Christmas vac. SharkJr and I flying from PHX-BOS. Book cheap tix on CO.COM. Vacation trip so lowest-fare, G class ticket. We receive companion UG at the 1K window on the SFO to BOS transcon. RJ to SFO so nothing can be done there. Maybe DL's planes are also light on biz travel and even PM on low fares receive UG this week...but... on an DL equivalent itin, there would be no companion upgrade. Because it's NOT POSSIBLE on L, U, T class tix. So score for UA. Then wx at SFO causing delay at PHX. OK, we might miss the connection. I see SharkJr and I are already protected on the next SFO-BOS flight, the bookings show as Y. But nevertheless despitet eh delay we launch for SFO and we make it, just, scuttling across the gates and joining the very end of the Zone 24 boarding line. I anticipate, our luggage doesn't. But at BOS - abracadabra - both checked cases appear! Great! Now I cannot say whether DL would have transferred the checked cases successfully, or whether they would have anticipated the irop as well as UA - but they couldn't have done any better. The UA FA service in F was excellent on this flight, worth a positive note to the UALsurvey website afterwards. I agree this isn't always the case, but anyway, so far, so great. Now, we're at the family ranch in New England. Next up, I want to change the return itin for Shark and SharkJr. Award tickets, booked ages ago for the only day they can travel. It's not great, involving bad outbound timing and the Y cabin on a transcon 752. Availability changes, yes indeed. So just now I search CO.COM and find fifteen new F cabin options for two pax including a civilized one at Saver mileage levels in F to PHX. Never mind the functional awfulness of DL.COM which would have added stress and harassment to the deal. Under DL, even if inventory were magically available, this would simply NOT BE POSSIBLE! We're within the 72-hour timeframe for depature on that sector and you know what that means. Too bad so sad. Anyway, let's say DL ops/irops handling worked as well as UA's system did. That still leaves two major aspects of this travel that simply would not have been possible under DL SM regime whether I was Diamond or Kryptonium. Is DL F worth it to sit there when my companion doesn't get UG? Is it worth condeming the family to a 6am launch because I can't find Saver options for return travel at short notice and even if I can, they're unbookable? Apologizing for DL and making excuses why they won't deliver is one thing. Or weighing their other product attributes against these shortcomings and deciding it's worth it, sure, I can see why that's rational. But doing so while claiming DL's offerings are competitive with UA - in regards to companion UG conditions, specifically, and usability of SM vs MP - is the way of the ostrich. Or the dodo. Or the phorusrachos. I spend too much of my time in a/c cabins to not want the benefits as published. Those benefits are of major value. That's why it's time to spend out for next years itins...on UA and Star as often as possible. As we've said before, DL revmgment calculus is myopic. They consider only the marginal cost of the booked flight against simultaneous DL option costs (factoring in SM and other systemic debits) and not their capacity to induce future and ongoing discretionary revenue. In search of minor marginal revenue/less liability on this kind of itin, they forgo a swathe of future bookings many of which are for biz and are booked in the higher fare buckets. Classic. But please you guys stick with DL. Or, go to AA insteAAd. Because I don't want you trumping me for UG on your employer-sponsored high fare-class itins as 1K or GS! PS: Yes, it always feels more satisfying to post these missives using DL's (or BA's electrons). The jouissance, ah, a perfect start to the New Year weekend!