FAQ: Upgrading with Delta and SkyMiles

Old Aug 3, 12, 12:31 pm
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Arrow FAQ: Upgrading with Delta and SkyMiles

All,

Per a request in the FAQ: Delta Aircraft thread, I've assembled this thread.

Feel free to provide input so we can make this thread as useful as possible to new and veteran users.

Thanks,
robin

The threads below are frequently referenced WRT to this topic:
Upgrade Changes - The Definitive Thread
TATL Upgrades using Skymiles and SWUs on Air France/KLM
Using SkyMiles on SkyTeam & Other Partners Master Thread
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...nt-thread.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...alignment.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...-do-delta.html

Last edited by rwoman; Dec 31, 13 at 4:47 am Reason: Updates
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Old Aug 3, 12, 12:31 pm
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Basic Information on Upgrades

There are several types of upgrades on Delta and with SkyMiles:

- Complimentary Upgrades for Medallion members (Domestic (excluding Hawaii) and select North/South American destinations ONLY) LINK
- Systemwide Upgrades (SWU's) which can be selected as DM or PM Choice Benefits. (Domestic/International) LINK (NOTE: An SWU can be used for a companion on the same PNR/flights.)
- Mileage Upgrades (Domestic/International) LINK
- Same Day Paid Standby Upgrades (Domestic) LINK
- Upgrades on Air France and KLM via SWU or Mileage (International) - LINK
- Upgrades on SkyTeam partners
- Operational Upgrade (when pax booked in Y are moved to F/J at no additional cost due to an oversell in Y)

Last edited by rwoman; Dec 31, 13 at 4:48 am Reason: Updates
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Old Aug 3, 12, 12:32 pm
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Domestic Upgrades

Unlimited Domestic Upgrades for Medallion Members:
Delta.com: LINK
Your Medallion membership entitles you to enjoy unlimited complimentary upgrades, subject to availability, on most published economy fares on Delta and certain Delta-designated codeshare flights in North America within or between the United States (excluding Hawaii) and Bermuda, Canada, Central and South America (some exceptions), the Caribbean, and Mexico.
The Medallion Benefits at a Glance provides details on the upgrade window for domestic upgrades.

In for domestic upgrades to process in advance, there must be RP/RU or OP/OU availability. Upgrades not processed at the gate will go on the airport list.

Upgrades using SWUs on Domestic Flights:
In order to use an SWU on domestic flights, a K fare or higher must be purchased. To get the upgrade in advance, RP or OP must be available.

Delta.com: Systemwide Upgrade Certificates

Upgrades using Mileage:
Delta Upgrade Awards

Same Day Paid Standby Upgrades:
The same-day standby upgrade option allows you to upgrade your flight for a small fee, provided space is available and your ticket is eligible. Eligible tickets are those ticket booked in K-class (or higher). For travel to/from Hawaii only, eligible fares include those booked in L, U and T classes. This option applies to specific flights and routings: Within North America; To/from Aruba, Bermuda, Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands), Montego Bay (Jamaica), Nassau (Bahamas), Providenciales (Turks and Caicos), Los Cabos (Mexico), San Juan (Puerto Rico), and St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands); Between Atlanta and Costa Rica, St. Maarten and St. Lucia; Between Cancun (Mexico)and Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis and Minneapolis

Delta.com: LINK

Domestic Upgrade Priority: (Thank you LedgeT - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...u-madness.html, LINK)
UP2A - DM desiring to use SWU
UP2B - PM desiring to use SWU
UP2 - Full Y medallion desiring comp upgrade
UP3D - DM desiring comp upgrade
UP3 - PM desiring comp upgrade
UP4 - GM desiring comp upgrade
UP5 - FO desiring comp upgrade
UP6 - Companion or AS/AF/KL elite desiring comp upgrade
UP7 - Psgr on award ticket booked in R/O and confirmed in coach
SBUP - Delta paid standby upgrade program

Complimentary Domestic Upgrades on Alaska Airlines:
From delta.com:
Elite reciprocity privileges for Delta SkyMiles members and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members including priority boarding, priority check-in and seat assignments, and reciprocal upgrades for customers who have reached Platinum or Gold status in either airline’s frequent flier program.
Related flyertalk Threads:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...l#post15418711
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...es-thread.html

Last edited by rwoman; Nov 4, 13 at 3:02 pm Reason: Updated links
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Old Aug 3, 12, 12:32 pm
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International Upgrades

Upgrades using SWUs on International Flights:
SWU's require RP or OP availability for upgrades on Delta operated flights and O availability on AF/KL flights. SWU upgrades can occur in advance or at the gate.

Delta - using SWU's requires a Y, B, or M (YBM) fare.

Air France - One-way upgrade from Premium Voyageur when booked in S or W class to Business class. Valid for booking on and after June 01, 2011. This cannot be done on flights operated by the 747, which does not have a PV cabin.

For a detailed description of this process - LINK.

Current discussion on if this program is going away:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...premium-w.html

KLM - One-way upgrade from published Economy fares in Y, B, M, or U class for "KL" coded flight operated by KLM (flight number starts with KL) or in Y, B, M class for "DL" coded flight operated by KLM (flight number starts with DL) to Business class.

AF/KL Thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...rance-klm.html
Delta.com: Systemwide Upgrade Certificates

flyertalk thread on using SWU's on AZ: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...z-flights.html

Mileage Upgrades:
Delta Upgrade Awards

Upgrades on SkyTeam Partners:
Upgrades on SkyTeam partners require full Y fares, require contacting Delta to request/process, and can only be with full Y class fares.

Related flyertalk thread:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...m-partner.html

Operational Upgrades (OpUp):
OpUps are when passengers booked in Y are upgraded to F/J because Y is oversold.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...ve-thread.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...up-vs-swu.html

Related Threads:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...nt-thread.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...er-thread.html

Last edited by rwoman; Nov 4, 13 at 3:03 pm Reason: Updating links
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Old Aug 3, 12, 12:33 pm
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For future use
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Old Aug 3, 12, 12:33 pm
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Consolidating and verifying some of the info in this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...u-madness.html would be great. Knowing how to properly request an SWU be applied when there is no G/Z inventory, as well as knowing how it should look in a res, etc is very useful. Seems that they are often incorrectly put into the system by a phone agent causing the traveler to be lower on the gate UG list than they should be.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by rwoman View Post
There are several types of upgrades on Delta and with SkyMiles:

- Complimentary Upgrades for Medallion members
One doesn't have to go very far for this one:

http://www.delta.com/skymiles/about_...ades/index.jsp
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Old Aug 3, 12, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by roknroll View Post
Consolidating and verifying some of the info in this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...u-madness.html would be great.
IMHO, that's a very poor thread from which to assemble a FAQ. Miscoding by agents of an upgrade request is not among the key elements of understanding how/where to use an SWU.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
One doesn't have to go very far for this one:

http://www.delta.com/skymiles/about_...ades/index.jsp
I know this, but many ask...the link will appear as I put this together...
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Old Aug 3, 12, 1:10 pm
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Don't forget SkyTeam upgrades with DL miles on other carriers. Not available for IFC or for all SkyTeam partners. You call DL to do it. Full Y (not just any Y) fares can be required, for example on KE, where DL's blackout dates also seem to apply as this is considered to be an upgrade award.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 1:10 pm
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There are also complimentary upgrades on Alaska.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 2:24 pm
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All,

Please continue to provide feedback and I'll update accordingly..need to head to bed for an early trip to London tomorrow.

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Old Aug 3, 12, 2:30 pm
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Looks good, for AF/KLM UG's not sure if you want to keep it in the TATL KL/AF thread or put it in the leading posts here, but make sure to talk about availability of O class and how to find it (EF and/or airfrance.us or klm.com).

Other things to mention about AF/KLM:

1. No waitlisting as you can for DL Z class
2. Must be done 24 hours prior
3. Supposedly only TATL Ug's, i.e. no intra-Europe (though YMMV)
4. I think AF doesn't allow 747 Ug's
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Old Aug 3, 12, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
IMHO, that's a very poor thread from which to assemble a FAQ. Miscoding by agents of an upgrade request is not among the key elements of understanding how/where to use an SWU.
I agree, but I wasn't suggesting to assemble an entire SWU FAQ from that thread. From what I've read from many people, having SWU's improperly entered into the system is a common occurrence. Knowing how they should appear on your reservation when they are used seems very useful to me. Because knowing how and where to use them will do nothing for you if a DL agent can't enter them into the system correctly.

It's by no means a definitive guide to SWU's, but I feel it still useful information to add that many could benefit from.

I would think the info on SWU use would be along the lines of:
fares eligible for SWU use
inventory bucket needed for the SWU to process instantly
what happens if there is no z/g is available
how to tell if the agent inputed your swu request properly
using swu's for international flights
using swu's on partner airlines

Last edited by roknroll; Aug 3, 12 at 2:38 pm
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Old Aug 3, 12, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by mnredfox View Post
4. I think AF doesn't allow 747 Ug's
AF doesn't allow Premium Voyageur to Affaires upgrades on the 747 simply because that aircraft is not equipped with a Premium Voyageur cabin.
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