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Old Jan 3, 11, 8:47 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Seattle
Programs: Delta PM, SPG Gold, Amex Plat
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which routing SEA-xxx-MCO best chance for upgrade?

I'm about to book a RT SEA-MCO-SEA (coach) and I can book it through several different airports with little change to price or miles earned. I haven't figured out what schedule works best for me, but I'd be curious to know which route gives me (Silver) the best chance at upgrades along the way. I think these are my choices:

SEA-ATL-MCO
SEA-SLC-MCO
SEA-MSP-MCO
SEA-MEM-MCO

(probably flying Thursday Jan 20 - Wednesday Feb 2, but that might change by a day one way or the other)

For reference my wife (also SM) and I just flew SEA-ATL, and outbound I got upgraded at the gate and she didn't ... on return we both got upgraded in advance. But I've never flown through any of the other connecting cities.

thanks for any speculation you can provide...
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Old Jan 3, 11, 8:52 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huge View Post
For reference my wife (also SM) and I just flew SEA-ATL, and outbound I got upgraded at the gate and she didn't ... on return we both got upgraded in advance. But I've never flown through any of the other connecting cities.

thanks for any speculation you can provide...
Really? Although I am not familiar with flights to/from ATL, my assumption is east coast to west coast and vice versa flights are hard for U/Gs. Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

From your OP, I would say through SLC or MEM.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 8:53 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Just flew SEA- ATL- TPA in coach. F was full with 44 on upgrade list.... I guess it all depends what time of the day you are flying. Mine flight was around noon.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 8:53 pm   #4
 
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I would go with the SEA-MEM-MCO route.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 9:10 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVA777 View Post
I would go with the SEA-MEM-MCO route.
Or MSP. Stay away from ATL!
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Old Jan 3, 11, 9:23 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I'm actually doing this RT this week, via ATL. Am 3/4 upgraded at the window as a DM, and trying to use SWU to upgrade the final leg. I do this RT 5-6 times a year, and routinely find upgrades via MSP to routinely confirm at the window, whereas I routinely have trouble with upgrades via ATL. I haven't tried via SLC or MEM, so can't comment on those.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 9:45 pm   #7
 
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I would suggest MEM or MSP, as those seem to be the easiest on other routes...can't speak to SEA exactly.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 10:02 pm   #8
 
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I'd suggest msp or mem. As a dm who frequently visits SEA on weekends ex Florida, upgrades can be hit or miss. Atl would be the toughest in my experience.

Mco msp sea will typically be on 753s and my recent msp mco flights have had empties in y.

Slc is typically a difficult upgrade for my partner who is a gm.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 10:09 pm   #9
 
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Any route away from a major population base

Disclaimer: I have no experience with Delta.

However with AC, any route / hub away from a major population base works best. Toronto YYZ is the worst whereas Montreal (YUL), Vancouver (YVR) and Calgary were much more favorable.

To interpret this into your situation, I would stay away from ATL and MSP since all of the Mid West and South East USA flights will be connecting through there. Doubtful that people will go backwards to SLC as a preferred routing.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 10:45 pm   #10
LBJ
 
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A couple of notes -- SEA-MEM is not currently a daily flight (does not operate Tue, Wed, Sat), and you omitted SEA-DTW-MCO as an option. I'd probably choose MEM/SLC, followed by DTW/MSP, and ATL as last.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 10:57 pm   #11
 
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Arrow And The Answer Is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by huge View Post
SEA-ATL-MCO
To the OP: NOT This Route!!!

-A
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Old Jan 3, 11, 11:05 pm   #12
 
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I would probably do MSP.

SEA-SLC would probably be no prob, but as previously stated SLC-MCO can be rough. I have missed this one as a DM. Avoid DTW and ATL.

LAX is another possible option.

MEM tends to be on smaller planes. It would be iffy.

On a side note, if you do take SLC, the benefit is that this is usually on the 757 with PTV. Makes the Y experience a little more bearable.
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Last edited by Crazyhotelguy; Jan 3, 11 at 11:44 pm.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 11:18 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: SEA/NYC. DL DM charter member, UA 1K, NW Plat ('03-'09), Marriott Plat. Always somewhere, never anywhere...
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As a SEA-based flyer I'll throw in my two cents as well:

SEA-ATL - not a chance
SEA-SLC - good chance
SEA-MSP - decent chance
SEA-MEM - decent chance
SEA-DTW - slim chance (you left this off the list)
SEA-JFK - not a chance (you left this off the list)
SEA-CVG - slim chance (you leftt this off the list)

As for connecting onto MCO, other FL-based flyers will chime in but I hear MCO is difficult for DM/PM from any hub. Your best bet for an upgrade to MCO would probably be: MEM then MSP.

One problem you'll find is that you're flying on a Thursday which is a difficult day to upgrade for most flights. Another problem you'll find is DL is "right sizing" a lot of equipment on certain routes and SEA is no exception. A320 appear on the MSP route and 738's appear to DTW now. This means those flights have gone from 24 FC seats to 16 - which is a huge decrease.

Edit: I did a search of the Delta route map and DL offers non-stop service to MCO from the above-mentioned stations as well as LAX, LAS, RDU, BDL and BOS. You could do something like SEA-SLC-RDU-MCO or SEA-SLC-LAS-MCO if you can find the legal routing. I can't speak for these non-hub routes to MCO in terms of upgrades.

Good luck.

-RM
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Old Jan 4, 11, 1:03 am   #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
As a SEA-based flyer I'll throw in my two cents as well:

SEA-ATL - not a chance
SEA-SLC - good chance
SEA-MSP - decent chance
SEA-MEM - decent chance
SEA-DTW - slim chance (you left this off the list)
SEA-JFK - not a chance (you left this off the list)
SEA-CVG - slim chance (you leftt this off the list)

As for connecting onto MCO, other FL-based flyers will chime in but I hear MCO is difficult for DM/PM from any hub. Your best bet for an upgrade to MCO would probably be: MEM then MSP.

One problem you'll find is that you're flying on a Thursday which is a difficult day to upgrade for most flights. Another problem you'll find is DL is "right sizing" a lot of equipment on certain routes and SEA is no exception. A320 appear on the MSP route and 738's appear to DTW now. This means those flights have gone from 24 FC seats to 16 - which is a huge decrease.

Edit: I did a search of the Delta route map and DL offers non-stop service to MCO from the above-mentioned stations as well as LAX, LAS, RDU, BDL and BOS. You could do something like SEA-SLC-RDU-MCO or SEA-SLC-LAS-MCO if you can find the legal routing. I can't speak for these non-hub routes to MCO in terms of upgrades.

Good luck.

-RM
Wow - thanks to EVERYONE for chiming in. Flyertalk never ceases to amaze me.

I was definitely surprised that we had such good luck with 3 out of 4 UG on the SEA-ATL flights 2-3 weeks ago, as it was my expectation that that would be a problem, as most of you have suggested (we were connecting on to STT, and we got 3 out of 4 on that half too). Obviously we were right on the cutoff twice, when I got UG and Mrs Huge did not (I took the first one and tried to trade with her but she was sleeping, stretched across *the entire empty exit row* on SEA-ATL redeye, and then she took the second one STT-ATL, and when she tried to trade with me the FA wouldn't let her). When we both got UG in advance was ATL-SEA December 22, Wednesday, not a redeye, pretty close to XMAS - don't know if that explains anything. And again, we're both lowly Silvers.

Anyway, in spite of our recent experience, I'll try to stay away from ATL

Clearly MEM,MSP,SLC are getting the most votes, with some different leanings within those but maybe SLC getting the most favor overall. I'll try to choose between those three based on schedule and layover.

RobOnLI - I never saw those other cities come up, but I haven't been exhaustive about it (and you're not really pushing them as likely anyway). And I'm never seeing those two stop routings you mentioned. Newb question: what's the best/easiest way to explore routings that don't show up using something like Kayak? I've just started using the ITA software, so I'm eager to learn more about that.

I guess the other thing I should have considered was whether I could construct a routing that would significantly increase mileage. I'd rather not add a layover just to increase my UG chances, but I might do it to get an extra 1000 MQMs.


[EDIT: just figured out how to find other routings, by just looking at one-way flights on Kayak, all those other cities show up, plus some 2-stop routings, but they're all more expensive. Best for miles looks like SEA-MSP-LGA-MCO, but it's $80 more, redeye, and 4.5 hours more travel time. But there are two viable SLC routings - 6AM and 1:05PM departures from SEA]


Thanks again for everyone's replies - much appreciated.
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Old Jan 4, 11, 6:38 am   #15
 
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Too bad you're not Gold. You could have tried for an upgrade on the Alaska Airlines nonstop.
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