Delta Mileage Upgrade Awards

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Old Mar 4, 19, 4:00 am   -   Wikipost
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Note: This thread is about Mileage Upgrade Awards, which are Sky Miles upgrades that upgrade your coach seat to First Class, Delta One or Premium Select.

Important Details:
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  • Your underlying fare class remains Economy, and you are technically still booked as an economy passenger.
  • You are granted all inflight & airport benefits of having that upgraded seat (i.e. Premium security line, Sky Club access on international flights, etc).
  • You earn miles based on your original Main Cabin fare.
  • Mileage Upgrade Award prices are set by route and do not fluctuate based on the cash price of the upgrade.
  • Delta no longer publishes the miles required by route to upgrade, and the numbers below is a FT best attempt to collect this data; it may not be accurate.
  • Mileage Upgrade Awards are confirmed after your coach ticket is booked (though could be in the same phone call with an agent who has checked for upgrade space before booking)
  • The only way to use Mileage Upgrade Awards is by calling Delta--there is no online option.
  • This Wiki contains only minimal information about upgrading to and from Premium Select; please share information as you gather it, either by updating the wiki or posting in the thread.
  • You must be booked in an upgradeable fare class to upgrade. It is possible to buy up to an upgradeable coach fare class and then upgrade with miles.


How to Upgrade with Delta Sky Miles
  • You can Either:
    • Call Delta and ask to book a flight that has Mileage Upgrade Awards available and then purchase and upgrade the flight at the same time with that agent. Inventory is highly limited.
    • OR, call Delta to upgrade a flight you have already booked. When you call they will either process the upgrade or tell you that there are no upgrades available.
      • If an upgrade is not available, it is possible to waitlist.
        • Mileage Upgrade Awards that are waitlisted do not transfer to the Airport Upgrade List (for gate upgrade) and cannot be cleared at the gate.
        • There have been rare exceptions reported to this rule. If you want to attempt to clear your upgrade at the airport on day of departure, speak with a red coat. This is against policy and will not usually work, but some have reported success.
  • If you want to upgrade a flight that you have already booked the change fee should be waived for this upgrade. Ask for a supervisor if this is challenged.
  • The Delta agent may offer you either Delta Upgrade Awards or Upgrade with Miles (see details below). Confirm you are getting the lowest mile option.
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NOTE: Delta offers an additional upgrade option which is called Upgrade with Miles. These upgrades are available on US Domestic flights only and are a pay with miles type of upgrade. (meaning that, unlike Mileage Upgrade Awards, the amount of miles needed fluctuates based on the cash price of an upgrade). When you use Upgrade with Miles you will earn miles for your flight based on the cabin flown, as you have now paid (with miles) to change your ticket to a premium cabin ticket (vs an upgraded coach ticket). The mileage amounts listed in this thread are not for this program. To use Upgrade with Miles you need to log into your reservation and check for an upgrade offer or call Delta and ask. Upgrade with Miles typically requires more miles to upgrade than Mileage Upgrade Awards.
In order to use Mileage Upgrade Awards from Main Cabin or Comfort+ to First Class or Delta One, you need to be booked in the correct fare class:
  • Within North America and northern South America you can upgrade when booked in: Y/B/M/H/Q/K/L/U/T
  • For all other markets you can upgrade when booked in: Y/B/M//H/Q/K
    • You can see your booking class by logging into your reservation. Directly under your seat assignment it will say your cabin and your booking class. For example: MAIN CABIN (Q)
The wiki needs to be updated to include information about upgrading to and from Delta Premium Select.

Prices for the following markets as quoted by multiple reservations agents.

Other thread of potential interest:

Pricing is one-way


US/Canada/Mexico/Caribbean First Class (Most North America routes except for flights that offer Delta One)
Y/B/M: 15,000 miles
H/Q/K: 20,000 miles
L/U/T: 30,000 miles

Domestic Delta One Routes (domestic transcon & Hawaii routes that offer Delta One service such as JFK-LAX, LAX-DCA, ATL-HNL, etc)
Y/B/M: 23,000 miles
H/Q/K: 28,000 miles
L/U/T: 40,000 miles

US-Hawaii (Except for Delta One routes MSP/ATL/JFK/DTW-HNL. For these routes, see Domestic Transcontinental Premium Routes )
Y/B/M: 15,000 miles
H/Q/K: 20,000 miles
L/U/T: 30,000 miles

US-Northern South America
Y/B/M: 30,000 miles
H/Q/K: 45,000 miles
L/U/T: 55,000 miles

US-Southern South America
Y/B/M: 40,000 miles
H/Q/K: 60,000 miles

US-Europe:
Main Cabin to Delta One:
Y/B/M: 35,000 miles
H/Q/K: 65,000 miles

Main Cabin to Premium Select:
Y/B/M: 25,000 miles
H/Q/K: 35,000 miles

Premium Select to Delta One:
P/A/G: 40,000 miles

US-Northern Asia (Japan/Korea/China):
Main Cabin to Delta One:
Y/B/M: 45,000 miles
H/Q/K: 70,000 miles

Premium Select to Delta One
P/A/G: 45,000 miles

US-Southeast/Southwest Asia, Micronesia, Southwest Pacific:
Y/B/M: 35,000 miles
H/Q/K: 80,000 miles

US-Africa (incl. South Africa)
Y/B/M: 35,000 miles
H/Q/K: 80,000 miles

US-Middle East
Y/B/M: 35,000 miles
H/Q/K: 80,000 miles
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Old Dec 22, 18, 5:59 pm
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by CarmenOM View Post
My attempt to upgrade MSP-HND-MSP from PS to J failed in both directions.

do you know how many seats were left?
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Old Dec 22, 18, 6:21 pm
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by cmx168 View Post
do you know how many seats were left?
I donít know for certain but I think that J went out full in both directions. Even a couple of weeks before my trip both the outbound and return flights showed only one or two available seats in J. I wasnít disappointed not to get the mileage upgrade because it never looked likely; I figured if anybody got an upgrade to J it would be a DM with a GUC.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 6:17 pm
  #123  
 
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Europe Economy Y Class, but not actually Y Fare?

So on an upcoming ticket I'm booked on the return for XXX-AMS-XXX where AMS-XXX is (G) Fare Premium Select and XXX-AMS is listed as Europe Economy (Y). This is shown on both my confirmation and my Receipt. Note all flights were booked on DL stock, 006 number, DL flight numbers.

I tweet Delta Assist to upgrade the Y fare to KLM Biz and they confirm the space and confirm the flight, but have not reissued the ticket. I call the Skymiles hotline tonight to get the ticket reissued and I am told "actually your Y fare is not a Y, it's an underlying G." Huh?? Transferred to supervisor, same story. This ticket was bought today and on delta.com it shows (Y) and (G) as the fare classes but apparently that Y according to the agents is not a Y.

1) Anyone seen this before?
2) As an average consumer, buying a ticket on delta.com that says Y fare, how would I possibly know this ticket could not be upgraded and was actually a G?

Edit to add: they offered to rebook that phantom Y into "real" Y for a $600 change, but then I would be in Y not G for AMS-XXX and thus no premium economy.

Last edited by tmontemb; Jan 3, 19 at 6:18 pm Reason: Edit to add...
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Old Jan 3, 19, 6:34 pm
  #124  
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Originally Posted by tmontemb View Post
So on an upcoming ticket I'm booked on the return for XXX-AMS-XXX where AMS-XXX is (G) Fare Premium Select and XXX-AMS is listed as Europe Economy (Y). This is shown on both my confirmation and my Receipt. Note all flights were booked on DL stock, 006 number, DL flight numbers.

I tweet Delta Assist to upgrade the Y fare to KLM Biz and they confirm the space and confirm the flight, but have not reissued the ticket. I call the Skymiles hotline tonight to get the ticket reissued and I am told "actually your Y fare is not a Y, it's an underlying G." Huh?? Transferred to supervisor, same story. This ticket was bought today and on delta.com it shows (Y) and (G) as the fare classes but apparently that Y according to the agents is not a Y.

1) Anyone seen this before?
2) As an average consumer, buying a ticket on delta.com that says Y fare, how would I possibly know this ticket could not be upgraded and was actually a G?

Edit to add: they offered to rebook that phantom Y into "real" Y for a $600 change, but then I would be in Y not G for AMS-XXX and thus no premium economy.
You need to get a competent agent that understands PS is a higher cabin then Y. Thus a G fare books into Y when there's no PS cabin .

I am confused by one thing. If you're upgrading to Biz, the upgrade should be for the entire direction. Meaning you should be in Business AMS-DTW, not just XXX-AMS. (Only route EX-AMS with PS is DTWso XXX doesn't do much there)
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Old Jan 3, 19, 6:39 pm
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
You need to get a competent agent that understands PS is a higher cabin then Y. Thus a G fare books into Y when there's no PS cabin .

I am confused by one thing. If you're upgrading to Biz, the upgrade should be for the entire direction. Meaning you should be in Business AMS-DTW, not just XXX-AMS. (Only route EX-AMS with PS is DTWso XXX doesn't do much there)
Ha good point on AMS-DTW, that was obvious. But the underlying issue is Delta.com says 'For flights marketed and/or operated by Air France/KLM, Mileage Upgrade Awards may be used for a one-class upgrade when the paid fare class is Y, B or M. No G in that statement so if it's underlying G that would explain it.

The question still remains, how do I have a G when everything that I can see says Y?
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Old Jan 3, 19, 9:14 pm
  #126  
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Originally Posted by tmontemb View Post
Ha good point on AMS-DTW, that was obvious. But the underlying issue is Delta.com says 'For flights marketed and/or operated by Air France/KLM, Mileage Upgrade Awards may be used for a one-class upgrade when the paid fare class is Y, B or M. No G in that statement so if it's underlying G that would explain it.

The question still remains, how do I have a G when everything that I can see says Y?
You need to callback and explain that there's no such thing as G on the XXX-AMS KLM flight. You're thus booked into the Y cabin and in Y class. The agent is mistakenly seeing you have a G fare and ignoring the fact that G is higher than Y, and that since there's no PE cabin you're booked into Y the highest coach fare class. Sadly this is a common issue with agents and not understanding that G is higher than Y, and that when no PE cabin exists that instead of G you get booked into Y.

You should also be asking for a PS to J upgrade. The fact XXX-AMS is in Y is simply a side effect of there being no PE cabin. This will be less miles than a Y to J upgrade award.

You'll most likely need a supervisor or the global support desk to get involved. Sadly the confusion on these PS fares to J mileage upgrades are common.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 9:31 pm
  #127  
 
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
You need to callback and explain that there's no such thing as G on the XXX-AMS KLM flight. You're thus booked into the Y cabin and in Y class. The agent is mistakenly seeing you have a G fare and ignoring the fact that G is higher than Y, and that since there's no PE cabin you're booked into Y the highest coach fare class. Sadly this is a common issue with agents and not understanding that G is higher than Y, and that when no PE cabin exists that instead of G you get booked into Y.

You should also be asking for a PS to J upgrade. The fact XXX-AMS is in Y is simply a side effect of there being no PE cabin. This will be less miles than a Y to J upgrade award.

You'll most likely need a supervisor or the global support desk to get involved. Sadly the confusion on these PS fares to J mileage upgrades are common.
For a recent LAX-PVG flight in PS, I requested a mileage upgrade to J and was told it would be 45,000miles. Ultimately, I was able to save the miles since my GUC cleared 48 hrs. prior! No such luck on the return, so I got to experience PS. Not too bad, actually.
For trans-Atlantic flights with PS, I seem to recall the upgrade mileage is 35,000 miles from PS.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 9:56 pm
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
The agent is mistakenly seeing you have a G fare and ignoring the fact that G is higher than Y.

Are you certain that KLM/AF will see it that way? I know that VS permits G--> J upgrades for less miles that Y--> J, but it's possible that KL/AF don't permit it. There are certainly many cases where a Y fare would be much more expensive than some G fares, so the idea that G is "higher" than Y is questionable. Does DL have discounted PS fares yet, or is it all G?
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Old Jan 4, 19, 12:17 am
  #129  
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Are you certain that KLM/AF will see it that way? I know that VS permits G--> J upgrades for less miles that Y--> J, but it's possible that KL/AF don't permit it. There are certainly many cases where a Y fare would be much more expensive than some G fares, so the idea that G is "higher" than Y is questionable. Does DL have discounted PS fares yet, or is it all G?
The "price" doesn't matter. You have a PS fare. It books into Y on the KLM flight as G is higher than Y. (Even if it costs less) Thus regardless the KLM flight is booked in Y. The agent is making two mistakes, one ignoring the fact you're booked in Y on the KLM flight and trying to say you're on a G fare, thus are really a G fare class. Second not understanding that as G is PE cabin that its higher fare class than Y. You're in Y because no G fare class exists as there's no PE cabin. The next highest fare class below that exists is Y. Thus you're booked into Y fare class on that segment.

These upgrades are hard enough to process when there's actual PE cabins on all flights. Add a flight that has no PE cabin and agents get truly confused.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 1:18 am
  #130  
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So I am 3 days for departure on a DL TATL flight. seat inventory shows that only 2 seats are occupied on one is blocked and Expertflyer shows (minimum) 9 available in every biz fare.
Flying on a V-class 074-stock being Delta Plat and FB plat.

Is there any chance they will allow mileage upgrades on the day of departure.? Check-in is controlled by KLM since its leaving AMS.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 7:25 am
  #131  
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So I am 3 days for departure on a DL TATL flight. seat inventory shows that only 2 seats are occupied on one is blocked and Expertflyer shows (minimum) 9 available in every biz fare.
Flying on a W-class 074-stock being Delta Plat and FB plat. ( see screenshot from ticket)

Is there any chance they will allow mileage upgrades on the day of departure.? And howmuch would that be on a W ticketed ticket? Check-in is controlled by KLM since its leaving AMS. [/QUOTE]

[color=#333333 @3Cforme apologies for the cross posting.. [/color]



Originally Posted by Hollandair View Post
So I am 3 days for departure on a DL TATL flight. seat inventory shows that only 2 seats are occupied on one is blocked and Expertflyer shows (minimum) 9 available in every biz fare.
Flying on a W-class 074-stock being Delta Plat and FB plat. ( see screenshot from ticket)

Is there any chance they will allow mileage upgrades on the day of departure.? Check-in is controlled by KLM since its leaving AMS.
@3Cforme apologies for the cross posting..
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Old Jan 4, 19, 11:15 am
  #132  
 
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Thanks for the feedback, I'll give it a shot this weekend.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 12:11 pm
  #133  
 
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I was quoted 45k for a Mileage Upgrade Award from a "M" fare economy class ticket to Delta One on ATL - PVG. I can never tell on the Delta App whether or not it actually went through or not (the waitlist, that is). Last time I tried to upgrade to PS from economy the agent did not process the waitlist properly and I was actually removed from my economy seat completely when the upgrade cleared. I had to call Reservations back to get it cleared up.

Any one have any thoughts on how to verify whether or not the waitlist was done successfully?

EDIT: Never mind the last question, it shows up on the Delta website under "Upgrade Status" in the Manage My Trip view as "Upgrade Waitlisted" for that flight.

Last edited by factorr; Jan 23, 19 at 1:30 pm
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Old Jan 23, 19, 3:37 pm
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by factorr View Post
I was quoted 45k for a Mileage Upgrade Award from a "M" fare economy class ticket to Delta One on ATL - PVG.
Is this one way or round trip? 45K is higher than has been reported by others for a one way upgrade from an M fare. Previous reports were 30K miles one way.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 8:32 pm
  #135  
 
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Last edited by UNDLAC; Feb 4, 19 at 2:11 am
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