New GM Need some help please.

Old Jun 7, 17, 8:10 am
  #1  
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New GM Need some help please.

Hi All,

I'm a new GM that is trying to learn the ropes and I will be a PM in a week. I also have the Amex Reserve card. I have some questions I was hoping some pros could answer. This is my first year of heavy travel. I have been lurking a bit doing my best get down the slang

1. Whats the best days to fly for upgrades?

2. Whats the best times?

3. Whats the overall upgrade chance roughly for 1st as PM?

4. Should I disable C+ upgrades? It seems some say this could kill F upgrade.

5. Can I set a preference for no C+ middle seats. I would rather have isle C.

6. Should I always wait to board the plane in case someone does not show? It seems every other flight they fly with 1 F seat open due to D5 (as a GA told me) trying to close the doors early

Thanks so much for your time in helping a GM, soon to be PM out.

Warm Regards,

KN
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:20 am
  #2  
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Welcome to FlyerTalk Delta forum!

You've just managed to sum up tens of thousands of posts into 6 questions!
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:24 am
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In summary for all of DL flyer talk

Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
Hi All,

I'm a new GM that is trying to learn the ropes and I will be a PM in a week. I also have the Amex Reserve card. I have some questions I was hoping some pros could answer. This is my first year of heavy travel. I have been lurking a bit doing my best get down the slang

1. Whats the best days to fly for upgrades? Saturday and Sunday morning


2. Whats the best times? Usually middays during the week, Saturday, and Sunday morning

3. Whats the overall upgrade chance roughly for 1st as PM? Varies widely based on routes and travel patterns. Some are at 100% others are at 0%

4. Should I disable C+ upgrades? It seems some say this could kill F upgrade. It's up to you. You do risk getting put into a middle C+ seat. I don't care but a lot of folks do.

5. Can I set a preference for no C+ middle seats. I would rather have isle C.
no

6. Should I always wait to board the plane in case someone does not show? It seems every other flight they fly with 1 F seat open due to D5 (as a GA told me) trying to close the doors early Unless you're at the top of the upgrade list, it's probably not worth it

Thanks so much for your time in helping a GM, soon to be PM out.

Warm Regards,

KN
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by davetravels View Post
Welcome to FlyerTalk Delta forum!

You've just managed to sum up tens of thousands of posts into 6 questions!
Thanks for the warm welcome!.

@suvayanr Thank-you for the definitive and concise information.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
Hi All,

I'm a new GM that is trying to learn the ropes and I will be a PM in a week. I also have the Amex Reserve card. I have some questions I was hoping some pros could answer. This is my first year of heavy travel. I have been lurking a bit doing my best get down the slang

1. Whats the best days to fly for upgrades?

2. Whats the best times?

3. Whats the overall upgrade chance roughly for 1st as PM?

4. Should I disable C+ upgrades? It seems some say this could kill F upgrade.

5. Can I set a preference for no C+ middle seats. I would rather have isle C.

6. Should I always wait to board the plane in case someone does not show? It seems every other flight they fly with 1 F seat open due to D5 (as a GA told me) trying to close the doors early

Thanks so much for your time in helping a GM, soon to be PM out.

Warm Regards,

KN
Welcome to the forum!

1. Whats the best days to fly for upgrades?
2. Whats the best times?
3. Whats the overall upgrade chance roughly for 1st as PM?
It depends on the route. The more business-heavy the route, the harder upgrades typically are. You said "heavy travel". Is this a typical consultant pattern "out on Sun/Mon, back on Thurs/Fri"? If you have flexibility, most routes do offer upgrades off peak.
4. Should I disable C+ upgrades? It seems some say this could kill F upgrade.
With the latest DL updates, probably not. Prior to the latest updates, it required a call to DL to downgrade to C- if your C+ upgrade was actually undesirable. Now, you can move yourself using the seat map. BUT, if you do so, the automation turns off the F upgrade request - and you have to remember to manually turn it back on in that reservation.
5. Can I set a preference for no C+ middle seats. I would rather have isle C.
No. The "self downgrade, and deactivate an F upgrade request" is DL's current answer to this.
6. Should I always wait to board the plane in case someone does not show? It seems every other flight they fly with 1 F seat open due to D5 (as a GA told me) trying to close the doors early
Maybe, maybe not. It depends. Do you really want overhead bin space? If you have a small carryon so overhead bin space is not important, it could be a good strategy. There is no absolute answer to this since it depends on how the agent chooses to operate the flight.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
Hi All,

I'm a new GM that is trying to learn the ropes and I will be a PM in a week. I also have the Amex Reserve card. I have some questions I was hoping some pros could answer. This is my first year of heavy travel. I have been lurking a bit doing my best get down the slang

1. Whats the best days to fly for upgrades?

2. Whats the best times?

3. Whats the overall upgrade chance roughly for 1st as PM?

4. Should I disable C+ upgrades? It seems some say this could kill F upgrade.

5. Can I set a preference for no C+ middle seats. I would rather have isle C.

6. Should I always wait to board the plane in case someone does not show? It seems every other flight they fly with 1 F seat open due to D5 (as a GA told me) trying to close the doors early

Thanks so much for your time in helping a GM, soon to be PM out.

Warm Regards,

KN
Don't get your hopes up for a lot of upgrades. Delta is trying (and succeeding) to get people to purchase first class outright. (And rightfully so). As they succeed with this plan, your upgrade chances diminish.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by Mr. Tickets View Post
Don't get your hopes up for a lot of upgrades. Delta is trying (and succeeding) to get people to purchase first class outright. (And rightfully so). As they succeed with this plan, your upgrade chances diminish.
I see that you are a DM. I would hope you get a lot of upgrades. I'm a big guy 6'6 300 and if I don't get upgrades I will take my bussiness elsewhere with status match. The bigger seats are the number 1 benefit of status to me. If I don't end up with > 50% upgrades on DL as PM with reserve I'm sure I will be asking the question of what airline has the best chance and doing a status match. I would think going out of of St. Paul you would have good odds.

In short, I don't care about the lounges, the food, the drink, or the better service. if I could get the same size seat in C (even without recline) I would be so happy!

@mnbp Yes, I'm doing the typical consultant pattern. Fly Sunday night/Monday morning and fly home Friday night. I am flying out of PHX which I feel helps. I can't imagine the competition in like LAX. Thanks for the information about downgrades and how to do it. Great tips.

Last edited by icebeam; Jun 7, 17 at 8:52 am
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:55 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
I see that you are a DM. I would hope you get a lot of upgrades. I'm a big guy 6'6 300 and if I don't get upgrades I will take my bussiness elsewhere with status match. The bigger seats are the number 1 benefit of status to me. If I don't end up with > 50% upgrades on DL as PM with reserve I'm sure I will be asking the question of what airline has the best chance and doing a status match. I would think going out of of St. Paul you would have good odds.

In short, I don't care about the lounges, the food, the drink, or the better service. if I could get the same size seat in C (even without recline) I would be so happy!

@mnbp Yes, I'm doing the typical consultant pattern. Fly Sunday night/Monday morning and fly home Friday night. I am flying out of PHX which I feel helps. I can't imagine the competition in like LAX. Thanks for the information about downgrades and how to do it. Great tips.
I don't think there's any airline where consultant pattern travel will result in more than 50% free upgrades for a mid tier elite.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I don't think there's any airline where consultant pattern travel will result in more than 50% free upgrades for a mid tier elite.
I would say PM is upper tier. 3/4 levels achieved. If it takes DM to do it then fine, I will drop 1-2k of my own money and do a status run. By the end of the month I should have about 90k MQMs. Can get a 35k status run if needed.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
If I don't end up with > 50% upgrades on DL as PM with reserve I'm sure I will be asking the question of what airline has the best chance.
As a DM <with a Platinum DL Amex>, I don't keep stats, but, I feel as though I get about 95% UGs, and most of them at the 5 day DM UG window. I travel 100% for pleasure, so, I guess I fly opposite of business travelers - particularly since I constantly see DMs posting there that they rarely get UGs. The UGs I usually miss are when I make a last minute same day change.

That said, I really can't remember a single post that leads me to believe that paying extra for an Amex Reserve card makes any noticeable difference.

Also, I can't vouch for UG percentages on other airlines, but, from what I've read here, you should do better on Delta.

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Old Jun 7, 17, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
If I don't end up with > 50% upgrades on DL as PM with reserve I'm sure I will be asking the question of what airline has the best chance and doing a status match.
It might be a bit unrealistic to expect >50% upgrades as a PM. I am not sure there are many DMs with that level of success.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
I see that you are a DM. I would hope you get a lot of upgrades. I'm a big guy 6'6 300 and if I don't get upgrades I will take my bussiness elsewhere with status match. The bigger seats are the number 1 benefit of status to me. If I don't end up with > 50% upgrades on DL as PM with reserve I'm sure I will be asking the question of what airline has the best chance and doing a status match. I would think going out of of St. Paul you would have good odds.

In short, I don't care about the lounges, the food, the drink, or the better service. if I could get the same size seat in C (even without recline) I would be so happy!

@mnbp Yes, I'm doing the typical consultant pattern. Fly Sunday night/Monday morning and fly home Friday night. I am flying out of PHX which I feel helps. I can't imagine the competition in like LAX. Thanks for the information about downgrades and how to do it. Great tips.
Others can and will chime in, but I am not sure I would expect even 50% upgrades (Platinum or Diamond) traveling Sunday night/Monday morning and Friday night. MSP is not great for upgrades. I fly a lot to RSW and get maybe 10% upgrades no matter what day of the week in season. The airlines want to SELL first class. Upgrading you is not a priority. I think Delta's goal is to eventually fill at least 70% with paid first class passengers. I think they are close now. PHX on Delta will mean a lot of connecting travel. Good luck!
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Old Jun 7, 17, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by Mr. Tickets View Post
Others can and will chime in, but I am not sure I would expect even 50% upgrades (Platinum or Diamond) traveling Sunday night/Monday morning and Friday night.
Agreed. Success will depend on fare classes purchased and routes. If he's buying far enough ahead and meeting other fare rule requirements (min/max stay typically) to get U,T,X,V fares, 50% as a Plat may not be achieved.

I think the OP could find disappointment at UA and AA, too, below top tier.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by Mr. Tickets View Post
Others can and will chime in, but I am not sure I would expect even 50% upgrades (Platinum or Diamond) traveling Sunday night/Monday morning and Friday night. MSP is not great for upgrades. I fly a lot to RSW and get maybe 10% upgrades no matter what day of the week in season. The airlines want to SELL first class. Upgrading you is not a priority. I think Delta's goal is to eventually fill at least 70% with paid first class passengers. I think they are close now. PHX on Delta will mean a lot of connecting travel. Good luck!
My number one flight is PHX direct to JFK. Then sometimes PHX to ATL direct. I understand they want to sell first class. Maybe once there are no upgrades we can push our frugal companies to just pay $100 more a seat. I pretty sure at this point a greyhound bus seat has more room. If anyone sees hostility in my typing note it's from being told "ya, travel once a month at most." to every week now. So I'm just trying to make the most of it. I'm also not willing to pay $~150 each way on my own money for upgrades. given 50 flights a year that would be $7,500.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
If I don't end up with > 50% upgrades on DL as PM with reserve I'm sure I will be asking the question of what airline has the best chance and doing a status match. I would think going out of of St. Paul you would have good odds.
Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
I am flying out of PHX which I feel helps.
Originally Posted by icebeam View Post
I would say PM is upper tier. 3/4 levels achieved. If it takes DM to do it then fine, I will drop 1-2k of my own money and do a status run. By the end of the month I should have about 90k MQMs. Can get a 35k status run if needed.
I assume it is PHX-MSP vv.
You are unlikely to get 50% on consultant hours. Keep in mind the more senior people also pay to sit up front.
PM and DM makes a huge difference but still not enough. If you're flying TUE WED THR SAT, you should get >50% for DM.

Have you considered AA?
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