Tips for Upgrades on Transcons with B/E? (SFO/LAX-JFK)

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by daemon14, Jan 4, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Status Points:
    1,075
    I flew LAX-JFK-LAX a few times last year on DL and got upgraded 0/6, not including the bump I got with the auspicious subbing of a 32J 763 for the 16J 752.

    I know as a GM, my chances are low, but what would MPers say gives better odds of an UG?

    I have a Saturday morning LAX-JFK leg next month, the 6:30am DL 30 departure. I saw on ExpertFlyer that in the next few weeks, DL 30 shows J9 even a few days out while DL121 (8:30am departure) shows J0 for many days, so that gives me hope. However, I just realized I'm on a T fare and would get beaten by any other GMs on a higher fare plus PMs and DMs ...

    At least I secured 19C ... for free. Even though I was able to do that as an FO before ...
     
  2. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    The BE transcons between SFO/LAX and JFK are notoriously tough for the u/g, even for DM's. Off peak helps, but flights to/from LAX can fill up quickly with SDC and last minute F paying passengers.

    Even if you book a K fare or higher in order to upgrade with miles, Z availability in advance is uncommon.

    This has been discussed a great deal on FT as well...
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-skymiles/1248863-z-inventory-lax-jfk.html
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...n-exactly-have-you-been-upgraded-lax-jfk.html
     
  3. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    875
    Status Points:
    895
    I was 0-2 on this route as PM on K and L fares. SWU attempt on the K, of course, nada. There's a consensus about UG on the transcon BE routes: Get used to nada.
     
  4. TheMadBrewer
    Original Member

    TheMadBrewer Silver Member

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    158
    Status Points:
    420
    Status, Status, Status.

    I was 2-2 in each of 2009 and 2010 and PM. In 2011 as DM I was 6-6 (knock on wood!). Four were XXX-JFK-LAX TATL so I mostly hit JFK in early afternoon. The two LAX-JFK-(TATL)-XXX were the 8:30am. I don't usually travel Fri or Sat so that may help.

    All were cheap fares -- probably all T but there could have been a U in there somewhere.
     
  5. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Status Points:
    1,075
    Yeah, I understand the whole "be a DM and pray there's an open seat" idea, but that's why I'm asking -- I purposely booked the 6:30AM Saturday flight rather than the 8:30AM or a Friday night red-eye because it seems to me like it would be a time when there's less paid J and a day when there's less higher elites.

    I guess I'm asking is in your experiences, what days/times seem easiest for upgrades?
     
  6. djsoulglo

    djsoulglo Active Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status Points:
    90
    On Saturday the 31st (yes, take that it was New Year's Eve into account), I had a K fare from JFK to LAX, departing at 7:00pm. Having just flown coach from IST, I was desperate to spread out just a little bit on the last, long leg of my vacation, and when I got to the gate, about 10 minutes before boarding, I asked if I could pay for two Economy Comfort upgrades. The answer was no- I apparently needed to take care of that at some earlier point. Dejected, I sat down to wait for boarding and resigned myself to my middle seat on the 757.

    Five minutes later I tried a different approach with the same rep. I said something to the effect of: "ok, maybe the system is closed to me purchasing an upgrade, but is it closed to you just giving me one? We just flew 12 hours from Istanbul and, I know it's not much, but after this JFK to LAX leg, I will be Silver Medallion status [which was true]. Are there any open exit rows or bulkheads?"

    After a minute or two of typing, she said "Happy New Year," handed me two new tickets, 19B and C, the very excellent Economy Comfort seats on the first exit row/bulkhead after business class. I was incredibly grateful.

    The plane was pretty open, so most Medallions would likely have been upgraded anyway, so this doesn't really answer your question except to suggest that 7:00pm New Year's Eve flights from LAX to JFK seem easy for upgrades. But, non-status flyers should keep in mind that: (i) it never hurts to ask for help at the gate; and (ii) desk and gate agents can put you in a desirable seat that would have otherwise been unavailable to you online and/or prior to the day of the flight.
     
    DeltaExpert likes this.
  7. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    I would think the earliest flight Saturday morning would be one of your best options. But the fickle nature of JFK-LAX will always threaten the chances of the u/g... This is too early for the SYD arrival, I believe...I'm not sure when the NRT or other TPAC flights arrive at LAX that could potentially connect to this flight.
     
    DeltaExpert and Titans26 like this.
  8. flyer_o

    flyer_o Gold Member

    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    4,080
    Status Points:
    2,345
    I flew on the 5:15pm JFK-SFO and cleared at the gate. Was shocked, but very pleased to get the upgrade as a GM.
     

Share This Page