NYC flyers all know the direct NYC->LAX/JFK/SEA complementary upgrades you have enjoyed are now a thing of the past. Delta is marketing this as such a premium experience that the price for a direct business class ticket is 2-3x as much as a connecting flight (that you can upgrade for free on). Not just this, but if you want to use one of the new upgrade certificates Delta offers you must be a Diamond and use a Global certificate rather than a regional one. Just the same as for ATL-HNL. They say this is because you get a full flat seat, a long flight and a superior experience so you get no free upgrades and again a Global upgrade cert to ride up front. Worth it?
I thought I would take a quick peek at the load levels for this morning’s full last direct flights from JFK-LAX. I did not look at the std 1st class seat flights as if you are going to pay this much money I would want a full flat nice seat.
As you can see, other than one flight that is mostly sold, the others are 50%-60%-ish empty. Now if they are selling at 2-3x the price of the non-direct route, why not fly mostly empty. Remember only the $$$ matter from this point on with Delta.
Do you think it will be hard for them to keep running the numbers and as a result we will see more and more routes that are non-upgradeable? Maybe we will see the day that only sub-4 hour flights are ones that can upgrade. I have no inside info or knowledge about this just speculating what would could happen.
Now just as likely, if the other airlines are selling more seats on the competing routes and Delta is not filling the cabin enough we could see a swing back to free upgrades or a softening to say only PM & DM can upgrade on these routes. I mean we know it takes GM+ to upgrade on an award ticket so making the rules even more crazy is very possible.
What do you all think. Do you think the JFK non-upgrade experiment is going to work or not? Do you see it spreading or pulling back. – René
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