RIDICULOUS Upgrade wait list...

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by UtahSalesGuy, Feb 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. UtahSalesGuy

    UtahSalesGuy Active Member

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    I was on a ATL-SLC flight the other day and walked to the gate to take a look at the upgrade list. There were 123 people on the upgrade wait list...and myself as a Diamond Member with Delta was 23 on that list!!!!!! How can that be???

    Are other airlines upgrade waiting the same?? What is causing the HUGE list? Is it the rollover miles that are creating more members?

    I found it stupid....and frustrating.
     
  2. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Because. It is *best in class*

    That's what Jeff promised...and that's what you've got! He's giving it to the DL Diamond "gamers." Muahaha!

    Not really. I'm getting good UG success on UACO as a 1K. But don't match over, I don't need to compete with you for the UG. Especially not in the J cabin on the top deck of the 744 that subbed in from SFO to IAD on my last flight, now that was a nice ride. Stay in the back of the DL752 and enjoy Deltalina. Somebody has to fly DL

    It is rollover, MQM inflation, FCM, smaller deltas between Y and F paid tix, two-flight challenges to GM and many other things. These are the hallmarks of DL's *best in class* program that has recruited numbers of Medallions at all levels. In this category (length of UG lists) DL SM whips the competition.

    Why?

    I'll borrow a phrase from the DL apologists over at you know where.

    If you want F, buy it. If not, be happy with your exit row. This is the new normal. The glory days are gone. From some places, faster than others.

    You know what it is.
     
  3. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    sounds like one of those flights where boarding might have been faster if non elites had gotten on first !

    may have been a record for those HOOM coupons they have !

    DTWBOB
     
  4. wombat18
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    wombat18 Silver Member

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    I've heard it said that ATL-SLC is the single most popular segment for Diamond Medallions!
     
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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    One possibility: Were there any irops that day? Pax with a paid F ticket transferring to your flight would also be ahead of you on the waitlist.

    More likely, it is just a popular elite flight. FWIW, on the AA transcons, I've seen the upgrade list at over 70 people...there are only 128 seats in Y on the plane! Similar on non-PS transcons on UA.
     
  6. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    I'm going with the IROPS earlier in the day scenario. For a DM to be #23 on the list I would think there was IROPS which is causing all elites on a "Y" fare to appear higher on the list than the OP.

    -RM
     
  7. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    This is a huge reason why I don't fly Delta. I would say the OP's experience is not unique. I work with a number of colleagues who are Platinum or Diamond on DL, and I can't tell you the number of times they've said "yeah, I was flying from ABC to XYZ today, and I was #42 on the upgrade list, as a platinum!" Or "yeah, there were three other Diamonds just in my row in coach today after I was #29 on the upgrade list."

    I think there are more elites, proportionally to Delta's size, than there are on AA, or US for example (it wouldn't surprise me if UA were similar to DL, their upgrade lists always seem to be crazy as well). I think rollover miles are a big part of this as well, as the OP theorized. Rollover miles hugely inflate Delta's elite ranks, without question.
     
  8. Handleman20

    Handleman20 Silver Member

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    I always make it a point to ask (as a lowly GM) when I am in ATL what my current position on the upgrade list is just to give the gate folks and I a good chance to laugh as I'm invariably #40+ no matter what my destination out of there is. I'm hoping Delta's LGA invasion will route some of those folks in a different direction so I can crawl up to #32...

    On the flipside of that, I'm currently batting .650 out of every other airport I've flown when FC is an option (damn do I hate the RJs!), including 100% out of AUS and GEG so far this year.
     
  9. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    UA's upgrade lists can be long. However, I'm still getting ug percentages in the high 80s or low 90s as a 1K and this includes some tough routes e.g. Thursday/Monday SFO-IAD.

    At DL, the problem may not just be the total number of Medallions. It could also be that the proportion of higher-tier elites is higher at DL than the other carriers. Let's face it, despite the nominal 125k MQM threshold seeming a higher target than AA EXP or UA 1K, it is very easy to make Diamond on DL. And it's not worth much.

    Heck, to make "Gold" - which I'm about to do despite avoiding DL whenever possible for two years and having almost no rollover (930 MQM) - is such a joke. It should be worth nothing. Actually Jeff's taken care of that, because this "status" is worth almost nothing. In 2011, it just needed a couple of fuel-dumped misfiled AF TATL itins booking into W, which cost me about $500 if that. I didn't care about the collateral status, these were the cheapest ways to get where I was going and Gaullist PV is better than regular Y on most carriers.

    When the perks of Elite status totally fail to motivate the FF community to purchase more itins, in any fare class, then the revenue-driver function of the FFP is absent. Targeted promos add the pool of "special" flyers. Fly two segs, become Plat etc. Nobody is special on DL.

    DL have achieved a unique first...they have become the only airline ever to disincentivize people from reaching their highest elite tiers at the same time as they flood their Medallion tiers with part-time flyers.
     
  10. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Even as a UA 1P, I'm clearing better than 80% of the time and I'm forced to go through ORD each time.
     
  11. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    I'm Platinum on US, living in CLT, and in the last two years, I've had about a 95% upgrade success rate on non transcons. On the 30 or so flights I've had to LAX/SFO/PHX, I'm at about 50% on those (and that's flying Monday morning and Thurs/Fri afternoon).
     
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  12. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Lots of people seem to find it fashionable to condemn US but my experiences on them have been relatively good. As a dirt level flyer on their metal, well, generically StarG, I have found their in-flight service generally courteous and efficient, and when I've needed to change tix, the CS have been more helpful to me than DL's so-called Medallion service line (with the notable exception of Chisholm). They also recognized their 2008 idiocy with respect to their FFP and they weren't above admitting it and reversing course promptly.

    If US had a larger network I'd certainly consider comping to their program.

    Deac, what does that aggregate to - 70-75% overall? I find those UG rates are surprisingly high for a non-Chairman's rank. Not much worse than mine on UA as a 1K. About the same as my last year as DL PM.

    What about redemption using US DM?
     
  13. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    The other day my UA LAX-IAD red-eye had just over 70 on the Upgrade waitlist that didnt help even #1 as FC was soldout for a few days already. happy my UP cleared 4 days out

    So its not just a DL thing more likely its a Hub to Hub thing, where you will have alot more elites to be found for that citys main Carrier
     
  14. cliburn
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    cliburn Gold Member

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    I flew to NY (from MSP) yesterday and as a DM(on a T fare) was like #10 on the upgrade list.... 49 people total on the upgrade list... A third of the plane boarded when the announced priority boarding... I travelled with my family (all PM on separate PNRs) and had 1 rollerboard (total) and could not find any space within 10 rows of my seat..... DL did alot of fly twice and become Platinum targeted promotions last year....
     
  15. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    You got me curious, so I went back and looked at my 2011 flying. I was 35/45 on upgrades over the course of the year. Here's what I missed:

    Missed 1 DCA-PHX (0/1 on the year)
    Missed 2 LAX-PHL (3/5 on the year)
    Missed 5 CLT-LAX (5/10 on the year)

    On non-transcons, all I missed was:

    Missed 1 CLT-DFW (0/1 on the year)
    Missed 1 CLT-DCA (10/11 on the year)

    So 77.78% overall (35/45), 50% on transcons (8/16), and 93.1% on non-transcons (27/29).

    In 2012 so far I'm 4/4, clearing on CLT-SFO, LAS-PHL, PHL-BOS, and BOS-CLT.

    So I guess I look at it from the perspective that if I were a DL Platinum living in ATL, and flew my same schedule last year, I would guess that my upgrade percentage wouldn't have been as high.
     
  16. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    The early months of the year are always the elite-heaviest, as you have:
    • elites who earned status in 2010 (not yet dropped)
    • elites who earned status in 2011
    • the few, the proud who have flown enough in 2012 to earn status this year
    Delta status earned in one year runs through 2/28 of the following year, right? So we're right in the middle of the annual status traffic jam.
     
  17. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    That's surprising. Do you have a source?

    SLC-ATL is hub-to-hub, but 123 is insane.
     
  18. I think their are more people with high level status because of all the MQMS given away with credit card offers. No longer do people have to actually fly to get status…
     
  19. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    That's a lot of DMs on the flight. It was probably at a peak time within the day for business travel as well as being a Thursday.
     
  20. FunInthe Sun

    FunInthe Sun New Member

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    Total Miles with Delta...2.85 million, all miles earned by flying , no credit card, no auto, no hotel miles in that 2.85 million. I was Diamond in 2010, 2011 and will be in 2012. I don't care about % of UG segments. I care about % of miles flown in coach verses first and so as of 2/19/2012, removing the segments with no first class cabin, I have been in a coach seat 34% of the time or 8,431 miles the first seven weeks in 2012. What really burns me is 3,324 miles of coach travel in 2012 was in a none exit center seat. Delta sends me a little email each time I'm in a center seat saying they will give me an extra 500 non MQM miles. Thank you Delta, that makes my body feel better.

    I have about another million miles on AA, UA/CO. It does not matter what airline, they all are hollow shells compared to what they were in the past.
     
  21. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Is some of this international? Otherwise, it's a lot of upgrades to miss as a DM, so you must be on elite heavy routes and times. Or do you buy tickets after the upgrade window?
     
  22. FunInthe Sun

    FunInthe Sun New Member

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    All domestic in 2012. I don't count Canada or Mexico as international.. I fly out of RSW, usually 5:45 AM to 8:00 AM on Mondays, connecting in ATL or MSP or DTW to my final for Monday. I fly to other destinations during the week and return to RSW is usually the last flight back on Friday, arriving at RSW about 11:45 PM. In 2012 I have not purchased a ticket less than seven days before departure.

    On a leg from MSP to LAX, I was # 14 on the upgrade list. I did a little poll before take off in the back of the 753, row 40 was the exit row. All six seats in that exit row were occupied by DMs, I was not one of those six, I was in the center seat in row 39 where you get the added bonus of being just ahead of the rest room. Not many happy campers in our little DM section in the back of the 753.
     
  23. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    if your upgrades were better last year, you can hope that things will improve for you after March 1.
     
  24. FunInthe Sun

    FunInthe Sun New Member

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    Just checked in for my 5:45 AM flight on 2/20/12 from RSW to ATL. It is a 752, 22 FC seats. I am number nine on the UG list, five FC seats available. Last Friday, 752 from MSP to RSW, number ten on UG list, two seats FC seats available. I guess it is getting better, last Friday, I was eight away from an UG. Monday, I am only four away from an UG.

    RSW had 7.5 million passengers in 2010. Passenger load for all airlines was up 0.7% in 2011. Plane movement (T & L) in 2011 was down 7% from 2010. Loads are up, seat inventory is down, I don't see 2012 getting better but thanks for the reminding me about hope.
     
  25. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    DL has been cutting capacity very aggressively, hence the higher fares and profits, but it obviously messes up not only upgrades but also IROPs recovery.
     

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