Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
Having a “rookie” post for Platinum and Diamond Medallions sounds a little strange, at first glance, but I get e-mails all the time from those who were Gold Medallions for years and just became Platinum for the first time ever and have questions. Plus, it seems, the rest of the “gang” does not always know what is going on or the best ways to use the amazing tools for Delta.
So let’s hit on some of the high points about these certs that you can select as one of your Choice Benefits. For me, as a Diamond, I get BOTH the Platinum gift and the Diamond gift. I have, since Regional Upgrades were introduced a few years back, always picked them as my Platinum choice. I have always used them. I have, all but once, been successful applying them. I value them and in this current environment where Delta jets are flying REALLY full and “they” are shooting for 80% 1st class seat sales and up-sells we need every edge we can get if we want to be sitting in the “pointy end” of the jet.
There are two ways of getting your upgrade. Both ways you have to call. There is no way to check if you can upgrade without calling Delta. If space is available for a flight, you can upgrade right away. Your cert is pulled but is not used until you fly but will show as “closed” in your “My Delta” where certs live. If there is no space you are upgrade “wait listed”, that is, you will see the same flight twice in your itinerary for the trip. Once you do clear one of two things will happen (or both). Notice the photo at the top of this post. That is a very bad voice-to-text Sprint translation of the voicemail I got from Delta about my upgrade clearing (who is Mr. Nick Start Dylan btw)! Jokes aside I was notified that my upgrade requested had cleared.
The other way is simply an email from Delta that you see above (the wahoooo one) that you need to go and pick your 1st class seat as you are no longer in coach (yeah, waahoo worthy)! Now for this trip the routing was strange and the 1st leg was the break in the trip. The next two legs were the next part. The certs are good for legs ONE-WAY so I could use it on the last two in this itinerary. I wanted to only use the cert if the longest leg cleared so I requested that one first and when it cleared could have myself “wait listed” for the other leg and will again be contacted when that clears at no extra cost in certificates. For me, I called and got my other leg cleared instantly after notice and still am waiting for complimentary medallion upgrade for the outbound part of the trip.
This really is the important part of this post so I will repeat it. Think about what flights are most important to you as it would be a shame to burn an upgrade on a 1-ish hour flight and then NOT clear on say a 4 hour flight that followed next. So if no space is open on the long one, wait list on THAT LEG ONLY and once it clears check on the other legs as part of your trip. Also, as touched on, check where the fare break is as you may be able to get more use out of the cert than you imagined you could (most times it is simple A-B is one cert then back home B-A is another).
Lastly what if you never get contacted? What if even the day of travel you are still waiting for news about your upgrade. Yes, on popular routes or routes Delta revenue management is really trying to up-sell you may have to wait until flight. Even then it is worth the cert as you will be WAY UP on the upgrade list and have a better chance at clearing at the gate.
Have any other Regional or Global upgrade cert questions, fire away as I think this post, and your questions, will be a good post to help so many get good use out of these very valuable gifts each year from Delta! – Rene