Above you see frequent blog contributor, Noah Mark poking a little fun about upgrades and alluding to the fact that he, and most of us who are smart elites, are members of #TeamBoardLast. This is not a real group or membership it is just a tongue-in-cheek way of saying we will be the “last man (or woman) standing” at the gate if:
First class has checked-in full, but, not boarded full.
You see there is a huge difference. There can be situations where folks have checked in for a flight but never made it to the airport. Or, they did a “hidden city” ticket and will not be getting on this flight. Or, the connecting flight may not make it. Or a long list of other reasons that there is not a body in the seat that is officially checked-in.
And that leads us to the rule for Delta gate agents. Now you are not going to find this on Delta.com nor are you going to find the “exact” wording on FlyerTalk or other sites as Delta (the company) takes a very dim view of employees publishing on blogs official company wording that is NOT already listed on the official website of Delta.com (or other Delta sanctioned sites).
So, we have folks who say they work for Delta posting general information of what they are looking at on the Delta computers. And, we have literally hundreds of confirmed reports from flyers that the policy in fact that if you board you officially lose your chance for an elite medallion upgrade as you can see from the screen shot above.
But then we also have just as many situations where a gate agent comes on-board the flight and “pulls” if you will the “number one” person on the upgrade list who HAS boarded into 1st class because there was a seat open. RenesPoints twitter follower Eric even used the hashtag #GoodAgent to commend them for doing this. But is this right? The agent, after all, is officially breaking the rules by doing this. Is that good?
The bottom line is that if someone else had been standing and waiting at the desk and had NOT boarded, that person would have got the upgrade not the person who went on-board and was pulled up by the “good agent”. That is the rule.
I talked yesterday, and got outstanding feedback, about just how hard it is going to be to score complimentary Delta upgrades in 2016. Even holding the Delta AMEX Reserve card <-LINK as a fare class tiebreaker for upgrades may not help you that much since after 1JUNE16 it is going to get even harder than it is now. If you want to improve your upgrade chances, trust me, you want to play along with those of us who know and join #TeamBoardLast. I know I will (and do)! – René