Changing AF flight upgraded with SWU?

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by mtkeller, May 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    I'm booked into O (from W bought as a DL W fare but rebooked to AF W to upgrade) on SAN-ATL-YUL-CDG-LHR later this week. Today, LAX-CDG-LHR opened up in O, so I called to see about changing in exchange for £100. Agent could see the O, but AF is showing W0 S0 A0 for the LAX-CDG flight, so AF refused to allow the change. It was after 2100 PDT by the time I was able to call, so I didn't push too hard for the agent to see if someone would authorize overbooking W for 30 seconds in order to get me the O seat.

    Anyone have experience with this sort of thing? I'm going to ring up first thing in the morning here on the west coast in hopes that I can get someone to call Paris and get a manual override authorized, but any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I hope it works out! I have not done this...so I'm curious to see if they help you! :)
     
  3. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    Alas, there seems to be no way for them to book you straight into O if using a SWU as part of a change. I understand why they wouldn't want to book you into, say, M or (AF) S or W if that booking class is sold out when you're ticketing. However, once the ticket is reissued into O, I still don't get why they can't change to another flight with O inventory in exchange for the change fee.

    Here's the saga of my phone calls yesterday for the amusement of my fellow MPers:

    1. Started call around 0620 after checking in EF to confirm that there was still O on my desired flight. (Went from O6 to O2 over night, but I only needed one seat.) I tell the agent what I'm trying to do, and she immediately says that since the ticket has been reissued with an upgrade already, I need to be sent off to International Manual Reissue. (I'll call them IMR for short.) This call ends quickly because of bad cell signal. (4 minutes)
    2. Next call is put through to IMR "because the ticket was issued in British Pounds" :rolleyes: This agent is really excellent, and puts me on hold for quite a while exploring the options. In fact, I'm on the line with her for 47 minutes and was worried I'd have to hang up in order to leave for work. (I got dressed and packed a suitcase while on hold.) She came back without finding any way to overbook W to get me the O, but did find DL Z space on MSP/ATL-LHR that she offered me for ~$800 including the change fee. I decided to pass, even though it seems that's much less than the fare difference from my DL W fare to a DL M fare. (47 minutes, running total: 51 minutes)
    3. Once in the office, I decide to give it one more try. I ask for IMR right off the bat. Agent tells me there's no O, despite EF and FB showing it to me. I thank her and hang up. (9 minutes, running total: 60 minutes)
    4. I contemplated calling SINRES, thinking maybe we had more issues with US call centers, but then I tried LAX-CDG in business on DL.dumb and it showed award space. I ring up the PM line again and ask the frontline agent to check award space on LAX-CDG. She sees the space. I then explain what I'm really trying to do, and she does the usual "Oh, you want an upgrade? That's different than using SkyMiles." A couple minutes later, she apologies and bows to my superior knowledge of her own company's policies. I ask to be put through to IMR, where the agent tries a few things (including other routings) but can't find any way around the W0. (18 minutes, running total: 78 minutes)
    5. As I'm winding down for the night at the hotel, I check EF and discover that the early LAX-CDG is showing O2 W1, so I grab the phone. Agents are no longer immediately sending me to IMR (seems like only morning agents do this). I give the agent the flight numbers I want, and she puts me on hold. She comes back on a couple minutes later and says she's having trouble understanding something about my fare and needs to do some more checking. She finally comes back and says she's confused, since I'm already upgraded on YUL-CDG. Apparently she missed the whole "I've got a crazy routing and want SAN-LAX-CDG-LHR on these very specific flights" bit. She then went to work, but my phone totally died. (14 minutes, running total: 92 minutes)
    6. I call back, and the agent decides to pull out married segment logic. I could see in EF that LAX-CDG-LHR is showing O0, but I also know that AF doesn't actually enforce married segments on upgrades. (In fact, it doesn't seem that their own award booking engine enforces it on award tickets, as FB was showing the flights I wanted for redemption despite EF showing O0.) I quickly realize this is not going anywhere, so I thank the agent and hang up. (9 minutes, running total: 101 minutes)
    7. I call back, and now I get an agent who can't even see the W seat. It's on EF, and I can book it on af.us. She does some checking on other routes, since I'm a bit dumbstruck as to her problem. In the end, she keeps insisting the seat that I know is there isn't, so I thank her and move on. (8 minutes, running total 109 minutes)
    8. I call back and decide to ask for IMR straight away. I'm getting ahead of myself here, but suffice it to say that Jeremy at IMR (ticket came back SLCRES) needs to be put in charge of training anyone who does SWU upgrades. I read him my three preferred flights and emphasized that I couldn't care less about upgrading CDG-LHR as a way to head off any married segments problems. He quickly checked that the TATL was O1 W1 and snagged it before checking my preferred CDG-LHR and letting me know he could upgrade it for me as well. He then works away at the ticket and gets it reissued. The only issue was he made a typo trying to run my card for the change fee, so it took a couple of extra minutes. He then insisted on calling the "upgrade desk" since we were under 48 hours to departure to confirm that AF wouldn't pull any shenanigans. He then came back on line and confirmed all was in order. Jeremy got a JWD certificate from me for his great work. (22 minutes, running total: 131 minutes)
    Final result is that I have a lovely routing, even if I have to take the 1600 LAX-CDG instead of my preferred 1845. (That flight still shows O, but has yet to have any W inventory open up.) I gave up J on the A380, but I'll take the extra four hours in the air so I have a chance to both eat and sleep. Oh, and not depart my hotel before 0500. Somehow I lucked into 3K on the AF 77W, which is great as I prefer bulkheads when in J without every seat having direct aisle access. I was ticketed onto the flight so late that seat selection time had passed, so I have no clue if the only seats I'd prefer more (3A/L) are open. I might check when I get to the airport tomorrow, but I'm not worried about it at all.

    Now I just have to decide which lounge(s) to hit at LAX, since I hear the AF/KL lounge in T2 is horrendous. I've done the SC already, so thinking of using PP at the Boardroom in T6 and then heading to T2 to try the AC lounge with PP. How long does it take to get from T6 to T2 anyway?
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    You don't need PP to get into the boardroom since you're in Affaires on AF. It's a very nice lounge, although I visited before the bar was open. Have salad, cheese, and soup for a light lunch. I don't know the AC lounge at LAX but they're usually good too. Are you sure your boarding pass will let you through security at T5/T6 or do you plan to beg for a gate pass?

    T6 to T2 s basically across through the parking garage. I've found it confusing to try to walk this way without going up and down stairs with a wheeled bag, but others say that there's an easy way. You can also walk the long way around the U and go past TBIT, etc. to check out what's happening in other terminals, which is what I would do. To be conservative, I'd probably estimate up to a half hour from the Boardroom to AF at a strolling pace.
     
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  5. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    Getting into T5/T6 wasn't a problem since I flew up from SAN on the CRJ and they pulled up to a jetway on T5. I didn't see any indication that the Boardroom would let me in based on the AF Affaires seat, so I just whipped out the Priority Pass. Just finished a nice light lunch of salad with an apple afterward. It was really the perfect lunch, since I was just feeling a bit peckish but didn't want to eat too much before they feed me on the plane. Debating about if I want to grab a beer before I have to head over to T2. The bar looks pretty nice, although the bartender is rarely behind it. (People are getting drinks, so it seems whoever's in charge of pouring is monitoring the situation.) Nice thing about the BR is that it's so uncrowded. I thought about hitting the SC in T5 before coming over here, but then realized it would likely be rammed. I don't think there are 20 people in the BR, so we could probably have two or three seats each.

    Thanks for the time estimate over to the AF gate!
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The documentation that you could have used the T6 LAX Boardroom is actually (note the up-to-date location!) on delta.dumb. Go to the SC locations and pick the drop down menu for BE international or SkyTeam premium cabin. It's listed there.

    When I visited, I was ready to show the PP card but the dragon saw DM on my boarding pass and just asked me to recite my SkyMiles number so that she could verify my status on her computer.
     
  7. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    Ah, good to know. I guess that's an obscure enough thing that they wouldn't necessarily put it on the sign I saw indicating the primary lounge access methods. I saw SkyClub members, but no mention of ST premium cabin pax. I guess it comes up on the ST E+ with international connections list, too.

    Also worth noting: it seems they're actually updating the list of lounges. (You indicating that the location for the LAX BR is correct made me look more closely.) As of a month or so ago, there were several defunct LHR lounges scattered throughout multiple terminals listed, and now it just lists the ST Lounge for departures/connections and the Yotel for arriving flights.
     
  8. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    Ah, good to know. I guess that's an obscure enough thing that they wouldn't necessarily put it on the sign I saw indicating the primary lounge access methods. I saw SkyClub members, but no mention of ST premium cabin pax. I guess it comes up on the ST E+ with international connections list, too.

    Also worth noting: it seems they're actually updating the list of lounges. (You indicating that the location for the LAX BR is correct made me look more closely.) As of a month or so ago, there were several defunct LHR lounges scattered throughout multiple terminals listed, and now it just lists the ST Lounge for departures/connections and the Yotel for arriving flights.
     

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