Delta Platinum flying to Bahrain in December - best alternative airlines?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by jschmeling, Sep 16, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. jschmeling

    jschmeling Active Member

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    It looks like I need to go to Bahrain in December to teach a course to military members stationed there. I am a Delta platinum, but it doesn't appear that I can make it there on Delta alone. I need to fly an American flagged or numbered airline (so partners OK as long as ticketed under the US carrier number). Going from New York state (Syracuse) but can fly from any of the three NYC area airports.

    I think I could status match to United and go that way. I could also go KLM as a Delta partner I think. I'd like to maximize my miles. Ideally I want to upgrade to business using miles. I'll have travel next year there, and also to Japan and likely Korea, so any benefits to those areas also useful to know.

    Any suggestions or tips?

    Thanks,
    James
     
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  2. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    You are right, Delta/KLM is your choice. It will be two stops from JFK/EWR, three from Syracuse.
     
  3. jschmeling

    jschmeling Active Member

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    What I think I'm missing is how to upgrade. When I go to reserve it says not upgrade eligible. OK, I get that, I have to do something more. But, are there upgrades with miles? If so, how do I access those in the booking process. I usually don't fly internationally with the ticket paid for by work, so it's just the upgrade I want to pay for or use miles for, but I don't see how to do that. I suppose I can call Delta and ask, too.
     
  4. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Unless you're buying a very expensive ticket (or maybe a government fare - not sure how those are coded), you won't be able to upgrade inexpensively.
     
  5. jschmeling

    jschmeling Active Member

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    I looked even at full fare Y and it said not upgrade eligible. Should have shared that, sorry.
     
  6. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    It's showing complimentary upgrade eligibility.
     
  7. jschmeling

    jschmeling Active Member

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    I'm searching on Delta, logged in, Platinum status, searching full fare Y, and also searched any economy, and when I click to check upgrade eligibility on flights it shows "Not Upgrade Eligible" above the flight details. Same with if I select flights and then go to the page after selecting both flights where it shows not upgrade eligible beside each flight. I have both Platinum Delta and Platinum Amex if that makes a difference. December 1 to December 5. The flights show open business class seats. So, what am I doing wrong to see the availability? It does offer to let me pay for Business Class at the left of the page after selecting the flights.

    Am I searching incorrectly?
     
  8. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    There needs to not just be an open seat, but also open upgrade space. Delta has killed visibility into that from third party sites. I'm not sure that the website shows it. i suggest to call the platinum line and hope for but not expect the best.
     
  9. jschmeling

    jschmeling Active Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  10. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    And I did also just confirm that the website does not show it. The only way to see upgrade availability on delta operated longhaul flights is to call.
     
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  11. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Which seems counterproductive when their competitor United shows transparency in upgrade space on their website albeit in enabled-Expert mode.
     
  12. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    While I don't disagree that it would be useful to see the space, I'm not sure how what United does is any indicator that Delta's decision is productive or counterproductive. The conclusion doesn't really follow from the reasoning.
     
  13. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    If Delta wanted to save resources (i.e people phoning in to find out if their flight has UG space) they would have showed it on their website.
     
  14. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Still a non sequitur. Regardless of whether that is true or not, that would not make their decision inherently productive or counterproductive.

    Clearly they have other priorities in addition to csr utilization, many of which are likely a higher priority.
     
  15. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Even if DL doesn't want to devote computer programming resources to making upgrade space visible, they could have just continuted to let EF show it.

    "Not Upgrade Eligible" refers to free elite upgrades, on routes that DL considers to be domestic (no BE service).

    Upgrades with miles require M+ fares for international routes. The same is true for old DL SWUs. New GUCs are a DM choice benefit only, but work for almost any fare. In any event, upgrade inventory is required, not just an unoccupied BE seat.

    It's been changing often and is confusing, but SWUs/GUCs can be used to upgrade KLM flights if upgrade space is available and one has purchased an expensive (similar to M+) fare class. Something similar holds for upgraades with miles on KLM operated flights. There's also a SkyTeam upgrade program for using miles, which generally requires FULL Y fares, so it's even worse.

    Often USA government travel permits business class tickets to be purchased if the travel time exceeds eight hours, so the OP should check the rules that apply for this trip.

    Instead of using KLM from AMS, can the OP fly DL to DXB or someplace nearby and then either use ground transportation or a middle east partner (Saudia is an obvious one, but OP probably doesn't want to add a connection through KSA)?
     

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