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Chance of GUC clearing in advance to JNB?

Chance of GUC clearing in advance to JNB?

Old Feb 17, 20, 11:28 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Chance of GUC clearing in advance to JNB?

Have a business trip to JNB coming up in a couple of weeks- and applied a GUC for myself and my wife... it is a work trip so tax deductible, so wouldn't mind saving one of the GUCs for a personal trip... is there any chance that it clears in advance? since I booked, many months ago, Premium Select has been $800, and D1 has been $3000 - but there are at least 9 D1 seats and 9 PS seats available. If there is a more reasonable price for D1 on the day of travel; I would like to pay; and to get my GUC back... if not, and if I can talk the wife into it, I would rather just pay the $800 for P.S. for each of us. Any chance of my GUC clearing in advance or am I pretty safe until boarding time?

Thanks!!
Tedgrrrr is offline  
Old Feb 17, 20, 11:37 am
  #2  
 
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I wouldn't bank on pre-clearing a GUC on this route. Maybe a tiny chance if you're flying Tues/Wed.

Delta prices it high because they can. Depending on what you paid for the original seat, $3K one way is actually a pretty reasonable upfair. Realize it's cheaper flying LGA-ATL-JNB, but ATL-JNB is usually $10-$12k r/t for D1 even with advanced purchase.

ULH is expensive to fly, Delta wouldn't fly it if they couldn't get the yields.
ethernal is offline  
Old Feb 17, 20, 3:32 pm
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IN the future there's also VS via LHR to JNB, which I like a lot (especially if you have clubhouse access). I got a J seat for $3400 last November and very happy with it all.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 6:45 pm
  #4  
 
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It's hard to say a few weeks out.. I frequent this route and I have found many times the J class seats are booked by tour groups / travel agents based on passenger conversations (and frustrations from couples when they are not seated together!) , and many of the seats don't appear to get assigned until check in. Remember that a seat map isn't indicative of loads in a given cabin, so I'm not sure if you've actually checked the EF inventory or are basing your assumptions on the seat map.

Are you flying back JNB-ATL? I would honestly apply the GUC in that direction.. much longer flight and a lot less fun on the way home. Just my two cents.
nw6338 is offline  
Old Feb 17, 20, 7:11 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by nw6338 View Post
Are you flying back JNB-ATL? I would honestly apply the GUC in that direction.. much longer flight and a lot less fun on the way home. Just my two cents.
Agree that if I had to pick a direction, the return would be it. Landing in the morning without a lieflat is tough. At least on the outbound you can run to your hotel and take an early evening.

Regardless, at the end if the day it's brutal in both directions. I can handle an 8-10 hour redeye in economy if I have to, but 16 hours is just too much. I can do a daytime flight if I have to (e.g., the 11 AM SFO-SIN isn't too bad.. stay up the whole flight, crash when you land).
ethernal is offline  
Old Feb 17, 20, 7:17 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
Agree that if I had to pick a direction, the return would be it. Landing in the morning without a lieflat is tough. At least on the outbound you can run to your hotel and take an early evening.

Regardless, at the end if the day it's brutal in both directions. I can handle an 8-10 hour redeye in economy if I have to, but 16 hours is just too much. I can do a daytime flight if I have to (e.g., the 11 AM SFO-SIN isn't too bad.. stay up the whole flight, crash when you land).
I'm in the exact same boat. Echo everything you've said above!
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Old Feb 17, 20, 7:44 pm
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Since GUC priority up to T-24 is basically by time of request (Status is technically first), it can somewhat depend on when you applied the GUC.
By the time you obtain your boarding pass, GUCs clear at normal complimentary standard hierarchy.

In my experience, not with JNB, but a similarly long route: LAX-SYD for the past 6-7 years, we (Mrs BHammy also DM) have had good luck (80%) GUC clearance, even with 100% waitlisted at booking.
The earlier the booking, and GUC application, the more likely we get upgraded before the gate.
Last year was newer config with suites (less D1 seats). Booked in late March, I think, for October over, Nov back. Cleared on the way home just 5 days later. But didn't clear for outbound until 3 weeks out.
We always go a day early, in case we don't get upgraded, because the flight over is a night time flight after Xcon from chatty-ATL-LAX, so it's actually easy to sleep on the way over even in coach that we've done a couple times.
(we move out of C+ as it's always full, in favor of a set of seats near the back of preferred seating. We usually score a row of 3 to ourselves that way)
On the return, it's a morning departure, but flies thru the night, so not much sleep, then the Xcon back home is brutal when the total travel day is 42+ hours (starting from NZ)

Oh, and day of travel for the LAX-SYD route is on the realm of ridiculous...at 9 mos out, they are like $7k (D1), then they slowly ramp up to day of departure that I think I saw last year at $12k
D1 for $3k is a downright bargain for Delta's longest flight, IMO.
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