The Definitive B/E Upgrade Complaint Thread

Old May 11, 10, 7:07 am
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by dean1121 View Post
Ditto everything from the OP. I too am DM (260,000 MQM YTD), and have 4 more TPAC and 2 TATL this year and will be doing all on *A. Some more reasons are

1. Rollover gives a flyer like me absolutely no incentive to stay with DL.
2. Why stay when any upgrades are such a hassle and rip off.
3. With potential CO/UA merger hopefully there will be a strong competitor that goes after 300K flyers like myself.
4. I have status match to CO plat and will make sure I stay there by traveling on *A this year so I have options next year.

Delta, I prefer your product but in this current situation you are forcing me to spend 20-30K with your opposition. These are the facts.

Great original post, hopefully it will be read by some people that can make a decision.
Except for point number one since I don't have so many YTD miles this year, I totally agree with this post. Got the CO plat status match and will keep using *A in order to get platinum on both, rather than spending only on Delta. Offers a lot more advantages, worldwide lounges, etc...since it is so hard to get an upgrade anyway without YBM purchases on Delta.

Just to add: I also have noticed I have SkyPriority in my profile, did all DL Platinum get this? (whatever good it does internationally LOL -- nice post by the OP)

Last edited by Powers106; May 11, 10 at 7:09 am Reason: Just to add:
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Old May 11, 10, 7:07 am
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by LAXHOUND View Post
They are GREEDY
No, they are a corporation and have made a business decision. You and many others disagree with this business decision. How about you write this up and send it by snail mail to Mssrs. Anderson, Bastian, Hauenstein, and Robertson. Maybe that would garner some attention.

Originally Posted by LAXHOUND View Post
Let me leave the flyertalk community with this..if you just paid a full fare J ticket for BE on a long-haul which seat mate would would make u feel more slighted by Deltaís system? A kid on a buddy pass that paid a few hundred dollars in taxes? Or a Diamond Medallion who paid $800 for a T-fare and upgraded using one of his SWUs (hypothetically speaking) after flying 125,000 miles domestically?
In all honesty, it is none of my business how the seat mate got up front. Is it any of my business at a hotel as to who got the best suite in the hotel? Is it any of my business who drove off the Avis lot in the nice convertible?

I expect to get the promised benefits from a program. Yes, Delta's international upgrade benefits are poor. And General Franco is still dead.

In any case, all airlines have NRSA. Most companies give their employees some benefits. I was a doorman at a movie theatre many years back. I got free popcorn and cokes, and I got free movies all over town even at competing chains. I also got paid minimum wage.

An NRSA is likely to be better behaved than many of the DYKWIA flyers in the world.

Originally Posted by LAXHOUND View Post
please note that Iím moving all the remainder of my international travel this year to UA. Delta needs to realize they are a global airline and needs to treat their top tiers in-line with the other major carriers when we choose to fly internationally a couple times a year on leisure.
And that's a good way to handle your frustrations.

But noting it here pretty much means nothing. Again, if you write all of this up in a letter it might get more attention than a post on FT.

I like the thread where folks are mailing postcards to Mr. Anderson from around the world. I think that's a great idea!

David
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Old May 11, 10, 7:08 am
  #63  
 
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"I agree Delta runs a business and can't sustain in the long run if BE seats are just given away. But where I think Delta differs from the other airlines (i.e. United, Continental, and AA) is they fail to see the separation and difference between Business and Leisure travel. "


Clearly as a DM the OP flies a great deal. The notion that airlines are "giving away" seats, especially as the post suggests others were moved up including (dare I say it) no revs....is just wrong! I take it the OP pays quite a bit of money over a year to make DM/MQM. I am sick and tired of folks thinking we are getting "free seats" even when using "award miles" ---there is not a darn thing free about them. Non revs (except for flight crew as in the flight deck as in people who fly airplanes --for safety reasons) are "free seats" which are a valued and reasonable perk for employees, but first class/BE? No they are not. Paying customers come first, and the OP is, I assume, a big a paying customer.

In my view, the OP was not given the consideration due a very good customer.
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Old May 11, 10, 7:14 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by thepla View Post
Maybe DL has a different experience for M fares starting in Europe. It is clearly documented here that flying to Europe M fares are two or three times higher than lowest fare.

In NW days Y/B fares were the required fares for upgrading. Off season these fares were in the $1100 range. From what I am reading here the fares needed for M fares in off season are in the $2500 range.
There are two things at play. Yes, some ex-European fares are lower, but it also matters when you buy your tickets. Everyone assumes that business = last-minute, while personal = planned ahead. I take personal trips that are booked at the last minute, where every carrier is selling expensive seats and the buy-up to M is reasonable. There are others in the same boat that use all their SWUs for the exact same situations.
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Old May 11, 10, 7:15 am
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by vasantn View Post
Finally, a fresh topic.


Originally Posted by LAXHOUND View Post
I really don't get the complacency on this board regarding this topic. No offense, but maybe its just b/c I'm a young DM who has 30 years of flying left and an idealist but I gotta think Delta at some point is going to have to be competitive especially after the UA/CO merger.
Complacency, are you kidding? Have you been on Mars? There have been numerous threads on this. Trust me.

At some point some of us also find there are priorities in life other than flying and DYKWIA.

Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
As for complacency, this isn't some sort of Civil Rights issue, it is a business transaction.
If this were airliners.net, you would be at the top of my respected users list.

Originally Posted by Himmelhund View Post
and the OP is, I assume, a big a paying customer.
And in all likelihood, the OP's employer is paying the freight. Ain't hardly anybody on this forum who is frequently flying overseas on their own nickel. MikeMpls excepted, of course!

David

Last edited by DiverDave; May 11, 10 at 8:14 am
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Old May 11, 10, 8:38 am
  #66  
 
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The SkyPriority thing is nothing new, just a new brand name for the priority boarding lane!
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Old May 11, 10, 9:01 am
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by pferrandi View Post
The SkyPriority thing is nothing new, just a new brand name for the priority boarding lane!
I wish this was a joke but I have a feeling that it is not.

(I think I read something about that and dismissed it as not possible that it was only that... oh well, it is a cruel, bitter world!)
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Old May 11, 10, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by Himmelhund View Post
Clearly as a DM the OP flies a great deal. The notion that airlines are "giving away" seats, especially as the post suggests others were moved up including (dare I say it) no revs....is just wrong! I take it the OP pays quite a bit of money over a year to make DM/MQM. I am sick and tired of folks thinking we are getting "free seats" even when using "award miles" ---there is not a darn thing free about them. Non revs (except for flight crew as in the flight deck as in people who fly airplanes --for safety reasons) are "free seats" which are a valued and reasonable perk for employees, but first class/BE? No they are not. Paying customers come first, and the OP is, I assume, a big a paying customer.

In my view, the OP was not given the consideration due a very good customer.
You are certainly paying something when using miles, but the question is how much you are paying. Even including the highest fees (say an ex-EU J redemption), the net revenue to DL for a J class redemption at low mileage is probably around $800, which is quite a haircut off of the market price. If the only criteria is that people pay something, then why not simply sell all seats for $1?

As to whether elites deserve upgrades... First off, I think you overestimate how much it costs to become elite. Second, the qualification criteria disproportionately favor low-fare fliers. Third, there is pretty much zero incremental benefit in selling the seat to an elite, as opposed to selling it to Joe Q Public. In other words, I simply don't buy the argument that your average elite relationship is that valuable to the airline. I think people are elite because they fly a lot, not the other way around. DL has many ways to get people to fly them and the FF program is just one of those avenues.

Originally Posted by DiverDave View Post
And in all likelihood, the OP's employer is paying the freight. Ain't hardly anybody on this forum who is frequently flying overseas on their own nickel. MikeMpls excepted, of course!
I pay for pretty much 100% of my travel and most of it is long-haul. Indeed, for those that fly long-haul a lot on their own dime, I think the redemption issues are less of a big deal. I mean, I fly maybe 8 to 10 long-haul RTs each year. It isn't that difficult to find 1 or 2 of those trips where I can redeem instead of paying cash. The problem would be if I am trying to find a specific trip where I can redeem instead of paying cash.

Last edited by pbarnette; May 11, 10 at 9:30 am
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Old May 11, 10, 9:44 am
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
First off, I think you overestimate how much it costs to become elite.

I pay for pretty much 100% of my travel and most of it is long-haul. Indeed, for those that fly long-haul a lot on their own dime, I think the redemption issues are less of a big deal. I mean, I fly maybe 8 to 10 long-haul RTs each year. It isn't that difficult to find 1 or 2 of those trips where I can redeem instead of paying cash. The problem would be if I am trying to find a specific trip where I can redeem instead of paying cash.
For the first part, I agree that it isn't really that expensive to become Elite, well, if you consider $4,000 not that expensive to hit Platinum. I wonder what the cheapest anybody has done to get the 75k MQM.

I fly a lot also. International flights, all on my own dime, about 12 r/t long-hauls every year. It is annoying to me that, even if I am not owed anything, that it is so hard just to use the miles to upgrade once in a while. I can get almost 20k MQM from a BKK-PHX route that I can buy for $1,200 sometimes...but a Y/B/M fare is easily $2,400 or more, so only worth it sometimes...not every time...I would love to even have the choice to pay double miles to upgrade! So, I guess I save the miles for the C class award ticket when I can time it so I use it from the USA, not overseas origin, due to the ridiculous fee Delta has! Grrr!
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Old May 11, 10, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by LAXHOUND View Post
Let me start by saying I have been closely following this board for the last two years and I am current Diamond Medallion already re-qualified through 2012 thanks to rollover miles. SKYMILESINSIDER I have a serious gripe with your Sky Priority marketing blitz. I have no complaints on the domestic side as I have missed upgrades on only a few segments and am very happy with the domestic benefits. However, on the international side Skymiles and Sky Priority is a complete laughing stock. Delta is soo far from being best in class on international travel that itís a travesty your marketing department can get away with uttering those words.

As a DM who just returned from an LAX-SYD RT in Y both ways and witnessed on both the outbound and return flights that there was excess space in BE after accommodating all paying passengers (cash and skymiles), all NRSA employees and all buddy passes. On the return flight I confirmed with the lead purser that I was the only DM in Y on the flight and there were 2 or 3 PMs. The fact that there is not some instrument available to the top tiers to upgrade in a situation like this is from my vantage point a serious lacking in the Skymiles offering. I would have gladly exchanged 50,000 miles for one of those seats each way. Ohh and even if I had wanted to book an award ticket for the trip of course there was no low level BE awards available even though both cabins were more than half empty.

Apparently Delta failís to realize that 3 out of the 4 Majors (soon to be 2 of 3) both realize and value their top tier fliers enough to give them instruments that allow them to upgrade to Biz Class at substantially lower fare levels than Delta a few times a year for their loyalty.

I agree Delta runs a business and can't sustain in the long run if BE seats are just given away. But where I think Delta differs from the other airlines (i.e. United, Continental, and AA) is they fail to see the separation and difference between Business and Leisure travel. They are GREEDY and expect all their Top Tier Fliers to behave and spend as if they are on Business Travel internationally every time they fly. As I have over 1mm Skymiles and in all likelihood another 30 years of active flying, its in my best interest for Delta to right this ship. I will not remain complacent and be satisfied with the status quo that delta calls there useless SWUs and shame on those of you out there that arenít willing to take more of a stand in order to get Delta to change their course. This hogwash that Delta feeds us about protecting the yield on their BE cabin is just thatÖwhen half the cabin is going out empty and being given to NRSA and buddy passes nothing is being protected. If last minute upgrades via miles or cash or usable SWUs were allowed the only net effect would be a few less buddy passes sitting upfront.

Case in point.. those that fly on business internationally and have travel policies that allow for the purchase of J class tickets will continue to do just that. They are not going to risk a gate a upgrade and the chance of riding in Y if they donít have to b/c they are spending OPM (Other Peopleís Money). In addition, those high rollers out there to which money flows freely will also not change their purchasing decisions and risk sitting in back. The majority of international flights that Delta is operating today have room to accommodate all types of passengers to maximize yield including full J, Discounted I, Award Tickets, NRSA, buddy passes, and SWUís on all fares if not just mid and up on a space available basis.

Let me leave the flyertalk community with this..if you just paid a full fare J ticket for BE on a long-haul which seat mate would would make u feel more slighted by Deltaís system? A kid on a buddy pass that paid a few hundred dollars in taxes? Or a Diamond Medallion who paid $800 for a T-fare and upgraded using one of his SWUs (hypothetically speaking) after flying 125,000 miles domestically? Wake up Delta some of us out there would actually like being treated like a DM internationally and be given more options than paying $800 for Y or $3,000 for M and thatís it.

As Iím sure Iíll be flamed for this, please note that Iím moving all the remainder of my international travel this year to UA. Delta needs to realize they are a global airline and needs to treat their top tiers in-line with the other major carriers when we choose to fly internationally a couple times a year on leisure.

-LAXHOUND
Outstanding post!

I hope Delta understands we enjoy flying with them but when the competition takes better care of their top elite than Delta regarding this issue, we only what for Delta to improve to truly be the "BEST IN CLASS".
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Old May 11, 10, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by LAXHOUND View Post
...
As Iím sure Iíll be flamed for this, please note that Iím moving all the remainder of my international travel this year to UA. Delta needs to realize they are a global airline and needs to treat their top tiers in-line with the other major carriers when we choose to fly internationally a couple times a year on leisure.

-LAXHOUND
I think it is a fair and most likely smart decision. I have myself used discount Business fares on other carriers to Europe because Delta and other Skyteam members did not compete and would not have reasonably priced award tkts.

In May I am already DM for 2011 and by the end of the year I may have enough to carry-over a DM status for 2012 ... not sure it is worth it anymore. I could start a parallel 1K status with United/CO or equivalent with American. I will be scratching my head hard on my Thursday flight back to PHX when I requilify for DM ... what is the best strategy?

Fly Safe!
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Old May 11, 10, 10:27 pm
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by LAXHOUND View Post
Let me leave the flyertalk community with this..if you just paid a full fare J ticket for BE on a long-haul which seat mate would would make u feel more slighted by Deltaís system? A kid on a buddy pass that paid a few hundred dollars in taxes? Or a Diamond Medallion who paid $800 for a T-fare and upgraded using one of his SWUs (hypothetically speaking) after flying 125,000 miles domestically?
And here is where the absolute lack of knowledge on this subject shows just how out-of-touch many are on this matter.

In your LAX-SYD rt example, since you offered it, the "kid on a buddy pass" paid far more than "a few hundred dollars in taxes." In fact, there is less than a $100 cost differential between the buddy pass and the actual price of your hypothetical example.

So what does it really matter if you're sitting next to a T-fare passenger or a buddy pass passenger who paid nearly identical fares? The assumption you make is that the buddy pass shouldn't be upgraded because it was only "a few hundred dollars in taxes", which is, in fact, incorrect.

And let's not forget that there is a better than fair chance that the buddy pass won't board the aircraft at all.
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Old May 11, 10, 11:53 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
In other words, I simply don't buy the argument that your average elite relationship is that valuable to the airline. I think people are elite because they fly a lot, not the other way around. DL has many ways to get people to fly them and the FF program is just one of those avenues.
I respectfully disagree. When I was on NW and it was easy to get upgrades on reasonably priced fares, I flew 10 to 12 RT TPACs per year. When they made UGs hard to get (and this happened before the merger), I cut back to 4 or 5 trips a year. After switching to UA (where you can get consistently upgrade on reasonable fares), I increased my travel back up to 10 to 12 trips a year. It is because of a good FF program (where I can travel somewhat comfortably on reasonable fares) that I travel a lot.


I pay for pretty much 100% of my travel and most of it is long-haul. Indeed, for those that fly long-haul a lot on their own dime, I think the redemption issues are less of a big deal. I mean, I fly maybe 8 to 10 long-haul RTs each year. It isn't that difficult to find 1 or 2 of those trips where I can redeem instead of paying cash. The problem would be if I am trying to find a specific trip where I can redeem instead of paying cash.
Again I disagree. I flew 20 legs across the Pacific last year on UA. I got upgrades on 19 of them. My total spend for the trips was under $15k. If I had been flying DL, I would have spent at least $60k to fly C. My travel is on my own nickel and being able to fly business at a reasonable price is a big, big deal for me and a lot of other travelers.

BTW - Don't understand with your flying pattern why you fly DL. Doesn't make any sense!
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Old May 12, 10, 5:42 am
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by 5khours View Post
Again I disagree. I flew 20 legs across the Pacific last year on UA. I got upgrades on 19 of them. My total spend for the trips was under $15k. If I had been flying DL, I would have spent at least $60k to fly C. My travel is on my own nickel and being able to fly business at a reasonable price is a big, big deal for me and a lot of other travelers.
Let me get this straight... You flew 10 roundtrips, virtually all in J, at an average of less than $1500 per trip, yet you dispute my claim that the elite relationship simply isn't valuable to the airline? Does not compute. Do people not realize that there is a fundamental disconnect between crowing about how valuable you are to the airline, while complaining about not being able to upgrade on cheapo fares? Not saying you shouldn't use and abuse the airlines for everything they are worth, but let's be honest about the value of such flyers to the airlines. And, please, don't act surprised when DL doesn't bend over backwards to keep you as a customer.

Were the airline's problems loads, rather than yields, then the FF programs as currently constructed might make sense. Since loads aren't the problem... This is why I expect FF benefit belt-tightening to come out of the CO/UA merger, as CO has traditionally tried to make their FF program about yields, at least more than UA.

Originally Posted by 5khours View Post
BTW - Don't understand with your flying pattern why you fly DL. Doesn't make any sense!
Actually it makes all the sense in the world. They fly where I need to go and at a very competitive price. Ex-CPH, upgrades are plentiful and not really that expensive (M fares are roughly $1600). And, as someone that flies partners with regularity, I earn substantially more miles with DL than I would with any other carrier (esp. *A).

UA makes no sense, because they don't fly to CPH and always want to put you onto SK to the US, where you can't upgrade, where you often earn very little, and which is also a pretty lousy airline. CO might be an option, but they have lousy upgrade availability ex-CPH, require connecting or arriving in Newark, have AWFUL Y seats, and are almost always more expensive than DL. I've looked at AA, but they almost always require one or more connections than DL does. I've looked at the foreign airlines, too, but none have a FF program worth getting excited about.
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Old May 12, 10, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
Let me get this straight... You flew 10 roundtrips, virtually all in J, at an average of less than $1500 per trip, yet you dispute my claim that the elite relationship simply isn't valuable to the airline? Does not compute. Do people not realize that there is a fundamental disconnect between crowing about how valuable you are to the airline, while complaining about not being able to upgrade on cheapo fares? Not saying you shouldn't use and abuse the airlines for everything they are worth, but let's be honest about the value of such flyers to the airlines. And, please, don't act surprised when DL doesn't bend over backwards to keep you as a customer.
Let's see....it costs UA around $1200 to fly me in J and I'm paying $1500. Then I have family members who do another 15 RT TPACs and employees who do about 30 so that's comes to about $15k on UA's bottom line. Sure there are lot of customers who generate a lot more profit but $15k on the bottom line is not insignificant. Compare that to DL. Before I quit, I was down to 4 trips a year and DL made maybe $400 in total on me. My family was burning all their miles on free tickets (no revenue to DL) and employees flew any airline they wanted because I was pissed at DL for screwing me on the UGs. DL's argument is that if their UGs are too easy, then passengers will buy down to Y. This is nonsense. If the corporate travel policy is for J, employees will buy J and use their SWUs for UGs into F (which BTW DL doesn't have) and their miles for family vacations. So DL was making $400 a year off of me and now they make zero while UA is making $15k. And.... it's going to be really hard for DL to ever get me back.

The problem is that when J fares were at a reasonable multiple of Y, then companies set travel policies that allowed employees to fly J. The carriers took advantage of that by jacking the J fares up to $6-$8k. Now the companies are balking. UA is playing the game very smart and are grabbing all of DL's international FFs in droves. Those who don't have an employer who pays for J, fly UA because of the generous UG program. Those who do have an employer who pays for J fly UA because of a better hard product (lie flat seats in J) plus the opportunity to use SWU to UG into F.

DL is stupid. They're worried about a problem than doesn't exist (buydowns from J to Y). Most of their international customers hate them. They're losing heretofore loyal customers in large numbers to UA, AA an CO, and they're never going to get them back.


Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
Actually it makes all the sense in the world. They fly where I need to go and at a very competitive price. Ex-CPH, upgrades are plentiful and not really that expensive (M fares are roughly $1600). And, as someone that flies partners with regularity, I earn substantially more miles with DL than I would with any other carrier (esp. *A).

UA makes no sense, because they don't fly to CPH and always want to put you onto SK to the US, where you can't upgrade, where you often earn very little, and which is also a pretty lousy airline. CO might be an option, but they have lousy upgrade availability ex-CPH, require connecting or arriving in Newark, have AWFUL Y seats, and are almost always more expensive than DL. I've looked at AA, but they almost always require one or more connections than DL does. I've looked at the foreign airlines, too, but none have a FF program worth getting excited about.
Pity you! If you're stuck in a DL captive hub, you're SOL. If I were you, though, unless I was going to DTW I'd be thinking CO. CO has been hinting at putting in E+ and with the UA merger, this seems pretty certain. Even w/o E+, as an elite, you ought to be able to score exit rows. Plus if the merged FF program is anything like MP, you'll be able to UG to J most of the time, and the 757s on the EWR-CPH route are expected to be completely converted to lie flat by 7/11 (there are reports that they are already showing up on EWR-AMS.)

Out of curiosity, what are you spending on average per RT and what percentage of your flights are in J versus Y.
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