Oversold in Business

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by FetePerfection, Jun 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. FetePerfection
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    My upcoming flight to LHR is completely full up front - dumb question but does DL oversell business and if so, what enticements might they offer to take another flight?
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    NW used to claim that they didn't oversell FC or WBC, although I was switched to a different TATL flight once when it was clear that otherwise I would miss a connection due to weather delays. Another passenger with the same issue and I were overbooked and two people were booted back to coach with some compensation. NW also used to allow PEs to get on any NW-operated flight in WBC for a full fare and seven days notice; I once asked Chisholm about this, whether the person doing it was essentially going standby and might not be on that flight or in WBC. I was told that if necessary, NW would pay someone else to get off but there was absolutely no risk of IDB for the PE using this benefit.

    I've never been aware of an oversold BE cabin on DL, but like NW, they tend to prioritize by status. so elites aren't at much risk of IDB or an involuntary downgrade.

    I'm guessing but maybe $600 to change to another flight in BE. I've heard that IDB payments don't depend on the class of service booked, although the ticket price might matter if certain rules apply. If downgraded, I think they would calculate the fare difference trying to do it in their favor, so perhaps based on full Y or by breaking the fare for that segment. I think they'd also toss some miles.

    Remember for ex-EU flights (TATL westbound), the EU IDB rules are applicable. This might also be a benchmark for eastbound, but it probably more generous than DL prefers to be, so you might think of it as an upper bound.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    Are you looking at the seat map, data from Expert Flyer, or trying to pretend to purchase a ticket? How do you know that it's completely full?
     
  4. DeltaExpert
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    Not usually except for LAX-SYD will oversell by 1
     
  5. NYBanker
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    I too think this would be the likely outcome if you found yourself in this situation.

    A challenge this poses, however, is that full y, offen a fare basis of "Y0" is often very high, higher than I (discounted business) on some TATL flights.

    The thing that to me would be fair compensation in an involuntary downgrade situation is a non-capacity controlled confirmable upgrade certificate, good off of any fare.

    When traveling to London, the good news is there are many options to get there. Several DL hubs have multiple london departures daily. If all else fails and you have a bit of flexibility on your arrival time, the ace in the hole for travel to Europe is the 11pm air France departure to cdg (which operates with a DL code). You'd have to fly back to lhr or lcy. This could even be a backup if you are on an early atl-lhr flight that you get bounced from.

    Also, I've seen AA have to do 6 f downgrades due to a change of equipment (757 to 75L) -- they offered $500 plus a "downgrade kit," though I don't know what that contained. This was on a SJU-Mia flight. My one way j fare was $368, but travelling en famille, this wasn't an option. For a 1.5 hour or so flight, I would have hit them on it if travelling solo.
     
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  6. mtkeller
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    Generally good observations, but note that the late ATL-CDG isn't going to work for everyone. In particular, MSP-LHR goes out pretty late (presently 2145 CT, but my 30 October booking goes out at 2310 CT). I think MSP-LHR might actually be DL's last TATL of the day for at least part of the year.

    The full distribution of US-LHR flights is:

    JFK-LHR: 3
    BOS-LHR: 2
    MIA-LHR: 1
    MSP-LHR: 1
    ATL-LHR: 2 or 1
    DTW-LHR: 1 or 2 (when ATL only has 1, DTW has 2...I think the split is four days/week ATL has two)

    If you're not flying J or don't care too much about the seats in J, there's also ATL-LGW as an option. However, this will require a DL agent who realizes they are coterminals and is willing to book you onto the flight.

    I'll give LCY a hearty endorsement as an airport to use in London if a connection through AMS or CDG works out. IME, the pricing tends to be a bit higher (probably because of fees), but in IROPS, I'd definitely see what could be done with LCY. Unless you need to be by the LHR, it's a lot more convenient to get to/from. As a bonus, immigration should be much smoother there.
     
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  7. TRAVELSIG
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    Excellent advice- also depending on where in London or the South of the UK the customer is headed- LGW can also be significantly more convenient- and benefits from having a train station in the terminal- directlybelow arrivals at LGW S (nothing like this at LHR). LCY and LGW are preferable to LHR in many situations. Even (gasp) STN can be convenient depending on where the final destination is.
     
  8. mtkeller
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    Oh, LGW. So much more convenient to where I live, but not many options for SkyTeam flying. (And once one factors in cost to get there and bags vs. just LHR travel costs, it can be really uncompetitive. I do expect to give U2 a chance out of LGW before too long. Won't get near FR again, however.) STN will pretty much require an LCC, and given FR's dominance there, I'd have to be really, really, really close to it to want to use it. (Presently, I've paid FR -£60 (£28 for tickets and fees minus £88 they had to pay me because of weather issues), and I'd like to keep it that way.)
     
  9. FetePerfection
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    The DL seat map for my flight MSP-LHR is now completely full however I realize it may not be totally reliable. I've watched the seats fill one by one until now, no seats left.

    I'm Plat so probably have nothing to worry about except I'm on a very cheap ticket so thought they might boot me to the back. Thanks for all your comments and reassurances.
     
  10. MSPeconomist
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    To respond to the alternate routing suggestions above, the OP is on the nonstop MSP-LHR which leaves quite late in the evening. However, there is also a late MSP-AMS in the summer that IIRC leaves perhaps five minutes earlier, so that doing MSP-AMS (probably on the A330, which I like very much but it does have angled flat seats in BE, not the flat beds on MSP-LHR) might be the best option if space is available. I don't know about this year, but that flight was frequently full in WBC/BE in the past; it's my favorite schedule to Europe. From AMS, there are lots of KLM flights to the UK, including LHR, and the OP should insist on KLM's version of biz for this, even though it isn't much. (At least AF blocks the middle seat, which KLM does not do.) This strategy would require knowing that one is being kicked out of BE for MSP-AMS before boarding starts. Also, if it comes to a late switch, perhaps one would need to remind the GA that nonrevs to AMS need to be kicked off or out of BE even if they have already been seated.
     
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  11. TRAVELSIG
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    I think this is the case- nothing to worry about.
     
  12. mtkeller
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    This spring KL started using the AF model and blocks the middle seat on European Business Class. I don't think they have the movable armrests/middle seat trays, but it's still a bit more space to work with. (Nice trick I've learned on AZ is to snag an aisle next to an empty middle near the front of Y. This is usually the section that can be converted to C if needed, so unless they're really full and someone snags the middle seat, you can shift the armrest in and put down the tray in the middle seat. No C service, but a bit more comfort.)
     
  13. FetePerfection
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    Been there, done that...this time I want the full lie-flat experience. Btw, good point about non-revs. I'm sure I have nothing to worry about.
     
  14. NYBanker
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    Though I omitted the origin point, I was referring to the JFK-cdg flight. I didn't realize there was an atl flight.

    I think there was a cancellation on a flight to STR or something that I was on a while back (ticketed in j). DL was giving me all sorts of y options, but when I asked about the late AF flight, it had plenty of room. I've ended up on that late AF flight a number of times.
     
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  15. NYBanker
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    As a pm, for sure. I couldn't see a scenario where you as a pm were idb.
     
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  16. mtkeller
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    Doh, should have figured NYBanker would be referring to JFK and not ATL originating, but I didn't realize there was a late ex-JFK. In any case, comment about issues relative to late MSP departures still apply. (I was worried about missing the MSP-LHR flight in January due to connection running late, so I did a bunch of research on alternatives at the time and realized that they pretty much all involved spending the night in the Twin Cities because MSP-LHR tends to be the last TATL the JV puts out each day.)
     
  17. rwoman
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    Have a good trip to London! :)
     
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  18. MSPeconomist
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    Relax, but be sure not to be late for check in. bag drop, presenting travel documents, and boarding. If there's an oversell and someone is a second late, that person will be gone.
     
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  19. ClipperDelta
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    FYI, seats 10A and 9B in BE on the 764ERs are always blocked in advance and only assigned at the airport as a last resort (hence they always show as "taken" on the seat map). That's because seat 9A is the pilot rest seat and they will only assign seats around the pilot rest seat only if they are forced to (so as to give the pilot as much quiet as possible).
    Same story with the 763ERs (where the pilot rest seat is 6C, so 5C and 6E are always the last to be assigned, and are always shown as unavailable on the seat map).
     
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  20. FetePerfection
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    My flight was completely full and overbooked but plenty of kind souls adjusted their travel schedules so we could take off on time. 9A was curtained off with various pilots taking turns. Overall I enjoyed my flight and look forward to the return trip home...only thing to complain about, the movie selection was extremely lame but that's my taste.
     
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  21. NYBanker
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    10b is nice if you're trying to not have a neighbor!
     
  22. NYBanker
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    What seat did you get?
     
  23. rwoman
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    I hope it was a good flight...unfortunately we're having stereotypical English weather right now!! :p
     
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  24. mtkeller
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    Just in time for Wimbledon, as usual. I've mastered the art of an umbrella at home and one at the office, it seems, to deal with rain at one end of the day but not the other.
     
  25. FetePerfection
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    7D - selected 2D for the return. Want to try out the different configurations.
     

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