Acuracy of DL seat map for upgrade purposes?

Old Oct 28, 14, 7:59 pm
  #1  
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Acuracy of DL seat map for upgrade purposes?

Hi,

First, thanks to all the kind folks here who have helped me over the years.

My question may seem basic to many of you, much more aware of upgrade availability than I. But a strange thing happened today.

I just flew DL 1595, SJU-ATL today, with 7F open on the seat map at T-3. At T-2, I'm at the airport and check the seat map,and F is full. In checking the ug list, I'm still where I was, #1, but F avail now shows 0.

At the gate at T-:45, and the GIDS shows the ug list, and I'm still #1, and avail F is still 0. So I board and take my EC seat.

Questions: I know the seat map has always been said to be unreliable. But in the absence of fare buckets on EF or flight stats, what else is there to get some sort of idea concerning availability in F?

Can people buy a F ticket, perhaps thru a travel agent, and not get an assigned seat?

When F showed full, I first thought a problem with some other flight, and they are covering paid F from another flight. But ops normal, as far as I can tell.

Then, I thought selling upgrades at check-in, as the F seats disappeared during "normal" check in time, if doing this at the airport. But the coach cabin was the same throughout, so it was not selling ugs at check-in.

So I'd like to ask this group where you think the 7 F open went to....

The best I can come up with is buying a F or YuP, and not getting a seat assignment at time of purchase, getting one at check-in....but who does that? If I buy up, I make certain of the seat before purchase. But....that is me.

Of the 7 F avail, 6 were windows and 1 an aisle bulkhead. If you are going to buy F or YuP, do you not make sure, at purchase, that you have the kind of seat you want? Perhaps not, but I'd like to hear what others think.

Time to head for the gate for DL 1849....ug'ed at the window for this flight, which seems so unusual. ATL-SEA is always a tough ug, and in the past SJU has always been easy, almost expected....strange.

Thanks,



In the air on DL 1849. This flt was scheduled to be a 753, and it is.....but I have to add this. It has the improved IFE with movies, sat TV, 115v power... exactly like the 5 row F 737 I've been on. I had no idea DL was improving the 753 fleet, but I don't track this sort of thing....still, a very nice surprise upon entering the cabin.

The a/c is N587NW if anyone tracks such info.

Thanks again.
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Old Oct 28, 14, 8:22 pm
  #2  
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I know that when I have had tickets the were issued through a travel agency that is in central america they never issued me a seat even though I was booked in J I had to call the airline and request a seat. I know this is very common in Central America, South America and Asia...... not sure if that is what happened here but I hope that helps.
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Old Oct 28, 14, 8:39 pm
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At the earliest point on, when there were 7 seats open on the seat map, you say you were #1 on the UG list, but, how many seats did the UG list say were available?
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Old Oct 28, 14, 8:44 pm
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For domestic flights, the seat map in F should be a pretty good guide as DL does not purposely overbook F. You can run into situations where there is an EQP swap which can mess things up, but that is an exception condition.
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Old Oct 28, 14, 8:52 pm
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In the OP's story, since IROPs seem be ruled out, I wonder whether a bunch of people SDCed directly into FC, for instance from a G A P fare ticket for another flight that day. This is a Tuesday, which isn't normally a big day for business travel, but it might help to know the time of day of the OP's flight.
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Old Oct 28, 14, 9:01 pm
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Originally Posted by davetravels View Post
At the earliest point on, when there were 7 seats open on the seat map, you say you were #1 on the UG list, but, how many seats did the UG list say were available?
IME, the "seats available" mirrors how many seats are available for selection, not a specific number of "actual" seats available. When we had EF there were times with F=4 but seats available was 5 because one pax had not been assigned a seat. It was uncommon, especially domestic, but happened occasionally.
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Old Oct 28, 14, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
. . . . it might help to know the time of day of the OP's flight.
SJU/223P

ATL/609P

I'm really curious to know how many seats the app or DL.com said were available at T-3 when the OP said she was #1 on the list with 7 seats open on the seat map.
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Old Oct 29, 14, 9:15 am
  #8  
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If you really, really want to know how many seats are actually available, the most reliable way to find out would be to search your flight on Delta.com first for 1 person, then 2 people, 3 people, etc. Once it stops offering to sell you the premium cabin on that route for that number of people, you've found out the number of seats available. Since AFAIK Delta does not generally overbook premium cabins, this should be a fairly reliable method.

You'll be limited to knowing only that a flight has at least 9 seats available on wide-open flights, but this is the same level of granularity we had with ExpertFlyer.
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Old Oct 29, 14, 10:14 am
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SJU is a destination that could lend itself to travel agency tickets because of all the cruises that people fly there for. I would not be surprised at all if those 7 seats were sold well in advance but not assigned until people showed up to check-in at the airport.
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Old Oct 29, 14, 10:23 am
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You can also call DL. They'll tell you how many seats are available in First
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Old Oct 29, 14, 7:50 pm
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Thanks everyone,

To answer the question, at T-3 the seat map showed 7 F open and the DL web site and app both said 7 avail.

I could be wrong on this, but I think the ug list shows the before check-in avail seats. Once a ticketed F checks in, the the avail seat number drops.

I could certainly understand that the 7 open on the seat map had, in fact, been sold long ago, but as the passengers had not check-in yet, it would show the seats as avail.

Thus, as they checked in during the T-3 to T-2 time frame, avail went to zero. Fine with me, as I do consider ug's a gift, nice when they happen, but I did buy a coach seat.

A few thoughts....

Upgrades are nice, and if they happen, they happen. But when they don't, I kind of wonder why. Sometimes, as in this case, I understand.

I had a nice aisle seat in EC, and that is fine. The middle seat was open when I left the PPass club for the gate, but it ended up occupied by an Army Capt.

We ended up chatting after t/o and he was visiting his girlfriend, now on the way back to his base. As I had served in the Navy, many decades ago, we got into an interesting conversation about the military in general and his experiences.

He had enlisted, served a tour in Iraq, applied for and was selected to attend West Point, was commissioned, went back to Iraq, and later to Afghanistan.

Just a great young man, with an exceptional ability to explain his experiences to me. Quite a conversation.

Yes, upgrades are quite nice. But in retrospect, I'm extremely glad I did not get an upgrade, giving me the opportunity to sit next to and converse with this nice young man.

Thanks, everyone!

Last edited by Donna49; Oct 29, 14 at 8:04 pm Reason: terminology change...from Y seat to coach seat
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Old Oct 29, 14, 8:00 pm
  #12  
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OT, but it's extremely unusual for enlisted personnel to be accepted by one of the military academies, isn't it? Also, with this previous military service, he would have been a bit older than his classmates at West Point, with the associated advantages and disadvantages. It must have been quite and adjustment for him at the time.
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Old Oct 29, 14, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OT, but it's extremely unusual for enlisted personnel to be accepted by one of the military academies, isn't it? Also, with this previous military service, he would have been a bit older than his classmates at West Point, with the associated advantages and disadvantages. It must have been quite and adjustment for him at the time.
MSPeconomist, first let me thank you for the great advice you have posted here.

Concerning my seat mate...I have no idea. I went thru NROTC in the early 70's, and back then, what he did would be considered very strange indeed. The Navy did have programs for enlisted to make it to Officer, NESEP comes to mind, but getting from enlisted to Annapolis was a major hurdle, but I recall people making it back then.

But quite honestly, the military has changed a great deal since I left.

I don't really know. He could have been lying, but he did wear a West Point ring on his finger. That I did notice.

I took him at his word, because he had nothing to gain from lying.

I do understand what you are saying, but I just think the rules have changed concerning enlisted transitions to officer .....definitely since my 1970's service, perhaps since yours as well.

Having talked to him, I believe him. Just a good kid, doing an important job. But...you could be right...

Back to my OP...thanks everyone...great info.

Last edited by Donna49; Oct 29, 14 at 9:20 pm Reason: delete as necessary to inprove reaability
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Old Oct 29, 14, 11:52 pm
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Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I wan't suggesting at all that he didn't go from enlisted to West Point but rather that this would be so rare that he must be really outstanding for this to have happened. Plus, on the academic side, he would be competing with kids who had just finished high school with outstanding grades and SAT scores, which would be tough if he first spent several years in the army after high school. OTOH, the physical training, weapons, etc. would be fairly easy, I would imagine, as he would have done much of this during his earlier basic training.
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Old Oct 30, 14, 8:20 am
  #15  
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My upgrade requests used to process 5 days in advance. More and more often, I'm finding this no longer to be the case despite ample availability in F.

Here's a current example. I'm flying BZN to MSP tomorrow. There are 3 seats available in F. I just passed my check-in window and can see that I'm #1 on the list.

So why hasn't my upgrade processed? I realize that being within your upgrade window still hinges on availability. But since I know that

1. There have consistently been 3 seats available in F;
2. They haven't upgraded anyone yet as those same 3 seats have been empty for weeks;
3. I'm #1 on the list

Can it possibly be true that 3 (out of 12) seats in F are not medallion upgrade eligible?

In my opinion, Delta is reducing the medallion upgrade buckets and now hanging onto these seats until the very, very last minute, denying DMs the tiny, tiny perk of 5 day upgrade window.

This is just one example but this has happened about 5 times in the last three weeks to me. Just another erosion of benefits. I suppose I'll get the UG at the gate along with a gleeful SM who will shriek with joy at the prospects of free drinks.
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