Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this featured topic.
Oh my. The bigger Delta IT gets, with the selling of what once was a simple Medallion upgrade perk, the more bugs are showing up. First a few reminders of what I am talking about.
- Back in “the day” it was simple. Starting at 6 days (then 5, 3 and 1) elites could look forward to upgrades. It was like clockwork and it worked.
- Delta changed this set upgrade clock to starting at 5 days (120 hours – an upgrade can then happen at any time) and will continue pretty much until the gate takes over the upgrade control (yes, with some wiggle room – I know).
- We all should be well aware that about a year ago Delta went hog wild on selling upgrades any way possible to keep loyal elites from scoring earned free upgrades. The latest Android and iOS Fly Delta App 5 “upgrade“ makes this knife in the back of loyalty even simpler (btw – it is really buggy).
- Also, we have proven here on the blog, there are constant IT issues like the fact that sometimes a Comfort Plus upgrade can block you from a first class upgrade and we have also proven that the delta.com published upgrade rules are not always followed (due to IT issues).
- Even BASIC flyers are nowadays getting upgrades due to lazy gate agents who will not come onboard to upgrade a loyal Medallion (why you should still play #TeamBoardLast)!
But the one above really takes the cake. Way back in March user lonelygod on FlyerTalk was hit by the still ongoing Delta IT bug that prevents a medallion from getting what should be a free medallion upgrade to first class!
Here is why this really stinks (and hurts – a lot).
If you have been hit by this latest Delta IT bug you have met all the qualifications to get a “free” first class medallion upgrade but the system has not processed it. Calling Delta is all but pointless because reps don’t understand that there is a bug and can not get their heads around the fact that a 1st class upgrade can price out as “free” (because you should have cleared free but it shows you have to buy it as free).
Is there a fix for this bug? Many times yes but it is again up to us to be proactive and check and check a lot when the 5 day window opens up. One fix, if we see the “free” upgrade up-sell option is to do what FlyerTalk user “cpmp” did just last week and un-check the first class upgrade requested box and then recheck the box and – bingo – your upgrade will clear. What are other things to do?
As I have pointed out already in this post there is always a risk of a C+ upgrade costing you a first class upgrade. I tend to choose exit row seats and skip C+ “upgrades” to make sure I only get a shot at a real upgrade vs. a fake upgrade (because C+ seats are nothing to get all that excited about on domestic flights).
I also have a detailed post about steps you can do to increase your chance to step over most of your fellow medallions for an upgrade – but again all those points are dependent on Delta IT working and that is hit-and-miss in 2019 with all the bugs due to FCM (First Class Monetization) of the premium cabin.
You tell me. Have you been hit by this or any of the other endless number of Delta Medallion IT bugs this year? Are there other Delta IT bugs you have seen that I have not? Were you able to get Delta to fix any of them for you? Let us know. – René
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