DL Elite program, what is so "elite"

Old Oct 28, 09, 11:01 pm
  #1  
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DL Elite program, what is so "elite"

Just checked the standby list for flight NW1461 on 10-29 (DTW-MSP).

I'm listed near the front of the list of 31 elites waiting for an upgrade, out of the 62 folks in coach that are checked in.

50% of the passengers are "elite" ?!?!?!?

It's almost like calling the people that sign up for the grocery store preferred shopper cards, "elite shoppers". Does having an I-Pass/EZ-Pass for tollways make one an "elite" motorist??

I will be very curious to see the list closer to departure when more of the 200 folks seated in Y are checked in; and confirm exactly how diluted an "elite" program really is.
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:05 pm
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it depends on the routes/times/days.

But on most of the flights I have been on, I would argue that about 10-15% of the passengers are elite. Sometimes less than 10%
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:05 pm
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Which is exactly why the program is segmented by tiers...

The higher the tier, the more "elite". Quite simple actually...
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:11 pm
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Delta totally dilutes the elite program. If they would stop giving away MQM's and really allow BIS miles to count the elite ranks would thin and the real frequent flyers would benefit.
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:14 pm
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I'm based in MSP and I see the same all the time, 50% of the plane is elite status. The point about tiers is on the money. I would prefer to see boarding after F boards called by tiers, PL, then GL, then SL, that would help make the "elite" level feel more elite when the upgrades don't happen.

To the OP, at least with your higher tier status, you are higher on the stand by list than GL and SL^
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:30 pm
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Originally Posted by dean1121
Delta totally dilutes the elite program. If they would stop giving away MQM's and really allow BIS miles to count the elite ranks would thin and the real frequent flyers would benefit.
As a PM, I think I missed three or so upgrades in the last three years. I used to fly atl-lax every week which is a medallion heavy route.

Even if the ranks are "swelled", being in the higher tiers helps.

Who cares if almost have the flight is elite??? If 25% of the flight are FO, 10% are GM, and 5% are PM there would still be ample room on most flights for PMs and GMs to get upgrades often enough and FOs to get them here and there on 757 non E, AC.

My point is so long as you are getting a decent upgrade percentage for your tier, why does it matter how many elites are out there.

PMs get more then GMs. GM's more than FO's. FOs more than non elites.

I don't get the beef...
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Denolloyd View Post
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As a PM, I think I missed three or so upgrades in the last three years. I used to fly atl-lax every week which is a medallion heavy route.

Even if the ranks are "swelled", being in the higher tiers helps.

Who cares if almost have the flight is elite??? If 25% of the flight are FO, 10% are GM, and 5% are PM there would still be ample room on most flights for PMs and GMs to get upgrades often enough and FOs to get them here and there on 757 non E, AC.

My point is so long as you are getting a decent upgrade percentage for your tier, why does it matter how many elites are out there.

PMs get more then GMs. GM's more than FO's. FOs more than non elites.

I don't get the beef...
I totally agree. The top tiers should get the best % so if that is happening then I do not see a problem or any relation to how many elites are on the plane.
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Denolloyd View Post
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As a PM, I think I missed three or so upgrades in the last three years. .
You must be buying last minute tickets at higher classes. I'm PM and buy 2-3 weeks out on a regular basis (T Class normally). I've been passed over many times out of MSP and SMF for the upgrade...I even see GM getting upgrades ahead of me (higher class tix), it really comes down to the price you pay for each flight.
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Brian_is_flyin View Post
DTW-MSP
Hub to Hub
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:50 pm
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Originally Posted by LKYGSR
Originally Posted by Denolloyd View Post
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As a PM, I think I missed three or so upgrades in the last three years. .
You must be buying last minute tickets at higher classes. I'm PM and buy 2-3 weeks out on a regular basis (T Class normally). I've been passed over many times out of MSP and SMF for the upgrade...I even see GM getting upgrades ahead of me (higher class tix), it really comes down to the price you pay for each flight.
I generally book LUT.

Regardless, there is some swelling indeed which will be eased somewhat by DM being implemented. This is why I do not understand folks wanting to hit 74999 mqms or 124999 and rollover the rest.

The tiers are designed to reward the most frequent flyer more frequently. I'm ok with that.
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:51 pm
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Originally Posted by LKYGSR View Post
You must be buying last minute tickets at higher classes. I'm PM and buy 2-3 weeks out on a regular basis (T Class normally). I've been passed over many times out of MSP and SMF for the upgrade...I even see GM getting upgrades ahead of me (higher class tix), it really comes down to the price you pay for each flight.
If Golds are getting upgraded ahead of you, it's either their on full Ys (which a Gold on a full Y is ahead of a Plat on a L/U/T) are something is glitchy with the upgrade order. A Plat on a T (bought 2-3 weeks in advance) will always be ahead of a Gold on a B (or lower) fare if the system works right.

As for missing upgrades, I've missed 5 this year:
- MSP-ATL, Thursday 5 p.m. flight. Was maybe number 20 on the list on a 757. Hub-to-hub at peak business traveler flight time.
- MSP-MEM, Thursday 5 p.m. flight. See above.
- MSP-ATL, Wednesday 5 p.m. flight. See above.
- MSP-SLC, Saturday 8 a.m. flight. Did a SDC onto this flight, EUAs had filled up F (so Silvers were up front while I was in the back)
- SLC-MSP, Sunday noon flight. Did a SDC to this flight, EUAs had already cleared/filled up F.

In all 5 cases, it's been hub-to-hub though - I'm batting 100% on all hub-outstation routes.
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Old Oct 28, 09, 11:54 pm
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This happens on all airlines. I remember before an AA flight in 2000 the GA in AUS announced that, since only 2 pax on the full MD-80 to SJC -- the fabled "nerd bird" -- were not elite, there would be no elite boarding. Except for a pre-board for F, the rest of the plane boarded by row. I was a newly minted Gold and was all excited to use my new status. You can imagine the letdown.
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Old Oct 29, 09, 12:00 am
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MSP/DTW flights are some of the more consistently boarded flights by elite level.

With that many elites NW will frequently board by First Class, Platinum, Gold, Silver, then continue with boarding. Of course, that was pre-Deltification and Zone boarding. It's still possible they'll board by elite level and then zones 3 & 4.

There are a ton of threads on the old NW forum about upgrades between MSP & DTW. From my reading I'd say it's likely 50% or more of plats don't even get upgraded on this route.

Your best bet is to pick an off time and to pick the larger aircraft (757). NW often flights two MSP/DTW flights back-to-back (e.g. 5 minutes apart) and one will be a small aircraft like an A319 or DC9 while the other is a 757.

It's a very short flight so enjoy your exit row if you were able to book it. The 1,000 Plat Guarantee is gone so you won't even get a consolation prize anymore.

-RM
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Old Oct 29, 09, 12:01 am
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Originally Posted by mersk862 View Post
If Golds are getting upgraded ahead of you, it's either their on full Ys (which a Gold on a full Y is ahead of a Plat on a L/U/T) are something is glitchy with the upgrade order. A Plat on a T (bought 2-3 weeks in advance) will always be ahead of a Gold on a B (or lower) fare if the system works right.

.
You seem fairly well versed at the upgrade process, thanks for the detail. Any idea how they determine and break a tie? Example, two PM both with the same class ticket, which one gets the last seat in F?
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Old Oct 29, 09, 12:06 am
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Originally Posted by LKYGSR View Post
You seem fairly well versed at the upgrade process, thanks for the detail. Any idea how they determine and break a tie? Example, two PM both with the same class ticket, which one gets the last seat in F?
Time of upgrade request (which is usually time of ticketing).
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