves by giving away free upgrades to
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