Keep striking out with RUCs

Old Oct 5, 16, 6:27 pm
  #1  
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Keep striking out with RUCs

Ok, I am either 1) cursed or 2) just picking the wrong flights.

For background in case it matters: DM 2016 and 2017.

I am 0-4 over the last three weeks using my RUCs. Ive been the silver medalist a few times, but never have made it. Yet, on the flights that I have not used my RUC on, I've been upgraded 100%. So ironic.

FULL DISCLOSURE: all 4 of my attempts have been red eyes on 767s with lie flats. Only one was the big kahuna of LAX-JFK. The others have been LAX-ATL or DTW.

Am I simply a victim of people buying the seats at the last minute? Picking the wrong flights?

Just curious what others have experienced.
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Old Oct 5, 16, 7:30 pm
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When do (or have) lie-flats appear on LAX-DTW? I thought it was just LAX-JFK and one of the LAX-ATLs...
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Old Oct 5, 16, 7:30 pm
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I tried to use RUCs for the first time on an ATL-LAX-HNL-LAX-ATL routing. Only HNL-LAX was available at booking, so I wait listed every thing else.

Nothing cleared from the wait list.

ATL-LAX cleared at the gate. LAX-HNL did not, so I had the distinct pleasure of riding in C+ for 5.5 hours and got a grand total of two drinks. NEVER AGAIN.

Rather than play the game on the return, I called up, paid the difference, and switched to the HNL-ATL nonstop in F.

Bottom line is that inventory for RUC usage seems to almost never exist on long haul flights. I think it because the RUC is competing with those using miles to upgrade, as they both pull from the same inventory bucket. I got the impression that wait lists are meaningless for domestic RUC/mileage usage as well.

Obviously, this is anecdotal. But, personally, I will never play the battlefield upgrade game using an RUC again. I either won't go, or I will buy F.
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Old Oct 5, 16, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by taxicabnumber View Post
When do (or have) lie-flats appear on LAX-DTW? I thought it was just LAX-JFK and one of the LAX-ATLs...
It was a few weeks ago. Wednesday night flight i think. The other lie flats have been the Atlanta and JFK run.
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Old Oct 5, 16, 8:39 pm
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I've only tried to use RUC on a TATL once and I was first on the upgrade list. Flight (767) sold out, though.
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Old Oct 5, 16, 8:55 pm
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I had a vacation last week. Planned it out months ago. LAX-JFK on Sept 29 (Thurs) and a return JFK-LAX on Oct. 3 (Mon)

Used up all of RUC's as the wife and I were in D1 both ways. The LAX-JFK leg cleared at the gate. The JFK-LAX leg cleared weeks before the trip.

So, I may try next year.
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Old Oct 5, 16, 9:49 pm
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I have had four RUC failures as well this year. GUC's were great when they first came out but became harder to use. I took all RUC's last year as a Diamond and ended up not using them all.

Oddly...I have had about a dozen domestic segments using miles in economy in 2016 and I have a 100% upgrade rate doing that. Go figure!
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Old Oct 5, 16, 10:44 pm
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Originally Posted by thesaints View Post
I've only tried to use RUC on a TATL once and I was first on the upgrade list. Flight (767) sold out, though.
Huh? Do you mean GUC? Or TCON?
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Old Oct 5, 16, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Robert Leach View Post
I tried to use RUCs for the first time on an ATL-LAX-HNL-LAX-ATL routing. Only HNL-LAX was available at booking, so I wait listed every thing else.

Nothing cleared from the wait list.

ATL-LAX cleared at the gate. LAX-HNL did not, so I had the distinct pleasure of riding in C+ for 5.5 hours and got a grand total of two drinks. NEVER AGAIN.

Rather than play the game on the return, I called up, paid the difference, and switched to the HNL-ATL nonstop in F.

Bottom line is that inventory for RUC usage seems to almost never exist on long haul flights. I think it because the RUC is competing with those using miles to upgrade, as they both pull from the same inventory bucket. I got the impression that wait lists are meaningless for domestic RUC/mileage usage as well.

Obviously, this is anecdotal. But, personally, I will never play the battlefield upgrade game using an RUC again. I either won't go, or I will buy F.
While same bucket, RUC/GUC have higher priority then mileage upgrades.
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Old Oct 6, 16, 1:37 am
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Originally Posted by naples_flyer View Post
Oddly...I have had about a dozen domestic segments using miles in economy in 2016 and I have a 100% upgrade rate doing that. Go figure!
That's funny as I'm the same way. I try never to pay higher than the 'N' mileage rate (was forced to do 'NK' once).

Rene made a good point on his blog about this. Flights available with 'N' inventory usually have many seats open and perhaps not many elites. Hence why it seems so easy to clear upgrades on miles flights when 'N' is readily available. Food for thought!
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Old Oct 6, 16, 5:22 am
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OP here: from the "good FT board karma" department- I cleared to the first class lie flat last night/this morning from LAX-ATL using my RUC! It was a last second clearance. Didn't think i was going to make it, but at the last second someone didn't check i or something.

Have a great day everyone!
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Old Oct 6, 16, 5:32 am
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I'm right there with you, OP. I have had no luck on the mysterious "waitlist". Of course, just buying up is exactly what DL wants you to do.

If it's not available at booking, I'll use the RUC on something else.
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Old Oct 6, 16, 7:53 am
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When I use a RUC/GUC and am waitlisted, I make a point to call back multiple times to verify with multiple people that the RUC/GUC has been properly coded in the system. By doing it multiple times, my intent is that if it is not coded properly, one of those folks will spot the problem. Additionally, it is important to notice that when properly coded, a phantom/duplicate segment is shown in your itinerary where you cannot select a seat because it is showing you on the wait list. If that phantom segment does not show on-line, your RUC/GUC has likely not been properly coded onto your itinerary.
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Old Oct 6, 16, 8:20 am
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The first year I took RUCs I tried to use them between LAX and ATL and managed to clear only once. One time I was #10 or 11 on the upgrade list -- as a DM (on a cheap fare) using an RUC. I ended up "wasting" two on LAX-SEA and back (probably would have cleared Medallion upgrades). In that period I was 100% on Medallion upgrades on the 2-3 flights between LAX and JFK. So I decided to skip them the next year.

Of course, then DMs no longer got Medallion upgrades LAX-JFK but RUCs could be used there. So I took them again. Used 3 of 4 -- and would have cleared the 4th but I had (stupidly) used 20K miles to chop $200 of a fare with PWM and that meant I couldn't use an RUC. The LAX-JFK leg went out with empty seats up front, so I know I would have cleared.

The three cases were I did use them were all on the return portion of a TATL trip. That meant they tended to be early evening flights, often on a Sunday or Monday.
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Old Oct 6, 16, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by DL-Don View Post
When I use a RUC/GUC and am waitlisted, I make a point to call back multiple times to verify with multiple people that the RUC/GUC has been properly coded in the system. By doing it multiple times, my intent is that if it is not coded properly, one of those folks will spot the problem. Additionally, it is important to notice that when properly coded, a phantom/duplicate segment is shown in your itinerary where you cannot select a seat because it is showing you on the wait list. If that phantom segment does not show on-line, your RUC/GUC has likely not been properly coded onto your itinerary.
I am waitlisted both ways on a flight in December and it says "Upgrade Status: Upgrade Waitlisted" but doesn't show the second duplicate reservation under either segment (I have RU's expiring in January and that's the only long flight I am taking where I'm flying in coach so figure I may as well burn them on this flight). Does this mean the RU isn't coded properly. I called Delta the day after I requested to be waitlisted and noticed this and the rep insisted it was coded right.

In the past when I was waitlisted I used to have the confirmation with the seat assignment and then the same flight would be showing under it with no seat number and it would say "not upgrade eligible"

I flew SFO/DTW a couple weeks ago and didn't have the phantom segment under it either and called and was told that the phantom segment wouldn't show up anymore. I checked in at about t-8 and was 5 on the upgrade list (DM on an X fare) for 2 seats. I didn't think that sounded right and called the diamond line and sure enough the RU wasn't coded correctly. Agent unchecked me in and applied it and I rechecked in and was number 1. Ended up being only 1 seat at the gate and I got it but it pissed me off because I got seat 5 which didn't recline on a red eye and I was talking to someone on my flight at the skyclub who is a diamond on an S fare and he cleared three days out, so if it would have been coded right I would have been in a better seat.

I don't know why Delta makes applying an RU which we work to earn so hard to apply for an agent and so hard to use. IMO if at least half of the first class cabin is empty they should clear an RU immediately.

Up until they took EF award availability away it wasn't a big deal. You just looked to see if the inventor was there and if it wasn't sit a seat alert and if the SWU was applied incorrectly you called Delta to tell them the inventory was there and the SWU didn't clear.

If Delta is going to keep their inventory so secretive at least apply the RU's correctly and clear them. I'm sure plenty of people have been screwed out of upgrades on the RU since they were applied incorrectly. IMHO all agents should be required to know how to apply them correctly if they are working the diamond/PM desk.
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