Int'l Mileage Upgrades

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Old Apr 16, 18, 11:01 am
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Int'l Mileage Upgrades

Anyone successful upgrading with miles lately for an international trip? I am (naturally) waitlisted for SEA-ICN in a week, with several seats still available. My concern is that they won't clear before check-in and I'll get stuck since you can't clear them at the gate. Anyone with experience getting an upgrade to clear in advance lately? Or successfully trying to sweet talk an agent at the gate or club to pull the miles?
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Old Apr 16, 18, 11:29 am
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If there are only several D1 seats still available for a TPAC flight in a week, DL realistically isn't going to release those seats before the gate, unless someone wants to buy a (hopefully FULL J) business class ticket.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If there are only several D1 seats still available for a TPAC flight in a week, DL realistically isn't going to release those seats before the gate, unless someone wants to buy a (hopefully FULL J) business class ticket.
So basically I'm SOL for a mileage upgrade unless I can sweet-talk a gate agent or sky club reservations agent that morning?
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Old Apr 16, 18, 12:16 pm
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TIL mileage upgrades won't go to the gate on Delta. Who made up that stupid rule? It isn't like that on UA (and I don't believe it's like that on AA either).

Why would Delta leave miles on the table when they're worried about the growing points liability?
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Old Apr 16, 18, 12:42 pm
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Ticket reissues can be a problem and very time consuming, especially when the agents are not trained for it. Delta probably doesn't want
the airport agents taking the time to do something, when more urgent matters come up at airports. Would you want your flight to be delayed
while a gate agent is trying to do a reissue? As we all know, they can be very smooth and take an hour. That plus with only a few seats left (from what you say)
I would pretty much figure that they won't be there come departure day.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. Tickets View Post
Ticket reissues can be a problem and very time consuming, especially when the agents are not trained for it. Delta probably doesn't want
the airport agents taking the time to do something, when more urgent matters come up at airports. Would you want your flight to be delayed
while a gate agent is trying to do a reissue? As we all know, they can be very smooth and take an hour. That plus with only a few seats left (from what you say)
I would pretty much figure that they won't be there come departure day.

That processing a mileage upgrade is not automated and simple to process at the gate in the same way as a GUC is simply a choice that DL has made. Furthermore, I have checked in for a flight at the airport when a previously cleared mileage upgrade had not yet been reticketed, and the miles not yet withdrawn from my account. When this happened, it took just a few minutes at the check in counter to have everything sorted out.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. Tickets View Post
Ticket reissues can be a problem and very time consuming, especially when the agents are not trained for it. Delta probably doesn't want
the airport agents taking the time to do something, when more urgent matters come up at airports. Would you want your flight to be delayed
while a gate agent is trying to do a reissue? As we all know, they can be very smooth and take an hour. That plus with only a few seats left (from what you say)
I would pretty much figure that they won't be there come departure day.
There's about 7 or 8 available with 7 days to go. Not many, but enough to have a sliver of hope.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by dmarge18 View Post
There's about 7 or 8 available with 7 days to go. Not many, but enough to have a sliver of hope.
Another wild-card in the plan is if anyone with a GUC or mileage upgrade is waitlisted ahead of you.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
That processing a mileage upgrade is not automated and simple to process at the gate in the same way as a GUC is simply a choice that DL has made.
That is true. It's also true that advance clearance has been a Delta rule for twenty years*, and people are still complaining rather than moving on.

* 1998 - instruments had to clear the day before departure - to help with catering, you know
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Old Apr 17, 18, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
That processing a mileage upgrade is not automated and simple to process at the gate in the same way as a GUC is simply a choice that DL has made. Furthermore, I have checked in for a flight at the airport when a previously cleared mileage upgrade had not yet been reticketed, and the miles not yet withdrawn from my account. When this happened, it took just a few minutes at the check in counter to have everything sorted out.
I have done this also, and it took about an hour for the agent to get the reissue done. (Problems with the original ticket). I have also spent long hold times with the International reissue desk (the people that are trained specifically for this type of situation) while they do reticketing. It isn't always fast and easy.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 6:34 am
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Remember the physical PMU certs that you had to take to the airport when you had an upgrade request clear to business class? Sometimes that took up to an hour with the airport ticket agent calling up the international desk if the ticket wasn't reissued ahead or the cert number wasn't entered correctly as you had to read it over the phone when requesting the upgrade.

The mileage upgrade process still sounds like that for level of difficulty....
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Old Apr 17, 18, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by dmarge18 View Post
<snip> Or successfully trying to sweet talk an agent at the gate or club to pull the miles?
Originally Posted by dmarge18 View Post
So basically I'm SOL for a mileage upgrade unless I can sweet-talk a gate agent or sky club reservations agent that morning?
Just out of curiosity, do you often have a lot of luck "sweet talking" gate agents into things in the year 2018?

Regards
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Old Apr 17, 18, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by rylan View Post
Remember the physical PMU certs that you had to take to the airport when you had an upgrade request clear to business class? Sometimes that took up to an hour with the airport ticket agent calling up the international desk if the ticket wasn't reissued ahead or the cert number wasn't entered correctly as you had to read it over the phone when requesting the upgrade.

The mileage upgrade process still sounds like that for level of difficulty....
And yet, DL seems perfectly able to, in one click, process an upgrade with miles online, inside a reservation, when they want to offer it. Perhaps there is a lot more going on behind the scenes. In any case, my point stands that DL could fix this if they want to. Yes, it's been a policy for 20 years, but I don't think people will ever "move on" as Mr Tickets 3Cforme suggests. We won't because upgrading with miles is the only way to upgrade to D1, aside from cash, for anyone who is not a DM.
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Last edited by jdrtravel; Apr 17, 18 at 2:06 pm Reason: misquote
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Old Apr 17, 18, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
And yet, DL seems perfectly able to, in one click, process an upgrade with miles online, inside a reservation, when they want to offer it. Perhaps there is a lot more going on behind the scenes. In any case, my point stands that DL could fix this if they want to. Yes, it's been a policy for 20 years, but I don't think people will ever "move on" as Mr Tickets suggests. We won't because upgrading with miles is the only way to upgrade to D1, aside from cash, for anyone who is not a DM.
I agree - especially since for the majority of flights it seems like upgrades go to the gate. So this is basically Delta's way of saying that mileage upgrades don't exist. Which is perhaps what they are saying, but that seems silly.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
Just out of curiosity, do you often have a lot of luck "sweet talking" gate agents into things in the year 2018?

Regards
Not these days. I've noticed even phone agents have been unable to accomplish simple things I used to work out with them in the past. Though 'sweet talking' here refers to approaching them respectfully (gets you way farther), showing how many seats are available, and hoping they're not incompetent.
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