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 Mar 9, 14, 10:03 am
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Using Regional Upgrades

Had a conversation with the DM line today about how to use regional upgrades. Here's the summary of what we discussed:
  • RUs have a higher priority than complimentary upgrades.
  • Regional upgrades are on a separate upgrade list than complimentary ones.
  • A DM on the RU standby upgrade list has a higher priority than a PM, regardless of fare paid, etc.
  • You can call to use an RU up to an hour before departure. Recommendation is to call at least 90 minutes before.
  • You only burn an RU if you get a seat in FC.
  • You could wait until DL processes the complimentary upgrade list at your window to see if you got a seat. If not, you could use an RU.
  • If you call to use an RU after the upgrade window, you should ask the agent to take you off the complimentary upgrade list so the computer doesn't put you in the wrong priority for an upgrade.

I'm thinking that the RUs are a good plan B if you don't get an early upgrade on Medallion heavy routes. This is especially true when FCM is in play and DL is waiting until 48 hours or so before departure to do upgrades.

Considering how DL manages FCM on transcon routes and other heavy Medallion ones, you're not going to find RU cert seats when you buy a ticket. The standby list will most likely be in play with DMs trumping PMs with higher priority and more RUs to burn.

If anyone knows how the RU standby list prioritizes upgrades in greater detail like time of request or other tie-breakers, please post.
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Old Mar 9, 14, 12:30 pm
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Let the games begin. The last bullet is inconsistent with how the former SWU program worked. I've had complimentary clear where wait list was still wait listed. Sounds stupid, I know, but CSR told me there are two different lists until it goes to t-24
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Old Mar 9, 14, 12:36 pm
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I'm currently waitlisted (for a week now) using my first RUC for tomorrow, LAX-ATL, EF shows availability, but dl.com is selling FC for tomorrow with <24h for only $252 more than Y... It will be interesting how this goes. Also UG list is not showing on website after check in. Hmmm
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Old Mar 9, 14, 12:44 pm
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However, the big questions not addressed in the OP are how RUC-using DMs and RUC-using PMs are ordered within each status level. Does the priority depend first on status, then fare class, then Reserve card, then time of request? Or is it something different, such as DMs being listed by time of request (only) then PMs by time of request? If the latter, it might be better strategically to apply the RUC early rather than waiting for the window or airport control, when it looks like one will not get a free elite upgrade.
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Old Mar 9, 14, 1:38 pm
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Another question is where do SWUs fit into the priority list. I've been able to use a SWU about 40 minutes prior to departure. I wonder if RUs will work that way too or will 1 hour be a hard number.
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Old Mar 9, 14, 10:56 pm
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I guess we're going to need the new codes for GUC and RUC vs SWU. DL couldn't even get the SWU right often and now we have two types of certs.
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Old Mar 9, 14, 11:28 pm
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I'm still wondering how these are different from the NAMUs of a decade ago (anyone remember them?), except for being more useless because you can't use them on transcons.
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Old Mar 10, 14, 12:06 am
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OP - for clarity, RU is the bucket for Medallion complimentary upgrades. RP is for certs.
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Old Mar 10, 14, 7:10 am
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I assume these are going to require to be coded the same or similar to SWUs... meaning jump through hoops to get the proper priority.
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Old Mar 10, 14, 7:19 am
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Okay, so my question is regarding the coding of RUCs for companions. If I want to use a RUC for my companion but not me (betting that I'll receive a complimentary upgrade), is this even possible?

My understanding is that splitting PNRs probably won't work due to some of the wording regarding the use of these certs, but if my companion is listed for a GUC upgrade, does my priority move back up to the PM window priority?

Last edited by timmy83; Mar 11, 14 at 7:49 am Reason: Clarified... looking for information on RUC
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Old Mar 11, 14, 4:52 am
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Originally Posted by JBJ2435 View Post
I'm currently waitlisted (for a week now) using my first RUC for tomorrow, LAX-ATL, EF shows availability, but dl.com is selling FC for tomorrow with <24h for only $252 more than Y... It will be interesting how this goes. Also UG list is not showing on website after check in. Hmmm
Update - I cleared the comp UG at t-1h when checking my bag and the RUC was not pulled! they even pulled one lucky guy from the back for the final seat..it was the 777-200 hoping for the same on return Friday.
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Old Mar 11, 14, 5:41 am
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Apologies if this is a dumb question, but I am new to PM. Called the reservation line yesterday for an ATL to LAS flight tomorrow and she said they were out of regional upgrade inventory for this flight. It is 50/50 that I will get the complementary at the gate. Is she correct that the regional upgrades are limited per flight?
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Old Mar 11, 14, 5:49 am
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Originally Posted by JBJ2435 View Post
Update - I cleared the comp UG at t-1h when checking my bag and the RUC was not pulled! they even pulled one lucky guy from the back for the final seat..it was the 777-200 hoping for the same on return Friday.
If your cert wasn't used/closed, then it most likely means the cert wasn't coded properly and you cleared based on your medallion status.
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Old Mar 11, 14, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by kaw753 View Post
Apologies if this is a dumb question, but I am new to PM. Called the reservation line yesterday for an ATL to LAS flight tomorrow and she said they were out of regional upgrade inventory for this flight. It is 50/50 that I will get the complementary at the gate. Is she correct that the regional upgrades are limited per flight?
Yes, upgrade inventory is (very) limited on many flights. Supposedly using a upgrade cert will give you higher priority above the comp medallion upgrades at the gate, however that also relies on an agent coding it properly so the system sees you are using a cert and goes by that and not your normal status.
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Old Mar 11, 14, 5:55 am
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Sorry if I was not clear. The reservation agent would not even let me apply the certificate even though there are 8 FC seats open. She said only a certain number of certs can be applied per flight and I should have called earlier.
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