I have a sinking feeling a number of folks who are flying with me on the 747 elite mileage run to Manila are not going to be all to happy with me after this post (don’t worry, I am in the same boat as the rest of you). So what is my Ruh Roh moment I am talking about?
Take a look at the big red arrows in the screen shot above. After our glorious flight on the Delta 747 “Queen of the Skies” we change planes in Japan. Our next flight, a Boeing 767-300 has the exact same flight number as the first flight. Is that not confusing or what?
Now you may be saying – so what. What does it matter. Most times it is simply no big deal, but it can be a very big deal. Let’s look at a few examples.
We all know a flight from MSP or Minneapolis to Seattle is a medallion upgradeable flight. So is a flight from Seattle to Hawaii. But what if (not saying this exists right now so don’t flame me) you book a flight MSP-SEA-HNL and both of these flights are one flight number. This would mean, even though each leg technically is upgradable for elites, it is NOT as one single flight number.
Let’s look at another example. Say you are flying with me to Manila and have requested a Global Upgrade on the 747. There is one little problem that may mean others could upgrade ahead of you. You see since it is one flight number, BOTH of the segments must open up for upgrade before either segment is eligible for upgrade. Thus, if someone is only flying to Japan from Detroit on the flight above they could clear a Global upgrade ahead of you (and me) who is waiting for both segments to clear at once.
Is there a solution? Yes and no (as reps have told me again and again). The day you book you can try to call and have them split the segments into two even though they are just one flight number. Then the issue goes away as each segment can clear on it’s own. However, this can and often does result in a repriced ticket that is substantially higher in cost than the single number dual segment flights. That is the irritating part of this little issue.
The only other issue is time. There can be times that Delta really does not quite allow enough time to make your connection if an international customs clearing and reclearing security comes into play. Again, 99 out 100 this is NOT an issue but any delay in customs and you could be in a world of hurt so know this.
Have you ever run into any issue with a single flight number with two segments? Let us know in the comments below! – René