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Is Delta struggling to sell Premium Select?

Is Delta struggling to sell Premium Select?

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Old Feb 10, 19, 1:53 pm
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Is Delta struggling to sell Premium Select?

On Delta 82 ATL-CDG tomorrow (Feb 10, 2019), these are the seats available for sale on the Delta website. Assume anyone who paid for PS has an assigned seat. Only 30% of the seats purchased. This seems nuts. What's up? Is Delta having trouble filling up this cabin on TATL flights in general? Will Medallions be upgraded into these seats?


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Old Feb 10, 19, 2:06 pm
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Complimentary upgrades are not available for PS, but you can use a GUC if you really want it.

Also, you should check the seat map again as it is only an hour before take off. PS is quite full now, D1 is fully booked, and MC is mostly full with mostly middle seats still open. It seems more likely a combination of MC are doing paid upgrades when they check-in, some last minute business flyers, or standbys. So, Delta clearly knows how to fill their planes.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 2:08 pm
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Open D1 and PS seats will be given to nonrevs.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Open D1 and PS seats will be given to nonrevs.
Yep, happened to me two days ago on a flight down to Chile. Seat map showed 13 open D1 seats an hour before departure. 30 minutes before departure, the Standby list showed 0 D1 seats remaining, and a whole bunch of names cleared into those seats...but no C+ seats opened up. It took me a minute to realize it wasn't 13 GUCs clearing, but rather Non Revs getting the D1 seats.

No doubt same happens with PS.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 2:28 pm
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I don't think they marketed Premium Select on this route for very long - anyone know when they started displaying those seats available for purchase?

That said, anecdotal reports on other routes have shown a lot of op-ups to Premium Select so this is not unique to this ATL-CDG. I assume that they'll get better at selling them over time. They only have to sell them at a 38-40% premium over Y to break even versus a Y seat (or 22% higher than a C+ seat).

As an aside, seems surprising they are running a 777 at this time. 4 PM is a terrible TATL departure time - no one is going to be able to sleep at 4 PM in the afternoon. Guess it is good to make the first set of connections in CDG - but still.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 4:09 pm
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PS typically is only partially populated with paying passengers as the differential in price between economy and PS is larger than the differential in comfort and service. Also, PMs and DMs are not getting upgraded for free into PS, further decreasing PS loads of revs.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 4:57 pm
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It will also take a while for the product to work its way into corporate travel policies, especially for those with a DL contract.

One of the reasons for a PE product across carriers is that there are many more businesses willing to pay for PE than J. Whether PE is Y+ or J- is the real question.

As the product proliferates, I suspect that it will be baked into more travel policies and there will be more sold at purchase. Which is the goal. That is a process which may take several years. It certainly was when carriers first introduced J as a service between Y and F (and before carriers such as DL dropped their F product).
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Old Feb 10, 19, 5:02 pm
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Why try to sell it when you can just give most of the cabin away to non-revs? That just wastes precious marketing dollars that could be better-spent on lavish safety video productions.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Open D1 and PS seats will be given to nonrevs.
Not until 30 minutes prior normally.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 5:32 pm
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LAX-PVG seems to sell out frequently FWIW. (PS also seems a de facto devaluation of benefits to me, FWIW).
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Old Feb 10, 19, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
As an aside, seems surprising they are running a 777 at this time. 4 PM is a terrible TATL departure time - no one is going to be able to sleep at 4 PM in the afternoon. Guess it is good to make the first set of connections in CDG - but still.
Personally, I like the late afternoon TATL departure time. Unlike a midnight departure, I can enjoy the D1 meal and service, still get a few hours sleep, and be in Paris for morning meetings. Or catch the early TGV to Lille/Lyon/Strasbourg
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Old Feb 10, 19, 5:50 pm
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I just looked at inventory on 82 for the next 4 days. J and W appear to be at 1-3 seats, while the seatmaps are open-- that is, looking at the seatmaps probably doesn't tell you anything about inventory.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by kthomas View Post
I just looked at inventory on 82 for the next 4 days. J and W appear to be at 1-3 seats, while the seatmaps are open-- that is, looking at the seatmaps probably doesn't tell you anything about inventory.
I've heard that before yet I don't understand. These are the specific PS seats offered for sale. Why would anyone with a D1 or PS ticket not have a seat assigned? I do understand why the Y seat-map would not be indicative of total seats sold, but if 70% of the PS seats show as available, I have to assume they've not been sold.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by pfreet View Post
Personally, I like the late afternoon TATL departure time. Unlike a midnight departure, I can enjoy the D1 meal and service, still get a few hours sleep, and be in Paris for morning meetings. Or catch the early TGV to Lille/Lyon/Strasbourg
There's a broad swath of time between 4 PM and midnight so you created a bit of a false dichotomy there...

A few hours of sleep is optimistic unless you're already a lark.. you land before midnight EST time.

Barring an early morning meeting, I feel like 7-8 PM is the best time. Two hours to eat and get settled, and then maybe be able to pull 5 hours of sleep (going to bed at a somewhat normal 9-10 PM). If you do have to be at a morning meeting, even a 6 PM would be better than a 4 PM.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by pfreet View Post
I've heard that before yet I don't understand. These are the specific PS seats offered for sale. Why would anyone with a D1 or PS ticket not have a seat assigned? I do understand why the Y seat-map would not be indicative of total seats sold, but if 70% of the PS seats show as available, I have to assume they've not been sold.
There can be people that did not select seats at booking. In this case, however, kthomas is being a bit misleading. At the lowest fare bucket being sold there may be only a few tickets available, but there is plenty of availability in the P bucket (it shows as P9 - and 9 is the most they publish so it is likely more).
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