Where are the Diamonds?

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by John Brundage, May 15, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. John Brundage

    John Brundage Active Member

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    Who out there knows how many Diamonds there are and where do most of them reside. Seems that might be a help when planning a trip and wanting to maximize upgrade opportunities.
     
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  2. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    Depending on your status, it may not make a difference how many DM there are in a particular city. Basically, I think if you are not PM/DM your upgrade chances are not very good no matter when/where you try to fly. For example: last Sunday, ~10AM flight MSP-SLC, I had a Q fare and was #3 with 2 seats available (12F). I then SDC'd to ~9AM MSP-LAS that still had 8 empty seats in F (I was #1). F went out full with DM/PM (snuck a peek at the list in the galley)
     
  3. John Brundage

    John Brundage Active Member

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    I am DM 1.3mil. I have heard that TPA, my home base had the most Diamonds but was wondering if that was really so and how many there actually are.
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    TPA is believed to be elite heavy, but it cannot have the most DMs in terms of absolute numbers because it's not an extremely large city.

    One can ask about the most numbers in terms of the total number, the number per capita, or as a fraction of all DL FFs or all elites there, or one can count DMs per outbound flight,......
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    No one who knows will tell you. this is proprietary information.
     
  6. Handleman20

    Handleman20 Silver Member

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    I have found that (this year at least) my upgrades tend to be hit or miss no matter where I am, but I'm over 50% segment-wise on normal tix, and that's as a lowly GM. Maybe no one wants to fly to/from the places I go...
     
  7. John Brundage

    John Brundage Active Member

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    I fly the TPA-LAX at least once a month and the LAX leg is always a tough upgrade even with a Y ticket
     
  8. jparker

    jparker Silver Member

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    Have you been missing upgrades as a Diamond?
     
  9. John Brundage

    John Brundage Active Member

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    I do miss it coming out ofLAX mostly or only get it at the gate last minute.
     
  10. John Brundage

    John Brundage Active Member

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    One would think but the number of Delta non-stops is small making every trip go through ATL so extra seg.
     
  11. jparker

    jparker Silver Member

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    Interesting. I will be in LAX in a couple months and will be interested to see what happens. As a Diamond, I have not missed an upgrade this year and I am almost always flying on cheap tickets.
     
  12. John Brundage

    John Brundage Active Member

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    Maybe be just the morning flights but has also been iffy on the redeye. Also I'm usually flying either Friday or Saturday morning.
     
  13. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Here's one way to ballpark it:
    • Pull out the route map for Delta.
    • Now overlay AA's route map as well as United's.
    • Now keep in mind which ones are hubs for each carrier.

    Any city that is a hub for more than one carrier is likely to have tons of elites since there are just tons of flyers in those cities which made it a hub for multiple airlines.
    Any city that is a hub for just AA or UA will likely have far fewer DL elites due to dominance of the one carrier
    Any city that is located near and serviced well by the hub will likely be heavy in that carrier's elites.
    Any city that is not serviced particularly heavily by any carrier will be low in elites.

    Testing this logic:
    LAX is a UA & AA hub and thus has tons of all elites making it hard to get upgrades to/from LAX.
    SFO is a UA hub only so there are tons of UA elites but far fewer AA and DL elites there.
    TPA is serviced well from ATL by DL and so there are tons of DL elites.
    IND is not serviced particularly well by anyone (DL at most) and so there are probably fairly low numbers of elites from any of the airlines.

    Hope this is helpful.
     
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  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Perhaps the demographics of the city also matter. For example, MSN and HSV are rumored to be elite heavy. LAX probably is because of the purchased premium cabin tickets.
     
  15. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    GRR is very elite heavy. Typically the planes are 2/3rds full by the time Zone 1 is called.
     
  16. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    At least as important and in many cases more than where is of course when.

    ATL can of course be tough, especially hub-hub or long flights. The other hubs are a bit better. LAX is a bear. SEA can be tough sometimes, easy others. I think most of my upgrade misses this year have been listed

    I'm a Plat at about 70% this year. I finished last year with 30+ straight upgrades, as my travels kept me in the west and away from long flights to LAX the last portion of the year. My last 2-3 missed upgrades in 2011 were MSP-LAX.

    I've missed MSP-ATL, MSP-SEA on early week/morning flights, and HSV-ATL, LAX-MSP in the evening at the end of the week (I believe some flights on this elite-heavy route have CRJ200s with no F, which moves more people onto the F flights. my recollection is I SDCed onto the flight with F for schedule reasons but was in the back with multiple DMs). Missed a sunday night ATL-ABQ, and a thursday night redeye SNA-ATL.

    It I'd have been able to route all of my western flying through SLC and avoided ATL I could be up around 100% again. I do not typically have the time for such things. Absent a very regular patterned travel there's just so much variation from route to route and week to week, that people can go on hot or cold streaks and the sky is falling or all is saved.

    What I like to do is think about who would typically fly the route/time you're flying.

    Long flight from fortress hub to major market at a business time (e.g. ATL-LAX, MSP-LAX, etc.) - you're flying with others who fly the same flight on a regular basis, so plenty DMs.

    Short hops to business destinations like HSV from ATL in the south? Lots of road-warrior segment types, compounded if some of the equipment is CR2s.

    Random hop to a more leisure-oriented destination or leisure time? Not so many DMs.
     
  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I'm at about 30% cleared this year as an AS MVPG.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  18. ryandc99
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    ryandc99 Gold Member

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    While there may be "fewer elites at SFO" there are still quite a few. As a DM I was recently 14 on the upgrade list for 1 seat. Last year while I was platinum it was normal to be in the high 20s on the upgrade list. Quite a few DL elites in SFO.
     
  19. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    My current home airport is LHR, although I am temporarily living adjacent to KBL. My sister, as an GM/FO, has more OpUp's to/from LHR (ATL, JFK, MSP) than I do... :)

    For domestic flights, I've found LAX to be a tough upgrade. My LAX-ATL flight this Sunday is F5 Y9...not planning on the upgrade since work paid for a last minute T fare to get me home from KBL due to a death in the family. I've only missed an LAX-ATL u/g once, but when I'm paying, I do look at K fares to use miles or an SWU if I have them...especially on the 777 flights.
     
  20. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    And thus the reason I went to SAC vs SFO. I figured if I was going to fly in Y, better to do it just a short distance (RJ to LAX -Weds flight mid-day) and then get the upgrade on the next segment. As stated above, you have people like me (or most of us) that are actively working to improve our upgrade chances?
     
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  21. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I hope you don't mean LAX-MSP in a CRJ-200. That would be brutal, although I've done MSP-SFO in a CRJ-900.
     
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  22. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Hah! good catch. I'd originally reported MSP-LAX at the start of the week, then realized I'd misstated. No, LAX-MSP was in a 753, where the seats up front are terrible anyway. I have not been over 700 miles on a CR2 (Nashville, Terrible!) or 1000 miles on a CR9.

    I actually bumped to the back from oversold F on the MSP-LAX flight so coach was somewhat by choice, but had not cleared the upgrade on my original flight so I count it as missed.

    I'm more than happy to fly a regional jet where appropriate, as long as it has F and I'm up front.
     
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  23. icurhere2
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    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    MSP-BNA sneaks under DL's "700+ miles requires an aircraft with F" rule by a few miles. And BNA is very elite heavy; many of us are still on rollover from the 2010 BNA/PIT/RDU/STL promotion.
     
  24. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    My recollection is that "a few" in this case is 6.
     

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