I can think of no better way to burn up a few Delta Global Upgrade (GU) certs than flying all the way to Japan in Delta ONE with a great frequent flyer friend! Oh, on top of that I am using them on a ~$400 “attack fare” and will, upon landing back in Detroit on a 747, just have crossed 1 million lifetime miles with Northwest and Delta Air Lines. Yeah, even I am kinda jealous of myself and I am the one doing it! 😉
When I booked the flights there were no GU spots on anything and I mean anything. I checked flight after flight after flight for even one open seat and got nada, zip & diddly. So, I picked the flights for the most MQMs and the best route plus time and product. After booking I requested my upgrades and waited.
I would love to truly understand the logic from the mothership about how they are currently allocating GU space. I spoke to some sources about the process and it really is a bit of a mystery even to those who know, that is, does it happen on one certain day of the week or is it somehow related to some time table or some other equation as to sold seats in Delta ONE (D1) or coach? Yes, I think comparing it to medieval alchemy is a fair comparison.
Take for example the screen shot at the top of this post. Our flights to Japan are on a 777 and not really my favorite product that Delta has (actually one of my least favorite in the fleet) but so much better than ANY coach seat for 14 hours in the air so I am in no way complaining that my GU has cleared on our outbound segments. But this flight had just about half of the D1 seats already gone when our GUs cleared.
Compare this to our return, just a few days after the outbound legs, that has only a handful of seats sold of the 48 on the 747. Again, why did the jet with so few open seats clear when the one with almost all of the seats wide open not clear? I just don’t get the REV MGT or revenue management folks at all vs the loyalty folks and perks.
For now I have picked what I think are some of the best seats on the jet, that is, the 2 seat exit row that gives unlimited leg room and no middle seat most importantly. Also nice when traveling with just two people.
But I have learned one more little tip while “patiently” waiting (no, really not so much) for my upgrades to clear both ways. I have talked about before how, when you have requested RU or GU space, you can try to click on the 1st or D1 seats. If you can select them, this means your upgrade request has cleared and time to call Delta to make sure it is correctly confirmed and you are upgraded.
But this round I learned one more little tip. If you happen to try to move your coach seat selection, and you get an error, that also is an indication that your GU has cleared and it is time to call Delta and confirm space is now open and what seats you want.
The one big plus from this latest adventure is I am heartened by the fact that I have cleared at least my outbound flights and I feel my return will as well. I say this because of so many reports online from various sites indicating their requests are clearing before flight as well this year. Yes, it is really frustrating not to be sure and to be able to confirm at booking, but as long as they eventually clear that is what is important. – René
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