Upgrades. #TheReasonToBeDiamond (or any medallion level for that matter). If we do not clear before the trip most of us stalk the “GIDS” or Gate Information Display System that shows where we are on the upgrade list or we use the Delta phone app to see where we are and if we have cleared.
Much of the Delta upgrade system is automated. That is until it is handed over to gate control at the 3 hr mark. This is when things are subject to many factors including what many call “Shena” moments or shenanigans!
Now to be fair, an upgrade is a gift from the airline. They can do anything they want with them. If you paid for a coach seat you should get a coach seat. If you want to fly in first then pay for first. I know this argument well. But, the airline does promote the fact that medallions can get “unlimited complementary upgrades” so it is not like we are asking for something not offered already.
Delta would not comment if there is an official policy on gate upgrades. What often happens is you will hear:
“The flight has checked in full please board when your zone is called”.
However, that is different from:
“First class has BOARDED FULL”.
I have seen many times and it has happened to me, and I think this is the right call, when first class seats open up that a medallion from the back is moved up. But as you can see from this FlyerTalk post, there are also times that the gate agents’ “discretion” comes into play.
I have in the past always boarded expecting the gate agents to do the “right thing”. After all, if you wait to board till final call you may not find overhead space. However, if you wait, you will not lose your place on the upgrade list and may just get one of those open seats that “had checked in full”.
Here is how I am going to play this. I am going to wait. There is always someplace for a medallion to put one bag. Even if it has to go in the coat locker there will be space. I would not want to risk giving up an upgrade when I could, for waiting a little bit, get that last seat. What do you think? Do you wait? I would love to know! – René
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