Should you ever talk to Delta reps on a holiday? The fix is ask for “IRD”

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I love being Platinum Medallion with Delta. One of the biggest perks of PM+ is that you can change your award tickets all you want as much as you want as many times a day as you want as long as it is more that 72 hours either before your departure or before your return flight once you have started your trip!

I had a stupidly long layover in DTW (12 hours) but it was the only way I could find 100k business seats to Sweden this summer. Now what I can do, once I had tickets locked in, is keep checking back to see if better seats open up or business seats on any of the legs, even in Europe, that may have opened up as I, as PM+, get free changes as mentioned. Well, I could see now that seats from AZO to DTW had opened up that would result in only a 3ish hour layover in DTW rather than 12. So I start calling…

REP 1 – Completely and totally worthless. She wants to change all my flights and charge me 300k to change. You guessed it – CLICK! – good-bye and please just leave the ticket as is. ( I am starting to feel like an idiot for calling at 11 PM EST on the 31st right now, but press on).

REP 2 – Oh my, things are going from bad to worse. This guy, cannot quite understand just what I want. He just keeps spouting about the legs being “married” and he could maybe change me, but I would lose the full-flat flight I was on.

Once again everyone, all I am trying to do is change ONE CJR from 7 AM to a CJR at 3 PM so I don’t have to spend 1/2 a day in DTW (as much as I love spending time in DTW).

You would think at this point I would say to REP 2 – CLICK! – but all of sudden the “little points voice” inside my head speaks to me 🙂 . Before I say the perfect words to REP 2 I ask him to please confirm he does in fact see LOW LEVEL seats on the 3 PM flight. He says yes, but as he told me before, he can not put me on that flight. I then go into full Delta Points mode and say:

“OK, can you please transfer me to the INTERNATIONAL REISSUE DESK – (IRD).”

Thankfully REP 2 does not fight me and says sure please hold – JOY (some will resist this and will tell you they will not be able to do anything that I cannot do)! Thank you! I am put on about a 30 second hold and the IRD comes on the phone and you know there are times you can just HEAR that this rep is going to be good!

REP 3 from the IRD – I go on to explain what I am trying to do and that REP 2 did indeed see low level seats and all I want to do is change the 1st leg so I don’t have to spend 12 hours in DTW and I understand the segments are currently married, but please can I just change the 1st leg since low level seats are open. I am told to please hold.

I hold for about 2 min and the REP 3 comes back to the phone. Apparently the reason the first two reps could not do what I wanted was due to a $1.50 each extra Swedish tax that I would incur with the reissue. OK, here is my DELTA AMEX Reserve card, bill me and reissue please as I will be happy to trade $3.00 all in for an 8 hr savings of time in DTW. DONE!

One other little tip, that reps almost always seem to forget about, is checking for “allotment” for your medallion level. We already have CONFIRMED that at times, if you DO have a Delta AMEX, you will get more low level seats, but there is also differnt allotment of seats for Silver or Gold or Platinum or Diamond Medallion flyers. Be sure if they just say no seats, to politely ask:

“now you are checking for [insert your medallion level here] allotment right since I am a FO/GM/PM/DM elite flyer with Delta!”

So what can you learn from this little 31DEC2012 rep roulette adventure? IRD, learn the code, love the code, and as always when it comes to DELTA reps, say it with me, if you do not like what you get, hang up, call back, again and again! – René

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  1. My miles rolled over today. I am starting the year with 45K. I will also get my 30K bonus from AMEX this year. That means I’m guaranteed to reach Platinum by the first week of the year. Diamond is going to be a breeze. Now, if someone would give me a good type to use my systemwide certificates when I need them, it will be great.

  2. Very interesting post. Perhaps you could dedicate an entire blog entry on how best use Delta code.

  3. Quick question….I had like 30k skymiles MQM last year. Obvsiouly i made silver…Do the 5k rollover? If so, when do they?

  4. As an AZO flyer myself, do you find better luck on low level awards out of AZO or DTW? Does it seem to matter? Since Detroit is not that far away, I always debate the value of sitting in the airport for the return connection. I’m only a lowly GM, but Delta gets most of my flight time, and airline point earning.

  5. @Gravy – I am in SBN. I often find great low level seats out of AZO over SBN or GRR or FWA. I find DTW sometimes OK sometimes not. Plus, if you want to play with schedule change to get better flights you are much more likely to get a change if you have a few regional segments included in your trip!

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