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Using Regional Upgrades on Delta (pre 2/1/2022)

Using Regional Upgrades on Delta (pre 2/1/2022)

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Old Feb 1, 22, 12:15 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Utskicat
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FEB 1, 2022 New GUC/RUC Inventory Rules

*****GUC*****

Flight has First Class
MC/C+ = Purchased
First = Last Seat J (Old Policy = OY)

Flight has DPS only
MC/C+ = Purchased
DPS = Last Seat (GUC=P / RUC=G) (Old Policy = RY)

Flight has D1 with no DPS
MC/C+ = Purchased
D1 = Z (Old Policy = OY)

Flight has D1 with DPS
MC/C+ = Purchased
DPS = Last Seat (GUC=P / RUC=G) (Old Policy = RY)
D1 = OY @ T-24h15m

Flight has D1 with DPS
DPS = Purchased
D1 = Z (Old Policy = OY)

Note: If GUC applied to domestic flight, it has better inventory than RUC (better chance for D1 transcon or to Hawaii)

*****RUC*****

Flight has First Class
MC/C+ = Purchased
First = Z (Old Policy = OY)

Flight has D1 with no DPS
MC/C+ = Purchased
D1 = OY (no change in old policy = OY)

New Delta.com Upgrade Availability Indicators that appeared 2/1/22 and what they mean

Dom D1 Tag meaning:
Global Upgrade Certificate Available = GUC in Z (OY = 0 for RUC)
Upgrade Certificate Available = GUC in Z /or/ RUC in OY both available

Dom F Tag meaning:
Global Upgrade Certificate Available = GUC in Last Seat J (Z = 0 for RUC)
Upgrade Certificate Available = GUC in last seat J /or/ RUC in Z both available

Example D1 Flights from JFK - LAX (flight numbers are fictitious)

DL 01
Dom D1 flight
Actual Availability: J5 C4 D4 Z3
Hidden Availability: OY2
Website indicator: Upgrade Certificate Available
Actual decode: (2 RUC (OY) open, 3 GUC (Z) open)

DL 02
Dom D1 flight
Actual Availability: J5 C4 D4 Z3
Hidden Availability: OY0
Website indicator: Global Upgrade Certificate Available
Actual decode: (0 RUC (OY) open, 3 GUC (Z) open)

DL 03
Dom D1 flight
Actual Availability: J3 C2 D2 Z0
Hidden Availability: OY0
Website indicator: No flag - neither is available GUC (Z0) and RUC (OY0)

DL 04
Dom First flight
Actual Availability: J3 C2 D2 Z1
Hidden Availability: n/a
Website indicator: Upgrade Certificate Available
Actual decode: (1 RUC (Z) open, 3 GUC (J) open)

DL 05
Dom First flight
Actual Availability: J3 C2 D2 Z0
Hidden Availability: n/a
Website indicator: Global Upgrade Certificate Available
Actual decode: (0 RUC (Z) open, 3 GUC (J) open)

DL 06
Dom First flight
Actual Availability: J0 C0 D0 Z0
Hidden Availability: n/a
Website indicator: No flag - neither is available
Actual decode: (0 RUC (Z) open, 0 GUC (J) open)

Apparently Delta is using public inventory buckets J Z P G (and non-public bucket OY in some cases) to determine GUC/RUC availability. However once they have confirmed you the system converts the segment in your reservation to a different bucket. Here is the class mapping:


GUC Usage
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to DPS / P class needed / Books into RV (Clears at T-24.15 into D1 as OX if OY available)
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to D1 (no DPS) / Z class needed / Books into OK
DPS purchased / Upgrade to D1 / Z class needed / Books into OK
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to FC (no D1/DPS) / J class needed / Books into OV

RUC Usage
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to DPS / G class needed / Books into RX (Clears at T-24.15 into D1 as OX if OY available)
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to D1 (no DPS) / OY class needed / Books into OX
DPS purchased / Upgrade to D1 / OY class needed / Books into OX
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to FC (no D1/DPS) / Z class needed / Books into OL

PRE FEB 1, 2022 WIKI
More information and discussion about using same-day change after applying regional upgrades can be found in this thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...ve-thread.html
  • 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 18, 21, 12:54 pm
  #2176  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 589
It does seem like ex-JFK and ex-ATL fill up fast in the last 5 days before the flight, but experience does show that for whatever reason JFK-SFO often has many empty seats in D1, enough for golds to clear.

Last edited by flyerfirsts; Dec 18, 21 at 1:06 pm
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Old Dec 18, 21, 12:59 pm
  #2177  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,281
Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Seat map being empty means nothing. Passengers don't always pick seats.. Also anything ex-JFK can easily fill up.
Oh for sure I know seatmaps donít equal availability and I looked on EF, itís just kind of crazy how wide open those flights are 5 weeks out.

I ended up going with the via SEA option though and confirmed the RUC this morning so at least Iíll get to check out the 339 and as of now they are actually selling that flight as a D1 flight and not just a domestic F flight
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Duke787 is offline  
Old Dec 19, 21, 9:43 pm
  #2178  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Tahoe
Programs: Delta DM for now
Posts: 450
Regional Downgrade Certificates

Tomorrow afternoon (Monday 12/20), I am flying MKE-ATL-LAX-RNO. I chose this because it was the best combination of timing (couldn't do anything before noon) and aircraft with ATL-LAX on an A350. As a DM, immediately after booking I was cleared into C+ on all segments, and MKE-ATL and LAX-RNO upgraded to F around T-96. C+ on domestic A350 flights is a Premium Select seat.

Today, before checking in, I called to waitlist a RUC for the ATL-LAX segment, which at the time was showing 2 seats available for F. After calling in and having the RUC applied, I checked in and see that all of my previous upgrades were removed when the agent applied the certificate. Now, for all three segments I am in Main Cabin and I am #1 on the list for F on all three. I called the DM line back, and all the agent could do was confirm that the RUC was applied correctly and that C+ and F are now both showing as sold out for ATL-LAX. Essentially, by applying a Regional Upgrade Certificate, I was in fact downgraded!

So, did the agent screw up? In all my previous experiences using RUCs, I don't ever recall losing previous upgraded segments when the certificate is applied. The upgrade lists shows F seats available for MKE-ATL/LAX-RNO so I'm hoping to get my seat back there, but I'm not happy about the ATL-LAX downgrade. If I knew that trying to use a RUC would cause me to lose the PS seat, I never would have called.

TL/DR: I waitlisted an RUC for one segment of a 3 leg journey. In doing so, the agent removed all of my previously upgraded seats on each segment and downgraded me to Y.
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Old Dec 19, 21, 10:18 pm
  #2179  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,631
Originally Posted by TuxTom View Post
So, did the agent screw up?
Yep. Agent screwed up. Applying a RUC should not have bounced you from your C+ ďUpgradeĒ.
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El Boocho is offline  
Old Dec 20, 21, 2:48 am
  #2180  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Auckland, NZ/New York, NY/ATL
Programs: DL DM MM, BIS 2.2MM, EK Gold, SQ Gold, Marriott Gold, HH Gold,
Posts: 4,824
DL training and its best. FYI if you want first on the A350 LAX-ATL-LAX pay for it.
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Old Dec 20, 21, 5:33 am
  #2181  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Tahoe
Programs: Delta DM for now
Posts: 450
Originally Posted by DLATL777 View Post
DL training and its best. FYI if you want first on the A350 LAX-ATL-LAX pay for it.
Of course, WFBF. I don't really care about not being in F, I was completely happy with the PS seat. I don't normally fly ATL-LAX, as it's not really a convenient routing for me, I just figured I have certs to burn so it wouldn't hurt wait-listing to be near the top of the list in case F has a seat.
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Old Dec 20, 21, 6:03 am
  #2182  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ATW
Programs: Delta Skymiles Diamond Medallion, Delta Amex Reserve, Marriott Rewards Silver, HH Diamond, IHG Spire
Posts: 228
Total screw up here. I had cleared some RUC's on the return of flights coming in JAN and then decided to waitlist the outbound, no changes. A few weeks back, had some schedule changes which saw FC become available due to an equipment swap from CRJ200 to CRJ900. First tried Twitter, and got told I would lose the return GUC upgrades on the overwater leg by getting the return extended...was very confused. Waited a few days and called in this time, got a wonderful agent her earned a JWD by getting all properly applied and fully reticketed.

Only complaint on the RUC trip was when reticketed, I was moved into C+ (no RUC was being used or applied at time) without wanting it. So, lots of opportunities on the Delta training programs to say the least.

Write in a detailed complaint, at least you may get a few skypesos. Perhaps you could push for INVOL downgrade and get a small voucher even. One area which we as medallions have to be super vigilant on sadly.
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Old Dec 20, 21, 6:34 am
  #2183  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: Delta PM, Delta Reserve, Amex Plat, Bonvoy Gold, Hilton Diamond, Starbucks Gold ;)
Posts: 1,630
Originally Posted by DLATL777 View Post
DL training and its best. FYI if you want first on the A350 LAX-ATL-LAX pay for it.
Not always true. (But mostly) I flew this over the summer twice, granted on Tuesday/Wednesdays, and I was able to apply upgrade certificates after booking to get the F seat on the A350. In both instances I purposely picked the routing because DL.com showed the upgrades available. I was shocked.
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Old Dec 20, 21, 3:30 pm
  #2184  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: ATL
Programs: Delta PlM, 1M
Posts: 6,204
DL needs to fix the mechanical RUC/GUC issues.

Can I repeat this 100+ times?
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Old Dec 20, 21, 3:35 pm
  #2185  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Programs: Delta PM, United Silver, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 379
Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
DL needs to fix the mechanical RUC/GUC issues.

Can I repeat this 100+ times?
How hard can it possibly be to update the website so we can request/waitlist ourselves online? Imagine how many calls the agents would no longer need to handle.
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Old Dec 20, 21, 3:39 pm
  #2186  
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Coming from United, I feel ridiculous tying up an agent who could be rebooking people just to clear into the OY space I booked for.
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Old Dec 21, 21, 2:40 pm
  #2187  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: NYC
Programs: Delta Platinum, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 257
What happens to a RUC if you have to cancel the flight? I’m booked to MSY in Feb, and debating if I should use them since seats are available. A bit concerned with the growing covid cases and would prefer not to lose them if I have to cancel.
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Old Dec 21, 21, 3:02 pm
  #2188  
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Originally Posted by allseas1586 View Post
What happens to a RUC if you have to cancel the flight? Iím booked to MSY in Feb, and debating if I should use them since seats are available. A bit concerned with the growing covid cases and would prefer not to lose them if I have to cancel.
During COVID era they are re-opening them -- I don't know if this happens automatically if you cancel via the website, but I have been calling in to cancel such itineraries (2 using GUCs, one using RUC) to confirm that they handled it that way. (They get put into a queue to be processed and will most likely tell you it could take up to 72 hours to reappear as open in your account)
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Old Dec 21, 21, 7:18 pm
  #2189  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,281
Originally Posted by allseas1586 View Post
What happens to a RUC if you have to cancel the flight? Iím booked to MSY in Feb, and debating if I should use them since seats are available. A bit concerned with the growing covid cases and would prefer not to lose them if I have to cancel.
The two I just used in my previous posts were this exactly. I think they are actually 2019 RUCs at this point that I had redeemed for my wife and I to travel to a wedding in SFO in 2020 That obviously got canceled and they were re-opened and then have been extended a couple of times now (surprisingly they actually had a 1/2023 expiration date on them) and I think actually applied then applied them to an MR that I was supposed to take in August that I canceled (my son arrived a few weeks earlier than expected) and now they are applied to my upcoming work trip.

The short of it is that Iíve applied and cleared RUCs a couple of times since COVID and then had to cancel for various reasons and had no problem getting them re-opened (with any applicable extensions) and applied to future flights
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Old Dec 22, 21, 7:25 am
  #2190  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Originally Posted by El Boocho View Post
Yep. Agent screwed up. Applying a RUC should not have bounced you from your C+ ďUpgradeĒ.
I ran into this recently too. She applied it correctly, but tried to tell me I couldn't do complimentary AND a RUC at the same time. I figured out she applied the RUC before the complimentary C+ upgrades so it wouldn't let her, so I called back, had the agent remove the RUCs, cleared into C+ about a day later, then called back to reapply the RUCs (waitlisted, of course). OP here shouldn't have been booted, though, that's a poor agent.
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