Best K-Fare / Destination to use SWU's

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by techguru, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. techguru
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    techguru Silver Member

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    I used 4 for my wife and I to HNL via ATL found a K-fare awhile back for 700ish (fluke) used $200 coupon for making Diamond and SWU's to confirm thought that as pretty good. Wondering other non YBM routes people see value in using SWU's -- I know AF with PE to Affaires, but just wondering on Delta metal whats perceived to be a good deal -- I know it might be hard to find.
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    AF usage is good because their PE/PV fares that can be upgraded into biz are typically so much lower than M+ on DL, but unfortunately some may criticize the AF (hard) product compared to DL. Personally, I don't think any business class cabin should have 2-3-2 seating as many AF long-haul aircraft do.

    HNL is an obvious good SWU use, especially if you can get upgrade space on the A330, but somewhat less so for the flights from the West Coast.

    Internationally, I like DTW-HKG on the 777-LR, which tends to have good availability. Even if it's an ordinary (expensive) M fare, it's such a wonderful aircraft!

    I've used a few leftover SWUs "strategically" for long domestic flights--such as ex-ATL, hub-to-hub, or elite-heavy routes and times--where I didn't have a good chance of getting an EUA. Since I don't want to sit in coach, I consider this to be good value. YMMV.
     
  3. techguru
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    MSPeconomist I hadn't thought of DTW-HKG, but that presents a great aircraft. I like your attitude about the value versus just complaining about how worthless they are compared to UA SWU's. HKG is notriously difficult to score upgrades on United but I see DTW-HKG wide open. Going to book a trip for Mrs. and I.
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    I also manage to do a RT using DTW-PVG on the 777-LR before DL switched aircraft, but I suspect that the HKG flights have better availability on random days. Also, no need for a visa. Enjoy!
     
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  5. What are M fares to PVG//HKG looking like? I know that's the hardest *A upgrade, but given fare limitations with DL, might not be a bad way to end up in front ...
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    From where? Late last year, exRDU was cheaper than exDTW. JFK is also frequently a good starting point.
     
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  7. More in general; I'm ex-PDX, but I was wondering if TPAC M fares are as insane as TATL M fares.
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    IME from MSP, no. TPAC can be $4200, while I can't recall anything worse on TATL than $3600. I was shocked to discover that I plus a domestic ticket from a cheap origin can be better than M from MSP, if one is willing to do the extra flights and perhaps overnight to avoid missed flights on separate ticket. Crazy!
     
  9. TheMadBrewer
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    The Parental Units live in Atlanta and sometimes I am commanded to be present (I hate it when Mom reminds how long her labor was -- after all it was 56 years ago!). A few times the only fares were K+ and so my PU503's (PMNW PMUs) came in handy. Since LAX-ATL is the only route I've missed an upgrade multiple times as PE/PM/DM in recent years (once at each level) it's nice to secure the upgrade in advance. An ExpertFlyer Availability Alert helps when G/Z isn't immediately available. It may not be the most cost effective but since I had to buy K anyway it was basically free.
     
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  10. Skyvillager
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    Good info here. At this point I have nothing constructive to contribute to this thread, but I'm adding it to my "Watched Threads" list.

    When we get the Delta Forum Wiki - I'll add this to Wiki Index.
     
  11. MSPeconomist
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    Another aspect to keep in mind when using SWUs is that one per direction is required regardless of the eligible fare paid, whereas upgrades with miles require more miles for farther regions and, probably more importantly for the discussion here, more miles for discounted fares. So, for example, if you're trying to upgrade one trip with a K or M fare and another with a Y fare, unless you have excess SWUs, you should use the SWU on the K or M ticket and miles to upgrade the Y ticket.

    The decision becomes a bit more complicated if upgrades cannot be confirmed on all segments, Then your choice of upgrade instrument could affect your upgrade priority or your ability to obtain an upgrade at the gate.
     
  12. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    On the subject of miles vs. SWUs, I'm looking at booking a trip LAX-SYD and am willing to pay the M fare if Z is available in both directions. However, I won't make PM until closer to the date of the trip, so I might be trying to book and upgrade before I have SWUs. Is it possible to do the Z upgrade with miles at purchase time and then have them take the SWUs and refund the miles after making PM (and before travel on the upgraded itinerary)?
     
  13. techguru
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    I have had them change instruments before, but it was a pain in the butt...not sure if it is legal required a reissue. They seemed to think it was "okay" at the Diamond desk, but took like 40 minutes maybe I just got a new agent.
     
  14. MSPeconomist
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    My impression is that recently many reissued have been almost immediate, so I would expect that your miles might be pulled right away (and if you don't have enough miles when they attempt the reissue--remember, this seems to be done by DL at some random time between the upgrade clearing and when you try to check in at the airport--I would expect that you would probably lose the upgrade).

    My more serious concern is whether switching from miles to SWUs would cancel the upgrade in their system and they require you to find upgrade inventory again. Remember that seats in Z for which reservations are cancelled do NOT necessarily go beck into the Z inventory bucket. IMO (no data here) you could easily lose your upgrades when making the switch.
     
  15. mtkeller
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    Thanks for the input. I'd not be terribly bothered being out the miles, since LAX-SYD-LAX in M with PM bonus will earn back most of the 50K spent on the upgrades. It would just be nice to use the SWUs and hang onto the miles. Of course, this will all be moot if there's never Z inventory on the LAX-SYD segment. Right now I'd have my pick of plenty of days coming east, but westound there's nothing showing available the week I need to fly out. Hoping that changes in the intervening (many) months.
     
  16. On the flip side, I've had them upgrade me and not properly pull the miles which broke me badly at check-in (I was very happy I got to JFK nearly 3 hours early to sort it). In the end, they pulled miles one way, and I got a round-trip upgrade to ANC, which was a fitting sendoff as I had decided to give DL the boot at that point, and simply had to fly out the remaining of my last book segments.
     
  17. dsldog400

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    If I have a domestic itinerary on a discounted L/U/T fare, what is the best way to try to use a SWU if I decide I don't like the upgrade chances into Firsct or BE, even as a Diamond? If the ticket is re-fared to K or better, is it based upon the day of re-faring or the fare difference when the ticket was purchased?
     
  18. DeltaExpert
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    It would be based upon the day of re-faring. There is technically a $150 change fee in addition to the fare difference however if you explain your situation to the agent, they may be willing to waive the change fee.
     

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