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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.


  1. What is the shadow seat map you referenced in your RU, GU seat upgrades.

  2. I listened to the podcasts, and I get what you’re saying, but I can’t figure out the “shadow” seat map you’re talking about from the screenshot. Is there more info somewhere? Thanks

    • @RobW – If you go to and look at your list of flights where you have requested RU upgrade, but there is no space, you will see the same segment twice. The first one is your segment you can choose seats. The second “clone” is the one I am talking about. Does this help? (PS you can only do this on not on app)

  3. @Rene- I understand the “shadow map” and I have read this post several times, what exactly is it that turns red when the cert has cleared?

    I am currently waiting on two separate itineraries, both have “1/2 cleared” with a fair amount of empty seats in F on non-cleared segments. I will report back, but so far both (longer) segments cleared at booking (that’s why I booked them). Thanks.

    • @El – When the seat you click in business turns RED you have cleared. You can then call Delta.

  4. Ah ha, thank you, sir!….As an aside, I’ve actually had luck on two occasions calling when one segment clears and there are a bunch of seats on the other segment having a rep “push it thru”, not sure if it was luck, a glitch in system, or a good phone rep, but it seemed as if she did the upgrade manually?

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