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Complete newb upgrade question on trans-Atlantic (DTW-AMS)

Complete newb upgrade question on trans-Atlantic (DTW-AMS)

Old Jun 25, 13, 8:37 am
  #1  
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Complete newb upgrade question on trans-Atlantic (DTW-AMS)

Hi all...my question is as follows. I'm on DL248, DTW-AMS this Thursday and am wondering if there's anything at all I could do to get an upgrade. I'm not even to silver status, but do have an Amex Platinum (not Delta-branded) credit card if that helps at all, as well as about 10K miles in my Delta account. I've pretty much accepted the default answer of "no" as my baseline at this point, but having read a number of "you too can get an upgrade on a flight!" on Lifehacker, etc. So, any tips you have would be appreciated. As of right now, I can see there are a LOT of empty Business Elite seats on the aircraft map.

Alternately, taking tips on how to fall asleep in a window seat on a 777. Melatonin won't work, just an FYI.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 8:45 am
  #2  
 
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The simple answer is that officially there are no international upgrades though many of us on this board have gotten OPUPs generally as a result of economy being oversold. In that event, they generally go by elite status so without status, your chances are zero unless you buy up to a more expensive fare class that is upgrade-able and then happen to have a SWU you could use (and there is availability). I'd plan to sit in the back!

Rather than start a new thread, search would have identified plenty of others on international upgrades that would have answered your question for you.

As for sleeping on board, Ambien works great but you'll need a prescription and I would recommend waiting to take it until the plane is in the air. Last you want is the flight to be cancelled after boarding and after you've drugged up and you're immobile for awhile trying to maneuver around as you de-plane.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 8:45 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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You will need a ticket with a M, B, or Y fare and then OP availability on your flight. Cost is 25K miles each way, so it seems you do not have enough miles to do that, an option would be to purchase miles if you bought the correct fare, but it may be cost prohibitive. That is up to you.

As far as sleeping on the flight, the best suggestion I can give is to go to your doctor and get a prescription for Valium, take those and a drink or 2 and this you do the trick.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 8:52 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: DTW & CDG
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SOL

Hey there... welcome...

Yeah, you're pretty much screwed. Short of a 1 in a 1,000,000 Act of God, you won't be able to make it up there. Delta doesn't give upgrades on overseas flights away to anyone, even Diamonds. There are generally three ways to get from coach to business on a Delta trans-oceanic flight :

1) using their "System Wide Upgrade" certificates, which is difficult to do even if you have them, which I'm assuming you don't, given your sub-silver status.
2) using SkyMiles. This probably would have been your best chance - in situations where they have seats open and they, well, feel like it, they might open some seats that you can get using 25,000 miles each way. From what you said you're short on miles though.
3) Operational Upgrade, or "Op-Up"... this is the only "free" way to get upgraded, and happens only when they oversell coach class [sell more tickets than they have seats], and to aviod paying people to take a different flight they just move some people to Business. They will usually start with Diamonds and work down in this case.

Your only longshot option is to call Delta and see if that flight has availability to upgrade using miles... I checked Thursday DL248 and you might be in luck, it shows 3 seats available for certificate upgrades. If they say yes, you can buy 15,000 or so miles from Delta [$200 maybe?] and then upgrade on the flight over.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
I'd plan to sit in the back!
Close. I'm in the first row behind the last emergency exit. So, about 12 rows from the back.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by tanktronic View Post
Your only longshot option is to call Delta and see if that flight has availability to upgrade using miles... I checked Thursday DL248 and you might be in luck, it shows 3 seats available for certificate upgrades. If they say yes, you can buy 15,000 or so miles from Delta [$200 maybe?] and then upgrade on the flight over.
Thanks for the tip! Ironically, I just dropped a call with them - didn't want to be on hold for an hour. Should have waited. Guess I'll call them back.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 9:16 am
  #7  
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SWUs are nontransferrable except to one travel companion on the same PNR and in the same cabin as the DM or PM who owns the SWUs. So someone with no status would not have access to any.

OP can use his/her AmEx Plat card to pay the difference between his/her coach fare and the current fare for BE.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 9:27 am
  #8  
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The purchase of 26K miles would be $910. Neeeeevermind.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OP can use his/her AmEx Plat card to pay the difference between his/her coach fare and the current fare for BE.
I can use any other credit card for that as well, the point was to NOT have to do that.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 9:30 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by highlanderfil View Post
The purchase of 26K miles would be $910. Neeeeevermind.
Don't forget the cost of buying up to a Y B M fare.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 9:51 am
  #11  
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Called them - I would have to switch into an upgradeable fare and use miles. Oh well, maybe in a few more years, once I've got more miles under my belt traveling for work.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 9:53 am
  #12  
 
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Looks like your SOL on the upgrade.

I take Diphenhydramine 25 mg (Benadryl) to help sleep at home and in the air. It's over the counter and you can find it in the allergy and the sleep aid sections of the drug store. I use it mainly in the air to keep my ears from stopping up and hurting (decongestant properties) but makes many people sleepy (side effect). A cocktail seems to hasten the effectiveness.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by deltadiva View Post
I take Diphenhydramine 25 mg (Benadryl) to help sleep at home and in the air. It's over the counter and you can find it in the allergy and the sleep aid sections of the drug store. I use it mainly in the air to keep my ears from stopping up and hurting (decongestant properties) but makes many people sleepy (side effect). A cocktail seems to hasten the effectiveness.
Yeah, I think that's what I'll do. Benadryl usually does make me pretty drowsy. And I think that Zzzquil, the bottle of which I have in my medicine cabinet, has the same active ingredient.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by highlanderfil View Post
Yeah, I think that's what I'll do. Benadryl usually does make me pretty drowsy. And I think that Zzzquil, the bottle of which I have in my medicine cabinet, has the same active ingredient.
It does, but it also contains tylenol. If you're going to mix with alcohol, it's probably safer to stick to benadryl alone. I am not any sort of clinician, this is just what I do myself
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Old Jun 25, 13, 1:42 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
SWUs are nontransferrable except to one travel companion on the same PNR and in the same cabin as the DM or PM who owns the SWUs. So someone with no status would not have access to any.

OP can use his/her AmEx Plat card to pay the difference between his/her coach fare and the current fare for BE.
As per the rules yes, but I have had agents 'bend' this rule on multiple occasions, including one in which they UGed 4 non-medallions on the same flight to MIA and the medallion for a complimentary UG
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