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DL0583 DTW - PVG Overbooked Delta One cabin by 2

DL0583 DTW - PVG Overbooked Delta One cabin by 2

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Old Aug 26, 18, 3:59 pm
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DL0583 DTW - PVG Overbooked Delta One cabin by 2

I was in the skyclub today where an agent was aggressively announcing for the need for 2 volunteers to downgrade to Premium Select from Delta One. I didn't think they usually overbook Delta One, especially by more than 1.
The offer went to 2k for the downgrade. One jumped on the offer, but they were still looking for another before I had to leave for my flight.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:03 pm
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Surprised anyone took it - 2K seems low for a downgrade from D1 to PS given that Delta probably charges 8K for this route round trip.. but I guess if I was paying with OTP this is a way to convert OTP into my money.

What a mess...
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:10 pm
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I'd jump at a $2000 downgrade to Premium Select on this route, myself. I can respect that others might not feel the same way, but it's not like you're going all the way back to economy - the food and beverage looks great in PS, and that $2000 bonus would spend pretty nicely. For folks on an award ticket or using an upgrade certificate, this amount of compensation would be roughly equivalent to getting the flight for free...
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
I'd jump at a $2000 downgrade to Premium Select on this route, myself. I can respect that others might not feel the same way, but it's not like you're going all the way back to economy - the food and beverage looks great in PS, and that $2000 bonus would spend pretty nicely. For folks on an award ticket or using an upgrade certificate, this amount of compensation would be roughly equivalent to getting the flight for free...
No one is flying a TPAC on an award or upgrade certificate leaving on a Sunday night (short of a gate upgrade which clearly didn't happen here) unless they paid an arm and a leg in miles or someone in revenue management screwed up.

The price of a PS ticket on this route is like 2.5K. I'm ignoring corp discounts here but try finding a flight departing DTW to PVG in D1 for less than 10K unless you're flying out of a competitive market with non-stops (like NYC) and connecting. Some are priced upwards of 15K. 2K seems like a ripoff to me - but obviously Delta is going to start cheap. My bet is the guy that took the 2K will kick himself when the next volunteer gets 5K.

I will admit that I'd rather jump on a TPAC in PS than a TATL given that this particular flight "lands" at night so you can go and get some sleep after... but still seems cheap to me.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:17 pm
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I assume it was $2000 + refund of fare difference? I would jump on this offer for a daytime flight.

I am also surprised that D1 was overbooked, but I noticed a trend this summer with full / sold out D1 cabins. I was on a number of really cheap D1 corporate tickets recently where D1 was sold out days before flight and I assume corporate discounts contribute to full D1. I can not disclose my D1 fares but sometime it was even cheaper or comparable to published PE.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
No one is flying a TPAC on an award or upgrade certificate leaving on a Sunday night (short of a gate upgrade which clearly didn't happen here) unless they paid an arm and a leg in miles or someone in revenue management screwed up.

The price of a PS ticket on this route is like 2.5K. I'm ignoring corp discounts here but try finding a flight departing DTW to PVG in D1 for less than 10K. Some are priced upwards of 15K. 2K seems like a ripoff to me - but obviously Delta is going to start cheap. My bet is the guy that took the 2K will kick himself when the next volunteer gets 5K.

I will admit that I'd rather jump on a TPAC in PS than a TATL given that this particular flight "lands" at night so you can go and get some sleep after... but still seems cheap to me.
I thought standard practice was to give the first guy 5K too if the second guy gets 5K, no?
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:19 pm
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Arguments about what a downgrade is worth are purely subjective. Same thing as questions about whether it is worth $X to upgrade. $2K is a lot of money to some people. To others, not.

I suspect that either there were two Inop seats (seems unlikely) or that there were "must fly" passengers.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Arguments about what a downgrade is worth are purely subjective. Same thing as questions about whether it is worth $X to upgrade. $2K is a lot of money to some people. To others, not.

I suspect that either there were two Inop seats (seems unlikely) or that there were "must fly" passengers.
I get that value is subjective. Obviously someone took the seat, so to them it was a reasonable exchange of value. I guess I'm surprised that (a) someone took the offer and (b) Delta started with such an insulting low voluntary bump offer for a D1 pax on a 14-15 hour flight.

If it was indeed difference of fare PLUS $2K then that would be different.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:33 pm
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22AUG18 DTW-NRT has a J oversell by 3. GAs weíre frantically soliciting for people willing to xfer to DTW-ICN-NRT/SIN/XXX in J +$2K, most arriving around same time. Only 1 taker. Seemed an unusually high number. Perhaps J seat decreases were too severe? J on this date had cabin map-full a few weeks ahead of time.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by 1353513636 View Post
I thought standard practice was to give the first guy 5K too if the second guy gets 5K, no?
This did not happen at the sky club. The agent processed the downgrade right at the desk and the guy was given PS. They sent him the gift card via email as she requested that. The gate agent specifically said the offer was available for rows 1-9.

Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
I get that value is subjective. Obviously someone took the seat, so to them it was a reasonable exchange of value. I guess I'm surprised that (a) someone took the offer and (b) Delta started with such an insulting low voluntary bump offer for a D1 pax on a 14-15 hour flight.

If it was indeed difference of fare PLUS $2K then that would be different.
As far as I know, there was no mention of difference in fare. It was only for 2k for the amex gift card, amazon, delta, etc. The starting offer was not 2k. The starting offer was at 600 originally because they justified that you were going on the same flight and just a downgrade into a lesser cabin. Of course no one took it for that price.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:42 pm
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I think itís important to remember that discounting and awards do actually happen on routes like this; as you said, connecting itineraries can receive dramatically different pricing than DTW O&D would. EWR-DTW-PVG on a Sunday-Sunday itinerary at the end of september is pricing at $4200 in J round trip; JFK-DTW-PVG on the same flights is pricing at $1800 in Premium Select. Neither seems out of line or particularly stellar for 30 day advance purchase in those markets, and thatís before any discounting under a hypothetical corporate contract.

At those prices, they are refunding you almost double the one way difference at $2000 in compensation. Seems fair to me.

Of course, I can see where someone who paid $9-10k wouldnít be interested. But that person is also likely price insensitive and much less likely to be motivated by downgrade compensation anyway, or else they wouldnít have paid so much for their ticket to begin with.

Itís easy to extrapolate out oneís own experiences with pricing to the general case, but you have to remember every flight has a mix of profitability across all the passengers - even peak flights at peak times in premium markets. I always fly on discount J fares or upgrade certificates - I think $2500 is the most Iíve ever paid for a single round trip, thanks to flexibility on price and destination as a leisure traveler. But Iím sure Iím frequently on flights with people who paid 4x or more my fare, and that mix of elastic and inelastic demand is a healthy part of a balanced and profitable airline.

In this case, the overbooking could have been caused by any number of situations unrelated to price - a cancelled flight situation, perhaps, resulting in multiple rebookings onto what was previously going to be a not-full flight with cleared advance upgrades. Or Iíve even seen wacky situations like last minute pilots needing to fly for positioning who are entitled to J seats under their contract, thereby requiring revenue passengers to be reseated...
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by DeltaFan4Now View Post
Perhaps J seat decreases were too severe? J on this date had cabin map-full a few weeks ahead of time.
Delta has always had relatively few b-class seats relative to its competitors (both American legacies and international competitors). I was quite shocked when they decided to reduce the number of seats with the rollout of the "suites". AA has at least 50% more b-class seats on average, and UA usually has nearly double.

I've always assumed this tied to Delta's strategy of focusing less on Tier 1 cities that would drive higher b-class rates (only Tier 1 cities they serve are NYC and arguably LA.. missing SFO, DC, ORD, MIA, HOU)... but still, the relative difference seems quite large to me.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by KissFlyGoodbye View Post
The starting offer was at 600 originally because they justified that you were going on the same flight and just a downgrade into a lesser cabin. Of course no one took it for that price.
Now that's just insulting!
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
I think itís important to remember that discounting and awards do actually happen on routes like this; as you said, connecting itineraries can receive dramatically different pricing than DTW O&D would. EWR-DTW-PVG on a Sunday-Sunday itinerary at the end of september is pricing at $4200 in J round trip; JFK-DTW-PVG on the same flights is pricing at $1800 in Premium Select. Neither seems out of line or particularly stellar for 30 day advance purchase in those markets, and thatís before any discounting under a hypothetical corporate contract.

At those prices, they are refunding you almost double the one way difference at $2000 in compensation. Seems fair to me.

Of course, I can see where someone who paid $9-10k wouldnít be interested. But that person is also likely price insensitive and much less likely to be motivated by downgrade compensation anyway, or else they wouldnít have paid so much for their ticket to begin with.

Itís easy to extrapolate out oneís own experiences with pricing to the general case, but you have to remember every flight has a mix of profitability across all the passengers - even peak flights at peak times in premium markets. I always fly on discount J fares or upgrade certificates - I think $2500 is the most Iíve ever paid for a single round trip, thanks to flexibility on price and destination as a leisure traveler. But Iím sure Iím frequently on flights with people who paid 4x or more my fare, and that mix of elastic and inelastic demand is a healthy part of a balanced and profitable airline.

Agreed. Iím often able to plan my trips to Asia around when J is reasonable. Given that flexibility, ~$4k-$4.5k is defininitely doable. Of course, so is $10k+ if you donít have the luxury of flexibility.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
Now that's just insulting!
I agree that $600 is entirely out of line for a class of service downgrade on this route - really surprised they started that low. I guess it doesn't hurt to ask?
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