IROPS and immediate upgrade with no V/X (DM only?)

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by TravelerRob, Feb 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    So I thought I'd start a thread in the new forum about IROPS and upgrades. Yes, it's IROPS, not IRROPS. This was burned into my head during the ATL DO in October 2010.

    I have noticed a big change in how IROPS upgrades are handled since at least January 1, 2011. I'd love to have a conversation about this and maybe figure out what exactly is happening and what the rules are for the IROPS upgrade.

    Here are the facts that I can ascertain:
    1. IROPS no longer books you into Y - especially if you are using the online tool. Gate agents, SkyClub agents and certain phone agents may still put you in "Y". But so far I have only used the online tool and I'm booked right back into the same fare bucket I was originally in with the "IROPS" designator after it. For example, "L14WNS/IROPS" under my name on my boarding pass.
    2. When searching for flights due to IROPS, I use ExpertFlyer to gauge first class availability before making my decision. As IROPS is day-of-flight most FC availability is 3 or less. Both times I have used IROPS this year the flights were F3 and F2 respectively and V/X was zero. After selecting the flights online I am brought back to my itinerary and it shows coach. Both times I happened to walk to the SkyClub because I had a longer wait before my new departure. And both times by the time I sat down and started my laptop I had been upgraded to V/X.
    3. Based on the above I have to believe that this is happening by an automated process and there isn't someone in Atlanta sitting there manually upgrading people.

    So a few questions I'd like to discuss so we can figure out why this is happening:
    1. Does IROPS = Y give you an almost-immediate upgrade even if V/X isn't open?
    2. Does IROPS = Y and Status = DM give you an immediate upgrade even if V/X isn't open?
    3. Am I just getting really lucky?

    Note: when I say "V/X isn't open" I'm referring to the moment in time when the ticket was re-issued. V/X may have been automatically opened to support upgrading the IROPS elite. I haven't been able to watch EF at the time I'm upgraded to see if V/X went to 1.

    Maybe someone already knows the exact reason why this is happening. I'm not advocating this but some people can certainly use this to their advantage considering the online IROPS tool kicks into activity if one of your flights is even delayed by just a few minutes.

    A separate but related question - does anyone know if having IROPS in your fare code puts you towards the top of the airport upgrade list regardless of your elite status or regardless of your fare class? In other words, does a GM on an L fare with IROPS trump DM/PM/GM on non-Y fares that aren't IROPS?

    Thanks,
    RM
     
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  2. secretsea18
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    secretsea18 Gold Member

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    Interesting evaluation of the IROPs situation.

    I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone can shed light on the process.
     
  3. mtkeller
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    mtkeller Silver Member

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    I had an IROPS situation with the January snow/ice in ATL. Proactively called to re-route MSY-ATL-LGW to MSY-MSP-LHR (with a change of date) when the weather waiver was put in place. I had checked EF in advance and knew that there was U availability, which is what my ticket was booked in. Interestingly, after a while on the phone with several agents, they got things through and I was rebooked in H. Not enough to snag an upgrade into MSP for this FO, but an interesting change in fare class given that U was available at the time.
     
  4. Indiana Delta Diamond
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    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

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    My experience is that if you had previously cleared an upgrade, then any F seat is yours. If not, you are stuck playing the gate lottery (with a bad last tiebreaker).
     
  5. Seat1A
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    Seat1A Silver Member

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    i've seen the same a few times -- it started earlier than this year, and it is not limited to DM. my last couple of rebooks have treated me well, leading to some improbable upgrades. the one before did not:

    a couple of days ago, i had the first leg of a BOS-ATL-DFW trip delay 90 minutes. neither leg had cleared an upgrade. i used the irops website to rebook BOS-CVG-DFW. the first leg of the new trip was F0 Y9, and the second was F1 V0 Y6. rebooked segments showed L and T respectively. (original ticket was end-on-end fares via ATL -- much cheaper than BOS-DFW.) within minutes, my upgrade on CVG-DFW cleared T->V. the BOS-CVG leg cleared at the gate (i was #1 of 2). when i reached the gate for the CVG-DFW leg, there were 18 names on the upgrade list for zero seats (on a CRJ9). i was talking to the other gate lice, and one was a gold who was #9 on the list.

    going back to july of last year: flying LAX-DTW-BOS, as a silver. the second leg took a delay before the first leg departed. my upgrades had not cleared, and looked hopeless, so i took a reroute via ATL to get home half an hour earlier on better equipment. flights showed F5 V0 Y9 and F0 V0 Y3. within minutes, i had cleared K->X on the LAX-ATL leg. about an hour later, while still sitting at the LAX SC, i cleared K->X on the previously F0 Y3 ATL-BOS leg. i never saw the upgrade list on the LAX-ATL, but the ATL-BOS had two pages of upgrade list...

    going back farther to february of last year: BOS-TPA nonstop started creeping later, and looked like it was going to end up really bad. (i was right on that -- it left 13 hours late!) i used the irops website to switch over to a BOS-MCO nonstop. rebooked in U as a silver. flight showed F5. i did not clear -- was #6 of 6 at the gate. so no help on that one....
     
  6. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I flex dca-LGA on Friday morning and my flight was cancelled due to weather. I was on a y (full coach) fare, upgraded to v.

    I switched to a different shuttle and was given a coach boarding pass. I didn't even ask about an upgrade. There were two available f seats per the gate info system, and 20+ people on the upgrade list. I'm pm and on y, but that doesn't usually carry a lot of weight on a shuttle flight.

    When I presented my BP to board, i was given an f ticket from the gate printer.

    I suspect my irops moved me in front of everyone else. I don't know the statuses of the other pax on the list, but with 20+ people on a shuttle upgrade list, seems reasonable to assume there were a few diamonds on a y fare.

    Also of note...
    My pm y fare on LGA-dca the day before ranked me at 12 on the upgrade list. There were over 25 on the list. With 8 people checked in to a 12 pax f cabin, I just boarded (first) into y. I usually sit in the front row of y on the shuttle for the leg room...and was surprised to see f go out with 3 empty seats!! I guess everyone threw in the towel.
     
  7. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Thanks for your posts so far.

    So it seems that the following is true:
    1. This is not limited to Diamonds.
    2. V or X does open up (even if behind the scenes) for an elite on IROPS.

    Indiana Delta Diamond - I have found that already being cleared into V/X before the re-route has had zero bearing on my IROPS situations. I am always put right back into coach and then have to wait for the upgrades to clear. And on one of the two situations I mentioned in my original post neither upgrade had cleared before I had to use the IROPS tool.

    Thanks,
    RM
     
  8. Seat1A
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    Seat1A Silver Member

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    i am not diamond. as described above, i have experienced the irops upgrade boost as both a silver and a gold.
     
  9. Indiana Delta Diamond
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    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

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    That is just definitely contrary to my experience and I have recent experience in the matter.
     
  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    +1.

    Also note that I'm not DM.
     
  11. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Sorry- I edited my second post. I meant to type "NOT limited to Diamonds". Silly jet lag arriving in LHR yesterday.

    Indiana - did you use the website IROPS tool or were you rebooked by an agent (phone/SC/airport)?

    Thanks,
    RM
     
  12. I just had to rebook due to IROPS last week. I was supposed to fly COU-MEM-DCA-MEM-COU on L and T fares. Due to weather elsewhere, my flight out of COU got cancelled due to a crew no-show (the crews couldn't get to MEM, thus couldn't get to COU). I was same-day rebooked by the GM line in Y and V from STL-ATL-DCA-STL. This all happened 3 hours before departure from STL.
     
  13. Indiana Delta Diamond
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    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

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    I have used the website and the kiosk. The only agent that I dealt with was flights that didn't have FC.
     
  14. a7800

    a7800 Active Member

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    I have experienced similar treatment as both a Gold and a FO.
     
  15. Me as well, no V on EF.....was on T fare, rebooked online within 5 min I received a email saying I received V upgrade this as a GM
     
  16. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    Usually if there is a MX delay, and rebook over the phone is rebooked into Y for me.
     
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  17. cfischer
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    cfischer Silver Member

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    You either get rebooked into F right away (but this isn't happening very often these days) or you are stuck @ the gate lottery. The sysem is now looking at the ticketed fare class and doesn't care if they put you into 'Y'. I have been #10 for upgrades with an irop 'Y'
     
  18. Had a weather IROP yesterday and was confirmed in V as FO on K ticket for an afternoon flt from MSP -FLL. 14 on upgrade list at gate, so I'm pretty sure that I pushed out some DM and GM.
     
  19. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    When this happens, I assume you are rebooked into Y and then it goes into V. You might not ever see the Y though. Thoughts?
     
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  20. ryandc99
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    ryandc99 Gold Member

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    Same experience for me... I usually avoid rebooking on the computer as it has caused me more problems then calling in to the Plat line or finding a agent in the airport.
     
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  21. Seat1A
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    Seat1A Silver Member

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    even in Y, you have to wait for V to exist. this feels like something bigger, like we're ending up in a queue separate from the normal medallion upgrade queue. this feels more like we're getting onto a different waitlist. this is my gut talking, but two of the upgrades i received felt like it was highly unlikely a V seat would have opened at that moment without a boost. on the LAX-ATL-BOS i got as a silver, the irops engine had created K where it didn't previously exist -- why not V? (i don't know DL internals, but at UA this would be like getting on BP5A instead of BP5B for standby.. BP5A is for disserviced pax, and BP5B is for voluntary standby. a non-status member on BP5A trumps a 1K on BP5B every time...)

    some specifics on my last trip:

    BOS-CVG:
    - at booking: L
    - at checkin: T (!)
    - fare basis on BP: LA07A0WJ/INVOL
    - posted as: T/V
    - upgrade cleared: at gate, as #1 of 2. (i don't take that as evidence of anything)

    CVG-DFW
    - at booking: T
    - at checkin: V
    - fare basis on BP: TA07A0WJ/INVOL
    - posted as: T/V
    - upgrade cleared: within minutes of booking, with flight showing F1 V0 at booking. 18 names on the list at the gate on a CRJ9.

    if there's a Y hiding under there, then there's a bonus field somewhere that hardly seems worth having...

    my personal belief: one of two things happened: (1) the irops engine creates V where it didn't previously exist, then "finds" it as part of the rebook process, and someone at DL will someday read this thread and fix it, or (2) DL actively decided to quietly treat IROPS victims a little better, figuring a disserviced pax getting an upgrade and an on time pax in a preferred Y seat both had an OK day....
     
  22. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    But it's not an OK day for the displaced top elite. What DL is essentially doing by this handling of IROPs is making the displaced top-tier elites "pay" for the apology that DL is issuing for something that DL did. When DL messes up, it should pay with vouchers and miles, not by deliberately reordering the published priority it has established for upgrades.
     
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  23. goodandclassy
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    goodandclassy Silver Member

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    I have recent 'quantifiable' experiences with this.

    I held two award tickets for the same day. one was for NYC-abc-xyz and one was for the nyc-xyz non-stop, with the non-stop being the later flight.

    no problem with check-in for both flights, faring really well on the nyc-abc ug list (like top 4 for 12 seats two hours pre-departure for abc) and #6 of many for one seat on the non-stop.

    before leaving the office, i check my dl itins one more time. my beloved yellow flag shows up, with a delay on nyc-abc possibly impacting the connection to xyz. would i want to rebook on the xyz nonstop? why, yes, i would like that.

    On checkin, i am #1 on the ug list (on the IROP-ed itin), #7 on the regular itin. I print off my boarding pass and walk over to the printer to pick it up (gone for like 15 seconds). next thing you know i have been cleared into V (X)!

    So, the IROP flag definitely helps jump the queue majorly. Both awards were booked at 25K and within days of each other, and since i am the same flyer, reserve status, etc were the same, thus making the tie breakers equal.

    i thoroughly enjoyed said xyz flight too :D

    on the upside, my abc connection was a BE flight, so I did free up a nicer seat for someone else. Karma :D

    I was actually looking forward to the BE experience (with the nonstop being a backup) but would have missed my connection with the delays... oh well, you win some, you lose some. no miles credited but y/x and ineligible fare basis on the transaction history :D

    on the return, I had a similarly set up xyz-abc-nyc itin. flight 1 was delayed, friendly agent (partner airline) rebooked me on the nonstop with a FIM (no rebooking tool, my mistake). Kiosk spat out a seat request

    As I did not have a seat assignment, I had to clear into Y first. Thankfully a gate agent helped me there, and I was #1 on the wait list - for seven or so seats. good times, and a GREAT return on the miles spent :D

    Once again, a BE seat was released so I don't feel too bad :p
     
  24. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    To start at the end, it could have been the case that you were confirmed on the flight but did not have an assigned seat; this should not have prevented an upgrade at all.

    I'm surprised that your double booking didn't result in both reservations being cancelled.
     
  25. goodandclassy
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    goodandclassy Silver Member

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    i wanted to play it safe as I'd missed upgrades because I had been on the standby (seat assignment) list until after all the ug spots were taken...

    i do not make double-booking a habit - and those get cancelled well before the flight. I don't want to risk anyone looking into a no-show record and seeing how i did show up, just for another flight :D

    i have not seen DL note in any way that i have conflicting itineraries, and i've used that to 'extend' risk-free cancellation window by rolling the flight forward several days until the fare changes adversely :D
     

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