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Which fare classes are eligible for miles upgrades?

Which fare classes are eligible for miles upgrades?

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Old Aug 31, 13, 9:53 pm
  #1  
txp
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Which fare classes are eligible for miles upgrades?

Hi everyone,

I normally fly UA and AA and I am not at all familiar with the rules of DL's Skymiles program. I have some points with AMEX' membership rewards and I considering transferring them over to DL.

I see from DL's website that for 12,500 miles I can get a domestic first class upgrade "from select fares." The website does not mention what these fares are. Does anyone know which booking classes are eligible for domestic upgrades?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 1, 13, 12:15 am
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Which fare classes are eligible for miles upgrades?

For domestic, must be K or higher. And upgrade inventory must be available, which is no guarantee. You can search for certain fare classes or higher on DL.com flight searches.

If you don't have a subscription to Expert Flyer, you can call in to find out of upgrade inventory is available. I suggest doing this and confirming availability before purchasing a ticket or converting MR points to DL miles. You could be stuck with a more expensive coach fare than necessary and miles you can't use.

If you're used to using miles to upgrade on AA/UA, you're in for a rude awakening with DL, particularly internationally. The upside is that domestically the medallion upgrades are unlimited--for now, and YMMV on whether you actually get an upgrade, depends on route and timing.
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Old Sep 1, 13, 12:48 am
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K+. See http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...l#post20284193
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Old Sep 1, 13, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by HongKonger View Post
For domestic, must be K or higher. And upgrade inventory must be available, which is no guarantee. You can search for certain fare classes or higher on DL.com flight searches.

If you don't have a subscription to Expert Flyer, you can call in to find out of upgrade inventory is available. I suggest doing this and confirming availability before purchasing a ticket or converting MR points to DL miles. You could be stuck with a more expensive coach fare than necessary and miles you can't use.

If you're used to using miles to upgrade on AA/UA, you're in for a rude awakening with DL, particularly internationally. The upside is that domestically the medallion upgrades are unlimited--for now, and YMMV on whether you actually get an upgrade, depends on route and timing.

Thanks very much, this is very useful. I did a bit of research and I now understand your point about the difference in upgrades between DL and UA/AA. Some of the K-class fares are not so bad, but often time you can find a discount first class fare for about the same price as the economy K fare. In that case it makes no sense to spend 12,500 miles for an upgrade. Only in some markets where competition is low the K-class fare is significantly lower than the discount first fare. SkyMiles are useful in that instance.

As to international flights, the B fare is ridiculously expensive, typically over $3,000 for TATL. However, I can think of last-minute situations when the B fare on DL plus the upgrade miles would come in cheaper than paying a business class fare on other airlines, which could be as much as $6,000 at the last minute.

As an outsider to the SkyMiles program, it seems to me that the best yield one could get on one's miles is the discounted business class (or domestic first class) award tickets. I wish there was an easy way to search for those. Delta.com is not easy, and Expertflyer does not show award inventory. As someone else mentioned in another post, I would need to try the KVS tool.
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Old Sep 1, 13, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by lamont2718 View Post
Thanks for pointing me to that thread. Lots of useful information there.
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Old Sep 1, 13, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by txp View Post
As an outsider to the SkyMiles program, it seems to me that the best yield one could get on one's miles is the discounted business class (or domestic first class) award tickets. I wish there was an easy way to search for those.
http://AwardNexus.com will also show DL award inventory (also screen scraped from the Delta.com award search) however unlike other tools it has a free version for FT members and no download required.
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Old Sep 1, 13, 6:59 pm
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Originally Posted by txp View Post
However, I can think of last-minute situations when the B fare on DL plus the upgrade miles would come in cheaper than paying a business class fare on other airlines, which could be as much as $6,000 at the last minute.
Getting a miles upgrade last minute is close to impossible
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Old Sep 2, 13, 7:16 pm
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Does anyone on this site ever visit the Delta page for answers to simple questions? Or are they just too lazy to do this simple task?
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Old Sep 2, 13, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by 122554 View Post
Does anyone on this site ever visit the Delta page for answers to simple questions? Or are they just too lazy to do this simple task?
OP was asking a fair question. Very little (if any) of the information in this thread is available on Delta's website.
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Old Sep 2, 13, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by lamont2718 View Post
Quote:





Originally Posted by 122554


Does anyone on this site ever visit the Delta page for answers to simple questions? Or are they just too lazy to do this simple task?




OP was asking a fair question. Very little (if any) of the information in this thread is available on Delta's website.
This. DL's website doesn't tell you jack. They don't want potential new customers to know how hard it is to upgrade or get decently priced award tickets.
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Old Sep 3, 13, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by 122554 View Post
Does anyone on this site ever visit the Delta page for answers to simple questions? Or are they just too lazy to do this simple task?
- See for yourself that DL's site doesn't say anything about fare classes, only "select fares..."

Originally Posted by HongKonger View Post
This. DL's website doesn't tell you jack. They don't want potential new customers to know how hard it is to upgrade or get decently priced award tickets.
+1.

Originally Posted by lamont2718 View Post
OP was asking a fair question. Very little (if any) of the information in this thread is available on Delta's website.
Yep!

I just told the DL rep on the telephone I wouldn't go near DL based on this. (And their now 72 hour award cancellation policy!)
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Old Oct 17, 13, 10:34 pm
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Does anyone know, which "Select fare" classes are eligible for upgrade on intercontinental flights between the US and Europe? (The ones which cost 25'000 miles)

Thanks!
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Old Oct 18, 13, 1:32 am
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Originally Posted by Brandis View Post
Does anyone know, which "Select fare" classes are eligible for upgrade on intercontinental flights between the US and Europe? (The ones which cost 25'000 miles)

Thanks!
Y B M can be upgraded with miles if the right inventory is available. M and most B fares require 25,000 one way, while most Y and a few B fares require fewer miles.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Mar 25, 14 at 9:35 pm Reason: typo
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Old Mar 25, 14, 7:34 pm
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I'm looking at flying the following:

ORD-ATL-LAX (stopover)
LAX-OGG (destination)
OGG-LAX-MSP-ORD

I'm considering getting K fares for this flight, but only if I can confirm RP/OP availability on EF for the flights in order to upgrade (trying to burn 60K miles). Assuming that RP/OP is available for all six segments, would I be able to upgrade them at 15K per person each way?
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Old Mar 25, 14, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by gmax58 View Post
I'm looking at flying the following:

ORD-ATL-LAX (stopover)
LAX-OGG (destination)
OGG-LAX-MSP-ORD

I'm considering getting K fares for this flight, but only if I can confirm RP/OP availability on EF for the flights in order to upgrade (trying to burn 60K miles). Assuming that RP/OP is available for all six segments, would I be able to upgrade them at 15K per person each way?
If you were using SWUs, the answer would depend on how the fares are written: two SWUs if you have a fare allowing a stopover (perhaps at an additional fee) but three if it's priced as three one ways. I would assume that the same principle applies for upgrades with miles, but I have no experience upgrading such an itinerary with miles.
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