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Old May 11, 12, 6:27 am
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 63
International (TATL/TPAC) OP-UP vs. SWU

Hello FTers!

This is my first post, although I am an experienced DL flyer (DM, 1MM+, all real miles). My question was triggered by a recent TATL flight (May 7 JFK-SVO), and since I witnessed similar situations before too, I wanted to ask whether you see anything wrong with this picture or this is a SOP.

Was on a refundable B fare, listed for a PU503/SWU upgrade in Z. Everything was coded properly, I think (comp UG listed, Z waitlisted as a separate line). The flight looked pretty good, with some 10 seats or so open in the morning (4 pm departure; Expert Flyer showed J9C9D9I9S9 all the way to 5 min before the departure (have screenshots, have not figured how to post them yet). Got to the gate from my connecting flight only to find that there were 8 or 9 "UP" people on the screen, but I was not one of them. Asked a GA (who was mostly busy stamping boarding passes with DOCS OK stamp), was told that all upgrades were already processed, and if yours wasn't, means you were too low on the list. She did not want to check anything though, just told me that. I found it hard to believe given my fare and PU503/SWU, but so be it.

Turned out that Y was oversold and most people were OP-UPed, but not necessarily high status PAX (there were a couple of NRSAs, I think -- Russian-speaking FAs were very friendly with them and spoke in Russian; for sure a couple Medallion companions). When I checked the ExpertFlyer again, just a few minutes before the departure, BE seatmap was completely full, but J9C9D9I9 availability remained.

I know that formally I got what I paid for, but when I am paying $4K for a ticket, am a Diamond Medallion with nearly 200K real miles a year, and offer to use my SWUs, shouldn't I get the highest priority for an UG, definitely trumping OP-UPs and NRSAs? While OP-UPs may not be explicitly governed by any program rules, UG priority using SWU is, right?

As for witnessing similar things before, I was referring to "friendly" Russian-speaking GAs at JFK who always seem to favor their Russian buddies over everyone else (and I understand enough Russian to know what they are talking about). Also saw it on the return, SVO-JFK, flights: don't even know if official computer-generated lists exist there and/or status and fare matter at all. Knowing ground folks seems to be much more important than anything else. I don't want to accuse anyone of doing anything improper, but it looks .... unusual, at least to me (and no, I am not a suspicious or paranoid type).

Anybody else seen anything similar on other DL flights or this is a unique thing for this route?

Last edited by SoraAoi; May 11, 12 at 12:15 pm Reason: Got Expert Flyer screenshots
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