Medallion Domestic Upgrade Hierarchy (Priority)

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by peteropny, Mar 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    Note that this is not a complaint about the way that it's supposed to work but it appears to me that something isn't working correctly.

    I thought that I understood the way that Delta prioritizes the complimentary domestic upgrades for Medallions (with the exception of full Y which get upgraded right away). At the appropriate window (DM, PM, GM, FO) upgrades clear (as available) in declining Medallion status order with fare basis as the next deciding factor (YBMHQKLUT awards). Some tie breakers are Million Miler status, AMEX Reserve, time upgrade requested / ticket purchased and maybe others.

    Now, the "funny" part - my partner and I (both PMs) frequently travel together. I've noticed that he is almost ahead of me (by one person) in the upgrade waitlist (assuming that we didn't clear at the window of course). Sometimes we are on the same PNR and sometimes not. I'm a Million Miler and he's not. We both have the Plat AMEX (individually and separately). My SkyMiles number is lower than his. Alphabetically, my name is before (both first and last). My current balance in the account is greater than his.

    The glaring example was this past Mon on CVG-DTW (not that it really matters but it was just strange), he was 1 above me on the upgrade waitlist as usual. For this trip we were on separate PNRs, fare basis was the same (both coach awards), my ticket was issued a few days before his, I checked in before him (since he was a possible cancellation until just before the trip). Given all these factors, and the differences in our accounts, I should have been above him in the upgrade waitlist.

    Something isn't working right with Delta's computers.
     
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  2. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Interesting experience. I can only comment on a few things:
    Million Miler status has zero bearing on upgrades and the upgrade waitlist;
    After elite level, fare class and Amex Reserve it goes to time of upgrade request (which is almost always ticketing time).
    So...does your partner have the Amex Reserve card while you don't? Is your partner on a higher fare class? You said you booked several days before him so it's quite possible he's on a higher fare class thus bumping him up in the queue.
    Also note, check in time does not matter for upgrades on DL.
    -RM
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If you're on the same PNR or if you were and then split it, who was entered into the computer first might matter as the final tiebreaker.

    Definitely, DL Plat AmEx and MM status do not count, not does check in time. Could your partner have a secret Reserve Card?
     
  4. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    Same fare class - the CVG-DTW flight in the example - we were both on award flight N class I think. No AMEX Reserve for either of us - we both individually have the DL AMEX Plat. I can't figure out the algorithm that would make sense in our cases.
     
  5. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    Actually, check in time is a final tie breaker I believe after elite level, fare class, amex reserve, booking date, then comes time of check in.
     
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  6. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    I wonder if booking into N has any impact on this. I would be interested if you were in a YMBQHKLUT class because those are higher up then award bookings!

    I think I figured this out actually, if someone was on a low-level award they would be LOWER than a mid/high level award. I just looked at an upgrade priority list and that is my guess as to why.


    Peak Award Tickets clear before Mid Award Level Tickets which clear before Low Level Award Tickets
     
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  7. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Negative. Check in time never matters on DL. It's time of upgrade request all the way through. So two elites at the same level with the same fare class will go down to who ticketed/request the upgrade first.
    -RM
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It's not booking date, it's upgrade request time, which isn't always the same. Check in time was used by NW, but AFAIK is not acknowledged anywhere by DL as a tie-breaking criterion. It shouldn't be needed, since upgrade request time is down to something like the second, not just the date (day) of the request.
     
  9. DeltaExpert
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    DeltaExpert Gold Member

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    However for awards,

    Peak Award Tickets clear before Mid Award Level Tickets which clear before Low Level Award Tickets
     
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  10. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    In our case we were both on "low" awards - 25k RT in coach.
     

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