DL int'l UG reality vs. UA. DL is....you know what!

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by redtailshark, Jan 9, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    My last two UA SWU experiences show how it can and should be done, if these upgrade instruments are to be of any value.

    UA first.

    1. A few weeks back. Bought full-Y. Applied GPU. Waitlisted. Two weeks ago, email appeared, cleared into Z for my PVG sector. My reservation on UA showed "call UA CS for reissue."

    On DL this is the kiss of death, if in fact you can even see that the ticket needs reissue following SWU application...at least UA states it reliably and directly above the res with a ! punctuation - call UA CS to have ticket reissued. Nevertheless, I did nothing and two days later, the system confirmed reissue, waitlist disappeared, seat selection confirmed. COS now shows Z.

    2. Today. Bought reasonable W-class fare to Asia. Applied my GPU online. Immediately cleared into F on my transcon sector and J on NRT-SIN (herringbone BF config machine). Waitlisted on the 787 TPAC sector and installed in E+.

    Now to DL.

    Contrast this with my last two DL SWU experiences.

    1. Waited six months (W-class AF ticket, back when it was actually possible to upgrade this way), checked availability each day. Flight went out with O=0 and Z=0, as it had been for every day between ticket purchase and my flight.

    Now, this didn't disturb me greatly because I was flying a misfile that I had FD'ed, and PV itself was a good deal at the price I paid. But if I'd paid $3k+ for the ticket, and expected actual service from SM, I'd be more than frustrated with this situation.

    2. Applied SWU to return, which was originally on AF metal. UG cleared and seat appeared in J. OK. Then - notorious! Equipment sub, no, metal sub from AF to DL...to the DL763 in ghetto guise! Seat disappeared....could not select seat on DL.COM despite res showing intact. Call SM, they can't see anything "wrong" although they admit...I have no seat assignment! Even in Y! Must now waitlist again for UG. Agent puts me in a Y seat, which promptly vanishes when I log out and back in. Finally, not long before the flight, the UG cleared, but my res half vanished. When I called SM CS, the agent couldn't understand how my reservation had basically been destroyed. She was able to reconstruct it eventually and I did fly in J, for what it was worth on that thing. But what a performance. The number of hours spent managing and calling and cajoling and requesting was just absurd.

    The DL ug fandango defies belief. Every day on FT and even here we read about frustrations caused by failed reissue, which can even lead to eviction from previously-selected EC seats in the Y cabin.

    We can debate the merits of the hard product (DL BE > UA J on the PMUA machines, certainly, but I don't think BE is much better than the PMCO herringbone six-abreast J fit) but the policy and its implementation is...well....

    You know that there is no other way to describe this situation. Are you ready?

    It is UA whose international UG policy and execution is best in class.

    DL is truly, irredeemably, incontestably, [​IMG] best in class [​IMG]
     
  2. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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    Delta and Air France's computer systems do not communicate. Last year, I bought a round trip W fare ticket on delta.com for an AF flight from ORD-CDG. I bought my wife an identical ticket on the same reservation. My departing fare was a "Delta W fare" not an AF W fare. Upgrade space WAS available, and they offered to upgrade my wife (because her ticket was appropriate). Our upgrades with SM worked on the way home. I had to speak to multiple agents to regarding this. One warned me about the AF premium economy/W fare and the "quirks" in their system and encouraged me to make a future reservation of that nature over the phone- I guess so they can say no right away.
     
  3. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    OT, but did you really apply SWU to a FD ticket!
     
  4. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Yes and not only on DL. I've done this numerous times. At the very least twenty times across NW, DL, CO, UA and LH.

    What's the problem? If the itin is ticketed in the correct COS - like my recent RGN C itin - then the appropriate fare rules apply. A company that attempted to discriminate against customers within fare classes based on actual fare paid - when this discrimination cannot be, and is not, supported by T&C and CoC provisions - would be on very thin legal ice. They know that. They can also assume that customers with the knowledge to execute FD and get ticketed also know this, know the fare rules, and know their recourses.

    Anyway, that sounds negative, and it shouldn't be. I wasn't complaining about DL selectively making it hard to redeem SWU on my FD itin. Far from it. The problems are normal, generalizable, and indicative of low levels of service for all. Even DL's most ardent apologists are not wasting their time contesting these facts.

    I've never had an issue related to price of ticket with applying SWUs to misfile/FD or combo itins such as the one above. The SWU's have worked in the normal ways....which on UA is almost seamless, and on DL is a chaotic and unpredictably frustrating process regardless of whether you paid $10k for full Y, or $250 for FD W class.
     
  5. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    We all know. Delta SWU are a huge waste...though I didn't requalify as PM, just GM. I wouldn't get the SWU benefit again as I only got 2 upgrades with it that I woudn't have had otherwise...and those tickets were insanely expensive.

    Why can't Delta just do 2 any fare upgrades for PM and 4 for DM? Would make life so much easier for everyone and no one would mourn the loss of 2 upgrades since now they'd really be getting much more benefit.
     
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  6. Davescj
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    Davescj Silver Member

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    I am PM with DL. I don't bother with SWU. It is too much drama.
     
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  7. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    In the interest of fairness, one should visit the UA forum on TOBB and read the horror stories of IT issues with the new UA.

    Yes, UA still has far friendlier upgrade policies for international travel.

    Look a couple of years down the road when the AA/US/HP franken-airline is all put together, and Dougie and Jeff S. may be inclined to make more changes that you will not like. Or Jeff may not even wait that long, and make his move after the dust settles on his merger fiascos.

    But not on AA. AAparently, their system is set up to bust anybody one a FD fare if you call in to make changes or apply upgrades.

    David
     
  8. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    I didn't say UA has no IT issues. I can't get miles to post from my mid-Dec reroute despite emailing the 1K line. But the UA platform is far more user-friendly and downright functional compared with DL.COM, in almost every category including using GPUs and RPUs. And we all know the award tool is in a different universe. I just booked 14.5 hours of international J class travel on top-quality airlines for much less than 20k UA MP miles. There's just no way to even do this with SM never mind at mileage levels even three or four times higher. Each UA mile is genuinely valuable at the moment.
    I didn't even mention how useful and valuable UA's Regional Premier Upgrades are, which are a benefit that has no correspondence in SM. Given FCM is everywhere and we're all seeing far lower UG percentages, it's nice to UG transcons with these. UA's transcon service on their flatbed 57s - not p.s. but the PM CO TATL machines, now deployed to EWR - is quite comparable to DL BE in their flatbed 57s. And we can UG into this without having to use our intercontinental UG instruments. And it works on UA.COM, I've done this several times too.
    And my 787 TPAC UG just cleared. So yesterday as I was transiting IAH I went to CS and requested the reissue. Within 2 mins it was done, now all sectors on my ticket show Z, except the final SQ sector obviously. Not bad for one GPU to work for EWR-LAX-NRT-SIN (not CGK, since that's SQ's sector) with so little problem. BTW the W class upgradeable one-way fare for that itin was around $1k. A good value I'd say. The GPU worked exactly as advertised by UA. And exactly as is too often fantasized by DL SM medallions.... I can't complain too much about UA. I even received gate UG on the 320 to BWI, last seat, when it looked unlikely earlier that day.
    No doubt things will change soon, over at UA too.
    As you know I'm not one to argue for the durability or permanency of FFP benefit. Far from it. I say, use what you have now, for max value, and don't "save" miles for retirement or expect meaningful "lifetime" or "complimentary annual" status benefits on any airline. That could be cut tomorrow morning.
    AAs for AA, so I've heAArd. Although AA would be on shaky legal ground if a US-originating or terminating ticket was issued via an approved mechanism and a customer filed formal complaint against them for discrimination. I don't know if this has been attempted and lost, or even won by plaintiffs, or settled with gag agreements. Since I don't fly AA except when redeeming using AAdvantage or Avios, it's not a big deal for me.
     
  9. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    Those do sound useful, though at a glance it seems that perhaps Delta is pulling back a bit on the FCM. Last time I looked, P fares seemed to be quite a bit higher than I recall when they were introduced.

    Actually, I think AA would win this one. DoT seems to have supported UA in revoking the award tickets that were issued at absurdly low mileage levels. I think AA shows up in court with printouts from various websites showing how to FD, and easily wins. After all, nobody has been successful in getting AA to reinstate the lifetime FC travel passes that have been revoked.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/...lier_has_wings_clipped_qyi2sA0ayacnJMSTbIZXBN

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2012/05/lifetime-airline-passes

    David
     

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