It's Good to be Gold...

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Old Nov 4, 18, 2:57 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Daitheflu84 View Post
Thanks, this is great info. What is your home airport? 35% FC upgrade percentage for FO is pretty good; I was just just under 25% before hitting GM last week.
My home airport is RDU. I used to get upgrades on most RDU-NYC flights and the off hour RDU-DCA ones (though they've reduced frequencies and retimed their flights on this route so it's rarer now). Anything mainline was pretty rare.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 3:02 pm
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Sdc change for me. I fly domestic and always buy FC so I basically just buy the cheapest ticket on the day I need to fly and call and change it 24 hours out to whatever I want. I probably do this 75% of the time.

I have no upgrade % since I buy FC. Now I am PM and do the same thing. Some day I might role the dice on upgrades. Home Airport MLB and MCO domestic.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 6:11 pm
  #33  
 
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Just a silly question, while I know all the other acronyms, what does FO stands for? It looks like it refers to Silver Medallion maybe
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Old Nov 4, 18, 6:22 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by Blackfox View Post
Just a silly question, while I know all the other acronyms, what does FO stands for? It looks like it refers to Silver Medallion maybe
It does refer to Silver and stands for Flies Often. See this thread: What is an “FO?”
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Old Nov 4, 18, 6:31 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by Daitheflu84 View Post
I've read a good bit about the various Medallion levels and the general consensus seems to be that the value increase from FO to GM can be substantial, particularly with things like waived fees for SDC/SDS. With a couple more international trips coming up in 2019, I can also see potential value from the ST Elite+ status and lounge access. Even a marginally increased upgrade percentage would also be great, although I didn't do too terribly as a SEA-based silver (50% C+ upgrades and 25% FC upgrade rate, 75% overall).
I'm almost exclusively international travel (TATL typically) and find GM to be the sweet spot with Delta flying. Lounge access to shower either before your overnight flight or when you just landed from a 10+ daytime flight, free SDS when your flight lands early and you want a shot at getting home 2+ hours earlier. This last part is anecdotal, but it seems to our office that the upgrade offers to J during OLCI seem to largely go to STE+ people. But YMMV.

Keith
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Old Nov 4, 18, 8:51 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by HornsKeith View Post
I'm almost exclusively international travel (TATL typically) and find GM to be the sweet spot with Delta flying. Lounge access to shower either before your overnight flight or when you just landed from a 10+ daytime flight, free SDS when your flight lands early and you want a shot at getting home 2+ hours earlier. This last part is anecdotal, but it seems to our office that the upgrade offers to J during OLCI seem to largely go to STE+ people. But YMMV.

Keith
This is good info, thanks. I was wondering about the benefits of being GM/PM with international travel, as it seems that the C+ upgrades are pretty rare on TPAC and TATL flights. But the lounge certainly sounds like a potentially nice bonus to us lowly STE+ fliers!

This might be worth a different thread, but what DO most of you do for international travel? Just buy coach and hope you get a unicorn (op-up) or use a GUC (for the DMs here)? I'll probably be flying internationally 3-4 times in 2019 and the prospect of 12-14 hours in Main Cabin is not appealing. And while a $5K Delta One fare wouldnt kill me, I probably wouldn't splurge for that more than once, MAYBE twice a year. Are there any good options aside from these? Is this where PE sort of fills the gap on International flying?
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Old Nov 4, 18, 9:04 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by Daitheflu84 View Post
This is good info, thanks. I was wondering about the benefits of being GM/PM with international travel, as it seems that the C+ upgrades are pretty rare on TPAC and TATL flights. But the lounge certainly sounds like a potentially nice bonus to us lowly STE+ fliers!

This might be worth a different thread, but what DO most of you do for international travel? Just buy coach and hope you get a unicorn (op-up) or use a GUC (for the DMs here)? I'll probably be flying internationally 3-4 times in 2019 and the prospect of 12-14 hours in Main Cabin is not appealing. And while a $5K Delta One fare wouldnt kill me, I probably wouldn't splurge for that more than once, MAYBE twice a year. Are there any good options aside from these? Is this where PE sort of fills the gap on International flying?
If I have enough time, I use ITA to find the best D1 fares from various origins. Most of the time, that's IAD for me which can often be thousands of $$ less and all I need to do is get to IAD from HSV, which is usually 2-3 hours added to an itinerary. Since my wife almost always comes along with me on my INTL trips, I can easily save $7-10K or more on paid J fares.

I was able to find an IAD>NBO ST flight in February for $4K/pp in J, where the same fare / flight ATL>NBO is $11K/pp.

I'll keep the $14K in my pocket and spend the extra 5-6 hours added to the total travel time.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 9:37 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by TheHorta View Post
If I have enough time, I use ITA to find the best D1 fares from various origins.
Is this the "ITA Matrix" I see mentioned here from time to time? Is this a paid membership service or a website anyone can access?
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Old Nov 4, 18, 9:52 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by TheHorta View Post
If I have enough time, I use ITA to find the best D1 fares from various origins. Most of the time, that's IAD for me which can often be thousands of $$ less and all I need to do is get to IAD from HSV, which is usually 2-3 hours added to an itinerary. Since my wife almost always comes along with me on my INTL trips, I can easily save $7-10K or more on paid J fares.

I was able to find an IAD>NBO ST flight in February for $4K/pp in J, where the same fare / flight ATL>NBO is $11K/pp.

I'll keep the $14K in my pocket and spend the extra 5-6 hours added to the total travel time.
Wow!! That's a dramatic price difference!
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Old Nov 5, 18, 5:08 am
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by Daitheflu84 View Post
Is this the "ITA Matrix" I see mentioned here from time to time? Is this a paid membership service or a website anyone can access?
I have the same question.
Also, what's the difference between Expert Flyer and ITA Matrix?
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Old Nov 5, 18, 9:46 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by Daitheflu84 View Post
Is this the "ITA Matrix" I see mentioned here from time to time? Is this a paid membership service or a website anyone can access?
broadly speaking (others may well quibble over and/or refine/improve these explanations ):

ITA Matrix is basically a search engine for flights (and is the backend system used by the Google Flights and Kayak search interfaces). Especially since the recent awful changes to the Google Flights UI, using Matrix directly can be quicker depending on how fast you type and how much you enjoy using flags and codes to change results vs. clicking on sliders and buttons (roughly whether you prefer command line tools or GUIs) and/or how complicated or wide your search parameters are.

https://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Main FT thread for ITA:

ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search Consolidated Information and Help Thread

You cannot book anything directly from ITA search results. However a JavaScript tool was created that can be used with GreaseMonkey/TamperMonkey in most major browsers that can scrape ITA results and create booking links from them (similar to the Google Flights "Book with ..." links):

ITA-Matrix-PowerTools - Userscript for Orbitz/DL/UA/AA/BA/CZ/IB/LA/LH/LX/TK

Although for those who prefer a simpler interface or don't want to install user scripts there is a website-based equivalent:

BookWithMatrix.com: a tool to easily book with ITA Matrix

Originally Posted by FlyingHighlander View Post
I have the same question.
Also, what's the difference between Expert Flyer and ITA Matrix?
ExpertFlyer does lots of different things, one of which is to search for current fare inventory on a specific route and award booking inventory. You can set alerts for when inventory becomes available, and it can also do seat map alerts, plane type change alerts etc., and has other general info like fare rules, minimum connection time for airports.

https://www.expertflyer.com/

FT thread:

ExpertFlyer.com Help Desk Thread

EF is arguably of less use for DL flyers because one of the most important things we might be interested in is upgrade inventory which DL doesn't permit to be shown by external sources.

DELTA (DL) Inventory Returns to ExpertFlyer (sans Upgrade Class Inventory)

Most of EF's useful features require a paid subscription. There's also a free alternative for looking up inventory:

https://flightavailability.bcdtravel.com/

and another competing paid product that I don't know a whole lot about:

KVS Availability Tool [rebooted review thread]

Last edited by Zorak; Nov 5, 18 at 3:23 pm Reason: minor clarification about booking links
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Old Nov 5, 18, 12:45 pm
  #42  
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Thanks, Zorak; that is good info - and a whole lot of it. As someone just getting into the points/miles/upgrades game, it is almost overwhelming. I can barely keep track of my Delta MQMs/QDs and Skymiles, so I have no idea how people manage MULTIPLE FF accounts and hotel/rental car loyalty rewards. It's definitely an art form that I've not yet mastered.
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Old Nov 5, 18, 12:55 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by MarkP24 View Post
You should get drink vouchers for every level Gold and above
Hm, I didn't receive any drink vouchers. Not that I really need them since I've been upgraded to C+ every time as a Gold Medallion.
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Old Nov 5, 18, 8:10 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Hm, I didn't receive any drink vouchers. Not that I really need them since I've been upgraded to C+ every time as a Gold Medallion.
It might be worth reaching out to Delta
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Old Nov 6, 18, 6:13 am
  #45  
 
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GM is a big step up especially flying overseas with SP.
FO is good too since at least I know I'll get an exit row seat.
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