Delta has a nasty fare class called Basic Economy. They say they have it to compete with low cost airlines. Really it is a way to charge more and get you to pay more. They even have the above pop-up that you must click on to confirm you are accepting all the “rules” with the Basic Economy ticket when you book on Delta.com. But does Delta always follow the rules? Take a look what happened last night via Twitter:
“Ben Bergman is currently a contract business reporter for NPR and producing an investigative documentary for public television“, he states he was granted an upgrade with no elite status and on a Basic Economy ticket.
Err what? Really?
How could this happen?
I did not reach out to Delta to confirm the above but I trust what this respected journalist has tweeted (unless his account has been hacked that is). So let’s assume it is true. What went wrong because my guess is on just about ANY flight to LA there is at least ONE SINGLE MEDALLION stuck back in some seat in coach on the upgrade list that would have liked the upgrade.
My guess what happened.
There are a bunch of reasons why this likely happened but all of them stink for us loyal elites. First off, Delta gate agents do not always follow the 40 minutes before flight upgrade clearing guidance from corporate that I broke the news about years ago. What else?
We know Delta is holding back upgrades for sale via any means as long as they can rather than rewarding loyal elites. That, plus the fact that the upgrade tech has real and proven issues. But once you get to the gate it is up to the agent and we know Delta gate agents can make up their own rules no matter what the computer says and upgrade (or not upgrade) anyone they want.
And that is likely what happened here.
The flight needed to be sent on it’s way ASAP and rather than take a moment or two to go get an elite, who was say 1st on the upgrade list when boarding began, and pull them to 1st class – the rep just put Mr. Bergman in 1st class – because it was simply quicker!
What do you think about this? Does getting the flight out on-time matter more than following policy? Have you ever been upgraded on a Basic Economy ticket like this to Comfort Plus or 1st Class? Does it bug you when “Shena” comes for a visit? I would love to know! – René