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stats on DL international upgrades with sky pesos or GUCs?

stats on DL international upgrades with sky pesos or GUCs?

Old Jan 3, 18, 10:01 pm
  #1  
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stats on DL international upgrades with sky pesos or GUCs?

Has anyone collected stats lately on the availability of upgrades with miles or GUCs over the past few years (e.g. when upgrade availability for a given market actually opens up and the average % of fliers for a given market that report information that successfully upgrade)? Just a couple years back, it was possible to book a flight out around EOS (in coach or business) for a reasonable sum of miles or confirm an upgrade to a paid economy ticket. Now, it seems like there are many offers anywhere from 450,000 to 750,000 (or more?) miles and no upgrade availability on planes that are completely empty. Some routes/markets actually advertise upgrade availability (SEA - AMS as an example) and others do not (ATL - JNB). Diamond Desk folks aren't really sure which routes state availability and think no message means no availability, but that's inconsistent with the website. Who knows?

What are the best ways to actually cash in sky pesos now? Is there another thread already addressing this new world? Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts. I know there's an upgrade thread with lots and lots of individual experiences posted, but is someone putting all this into a spreadsheet or some other tool and extrapolating patterns?

Last edited by Seattlite; Jan 3, 18 at 10:26 pm Reason: clarification
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Old Jan 3, 18, 10:52 pm
  #2  
LBJ
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I've never heard of any upgrade offers for "450,000 to 750,000" miles. It sounds like you are talking about a full D1 award redemptions, not mileage upgrade awards. Both SEA-AMS and ATL-JNB would be eligible for mileage upgrade awards, but they would both require a K or higher coach fare class as explained in the terms of mileage upgrade awards. If you have not purchased a K fare or higher, it does not matter how empty the D1 section is as you are simply not eligible for a mileage upgrade award. There's a wiki at the following thread which has a list of mileage upgrade amounts based on flyer experience. It currently lists US-Europe at 30K each-way for YBM fares and 60K each way for HQK fares. US-South Africa is 35K each way for YBM and 80K each way for HQK.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...ing-miles.html

If you have seen other offers on the website for fares less than a K fare, the agents are correct that this is not part of any formal program and they are not able to "make you an offer" on these fares if you are not seeing something on the website.

There is a separate "Upgrade with miles" program. But this is only available at time of purchase and is only available for flights within the US 50 states, so neither SEA-AMS or ATL-JNB would be eligible. It basically involves paying the fare difference between coach and FC at 1 CPM.

These two different programs are explained at

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...-and-more.html

Last edited by LBJ; Jan 3, 18 at 11:13 pm
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Old Jan 3, 18, 11:36 pm
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This is the reason I switched to AA.

They offer such reasonable upgrade offers on most international flights--for example, on the cheapest fare possible I just confirmed to J on AA's LAX-HKG 14+ hr flight for $350 and 25,000 AAdvantage Miles.

The only strength DL has with International Upgrades is if you're flying out of AMS on DL or KL they offer reasonable upgrade pricing with money, miles, either or both.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 1:36 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
This is the reason I switched to AA.

They offer such reasonable upgrade offers on most international flights--for example, on the cheapest fare possible I just confirmed to J on AA's LAX-HKG 14+ hr flight for $350 and 25,000 AAdvantage Miles.

The only strength DL has with International Upgrades is if you're flying out of AMS on DL or KL they offer reasonable upgrade pricing with money, miles, either or both.
Have not heard of any fixed money-only rates out of AMS. There's the Miles+Cash option where if your fare class is high enough, you only need to use miles, but otherwise it require both cash + miles (25K). The rate sheet has been posted on here a number of times.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 5:55 am
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Anecdotes are not statistics.

If business cabins are 'empty' GUCs will clear at the gate, if not earlier.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 6:14 pm
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My takeaway from the replies is that nobody is actually attempting to track any given market and the availability of upgrades.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 6:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Seattlite View Post
My takeaway from the replies is that nobody is actually attempting to track any given market and the availability of upgrades.
How would anyone do this? From a couple scattered anecdotes from a forum? It would be a waste of time.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
How would anyone do this? From a couple scattered anecdotes from a forum? It would be a waste of time.
If, instead of obtaining the "scattered anecdotes," one were to publish a shared Google Sheet or the like, perhaps the collective body of folks on FT that already post these things could create a meaningful, if not even accurate picture of upgrade availability.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:51 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Seattlite View Post
If, instead of obtaining the "scattered anecdotes," one were to publish a shared Google Sheet or the like, perhaps the collective body of folks on FT that already post these things could create a meaningful, if not even accurate picture of upgrade availability.
It would helpful to know what type of upgrade offers you are talking about? If you are talking about Mileage Upgrade Awards, these are being tracked and updated in the Wiki on the following forum thread below. I am unaware of any other types of mileage upgrades that are available ex-US on international routes. There's the ex-AMS cash+miles upgrades, but these have already been documented in other threads. For domestic US 50 routes, there is "Upgrade with miles" at time of purchase. But this is nothing more than simply paying the difference in fare between coach and F at the rate of 1 CPM, so there is nothing to actually track here.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...ing-miles.html
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Old Jan 5, 18, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
It would helpful to know what type of upgrade offers you are talking about? If you are talking about Mileage Upgrade Awards, these are being tracked and updated in the Wiki on the following forum thread below. I am unaware of any other types of mileage upgrades that are available ex-US on international routes. There's the ex-AMS cash+miles upgrades, but these have already been documented in other threads. For domestic US 50 routes, there is "Upgrade with miles" at time of purchase. But this is nothing more than simply paying the difference in fare between coach and F at the rate of 1 CPM, so there is nothing to actually track here.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...ing-miles.html
Thanks LBJ. I did read a few posts on the other thread. It does not look like anyone is actually trying to track when upgrade seats open on certain routes. I saw for example a post saying upgrades to D1 on ATL - JNB are "tough to get" but nothing more specific.

Would anyone be interested in actually trying to track this kind of thing? I think in our day and age we could actually put together a document that makes it clear which market and/or routes typically have upgrade availability at what windows, etc.
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Old Jan 7, 18, 11:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Seattlite View Post
Now, it seems like there are many offers anywhere from 450,000 to 750,000 (or more?) miles and no upgrade availability on planes that are completely empty. Some routes/markets actually advertise upgrade availability (SEA - AMS as an example) and others do not (ATL - JNB).
A couple of months ago I booked an itinerary that included DTW-ICN on an a350. J was completely empty at the time. I applied a GUC; it got waitlisted, and the agent told me it would go to the gate.

Today (still over a week in advance) there's exactly one seat left in J. That's why it didn't clear even though J was empty at the time.

(Fortunately, a schedule change re-routed me and the GUC cleared on a different flight.)
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Old Jan 8, 18, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by Seattlite View Post
Thanks LBJ. I did read a few posts on the other thread. It does not look like anyone is actually trying to track when upgrade seats open on certain routes. I saw for example a post saying upgrades to D1 on ATL - JNB are "tough to get" but nothing more specific.

Would anyone be interested in actually trying to track this kind of thing? I think in our day and age we could actually put together a document that makes it clear which market and/or routes typically have upgrade availability at what windows, etc.
There are just do many factors that affect upgrade availability, as LBJ said, it wouldn't be practical to try and track. But hey, if you want to do it feel free! More power to you.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 8:28 am
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There are way too many variables, IMO, to make "tracking" this sort of thing possible. Upgrade availability varies by market, season, even day of the week. The only way you can see if space is available is to call, which further reduces any ability to track availability. A spreadsheet would be purely an amalgamation of anecdotes.

My general impression is that London is a relatively easy market to secure upgrades in advance, but the single daily long haul markets like SYD and JNB are basically impossible. So, it goes to the non-transparent wait list and eventually to the gate.

Personally, I can't do either SYD or JNB in coach, so I am never going to play the waitlist game on those. All of this markedly reduces the appeal of the GUC, just like the FCM program reduces the appeal of being PM or DM.
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