International (TATL/TPAC) OP-UP vs. SWU

Old Sep 10, 12, 7:44 am
  #76  
 
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Ditto. This even happens in ATL, which REALLY gets my blood pressure up!
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Old Sep 20, 12, 4:32 am
  #77  
 
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As suggested here, I wrote to Delta regarding my experience in CPH as described above. I condensed it, but after describing what happend, I asked for clarification of how the international standby airport SWU upgrade waitlist should work (for future reference), whether or not contracted staff at non-U.S. departure cities were required to follow Delta policies, and whether there were any plans to adequately train contracted staff who manage DL's non-U.S. departuers.

In addition, I asked what the status, fare class and reason was for upgrading ca. 6 other passengers ahead of processing my SWU. While I acknowledge that I cannot be 100% certain that all C passengers were not entitled to those seats ahead of me (Platinum on B fare waitlisted to use SWU), I would be surprised if 6 C seats were sold within 2 hours of departure, and I was told that I was the only passenger on the "priority upgrade" airport standby waitlist.

I received a very long reply from Delta, most of which I won't repeat as it is mainly "sorry for your experience, we value your loyalty" repeated throughout, but some key points that I find disconcerting are:

I regret our agents at the Platinum Desk, as well as our SkyTeam agents in Copenhagen did not understand how the upgrade process works.
I never said that the agents at the Platinum Desk did not understand how the upgrade process works. Every agent I spoke to at the Platinum Desk during the few calls I made in the days leading up to the flight described the process exactly as I understood it should work. I only reported that the process I understood to be correct was not followed in CPH. Is the response implying that Delta thinks the information I was given by the Platinum Desk was wrong?

. . . after reviewing the details of your ticket, you were booked correctly in B class, which allows for upgrades. As long as we had upgrade seats available, you should have been able to use your certificate. However, please understand, while there may be available seats in the Premium cabin, Revenue Management does not allot all of them for upgrades. These seats may be for full purchase only. Nevertheless, I apologize for all of the misinformation and disappointment you encountered with your flight.
(Bolding mine) I know that all seats are not made available for upgrade prior to flight time / airport control. But I understood that a BE seat should not go out empty if there was a Diamond or Platinum member on standby waitlist to use a SWU while booked in an eligible fare class (unless there is an issue with meal availability or weight/balance).

And the fact was that no BE seats went out empty which I clearly stated, and I also clearly stated that I indeed flew in BE at the end. I questioned the process and the status of the others who cleared, apparently ahead of me, and which appeared to be op-ups (or may have been non-revs). Yet I never received a response about the status or fare class of the other last-minute clearings into BE.

Just found the whole response to be disturbing.
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Old Sep 20, 12, 5:48 am
  #78  
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Unfortunately sounds like you just had an agent responding that pieced together parts of different scripted/canned response templates and didn't actually check into anything.
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Old Sep 20, 12, 6:06 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by SusanDK View Post
As suggested here, I wrote to Delta regarding my experience in CPH as described above

Just found the whole response to be disturbing.
In your situation, I would reply to them (including both the initial message and their reply), and at the top (or in the Subject: header) ask that the message be reviewed by someone competent to understand English and what I wrote. (I might try printing it all out and sending it as snailmail to DL's executive offices instead; that would get more attention and perhaps more likelihood of a competent reply.)

I know that such a strategy works against phone companies that try to overbill me. I don't know what effect it would have on Dullta.
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Old Sep 20, 12, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by SusanDK View Post
As suggested here, I wrote to Delta regarding my experience in CPH as described above. I condensed it, but after describing what happend, I asked for clarification of how the international standby airport SWU upgrade waitlist should work (for future reference), whether or not contracted staff at non-U.S. departure cities were required to follow Delta policies, and whether there were any plans to adequately train contracted staff who manage DL's non-U.S. departuers.

In addition, I asked what the status, fare class and reason was for upgrading ca. 6 other passengers ahead of processing my SWU. While I acknowledge that I cannot be 100% certain that all C passengers were not entitled to those seats ahead of me (Platinum on B fare waitlisted to use SWU), I would be surprised if 6 C seats were sold within 2 hours of departure, and I was told that I was the only passenger on the "priority upgrade" airport standby waitlist.

I received a very long reply from Delta, most of which I won't repeat as it is mainly "sorry for your experience, we value your loyalty" repeated throughout, but some key points that I find disconcerting are:



I never said that the agents at the Platinum Desk did not understand how the upgrade process works. Every agent I spoke to at the Platinum Desk during the few calls I made in the days leading up to the flight described the process exactly as I understood it should work. I only reported that the process I understood to be correct was not followed in CPH. Is the response implying that Delta thinks the information I was given by the Platinum Desk was wrong?



(Bolding mine) I know that all seats are not made available for upgrade prior to flight time / airport control. But I understood that a BE seat should not go out empty if there was a Diamond or Platinum member on standby waitlist to use a SWU while booked in an eligible fare class (unless there is an issue with meal availability or weight/balance).

And the fact was that no BE seats went out empty which I clearly stated, and I also clearly stated that I indeed flew in BE at the end. I questioned the process and the status of the others who cleared, apparently ahead of me, and which appeared to be op-ups (or may have been non-revs). Yet I never received a response about the status or fare class of the other last-minute clearings into BE.

Just found the whole response to be disturbing.
Sounds very disturbing. Thanks for reporting back. If understood correctly (a big if), it sounds like Delta is saying that OpUps ARE entitled to upgrades ahead of a flyer on a YBM fare with an SWU if no seats HAD BEEN MADE available in Z class AS OF THE TIME the flight is released to the gate. Once the flight is released to the gate, it seems that the priority for upgrade is up to the gate's discretion and there is no guidance or priority on how that will work -- a flyer on YBM with an SWU may or may not be granted an upgrade.....but no guarantee of priority for such flyers over the gate's discretion to upgrade any other passengers for operational reasons.

Of course, Delta may operate any way it wishes to, but this seems strange to charge people so much of a premium for a YBM fare and offer the SWU certificates as if they are some sort of benefit or priority and then turn around and treat those flyers as a lower priority. The fact is, Delta purposefully does not release BE seats into Z class because it wants to save those seats to either sell at an even higher price or to use in case economy oversells. There is nothing wrong with that (in fact, I would say it is good business by Delta), but, if that is what happens, I cannot understand the justification to not require operation upgrades to be first offered to flyers on YBM fares with SWUs ahead of other flyers. It seems to me that those flyers paid Delta a lot of extra money (plus chose those SWU certificates over miles/credits/other benefits for something and it doesn't seem like that much to give back to them). Maybe this is all a big misunderstanding.

(this paragraph added by edit) By the way, if both economy and BE had empty seats, I suspect they would have upgraded you. It would seem insane not to allow you to upgrade your YBM fare with an SWU when there are empty seats in all cabins. It seems the problem at issue ONLY occurs when there is an oversell situation in economy. Assuming that to be the case, the question comes up, why should a flyer be deprived of something he or she would receive only because economy oversold. Basically, they are saying, the YBM/SWU upgrade is good as long as we do not oversell economy to lower fare customers.

Last edited by NewYorkMoscowFlyer64; Sep 20, 12 at 7:19 am Reason: to add last paragraph
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Old Sep 20, 12, 7:42 am
  #81  
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Originally Posted by NewYorkMoscowFlyer64 View Post
The fact is, Delta purposefully does not release BE seats into Z class because it wants to save those seats to either sell at an even higher price or to use in case economy oversells.
Releasing a BE seat into Z doesn't hurt if economy oversells; either the Z seat is taken (via SWU/miles) by somebody in Y, freeing up one economy seat, or releasing it has no effect.
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Old Sep 20, 12, 7:48 am
  #82  
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I think this issue is really the outside GAs not following stated Delta procedure. All people on airport standby for SWU upgrade clear first before non-revs or other upgrade methods (op-up). This was stated policy when the "new and improved" SWUs were rolled out back when SMI used to interact more frequently with the forum. The airport upgrade list procedure was supposed to avoid/prevent situations where people got stuck in the back holding an SWU when seats are available.
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