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Is Delta gaming 1st class upgrade sales pre vs post sale? Need more reader input please!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


playing with 1st class UG prices

We know Delta has been shown in the past to “play” with all sorts of bits when it comes to our tickets ranging from price jumps at purchase to award pricing issues. Some of these issues have, surprisingly, been fixed it seems.

Take for example the AMEX BOGOF cert issues. These were common and happened all the time in the past. That is, you got one price when you searched without the cert plugged in to Delta.com and then another price when you searched with the cert selected. Very impressive that ugly bug seems to be gone and has now been fixed!

But take a look at the screen shot from reader “BOB“. He told me that he was shown one price to upgrade to first before he purchased the ticket, and then, as soon as the purchase was done a new lower price to upgrade the purchased ticket. Interesting (beyond the “evil-ish” price to do so)!

This event has not been an isolated incident as other blog readers have, off and on over the past few months, e-mailed me similar situations where the price to upgrade to 1st class was MUCH lower right after or hours after the purchase was completed.

To give Delta the benefit of the doubt, this could all just be “price dynamics” that is, prices do change all the time. Maybe this case is simply that as more coach seats disappear, and their corresponding fare buckets, then the 1st class seats by default become less expensive in relation to the number of seats still available?

But the cynic in me also thinks this could be yet one more way to improve the FCM up-sells of first class at any price at the cost of a medallion upgrade.

Anyway, this post is more a fishing expedition than any kind of statement of fact as I have very few data points but want more. Has this happened to you the past few months? Plus, if you happen to see this happening to you please take some screen shots and let me know. Thanks so much for the help in advance and have a great weekend! – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

4 Comments

  1. Rene,

    I have been Diamond for the last 4 years and Platinum every year before that. I fly 50+ segments out of DTW every year, a blend of domestics and flights to Asia. I have seen the upgrade offers over the last year or so and refuse to imbibe on principle. I’ve also noticed a significant decrease in my upgrades.

    I was considering flying someone else next year, but I’ve made Diamond again. Alas…

  2. Happened to me this week. I have to book coach travel with a company card, then I can go back in and do the FCM. Not bad for me even though I know you hate it. But I was shown $99 on an RT BHM-CLE. Once the ticket was bought and I went back in with my personal card it was $$77.

  3. How do you upgrade like that? Do you have to seek it out because I’ve missed seeing this option the last couple of times I’ve purchased a ticket.

    • @Sarah – Check when you have purchased and go into reservation and see if UG offer is present.

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