Name the ONE thing that will make a frequent flyer crazy. OK other than C+ SideGrades then. It is rules that are not rules or are sometimes followed or sometime not followed. That is, we all hate the visit from SHENA.
It makes us just nuts because we feel cheated.
Delta has, for a very long time and confirmed by rep after rep (even though not in print for us) that YBYL or if “you board you lose” your upgrade shot – officially. If you join #TeamBoardLast that is hang by the gate as EVERYONE boards you will see names on the upgrade list drop off one by one.
Now you will see on twitter now and then folks commending a gate agent for coming onboard to “pull” the person who “was” number one and so on up into first class (or at least were number one at the time boarding started anyway). The problem was this was against the internally published rules. Well, according to “Widgets” on FlyerTalk who supposedly works for Delta and has access to internal documents this has changed. I hate this so much and let me tell you why:
One of the reasons Delta resists having a gate agent do this is because it can delay a flight. On time matters so much to Delta, but as we all should know Delta does pad the schedule of every single flight (some, clearly, more than others). They may say they don’t but those of us who fly all the time know better. I mean look at my flight from yesterday. We departed 13 minutes late, even ran into weather, and STILL landed just 1 minute late. Just one example but I am sure you have lots of your own as well.
The point is that, according to Widgets, it is at the discretion of the gate agent to take the time to go onboard and pull up elites per the upgrade list at time of boarding not the “last man standing” rule as it has been.
Here is why this makes me totally crazy. The old rule, while not in print, was consistent. If you went onboard you were saying I am happy with my seat. Many did not know they were doing this but it worked. Now you are going to have even MORE confusion as agents “may” do this more and more as they are now allowed to but this will even more cause elites to expect that it IS the firm rule and they can board stress free knowing SHENA will not happen as agents WILL come on-board to upgrade you if a seat opens up.
Also, thanks to C+ upgrades now, a Delta gate agent has dual upgrades to worry about and doing all of this and THEN trying to make time to go on-board to pull whoever was number one on the list is just not going to happen often. It did not, for example, happen last night on my flight from Atlanta to Chicago as 3B went out empty (nothing wrong with seat btw).
My advice to you is if you want that last seat that could open up due to whatever reason like a misconnect, a throwaway ticket booking etc. etc. then you wait and be part of #TeamBoardLast. – René