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Interesting AA to DL IROPS Experience in -Up & Award in First

Interesting AA to DL IROPS Experience in -Up & Award in First

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Old Apr 5, 18, 7:27 am
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Interesting AA to DL IROPS Experience in -Up & Award in First

My brother and I were flying LAS-LAX-STL on AA. I had a paid First ticket booked in 'D' inventory. He was also traveling on the same flights in First on a mileage award in 'U' inventory that was actually booked with Alaska miles.

Our LAS-LAX flight was severely delayed due to a late inbound plane (mechanical issue at the prior point of origin), so I called the EXP desk, and the agent was unable to find an itinerary on AA that would get us to STL the same day. I asked to have the first leg of the trip re-booked on DL instead, as they had an LAS-LAX flight that would allow us to make our original AA LAX-STL connection. The agent had absolutely no problem booking this, although she told me it would have to be in coach.

I asked why I would be re-accommodated in coach with a paid ticket in 'D' and was informed that I had actually purchased a Y-UP fare booked in 'L' with an instant upgrade to 'D' -- she therefore refused to book me in First with DL and told me that she couldn't make an exception even if she wanted to - this is a "hard and fast" rule. I asked whether she would book my brother in First - she also refused initially, but I informed her that his mileage ticket certainly was never a coach ticket, and she did agree to book him in First on DL. So, interestingly, a paid premium cabin ticket on AA results in lesser re-accommodation than a 25k MileSAAver award when the paid ticket is a Y-UP (which, of course, was never advertised anywhere online during booking).

Here's the interesting part: I received confirmation e-mails for each ticket immediately thereafter. For the DL flight, they showed my brother in First and me in coach. However, 15 minutes later, I received a new email for my ticket, which I initially thought was a duplicate. After opening it, though, it showed that I had been moved to First on DL also. Very curious what may have happened here -- perhaps something after the fact changed this agent's mind and she decided to re-book the ticket, but there was certainly no additional prompting from me (the call had been over for 15 minutes, and I hadn't called back).

And perhaps just as interesting: we later learned that the DL flight (LAS-LAX) would be quite delayed also, so we still would have missed our connection on the LAX-STL flight. The DL app gave me all sorts of re-accommodation options at that point for all-DL itineraries, all in First (we'd been booked in full 'F' on DL). I had trouble re-booking myself through the app, so I called DL, and they had no problem booking me in full 'F' for a LAS-ATL-STL itinerary.

It worked out at the end of the day, but I'm now not quite sure what to think of the Y-UP situation, particularly after I was ultimately re-booked in the premium cabin after the EXP agent initially told me that her hands were tied, and she couldn't make any exceptions.

Any thoughts or other recent experiences? Most posts on the Y-UP thread seem to be quite dated.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by metallo View Post
My brother and I were flying LAS-LAX-STL on AA. I had a paid First ticket booked in 'D' inventory. He was also traveling on the same flights in First on a mileage award in 'U' inventory that was actually booked with Alaska miles.

Our LAS-LAX flight was severely delayed due to a late inbound plane (mechanical issue at the prior point of origin), so I called the EXP desk, and the agent was unable to find an itinerary on AA that would get us to STL the same day. I asked to have the first leg of the trip re-booked on DL instead, as they had an LAS-LAX flight that would allow us to make our original AA LAX-STL connection. The agent had absolutely no problem booking this, although she told me it would have to be in coach.

I asked why I would be re-accommodated in coach with a paid ticket in 'D' and was informed that I had actually purchased a Y-UP fare booked in 'L' with an instant upgrade to 'D' -- she therefore refused to book me in First with DL and told me that she couldn't make an exception even if she wanted to - this is a "hard and fast" rule. I asked whether she would book my brother in First - she also refused initially, but I informed her that his mileage ticket certainly was never a coach ticket, and she did agree to book him in First on DL. So, interestingly, a paid premium cabin ticket on AA results in lesser re-accommodation than a 25k MileSAAver award when the paid ticket is a Y-UP (which, of course, was never advertised anywhere online during booking).

Here's the interesting part: I received confirmation e-mails for each ticket immediately thereafter. For the DL flight, they showed my brother in First and me in coach. However, 15 minutes later, I received a new email for my ticket, which I initially thought was a duplicate. After opening it, though, it showed that I had been moved to First on DL also. Very curious what may have happened here -- perhaps something after the fact changed this agent's mind and she decided to re-book the ticket, but there was certainly no additional prompting from me (the call had been over for 15 minutes, and I hadn't called back).

And perhaps just as interesting: we later learned that the DL flight (LAS-LAX) would be quite delayed also, so we still would have missed our connection on the LAX-STL flight. The DL app gave me all sorts of re-accommodation options at that point for all-DL itineraries, all in First (we'd been booked in full 'F' on DL). I had trouble re-booking myself through the app, so I called DL, and they had no problem booking me in full 'F' for a LAS-ATL-STL itinerary.

It worked out at the end of the day, but I'm now not quite sure what to think of the Y-UP situation, particularly after I was ultimately re-booked in the premium cabin after the EXP agent initially told me that her hands were tied, and she couldn't make any exceptions.

Any thoughts or other recent experiences? Most posts on the Y-UP thread seem to be quite dated.
I would NOT expect AA to pay for a premium cabin on another carrier if I had booked a Y-UP fare.
On the other hand, the award ticket was NOT an upgraded economy ticket, so I understand why AA would keep that passenger in first.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
I would NOT expect AA to pay for a premium cabin on another carrier if I had booked a Y-UP fare.
On the other hand, the award ticket was NOT an upgraded economy ticket, so I understand why AA would keep that passenger in first.
I had no expectation going into the call, as I had no idea I had a Y-UP ticket. It hadn't been advertised anywhere during booking.

What baffled me, though, was that, despite receiving an initial confirmation from AA of the re-booking in Y, just 15 minutes later without any additional input from me, I received a new email showing me in F! It almost seems as though the EXP agent did some additional research and changed her mind, but it happened well after our call had ended.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 7:59 am
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It is doubtful that the AA agent had any manual input into the UG. Rather, the AA interline to DL likely booked into a DL fare bucket which earned OP an instant UG and that is what he was due had he walked up to a DL gate and paid cash for a ticket in that fare buceket and what he got. Entirely possible that OP's L ticket was rebooked into DL Y.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 8:06 am
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I agree that the Y-UP comment borders on deceptive practice. To expect that someone during the booking process, who selects a fare and seat in First, was actually buying a Coach ticket is ridiculous. In the occasion where I book a discounted F ticket, when I receive the confirmation email - It says First, not Coach with some form of upgrade. If it did, my company travel policy would likely allow it.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It is doubtful that the AA agent had any manual input into the UG. Rather, the AA interline to DL likely booked into a DL fare bucket which earned OP an instant UG and that is what he was due had he walked up to a DL gate and paid cash for a ticket in that fare buceket and what he got. Entirely possible that OP's L ticket was rebooked into DL Y.
I don't think so. The second e-mail also came from AA, and the kicker - it was a different ticket number and said "Exchange" under the trip receipt header.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by Score8 View Post
I agree that the Y-UP comment borders on deceptive practice. To expect that someone during the booking process, who selects a fare and seat in First, was actually buying a Coach ticket is ridiculous. In the occasion where I book a discounted F ticket, when I receive the confirmation email - It says First, not Coach with some form of upgrade. If it did, my company travel policy would likely allow it.
Yes, and for some reason (perhaps I'm way off here), I thought the Y-UP issue had been somewhat fixed with AA. I recall quite a few threads about it many years ago on FT when I stared flying AA more frequently, but I certainly don't recall much recent discussion about it here.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 9:38 am
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dura lex

Indeed, here is the "Master Thread" on -UP fares, with 567 replies!
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Old Apr 5, 18, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by Score8 View Post
I agree that the Y-UP comment borders on deceptive practice. To expect that someone during the booking process, who selects a fare and seat in First, was actually buying a Coach ticket is ridiculous. In the occasion where I book a discounted F ticket, when I receive the confirmation email - It says First, not Coach with some form of upgrade. If it did, my company travel policy would likely allow it.
You can, of course, at your peril choose to book your tickets on aa.com without taking advantage of the link to see your detailed fare rules, but doing so means you’ll ignore the information regarding instant upgrades (which normally require a displaced passenger to either wait for the required inventory to open up to fly in J/F, or fly in the next available flight with a coach seat, as well as information on change and cancellation fees, etc.

Whilst it’s unfortunate for an unaware infrequent AA passenger (and IMO an unethical practice) who may be affected, the issue has been discussed here sufficiently there’s no reason to willfully ignore the detailed fare rules.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 10:23 am
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What's interesting is the fares earn F-class mileage. If it were really an upgraded coach ticket, why not earn Y-class mileage? To me, it's really "discounted F", not "upgraded Y", but I've read the rules too and realize that's not how it's treated during IRROPS.

What's also interesting is I routinely buy through my corporate travel agent and then call AA to "buy up" to First. Not once has any AA agent made a point of saying "this is a Coach fare with an instant upgrade". All of them have said "First class".
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Last edited by USFlyerUS; Apr 6, 18 at 6:39 am
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Old Apr 5, 18, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by SK View Post
Indeed, here is the "Master Thread" on -UP fares, with 567 replies!
Absolutely. A riveting read, indeed... with a grand total of 3 posts within the last 2 calendar years.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS View Post
What's interesting is the fares earn F-class mileage. If it were really an upgraded coach ticket, why not earn Y-class mileage? To me, it's really "discounted F", not "upgraded Y", but I've read the rules too and realize that's not how it's treated during IRROPS.

What's also interesting is I routinely buy through my corporate travel agent and then call AA to "buy up" to First. Not once has any AA agent made a point of saying "this is a Coach fare with an instant upgrade". All of them have said "Fiirst class".
Yes, 'D' would have earned 2.0x EQMs.

Actually, with ORC, it still did.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It is doubtful that the AA agent had any manual input into the UG. Rather, the AA interline to DL likely booked into a DL fare bucket which earned OP an instant UG and that is what he was due had he walked up to a DL gate and paid cash for a ticket in that fare buceket and what he got. Entirely possible that OP's L ticket was rebooked into DL Y.
Do not believe that Delta sells Y-UP fares any longer. Everything is either BE, discounted/full main cabin (elites eligible for upgrade at 5/3/1/TOD windows IF upgrade bucket availability, else space available at gate), delta comfort (underlying Y fare, but will be reaccommodated in comfort+ unless you elect otherwise), discounted first (underlying Y fare, but you are purchasing a first class seat and will be reacommodated in F unless you elect otherwise), or full first (will be reacommodated in F unless you elect otherwise)..

If I buy a full Y fare => no upgrade; I will fly in economy unless my elite benefits clear me on upgrade list;
If I buy a D fare (discounted First) => underlying M fare, but a first class seat guaranteed and I will fly in first, regardless of the upgrade list;
If I buy an I fare (discounted First) => underlying U fare, but a first class seat guaranteed. and I will fly in first, regardless of the ugprade list.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
You can, of course, at your peril choose to book your tickets on aa.com without taking advantage of the link to see your detailed fare rules, but doing so means you’ll ignore the information regarding instant upgrades (which normally require a displaced passenger to either wait for the required inventory to open up to fly in J/F, or fly in the next available flight with a coach seat, as well as information on change and cancellation fees, etc.
And where is said information specifically regarding instant upgrades? Where exactly do you find it and what exactly does it say such that if any normal person were to even find the information they would understand what it means?

Y-UP is basically a crock.

FWIW, DL's first class fares are based on underlying coach fares, but I'm not sure how they treat them in IRROPs/downgrades. You can do same-day/confirmed flight change to any available first class inventory (I think the same on AA?), although that is only free for DL Gold (50k) and higher, others have to pay $75, including companions on the same reservation as a Gold or higher. (And you have to call in to do SDFC). AA gives free SDC to all "first class" tickets.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 8:49 pm
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For an SDC on AA, sometimes they insist on booking you into SDC coach E class and then change it to I or D when using a Y-UP type of fare.
Other agents change it directly to I or D.
However, they absolutely require the correct F/J inventory to be available. They will not pull a seat from J when you have an I fare for SDC.
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