JFK - West coast not complimentary upgrade eligible, except for non revs?

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by SunAlsoRisesMSP, Apr 14, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. SunAlsoRisesMSP

    SunAlsoRisesMSP Silver Member

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    I've been flying LAX - JFK a lot recently, and using the 12.5K mileage upgrade to BE. Since this route is no longer eligible for complimentary upgrade, it's been fairly easy to clear the SWU waitlist day of departure and pay the mileage.

    Today there was some issue where my requested upgrade didn't automatically clear so I asked the GA to have a look; she made a few calls and manually issued the seat in FC. While I was waiting, I noticed 5 boarding passes on the desk, all marked NRSA, all with seats up front. I politely asked the GA if those first class seats were for non-revs...she didn't give me an answer at first and eventually admitted they were.

    I've accepted the change in policy that these seats are no longer complimentary, similar to international itins. But, for those that travel internationally more than I, is this typically what happens on those flights too? Meaning, if seats remain in first and no op-ups are needed (ie coach isn't full), employees flying standby get the bump? Seems that if the seats are so expensive they can't be given to medallions that this should apply to the employees too? Maybe this is standard operating procedure, just seemed inconsistent to me.

    Bonus: mega DYKWIA boarded late. Heard the words "This bag is standard regulatory issue, I CAN'T CHECK IT! Do you want to get sued?? I'll sue you if you check this bag!"

    Was too tired to stick around the hear the end. Pax boarded sans roll-aboard :)
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Employees can list both cabins of service. If paying customers aren't taking the seats then the non-revs will clear. They are only getting seats on a space-available basis. Happens on international routes, too, where buying the fare would be much more expensive.
     
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  3. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    I'm glad you got your upgrade.
    Yesterday, I flew my ATL-CAE leg with a Delta Connection pilot next to me in F. There were many seats open in Y and Y+.
    Last month, the wife of the Captain was given the empty seat next to me in F. No clue what was going on in back.
    Last yearI was upgraded on 4 international flights just to make room in the back so they could sell the seat. One of those upgrades was facilitated by one of the girls in the SkyClub!
    Until the door closes, I don't think anyone past the GA has any power to see things through.
    After the door closes is another story, but I'd hate to be the one pleading my case to sit up front. ;)
     
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  4. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    (Oh, and he prayed, out loud before takeoff!)
     
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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    This is very frustrating to hear (though not unexpected).

    One of the potential benefits of not offering unlimited free upgrades was that the forward cabin wouldn't be full (that's a nice luxury). For example, about half the time out of 25+ flights on AA's three-class transcons, the F cabin would go out 6/10 or less. This was great, the FAs could offer better service and the cabin wasn't crowded.

    If the forward cabin is just getting filled with NRSAs, DL's change in program rules is counterproductive.

    If you were using miles or a SWU, you would have been ahead of all upgraders attempting to use free segment upgrades.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    This prersumes that the purpose of the changes is to have fewer people in the cabin. I don't believe that's the case at all. Delta wants the cabin full. They'd rather it be with paying customers than comp upgrades but they want it full. The point of the changes was to ensure that passengers like the OP pay for the upgrade or the seat outright rather than getting the free upgrade.
     
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  7. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    If instead the cabin is filled by NRSA's, then it's not meeting DL's goal. DL gets neither revenue nor customer goodwill.
     
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  8. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Employee loyalty / appreciation?
    A motivated employee brings the company to greater heights. :)
     
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  9. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    While that's a convenient excuse, more deliberate programs that reach a broader set of employees would be more effective.

    By that rationale, they should eliminate complimentary domestic upgrades on all routes for everyone other than Diamond, then more employees and their pass buddies could get lucky
     
  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I agree they'd like the cabin full with paying customers, though it is more complex than that.

    Delta has made a point with other premium product launches (notably original BE in 1998) to include "the cabin will not be full of upgraders" messaging to their staff. While some time ago, that message (which was included in staff training) and AA's protection of the transcon F cabin, show US airline management appreciates scarcity factor (just as most foreign carriers' management teams do).

    Since DL didn't open upgrades until the gate anyway, any meaningful impact from what you propose would be based on a theory of customers changing their behavior (and buying J tickets) as a result of DL's policy shift. While invariably a few pax will behave differently (including me, actually...I sometimes bought an M fare to move me high enough up to pretty much lock an upgrade to save money, even though my company has a J policy), most business pax travel in the class prescribed by their policy. A very small percent will behave differently. The incremental value of pax redeeming a small amount of miles also isn't meaningful.
     
  11. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    What is a free segment upgrade?

    David
     
  12. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    I believe he meant the Complimentary Medallion Upgrades.
     
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  13. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Unfortunately that route no longer qualifies for those Medallion Upgrades. :mad:
     
  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Yes. Old school here. I finally moved from "stickers" to "segments" not to long ago. ;)
    Yes. The context of the portion of the conversation that gave rise to the question about my colloquialism was back when stickers segments Complimentary Medallion Upgrades were able to be used on these flights.
     
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  15. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Either way it sucks! Changing rules every year. I'm just thankful I don't frequent those excluded routes. I would die in the back.
     
  16. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    It's a small amount of miles to upgrade.

    If they didn't now fill the cabin with non-revs, it would be great to have a partially filled forward cabin. Like often on AA's f on three class transcon. Great to be 6/10 or so.
     
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  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    AA employees can fly NRSA in F. :confused:
     
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  18. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I've flown a transcon in front on AA a few dozen times over the years and I don't recall the last time I saw an apparent NRSA in the F cabin on an AA three class transcon.

    I didn't say they couldn't. In my experience, it rarely happens.
     
  19. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    Perhaps nrsAA's are more discrete? :cool:

    David
     

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