Using Regional Upgrades

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Old Apr 9, 19, 7:41 am   -   Wikipost
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  • The clock begins ticking on RUC expiration when you make your choice benefit selection, so it's possible to time your selection when there is a specific need to use them.
  • You can select your 2017 choice benefit as soon as DL recognizes your Plat status. Certificates expire 12 months from date of issue. 2019 choice benefits (earned based on how much one flew in 2018) must be selected by Jan 31, 2020.
  • If you select certificates as your choice benefit late in your Medallion tenure, it will still be valid after your status expires -- so for example if you earn Platinum Medallion in 2018, which is valid through Jan 31, 2020, but then only earn Silver Medallion in 2019, which becomes effective Feb 1, 2020 when your Platinum Medallion status expires, RUCs selected in January 2020 would be valid through January 2021 and could be used once you were only a Silver Medallion member, giving you a much higher upgrade list position on those flights where you attempt to use them.
  • If you request to use a RUC on a flight and do not receive the upgrade, it is returned to your account for future use, but check your account to make sure.
  • RUC may be redeemed for the named Medallion member and up to one travel companion traveling on the same flight (the companion officially no longer needs to be in the same reservation, though that rule was not actually enforced even when it was the official rule). The named member and the companion will each require a separate certificate.

While the RUC process is almost entirely opaque, there are a couple of "hints" of a correctly applied waitlist.

1a) When viewing a waitlisted segment on the DL.com web site (not the app), there may be two seat maps for the same flight. The first seat map shows the coach seat you are currently in, and the second seat map for the same flight says "you may not select seats for this flight" or something like that. This second seat map corresponds to a part of the waitlist process, and indicates that at least one step of the multi-step process to add an RUC waitlist was actually done. Unfortunately, this does NOT indicate that the other manual steps of the RUC waitlist process were successfully completed by the agent (i.e. even if you see the second seat map, there still could be something wrong. There is simply no way for the customer to tell.)

1b) The status for a waitlisted segment should say something like "Upgrade Waitlisted"

2) Assuming the waitlist does not clear prior to check-in, the second hint is the upgrade waitlist. If the RUC waitlist request was coded correctly, you should show up at or very near the top of the upgrade waitlist that you can see on DL.com or the app. If you find yourself at your "usual" spot on the upgrade waitlist, this is a clue that the RUC waitlist request was not coded correctly.

3) The RUC is a form of "payment". Until the RUC clears, it remains "unused" so a waitlisted RUC will still show in your wallet as "open".

You may also wish to peruse the wiki for the GUC success thread as some of the considerations/logistics are similar between RUCs and GUCs.
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Old Dec 29, 18, 5:41 pm
  #1396  
 
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
Sounds like OP has already decided, but FWIW the other thing RM is really good at is adjusting FC pricing and FCM offers to fill up any forward cabins they notice aren't selling well. I'd expect them to keep dropping the FC prices until that cabin starts selling.
Yes I've seen them do that.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 8:31 am
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just wanted to confirm that this hasn't changed .... RUC's cannot be used on an award ticket, can they?
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Old Jan 8, 19, 9:01 am
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This is crazy, I still have one RUC left that is expiring soon (I was wait listed on three long hauls and it didn't clear) and the only trip I have coming up before they expire is a DTW/DCA trip and there is no upgrade inventory available on either of those flights and I have to wait list. This is crazy you can't even clear on a short flight with plenty of seats up front.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by MarkCron View Post
just wanted to confirm that this hasn't changed .... RUC's cannot be used on an award ticket, can they?
Unfortunately they cannot.

Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
This is crazy you can't even clear on a short flight with plenty of seats up front.
It's definitely frustrating, but you've been around enough to know that it has less to do with the length of the flight, only indirectly to do with how many seats are left, and everything to do with how many of those seats they expect to sell.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
It's definitely frustrating, but you've been around enough to know that it has less to do with the length of the flight, only indirectly to do with how many seats are left, and everything to do with how many of those seats they expect to sell.
I'm flying DTW/DCA on the Friday before MLK day and returning the day before MLK day which is a low business travel day, I do this flight every year and always clear even on an award ticket and was just going to use the RUC so it wouldn't go to waste and I could have some flexibility with SDC in case there was an IROPS situation. Delta is offering me a buy up of over $800 one way on an award ticketand even if there would happen to be business travelers on that route I can't imagine any company authorizing the kind of money for a paid F ticket and I'm sure no leisure traveler would pay that.

The really stupid thing is I'm on an award ticket and would have purchased a ticket if I could have used the RUC so Delta is out the revenue.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
The really stupid thing is I'm on an award ticket and would have purchased a ticket if I could have used the RUC so Delta is out the revenue.
Delta might have foregone your cash, but they still recognize revenue for that award ticket...
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Old Jan 8, 19, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
I'm flying DTW/DCA on the Friday before MLK day and returning the day before MLK day which is a low business travel day, I do this flight every year and always clear even on an award ticket and was just going to use the RUC so it wouldn't go to waste and I could have some flexibility with SDC in case there was an IROPS situation. Delta is offering me a buy up of over $800 one way on an award ticketand even if there would happen to be business travelers on that route I can't imagine any company authorizing the kind of money for a paid F ticket and I'm sure no leisure traveler would pay that.

The really stupid thing is I'm on an award ticket and would have purchased a ticket if I could have used the RUC so Delta is out the revenue.
A few things to unpack here.

Flexibility for SDC, sure. Flexibility for SDC in case of IRROPs? If there are IRROPs you don't need to be in F to have rebooking flexibility esp as a DM MM.

You've also been around long enough to know that the FCM price isn't necessarily related to the price for a new booking. I just looked on the app and all of the DTW-DCA nonstop options on Jan 18 are $322 in F except the early evening departure is $347.

You are right in that I should have said "would prefer to sell" vs "expect to sell" but even so that means they may not open up OY until it gets closer. Regardless, and unfortunately for us, that's how the game is played these days. Don't get me wrong, I'm not thrilled about it either, but nothing new though...
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Old Jan 8, 19, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Delta is offering me a buy up of over $800 one way on an award ticketand even if there would happen to be business travelers on that route I can't imagine any company authorizing the kind of money for a paid F ticket and I'm sure no leisure traveler would pay that.
How are you sure? I absolutely would have bought this $800 buy up as a leisure traveler. And I have worked for at least a half-dozen companies that would authorize that buy up per policy.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by sky_priority View Post


How are you sure? I absolutely would have bought this $800 buy up as a leisure traveler. And I have worked for at least a half-dozen companies that would authorize that buy up per policy.
you might be the only person on FT that would pay $800 to buy up to FC on DTW-DCA or vice versa
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Old Jan 8, 19, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by MarkCron View Post
you might be the only person on FT that would pay $800 to buy up to FC on DTW-DCA or vice versa
I do it all the time when Iím kickiní it wit my posse.

Gotta represent, ya know!

#GlamLife
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Old Jan 8, 19, 4:35 pm
  #1406  
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A data point on (successfully!) using RUCs on a DL-marketed, AM-operated flight LAX-MEX.

Purchased a DL 8156 through Delta, though operated by AM 645. 006 ticket stock. PNR contained 3 pax. I am PM and two parents are nothing.

Since RUCs and Medallion complimentary upgrades are only available for member + 1 companion, I had to split off one of the 3 pax on the PNR.

I split off my dad into his own PNR, and upgraded his ticket with miles (sort of ridiculous at 25k miles a piece, O class needs to be available). At that time, there was only one seat available. For mileage upgrades, AM O class needs to be available and the ticket is re-issued into O class as an AM flight number (no longer DL) on 006 ticket stock.

A few days later, more O space opened up, so I used 2 RUCs for myself and my mother -- ticket was reissued as AM flight number, 006 ticket stock, into O class for both of us. This was an arduous process, probably took about 4 calls to process each set of upgrades due to agents not knowing what to do, or being mis-informed on how to search for space and telling me there was no space.

Not sure if my mom and I would have cleared the complimentary upgrade, but didn't want to chance it since we don't get a lot of holidays together, and I was okay burning RUCs for a 4.5hr flight.

A few pointers:
  • If you can see an award ticket for the AM flight through Delta.com / the app / ExpertFlyer, you should be good to go for a mileage upgrade or RUC upgrade -- O class is the class you are looking for, not OY or RY --when calling, ask the agent to search for O class with the AM flight number, not the DL-flight number as this will generally be unsuccessful
  • You cannot waitlist RUCs on AM -- you will have to continually call back for agents to check space, or you can setup an ExpertFlyer alert
  • If you can see the space but the agent is claiming they cannot, HUACA
  • For both mileage and RUC upgrades, you most definitely will need to follow-up on the mileage credit, as AM O class does not earn credit with DL
  • For mileage credit, even though I originally purchased as DL-flight (and should earn under DL rules), an agent reconciling the mileage credit will most likely change the credit method to "distance-based" which can sometimes work out in your favor, depending on how expensive your fare was / status level

Overall, not a great experience, but in the end was successful.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
It's definitely frustrating, but you've been around enough to know that it has less to do with the length of the flight, only indirectly to do with how many seats are left, and everything to do with how many of those seats they expect to sell.
I also suspect that lots of folks are just throwing 2017 RUCs at any remaining flights in January. I have one in for this Thursday. If it doesn't clear at the gate, I'll be tossing one RUC away as it expires Jan 29 and I only have an award flight booked later in the month (3rd RUC cleared weeks ago on my return this coming Sat). My paid travel resumes in Feb.

I need to make my 2018 choice by the end of the month. Are RUCs really the best gift of the PM choices? For me, I'm not sure.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 5:44 pm
  #1408  
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
A few things to unpack here.

Flexibility for SDC, sure. Flexibility for SDC in case of IRROPs? If there are IRROPs you don't need to be in F to have rebooking flexibility esp as a DM MM.

You've also been around long enough to know that the FCM price isn't necessarily related to the price for a new booking. I just looked on the app and all of the DTW-DCA nonstop options on Jan 18 are $322 in F except the early evening departure is $347.

You are right in that I should have said "would prefer to sell" vs "expect to sell" but even so that means they may not open up OY until it gets closer. Regardless, and unfortunately for us, that's how the game is played these days. Don't get me wrong, I'm not thrilled about it either, but nothing new though...
I forgot FCM upgrades aren't making much sense these days and that entire trip in F prices out at $754.

I know I have rebooking in case of irrops as a DM but it is nice to know I'll be sitting up front and not risk sitting in a back middle seat assuming there is a seat up front available. I was in a similar situation last year with an RUC and used it on a DTW/DCA trip and on the parking lot shuttle I got an alert the flight was delayed three hours and was able to call the diamond desk on the bus and got the last F seat on the DTW/BWI flight and it worked out great. The DCA flight ended up being five hours late, sure it was a pain getting to DC from BWI but it beat getting there five hours late.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by RaflW View Post
I also suspect that lots of folks are just throwing 2017 RUCs at any remaining flights in January. I have one in for this Thursday. If it doesn't clear at the gate, I'll be tossing one RUC away as it expires Jan 29 and I only have an award flight booked later in the month (3rd RUC cleared weeks ago on my return this coming Sat). My paid travel resumes in FebD

I need to make my 2018 choice by the end of the month. Are RUCs really the best gift of the PM choices? For me, I'm not sure.
They can be IF you can use them. For a PM they could be useful since you're suppose to trump a diamond on a comp. upgrade if it goes to the gate. I was able to successfully use them on dtw/LIM ( found out later they aren't eligible on a south American D1 flight so I lucked out there), DTW/LAX (cleared at booking) and DTW/LAS (cleared at t-2days when there were only two seats available on an X fare and was surprised and would have never cleared at the gate). The last one I used to waitlist on at least three long hauls that never cleared. The year before I saw stuck with two in January and used one on DTW/JJF and another on DTW/DCA and I would have probably cleared on both of those.

For me the biggest pain in using them is that the agents don't always apply them right and I wish you could view upgrade inventory on expert flyer still.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
For me the biggest pain in using them is that the agents don't always apply them right and I wish you could view upgrade inventory on expert flyer still.
There are times when that works in your favor.

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