Upgrade Chances

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Old May 17, 19, 9:52 pm
  #1  
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Upgrade Chances

I'm Delta Platinum. Never flown internationally on SkyTeam
Planning a Europe trip with my girlfriend. Girlfriend has no status.
SFO-MSP(or DTW)-CDG
CDG-SFO return

1) If I want to get upgrades, what is the best chance? Which fare class to book? Im seeing basic economy for $600 RT
2) If i buy Basic Economy, I can still clear into C+?
3) If i buy Basic Economy, I can still clear into Premium Select?
4) what is the situation with my companion? He should be able to clear into C+ and be waitlisted for D1?
5) Are there upgrade with miles/cash offers?

Last edited by alaskaforlife; May 17, 19 at 9:57 pm
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Old May 17, 19, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by alaskaforlife View Post
I'm Delta Platinum. Never flown internationally on SkyTeam
Planning a Europe trip with my girlfriend. Girlfriend has no status.
SFO-MSP(or DTW)-CDG
CDG-SFO return

1) If I want to get upgrades, what is the best chance? Which fare class to book? Im seeing basic economy for $600 RT
2) If i buy Basic Economy, I can still clear into C+?
3) If i buy Basic Economy, I can still clear into Premium Select?
4) what is the situation with my companion? He should be able to clear into C+ and be waitlisted for D1?
5) Are there upgrade with miles/cash offers?
1, 2) you'd be at the mercy of any leftover C+ seats if you book BE but you won't be guaranteed any seat in particular or even adjacent seats.
3) No (won't get complimentary upgrade to PS as a medallion perk)
4) you and your girlfriend will get C+ (if available) at time of booking if you book main cabin since you're PM, but you won't get complimentary upgrades to F/D1 on the international portion of your journey.
5) sometimes. I was offered D1 on ATL-EZE a couple of months ago for example (cash and miles, I think in the $800/80,000 miles range)
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Old May 17, 19, 10:50 pm
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Do not count on upgrades to CDG. Flights to Paris are one of the most popular among for Nonrevs, I don't recall seeing an empty D1 seat to/from Paris in over 8 years flying DL to/from CDG.

Originally Posted by fliesdelta View Post
1, 2) you'd be at the mercy of any leftover C+ seats if you book BE but you won't be guaranteed any seat in particular or even adjacent seats.
3) No (won't get complimentary upgrade to PS as a medallion perk)
4) you and your girlfriend will get C+ (if available) at time of booking if you book main cabin since you're PM, but you won't get complimentary upgrades to F/D1
4) As long as they are both on the same PNR
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Old May 17, 19, 11:13 pm
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I suggest that you book main cabin, not basic economy so that you will, like mentioned above, get C+ right away. Note that this will not be an option if you are flying on an Air France flight (which you will be if you are flying direct CDG-SFO, even if the Delta website markets it as a Delta flight, look under the fare for operating carrier). I believe there are some perks for preferred seats for Delta medallions on Air France but I'm not certain what they are, and you may have to contact Air France in France (not Delta, which any US number will connect you to) to get those seats.

If Premium Select is offered on the CDG-SFO nonstop it will actually be Air France's Premium Economy product, not Delta's. This product has been poorly reviewed, though many still prefer it to coach.

Also, since it may come up: You and one guest will have lounge access at Sky Team airline lounges throughout your flight. Departing SFO to MSP will be the great Delta Sky Club at SFO. The MSP clubs are among the worst clubs at a Delta hub. The DTW clubs are better but also outdated. You will have access to the Air France lounge at CDG upon departure.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old May 17, 19, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by SDQBound View Post
Do not count on upgrades to CDG. Flights to Paris are one of the most popular among for Nonrevs, I don't recall seeing an empty D1 seat to/from Paris in over 8 years flying DL to/from CDG.


4) As long as they are both on the same PNR
Nonrevs clear after all paid passengers are taken care of.
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Old May 17, 19, 11:23 pm
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So, looks like the only way to get into D1 for outside US50 is to hold GUC
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Old May 17, 19, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by alaskaforlife View Post
So, looks like the only way to get into D1 for outside US50 is to hold GUC
Or buy a D1 ticket, or get a D1 award ticket, or buy an expensive coach fare and use miles to upgrade into upgrade inventory, if available,......or benefit from an OPUP if coach is oversold on your flight but there are otherwise empty D1 seats and you get lucky.
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Old Yesterday, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
or buy an expensive coach fare and use miles to upgrade into upgrade inventory, if available,.
You can upgrade to D1 with miles from many coach fares now, not just the most expensive, but the amount of miles required from most coach fares is very high.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
.....or benefit from an OPUP if coach is oversold on your flight but there are otherwise empty D1 seats and you get lucky.
This is rare and should not be part of OP's plan or expectation, even though it is technically possible.
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Old Yesterday, 9:29 am
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You almost certainly won't get D1 without buying it given this is hub to hub.

As a PM, I would fork over the extra cost to go from Basic Economy to regular economy -- because as long as you and your girlfriend are on the same reservation and there are >3 C+ seats left on the flight, you should clear into C+ at booking for free.

DTW - CDG is a short flight so IMO it's not a huge deal to miss out on D1 (saying this as someone who just flew JFK - MAD in C+ a couple of days ago)
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Old Yesterday, 10:49 am
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I personally would rather sit in a coach seat than AF's Prem Econ product. The seats are just too hard and the sliding recline is awful.

On AF you should be able to call and get placed into Seat Plus seats. Basically bulkheads, exits, and duo seats. YMMV if you can get a companion in with you.
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Old Yesterday, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
You almost certainly won't get D1 without buying it given this is hub to hub.

As a PM, I would fork over the extra cost to go from Basic Economy to regular economy -- because as long as you and your girlfriend are on the same reservation and there are >3 C+ seats left on the flight, you should clear into C+ at booking for free.

DTW - CDG is a short flight so IMO it's not a huge deal to miss out on D1 (saying this as someone who just flew JFK - MAD in C+ a couple of days ago)
Yeah, looks like its just $150 to upfare to Regular Econ. So, this will get C+ (>3 seats). and I should also be waitlisted to First for SFO-DTW?
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Old Yesterday, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
.or benefit from an OPUP if coach is oversold on your flight but there are otherwise empty D1 seats and you get lucky.
1) what is OPUP?
2) say at T-5days, there are tons of D1 empty seats, what happens? Coz Delta website says they wont waitlist Medallion for International D1. In that case, how are they filling the D1 seats? Cheap bids for upfare?
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Old Yesterday, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by alaskaforlife View Post
Yeah, looks like its just $150 to upfare to Regular Econ. So, this will get C+ (>3 seats). and I should also be waitlisted to First for SFO-DTW?
Yes. You should clear to C+ on the spot and then usual upgrade rules for SFO - DTW.

And Delta has no problem sending out D1 half full -- they absolutely won't op-up unless it's truly an oversell in Y.

That said you can be sure non-revs will fill up. When I checked in for JFK - MAD earlier this week there were 14 empty seats in D1. My buddy had a GUC clear and there was 1 other person on the wait list at check-in (so down to 12 D1) yet it still went out full with 12 non-revs clearing off the standby list to D1
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Old Yesterday, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by alaskaforlife View Post
1) what is OPUP?
OPUP is Operational Upgrade, It basically means if you are in a cabin that is oversold and they can't convince people to VDB then they will upgrade you to J to give your W/Y seat to another passenger. Usually they would upgrade people with status first. Hub to hub I doubt there will be many OPUP because non-rev will take lots of space in J, but I've received OPUP once on FUK-HNL that was oversold in economy (they tried to offer me FUK-NGO-HNL but I refused), and I was also OPUP'd once on CDG-YYZ (AF), also oversold in economy.
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by alaskaforlife View Post
1) what is OPUP?
2) say at T-5days, there are tons of D1 empty seats, what happens? Coz Delta website says they wont waitlist Medallion for International D1. In that case, how are they filling the D1 seats? Cheap bids for upfare?
1) Operational upgrade. Pretty rare. Happens if coach is oversold, your coach seat is broken and there are no others, etc.
2) They might not be. If they always offer discounts, nobody will pay full price. Better to hope people will pay up (with cash or miles), and if not, let the seats go empty
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