Upgrade Chances: The Definitive Thread

Old Jul 4, 06, 1:13 pm
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by Marq
I am looking at flying MCO-NRT in October. I would like to be able to use my PMUs. Are certain days of the week better than others for Z availability? When I try pricing on dl.com, Y shows up when I ask for flexible fares and B shows up when I ask for discounted fares. Is M unavailable on one-way trips? If we go on waitlist, will my wife (using one of my PMUs) have same priority as me?

thanks,
Marc
As with most of these routes, Z availability is easier on Tues/Weds. ATL-NRT usually has very limited if any Z availability until the week or two before departure though they may come through more often for mid-week departures (checking 7/5 and 7/11 right now both show Z9, for example) earlier...In the ATL-NRT market, the lowest one-way fare is the B fare of $1915 + tax.; the lowest roundtrip M fare starts from $1232 + taxes...
On delta.com, Flexible fare options now only show Y fares while Discounted will get you the M and B fares.
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Old Jul 4, 06, 1:53 pm
  #122  
 
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ClipperDelta, thanks for the thorough response. I will plan on booking on either Tuesday 10 Oct or Wed 11 Oct and not expect Z availability at time of booking. If I do need to fly later, would a Saturday departure (14 Oct) have better chances than Thu, Fri, Sun, or Mon?

For MCO - NRT, I am showing one way B fares of $1941.00 (including tax) and round trip M fares of $1725.04. Am I going to face some penalty from DL (I have 400,000 skymiles that I don't want to lose) if I just buy the M and toss the return?

Again, thanks,
Marc
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Old Jul 4, 06, 2:15 pm
  #123  
 
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Originally Posted by Marq
ClipperDelta, thanks for the thorough response. I will plan on booking on either Tuesday 10 Oct or Wed 11 Oct and not expect Z availability at time of booking. If I do need to fly later, would a Saturday departure (14 Oct) have better chances than Thu, Fri, Sun, or Mon?

For MCO - NRT, I am showing one way B fares of $1941.00 (including tax) and round trip M fares of $1725.04. Am I going to face some penalty from DL (I have 400,000 skymiles that I don't want to lose) if I just buy the M and toss the return?

Again, thanks,
Marc
Right now both 10/10 and 10/11 show no Z availability although the BE cabin is currently wide open on both those days. If it continues to be relatively wide open, they may start offering Z availability earlier than one or two weeks before departure.
Saturdays are generally quite bad, if not one of the worst. Business travelers tend to fly on Saturday (arriving NRT on Sunday) in order to be ready for work on Monday. I would think that after Tues/Wed, Thurs and then Friday may be your best bets.

As for not using the return, should be ok - just call and cancel and say you can't travel on that day and need to rebook for later (M fares after all allow you to rebook on a different day with a penalty)...unless DL reads this post and figures out who you are , etc.
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Old Jul 4, 06, 2:31 pm
  #124  
 
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Again, thank you for your help. One last question. Will I have higher priority (for both my wife and myself) as a PM using PMU on a B fare than PMs on M fares? Or, is it based on time on the list? Will we have higher priority than non-PMs using miles to upgrade?

thanks,
Marc
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Old Jul 4, 06, 3:12 pm
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by Marq
Again, thank you for your help. One last question. Will I have higher priority (for both my wife and myself) as a PM using PMU on a B fare than PMs on M fares? Or, is it based on time on the list? Will we have higher priority than non-PMs using miles to upgrade?

thanks,
Marc
Sorry but I don't know if the fare purchased officially plays a role in the PM waitlist pecking order (have gotten different responses from SMS); however, you will have priority as a PM over non-PMs using miles...
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Old Jul 4, 06, 4:45 pm
  #126  
 
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You really only need one way?

One way M fares ATL-NRT then on to TPE are normally about $800 or $850 for me. Check expedia. THen DL doesn't really know anything about the short segment you threw away.

In my experience Y, B, or M don't affect things. Being PM certainly does.
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Old Jul 4, 06, 5:27 pm
  #127  
 
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I just randomly checked Oct. 11. One way to JAX-ATL-NRT is $1900 as you found.

One way JAX-ATL-NRT-TPE (NRT -TPE on CI codeshare) is a little over $600 in H class, a little over $700 in B (upgradeable except for the last segment you don't need).

The Japan market pricing is totally screwed up... I wonder which is a bigger sin or has more potential to cause you troubles -- buying RT and not using the return, or buying the through ticket to TPE and not using the NRT-TPE leg?

Of course luggage could mess up my idea. I just checked expedia so that I could break the NRT-TPE segment to not be a connection (so no luggage problems). Through fare (probably was H, didn't take time to check) was onlyk $670.
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Old Aug 7, 06, 5:26 pm
  #128  
 
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I really need some FT "great ideas." It ends up I will need to go to NRT twice; first round trip on my own and then one way with wife.

First trip is Saturday 7 Oct returning Saturday 14 Oct. Company will pay business; however, if there is at least a 50-50 proposition of an upgrade, I would like to bargain with the company and try to use PMUs. First, is Saturday going to be really tough? How about the return? I can always buy Y one way and J the other which would still be cheaper. Again, does Y move me ahead of PMs that are on M or B but have an earlier time stamp?

Now, the hard question. My wife has a bad problem with edema. She is not looking forward to possibility of being in coach for 14 hours. Since a bad experience on AF LAX PPT a couple of years ago; we have made sure all international travel has been in business. Only way I know to guarantee business is to purchase it. Will DL let me take a coach ticket purchased through company travel agent (one way B) and upgrade it with cash to the one way J fare? Do I really have any other alternatives? We are looking at going in late Oct or early Nov. SMS just said that there were seats on 6 November. However, I wonder if they will be gone in a couple of hours. Is there any way to hold them (per chance purchase a Y fare) and then still have them when I cancel and have travel agent book trip? Is it possible to waitlist for PMUs and, if they haven't cleared ahead of time to pay for the upgrade day of travel?

Are there any dates in late October or early November where I can feel confident that PMUs will clear due to holidays or other factors?

Again, thanks for any advice. I will pay the $2900 difference myself but would prefer to avoid it if possible.

Marc
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Old Aug 7, 06, 6:00 pm
  #129  
 
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Nrt..

Originally Posted by Marq
I really need some FT "great ideas." It ends up I will need to go to NRT twice; first round trip on my own and then one way with wife.

Marc
It's my thought that as long as there is "J" availability when you are travelling, you could buy your way into an I/J/D fare.. Delta willingly accepts cash and probably wouldn't care who intially bought the original ticket - you or your company. Money talks!

As far as the ATL-NRT route, i've found that the weekends and weekend shoulder days are always busiest. Travel Tues-Thurs and you have better chances at most things on this route. However - this doesn't mean the aircraft are empty - far from it - even in the non-peak seasons. I've done at least 7 roundtrips on the route in the last 3 years.

If you intend to try using a PMU to upgrade from Y/B/M class, get your request in ASAP. DL will not process an upgrade until a ticket is purchased and in their system. Reservations aren't enough. Early bird gets the upgrade seat.
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Old Aug 7, 06, 6:04 pm
  #130  
 
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By the way, in answer to your other question - yes, you could buy a Y/B/M fare to in essence hold the upgrade for, say, Nov 6. Buy a real upgradable ticket, secure the upgrade at time of booking. You could then buy another YBM later, and move the upgrade seat over. I've had to do this a few times. Also, your original booked fare is refundable, or let DL keep the cash and save it to rebook another flight for later in the year, like LGW or CDG. The downside is you get charged the standard international change fee for doing the swapping between tickets. ($100?)

But that might be a good deal compared to the (pardon the pun) "Delta" between your "free" PMU and the added cost of paying cash to upgrade to "J".
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Old Aug 8, 06, 4:53 am
  #131  
 
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Thanks!!

This is first that I have ever heard of $100 change fee for international tickets. If these are fully refundable, why should there be a change fee?

Again, thanks for the wonderful info.

Marc
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Old Aug 8, 06, 2:09 pm
  #132  
 
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Originally Posted by Marq
Thanks!!

This is first that I have ever heard of $100 change fee for international tickets. If these are fully refundable, why should there be a change fee?

Again, thanks for the wonderful info.

Marc
Simply put, changing an interntional ticket - in about any way - dates, times, flights, etc will cause the agent to invoke the $100.00 international ticket change fee. Getting your tickets refunded may be a different story - I don't know if they'd subtract $100 and refund you the rest or not. Others may have more insght on this.
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Old Aug 10, 06, 6:14 am
  #133  
 
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Refunds appear to be interesting... I am about to find out the specifics. I booked a refundable OW ATL-LIB and subsequently cxld it. When discussing my refund the agent said that the FARE was refundable and most taxes and fees were refundable, but that the jury was out on whether all international taxes are refundable. He indicated that there are some international taxes that are not refundable, so my refund may be less than the full anmount of the ticket. I asked where I would have seen that in the description of what refundable means... but that was just a rhetorical question really. He had no answer other than it was not controllable by DL and each scenario is different.

So..beware refunding the international ticket. Probably not a lot of money, but it is not clear that you recover 100% of your expense.
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Old Aug 16, 06, 3:59 pm
  #134  
 
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It is time for me to make the reservations. I have choice of any time first week in November. No date has Z available. I am trying to decided between Wednesday 1 Nov and Thursday the 2nd. If mid-week is best, I should do the 1st, correct? If I do book the first, is there a chance that the PMU could clear soon or will I be in a waiting game until the last minute? If I choose the 1st, do I need to keep checking with DL to see if perchance the 2nd has availability open up? This shouldn't be that hard.

thanks,
Marc
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Old Aug 16, 06, 4:15 pm
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by Marq
It is time for me to make the reservations. I have choice of any time first week in November. No date has Z available. I am trying to decided between Wednesday 1 Nov and Thursday the 2nd. If mid-week is best, I should do the 1st, correct? If I do book the first, is there a chance that the PMU could clear soon or will I be in a waiting game until the last minute? If I choose the 1st, do I need to keep checking with DL to see if perchance the 2nd has availability open up? This shouldn't be that hard.

thanks,
Marc
Right now, both look quite open in J but as we know, business travellers don't buy until much closer to flight time...so, I guess I would probably go for Nov 1 too. As to whether Z clears soon, it all depends on how 'wide open' the flight continues to be - if the inventory doesn't look like it's moving, then it will open up sooner...otherwise, probably about one to two weeks before. For example, looking out from today Wed 8/16, next Tues 8/22 and Wed 8/23 both now have Z availability (2 seats on 8/22 and 9 on 8/23 but 0 on Mon 8/21, Thurs 8/24, and Fri 8/25) as do Mon 8/28 and Tues 8/29... So I would say that if there looks like there is decent J/D/I available, Z will open up about anywhere from 7 to 12 days before....Good luck!
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