There are some disturbing things “afoot” with Delta. I am sure I am not the ONLY one who is experiencing issues with Regional Upgrade (RU) award space opening up (or being open at all). I have myself experienced, past and present, some very strange things going on. Take, for example, some flights I have in February next year, that is, 2016.
For the above flight every single 1st class seat is unsold and I have CONFIRMED that with two Delta Medallion reps. Again. let this sink in, every single seat is open in 1st class. Yet, less than 6 months out, there is not one single seat open for a loyal elite who has redeemed their Choice Benefit, to get an upgrade.
One of the elite reps snidely told me:
“We want to sell as many 1st class seats as we can. We cannot just give seats away!”
Excuse me (my head almost exploded)?!? I have already PAID for a ticket so you, a.k.a. Delta CORP, are not “giving away” a seat for me for crying out loud. You have my money and I have a ticket. I have, thanks to my loyalty to Delta, EARNED a Regional Upgrade Certificate. And yet, even with a 100% EMPTY CABIN, I cannot use them. It is “great” to see Delta is willing to “up-sell” me a seat for $839 since space for “that” upgrade is clearly available (see: salt in wound)!
And things may be getting even worse!
Another reader who tends to fly the LAX-JFK route on a weekly basis has noticed another disturbing trend. He is all of a sudden discovering verily limited, if not nonexistent, space for K+ fares for mileage upgrade. He informed me he has for a very long time been happy to spend the amount needed for these higher priced coach fares to be able to use points to upgrade to business class. That space is just gone now.
Bottom line from all of this is it is 100% all about the sales and Delta revenue management ruling and running the show. Upgrades, one day, even for top loyal elites will be as extinct as the Dodo bird!
Now before the comments flow in, do keep in mind upgrades are one of the main reasons high value business class flyers tend to stay with any airline. They area willing to do what it takes to EARN top elite status, often spending tens of thousands of dollars a year, to get the perks that come with this kind of spending. So in no way is an airline “giving away” perks for these HVCs. They have earned the perks and it drives them to spend with an airline. And yet, Delta seems to now think they can extract top dollar from loyal flyers and give nothing back other than an on time flight. Really? I am not so sure.
Skybonus upgrades not much better by the way!
Since we are on the topic, and so many will be dumped from SkyBonus at the end of this year, don’t think spending 50,000 SkyBonus points for one of their “SkyBonus Certificate – US/CA – One-Way Select Fare Upgrade” is an upgrade workaround if you cannot use your RU or points for upgrade. Why? Well the term “Select Fare” that sounds good but it means “published Y/B/M/S/H/Q/K fare“, that is, only the higher priced coach fares that are NOT what most folks book, that is, L/U/T/X/V fare classes.
It has taken Delta a few years to all but decimate the SkyMiles program. They are now setting their sights on the Medallion program next it would seem by all indications. So many business flyers have not cared about the SkyMiles destruction but let’s see what they think when it is their turn to “face the music” of cuts and more cuts to their cherished perks they have come to expect for their loyalty dollars! – Rene