Upgrades after boarding?

Old Aug 11, 15, 1:25 pm
  #1  
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Upgrades after boarding?

Yesterday I flew from DTW>SFO and noticed that after everyone had boarded that there was an empty seat in 1A, despite the fact that there were still 30 odd people on the UG list. When the GA came on board with her final paperwork, the lead FA pointed out the empty seat. The GA mentioned something about a new rule that once a person has boarded then you give up the right to be upgraded. So does DL expect the #1 on the UG list to wait in the boarding area in case a seat in First becomes available at the last minute, and then board if nothing opens up? Good luck trying to find an open bin for any hand luggage at that point!

Mods, please re-post this in an appropriate thread if necessary. Thanks!
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Old Aug 11, 15, 1:57 pm
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It's not a new rule, it's an old one, but some agents will move people forward after boarding if there's time.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by audidudi View Post
Yesterday I flew from DTW>SFO and noticed that after everyone had boarded that there was an empty seat in 1A, despite the fact that there were still 30 odd people on the UG list. When the GA came on board with her final paperwork, the lead FA pointed out the empty seat. The GA mentioned something about a new rule that once a person has boarded then you give up the right to be upgraded. So does DL expect the #1 on the UG list to wait in the boarding area in case a seat in First becomes available at the last minute, and then board if nothing opens up? Good luck trying to find an open bin for any hand luggage at that point!

Mods, please re-post this in an appropriate thread if necessary. Thanks!
Not a new rule. It has been in place for a long time. You board you lose your place on the UG list. Some GA's will still come find the next on the list but generally that is the way it works.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by audidudi View Post
Yesterday I flew from DTW>SFO and noticed that after everyone had boarded that there was an empty seat in 1A, despite the fact that there were still 30 odd people on the UG list. When the GA came on board with her final paperwork, the lead FA pointed out the empty seat. The GA mentioned something about a new rule that once a person has boarded then you give up the right to be upgraded. So does DL expect the #1 on the UG list to wait in the boarding area in case a seat in First becomes available at the last minute?...
Yes, it is not a new rule. Been that way for years. Board you lose. If you are on the bubble, I'd hang back and check with the GA after everyone boards.

That's not to say a GA won't ever come on board and upgrade #1 just before the door closes. I remember an ATL-AUS flight about five months ago. The Delta app showed me about four below the one available upgrade. So I boarded early. Later GA comes on board and upgrades me.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 2:02 pm
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I get the so called battle field upgrade quite often, I know most of the GA at my home small airport and try to mention in the nicest possible way that I am 1 on the list and boarding the plane. I am more often then not told "oh thank you for telling me if there ends up being a seat I will come get you.". Low and behold it happens pretty often. A lot of times a little kindness coupled with a smile and a great attitude goes a long way. YMMV
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Old Aug 11, 15, 2:06 pm
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It happened to me recently that the GA came on board when I was #1 on the list, and already seated in C+, and upgraded me to FC. That's why I wasn't sure about this rule as the GA yesterday was definitely telling the lead FA that it was a "new "rule"!

Last edited by audidudi; Aug 11, 15 at 3:58 pm
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Old Aug 11, 15, 2:30 pm
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Maybe it was just a new GA, still learning the ins and outs
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Old Aug 11, 15, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Bowgie View Post
Yes, it is not a new rule. Been that way for years. Board you lose. If you are on the bubble, I'd hang back and check with the GA after everyone boards.

That's not to say a GA won't ever come on board and upgrade #1 just before the door closes. I remember an ATL-AUS flight about five months ago. The Delta app showed me about four below the one available upgrade. So I boarded early. Later GA comes on board and upgrades me.
How many times does take to remind people the rule is not you board you lose?
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Old Aug 11, 15, 2:43 pm
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I've gotten upgraded multiple times after already boarding..
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Old Aug 11, 15, 2:58 pm
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The more I read about the "you-board-you-lose" rule the more it sounds like a local/optional rule. Not system wide.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasJosh View Post
I get the so called battle field upgrade quite often, I know most of the GA at my home small airport and try to mention in the nicest possible way that I am 1 on the list and boarding the plane. I am more often then not told "oh thank you for telling me if there ends up being a seat I will come get you.". Low and behold it happens pretty often. A lot of times a little kindness coupled with a smile and a great attitude goes a long way. YMMV
This. Has worked several times including lie flat to Hawaii.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 3:20 pm
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The only priority a GA is getting that flight out on time. Sometimes if they're in a good mood and have a little extra time they'll go out of their way to upgrade pax on-board.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 3:27 pm
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This is incorrect. It has been the rule for at least 4 years. GA's disregard it when they have the time. But, if the push is delayed because the agent doesn't timely close out the flight, it's the agent who gets dinged.

Solution is that if there are X seats remaining and you are within X on the list, ask. If the GA commits to getting you, take your seat. If the agent tells you, things are too tight, make up your mind. If the agent tells you he'll fetch you if there's time, you also have a decision.

Personally, it would be better to establish and stick to the rule. All it does is disappoint people who thought it would work.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 3:35 pm
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It's not new and it's not a rule. It sounds like a lazy GA in that there's no evidence that there wasn't time to move up one person. Also, telling the FA that it was a new rule is just another example of a DL employee making up stuff when it's convenient.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Bicostal View Post
How many times does take to remind people the rule is not you board you lose?
Wrong.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is incorrect. It has been the rule for at least 4 years. GA's disregard it when they have the time. But, if the push is delayed because the agent doesn't timely close out the flight, it's the agent who gets dinged.

Solution is that if there are X seats remaining and you are within X on the list, ask. If the GA commits to getting you, take your seat. If the agent tells you, things are too tight, make up your mind. If the agent tells you he'll fetch you if there's time, you also have a decision.

Personally, it would be better to establish and stick to the rule. All it does is disappoint people who thought it would work.
Correct. I received written confirmation from Delta, as have others, that it is the official rule, though it is not uniformly enforced. Now that I am no longer medallion I haven't kept the correspondence, but it definitely was and most likely still is the official "rule."
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