Economy Comfort Standby - No Status

Old Dec 12, 16, 8:09 am
  #1  
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Economy Comfort Standby - No Status

New to DL. AA EXP for years and am considering switching over. However, given my recent experience trying to get on an earlier flight I am unsure.

I booked a seat in Economy Comfort for a flight I recently took. I needed to get back earlier so wanted to standby or do same day confirm on a flight two hours earlier. I called the day before and gave my CC to get on the standby list. At the time agent said no EC seats available (even though coach was wide open) but I would be on the list. She told me I had to go to the airport. I would not be cleared overnight even if a seat opened up - only at the airport and I could still check in and take my regularly scheduled flight. The next day got an alert that a seat in W fare class opened up. Still did not get confirmed. Cleared at the gate but got a normal coach seat. Was I supposed to get an EC seat? I guess I am just a bit confused - if Delta makes such a big deal about EC being a separate fare class and prices it as such then what gives. Did people with status get upgrades into EC ahead of me? It looked like it on the departures board. What am I missing? Besides having status on DL!
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Old Dec 12, 16, 9:11 am
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The whole premise of the concept of an "upgrade" is that the worst seat in the upgrade class is better than the best seat in the lower class.

DL forgot this simple concept with their rollout of C+ and as a result, most times that I've observed, C+ "upgrades" don't happen because they would just piss people off.

My suggestion would be to make your interest known to the GA at approx T-45 when nothing has been done yet for upgrades and see what can be done.

Just one opinion.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 9:33 am
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OP - you can pay $50 and be confirmed if W if a seat is available in the cabin. They have an upgrade list for elites ahead of day of travel but not for standbys like you.

I assume the airport standby list sorted by status, which is why you were at the bottom of the standby list for W. Were you standing by on the exact same routing as you were confirmed for? Did anyone charge you $50?

If you weren't charged, you technically did not confirm a W fare. Standby is standby.

If you were charged, you should ask for a refund and some "sorry" compensation.

In the future, if this exact scenario occurs, go to the gate ahead of T-45 and tell the GA you were on a PURCHASED W fare and are standing by. They then may clear you before complimentary upgrades.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 11:47 am
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Does anyone know for sure what the order should be?

1.) W is W is W and that you should be able to SDC directly in to any open W seat, bypassing the upgrade list of people with main cabin fares on the W upgrade list (similar to how purchased FC tickets work where you can SDC in to any F seat, bypassing elites on the F list).

OR

2.) SDC for W relies on your underlying fare basis code and you can only SDC if your underlying fare basis is available (ie T,X,V) where if your cheap underlying fare isn't available, you have to SDS and therefore wait until T-15 at which point the main cabin to W upgrades have already been processed?

My experience (n=2) has been option 2.) both times, IE I've gotten a middle in the back despite being on a paid W fare.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 11:53 am
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My guess is that once the C+ seat opened up, you would need to actually call back and request the SDC into the open seat. The system is probably not smart enough to automatically take you off the Stand-by list and immediately confirm you into the open C+ seat. If you remain on the stand-by list, it's likely the system is just using normal priority order to clear stand-by's at the gate and not taking into account the SDC rules for C+ fares.

Last edited by LBJ; Dec 12, 16 at 2:42 pm
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Old Dec 12, 16, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by mnbp View Post
The whole premise of the concept of an "upgrade" is that the worst seat in the upgrade class is better than the best seat in the lower class.

DL forgot this simple concept with their rollout of C+ and as a result, most times that I've observed, C+ "upgrades" don't happen because they would just piss people off.
This.

It takes a very special detachment from reality to think that a middle in C+ is better than an exit row window or aisle to the point where automoving customers is a good use of programmer resource. Have that happen once on a transcon, and you'll scrub all reservations to remove any possibility of that auto C + on any equipment with center seats.

OP also wants to travel standby... My experience with DL and standby is <<<< great. Flights leaving with open FC seats and SB medallions deliberately not upgraded; SB held, until all off duty, non-rev crew are upgraded to fill the FC cabin, then SB cleared; SB cleared into worst available seat on the plane, then non-revs cleared into empty rows, etc., etc.

I understand it's all about disincentivizing gamers; Just another enjoyable facet of travelling with fare bucket central airlines...
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Old Dec 12, 16, 4:07 pm
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Yes i paid the $50 fee once i cleared and boarded. Agent gave me a receipt.

What really annoyed me was the my originial flight had a schedule change to 30 mins later. I only found this out by logging in to Delta.com. No email no text no call. When i called and asked to be confirmed on the earlier flight i was told it was only a "minor change" and i would have to pay the &50 standby / confirm fee.

I guess Delta isn't that business traveller friendly. When you waste 30 mins of my time I'd think you want to make it right. I don't complain much. I'm a fairly seasoned traveller. The whole experience seemed unecessarily frustrating.

I enjoyed a few hours cramped in the fetal position. Back to AA for 2017!
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Old Dec 12, 16, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
OP - you can pay $50 and be confirmed if W if a seat is available in the cabin. They have an upgrade list for elites ahead of day of travel but not for standbys like you.

I assume the airport standby list sorted by status, which is why you were at the bottom of the standby list for W. Were you standing by on the exact same routing as you were confirmed for? Did anyone charge you $50?

If you weren't charged, you technically did not confirm a W fare. Standby is standby.
There is the same $50 charge for same-day confirmed and same-day standby options for customers who haven't reached Gold Medallion status.
Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
If you were charged, you should ask for a refund and some "sorry" compensation.
He/she wouldn't be eligible for any refund or compensation. It should have been explained that he/she would be assigned a seat in Comfort+ if available, or in the Main Cabin if unavailable. This works the same way for confirmed First Class customers standing by. If First Class is unavailable, then they would be assigned Comfort+ (if available), then Main Cabin. The only way to avoid the $50 same-day standby fee is by not boarding. Boarding means you voluntarily accept a lower class of service (no one is forcing you to take the earlier flight).

Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
In the future, if this exact scenario occurs, go to the gate ahead of T-45 and tell the GA you were on a PURCHASED W fare and are standing by. They then may clear you before complimentary upgrades.
Complimentary Comfort+ upgrades for confirmed Medallion passengers come before same-day standby seat assignments. This upgrade order is why same-day standby for First Class or Comfort+ nearly guarantees that only Main Cabin seats will be left.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 9:17 pm
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You can SDC on a paid W fare so long as any W seat is available.

This wasn't the case when OP originally called, but upon seeing the seat alert, he could have called back and immediately been confirmed into the now-available W seat for the $50 SDC fee.

Also, with Main Cabin open, on several occasions I have had phone agents confirm a downgrade in order to immediately SDC me on to a desired flight, without inventory restrictions, when on a paid W or FC fare. When schedule is more important than comfort, this works out well.

Also, being confirmed into the new flight ahead of time means you can then play with the seat map to at least get a good aisle or exit row (if you have status) seat. And being downgraded from a W or FC fare puts you back at the top of the UG list for those cabins IME.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
You can SDC on a paid W fare so long as any W seat is available.

This wasn't the case when OP originally called, but upon seeing the seat alert, he could have called back and immediately been confirmed into the now-available W seat for the $50 SDC fee.

Also, with Main Cabin open, on several occasions I have had phone agents confirm a downgrade in order to immediately SDC me on to a desired flight, without inventory restrictions, when on a paid W or FC fare. When schedule is more important than comfort, this works out well.

Also, being confirmed into the new flight ahead of time means you can then play with the seat map to at least get a good aisle or exit row (if you have status) seat. And being downgraded from a W or FC fare puts you back at the top of the UG list for those cabins IME.
The problem is the system would likely clear the next person on the upgrade list into that empty seat before the OP calls to confirm the SDC.

Had a supervisor once try to reticket me in W. She took some automated remarks indicating the C+ upgrade out of my record and reissued it, and despite assuring me she would keep my seats, the deleted remarks reissued me in my original fare class, and gave away my (and last) aisle C+ to the next person on the upgrade list.

I appreciate DL protecting Medallions because auto upgrades to C+ and clearing comp upgrades before any standbys as Widgets said takes care of us. But I could see a regular customer buying W and being upset that the paid W doesn't come before complimentary W. I guess it is in rare cases like W standby such as this, that such an incident could occur.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 9:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Widgets View Post
There is the same $50 charge for same-day confirmed and same-day standby options for customers who haven't reached Gold Medallion status.

He/she wouldn't be eligible for any refund or compensation. It should have been explained that he/she would be assigned a seat in Comfort+ if available, or in the Main Cabin if unavailable. This works the same way for confirmed First Class customers standing by. If First Class is unavailable, then they would be assigned Comfort+ (if available), then Main Cabin. The only way to avoid the $50 same-day standby fee is by not boarding. Boarding means you voluntarily accept a lower class of service (no one is forcing you to take the earlier flight).


Complimentary Comfort+ upgrades for confirmed Medallion passengers come before same-day standby seat assignments. This upgrade order is why same-day standby for First Class or Comfort+ nearly guarantees that only Main Cabin seats will be left.
This is all correct for standby... but I thought W was being treated like F for SDC? (Can SDC a W fare to any open coach or C+ seat). Shouldn't OP have been able to confirm to any coach seat?
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Old Dec 12, 16, 9:50 pm
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
The problem is the system would likely clear the next person on the upgrade list into that empty seat before the OP calls to confirm the SDC.

Had a supervisor once try to reticket me in W. She took some automated remarks indicating the C+ upgrade out of my record and reissued it, and despite assuring me she would keep my seats, the deleted remarks reissued me in my original fare class, and gave away my (and last) aisle C+ to the next person on the upgrade list.

I appreciate DL protecting Medallions because auto upgrades to C+ and clearing comp upgrades before any standbys as Widgets said takes care of us. But I could see a regular customer buying W and being upset that the paid W doesn't come before complimentary W. I guess it is in rare cases like W standby such as this, that such an incident could occur.
The UG would only clear if WU is available, which is highly unlikely if the cabin was sold out at some point.

And as a data point, I have done this at least a few times, where I've seen a W seat open up when W was previously full, and called in as much as a couple hours later to snag it.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
The problem is the system would likely clear the next person on the upgrade list into that empty seat before the OP calls to confirm the SDC.
Just because there is a seat open in C+ does not mean the system will automatically open up WU upgrade inventory and upgrade someone to it. Also, OP said he saw a W class seat for sale. I think the main point is there no automatic shift from the Standby list to a confirmed seat just because the seat opened. You need to actually call for the SDC when a seat is shown for sale.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 11:41 pm
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I guess I'm a little confused. OP said he "called the day before" to use SDS or SDC (Same Day Standby or Confirmed). DL doesn't allow this for the $50 fee. You can only SDS or SDC on the day of departure.

OP may have even been waitlisted for the "upgrade" to C+ but as they are a non-status member and C+ was already full when they called the day before there's a very good chance others were ahead of OP on the waitlist for the upgrade. Or, the system didn't even see them as confirmed on the flight until the gate agent processed it. By that time C+ was full.

-RM
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Old Dec 13, 16, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
I guess I'm a little confused. OP said he "called the day before" to use SDS or SDC (Same Day Standby or Confirmed). DL doesn't allow this for the $50 fee. You can only SDS or SDC on the day of departure.

OP may have even been waitlisted for the "upgrade" to C+ but as they are a non-status member and C+ was already full when they called the day before there's a very good chance others were ahead of OP on the waitlist for the upgrade. Or, the system didn't even see them as confirmed on the flight until the gate agent processed it. By that time C+ was full.

-RM
You've can call anytime within 24hrs of departure of scheduledflight. It doesn't need be same day. The change must be to flights on same day as scheduled though.

As for SDC for Windows fares. The rules technically say the underlying fares class doesn't matter, if there's a C+ seat available. If not technically the rules require your underlying fare class to be available to confirm a change to a regular coach seat
However in general they just override and put you in the coach seat.

As for what happened to OP, there's a couple of issues.

1)He should've asked to be confirmed in coach. While not technically within rules, DL agents will do it any way regardless of underlying fare class.

2)STandy means two things. In one case it means you're confirmed on the flight, but standby for an upgrade/seat assignment. The other is that you're not confirmed on the flight and are awaiting to even be confirmed on the flight. Confirmed passengers are processed for seats and upgrades before those standby for the flight itself. Once those are processed standbys for the flight are processed, and once confirmed on the flight can be upgraded/given seat assignments. This happens even with FC tickets. Basically until you go from standby to confirmed standby you're not on the plane. It's confusing, but this is true across all airlines. They're not going to put someone unconfirmed in FC/C+ when they may need it for an overbooked confirmed passenger in Y. Confirmed always trumps a passenger on standby for the flight.

3)Since OP flew the flight the $50 was correct. Only time you don't pay is if you don't fly the new flight or are GM or higher.

Hopefully this helps OP understand what happened.
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