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Interesting “Downgrade” Experience Today

Interesting “Downgrade” Experience Today

Old Sep 3, 20, 5:20 pm
  #1  
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Interesting “Downgrade” Experience Today

Just thought I’d share my first ever “Downgrade” after UG clearing today.

Currently on DL1321 SEA-ANC. I’m PM, spouse is GM traveling on the same PNR. Out of our 4 segment trip, this is the final segment. Also the only segment we did not clear into F or C+ at the window.

Just before boarding began we were UG’d to C+ 12D/F and our apps reflected this. About halfway throughout boarding we both refreshed our apps and now showed 5C/D (on a 739). We were both surprised as we didn’t expect to make the UG based on our positions. We board, seats reprint to 5C/D at the scanner.

Just before door closure a red coat comes on and says they accidentally upgraded one too many for Covid capacity, and one of us needs to move to row 12D/E/F (whole row is open). My spouse (as he’s in 5C) offers to move as he’s on the aisle and can tell the flight is ready for pushback.

No big deal as he moves back and we depart. It’s the same extremely limited service in both cabins so no big deal. So he’s in 12F and I’m up in 5D.

Now after T/O I’m looking at my app and it shows me in 12D (PM) and he’s in 5C (GM). Just curious how the system worked that out. Also, while the Red Coat seemed somewhat embarrassed, she didn’t seem very apologetic for their mistake either. I’m not looking for compensation, but would anyone expect anything? Just curious as to everyone’s opinions. My spouse had to do a mini “walk of shame” a few rows back, but the whole thing just seemed not to the usual DL standard.

And just now as I type this I was literally “thrown” a snack box saying “This is all that’s left. And there’s no salami in it.”

My how times have changed. Make no mistake our other 3 segments have been excellent (2 segments UG’d to F, and one to C+). Perhaps this is just the oddball.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 5:24 pm
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WFBF. Sorry, had to say it
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Old Sep 3, 20, 5:37 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by nachosdelux View Post
WFBF. Sorry, had to say it
Pre-Covid I did probably 90% of time. I fully understand WFBF and will do so again once normal beverage and meal service returns. Just wanted to share my experience today with UG roulette.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 6:18 pm
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I'd agree on WFBF but the product is badly degraded. Also, very odd to see the PM downgraded but the GM kept on F.

Finally...NGL, but "we need to kick your spouse out of the seat next to you because Capacity" is facepalm-inducing to say the least.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 6:33 pm
  #5  
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It's not unusual for the companion on a 2 person PNR to be upgraded 1st. On two person PNR you both are treated as the higher level. While they've never confirmed it, I guess that it goes by the person who'd ticket was issued first (each ticket is issued consecutively not concurrently).
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Old Sep 3, 20, 6:34 pm
  #6  
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Yeah, in terms of logic, if one too many people has been upgraded to FC and will be seated next to their traveling companion, it's hard to see how downgrading the person on board would lead to a safer situation in terms of COVID-19. GA not observing social distance, person moving and maybe moving luggage from overhead bins with some exertion, at worst a shouting match with GA, etc.

Please complain to DL. This experiences makes no sense and suggests that the GA is misinterpreting the rules, or perhaps the rules need to be rewritten by someone with intelligence and common sense.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Yeah, in terms of logic, if one too many people has been upgraded to FC and will be seated next to their traveling companion, it's hard to see how downgrading the person on board would lead to a safer situation in terms of COVID-19. GA not observing social distance, person moving and maybe moving luggage from overhead bins with some exertion, at worst a shouting match with GA, etc.

Please complain to DL. This experiences makes no sense and suggests that the GA is misinterpreting the rules, or perhaps the rules need to be rewritten by someone with intelligence and common sense.
Why? Delta currently has a very clear policy that they will not only keep the domestic F seat next to you empty if you are a single traveler, but also cap capacity at 50% of F (because they are being conservative in their estimate in assuming that every pax in F could be a single traveler).

The one exception of the 50% cap currently that I know of is the 739 (which apparently was the OP’s aircraft type), where they actually have a limit of less than 50% as both 1C and D on the 739 are blocked for an FA due to the jump seat situation and inability to socially distance. So on the 739, they can only fill 9 of the 20F seats. This may be where the GA made a mistake originally (s/he may have been thinking that the limit should be 10 since that’s 50%).
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Old Sep 3, 20, 7:18 pm
  #8  
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FWIW I did submit a complaint to DL today while enroute. I focused primarily on the UG fiasco today, but also did mention my displeasure with the onboard offerings. (Have been doing that every chance I can through surveys, etc, during Covid).

This was my second complaint of the year. I normally try and keep any complaints to DL limited to only one every couple of years. But with everything happening in 2020 and the devaluation of medallion benefits and premium cabins I felt this was worth a mention.

I can confirm, based on recent experiences, that the 739, 738, 717, 320, and 321 F capacities are less than 50% due to an FA sometimes occupying 1C or D. Today this was not an issue. Still, I feel it’s very bad form to downgrade and split a traveling married couple for so-called “distancing” when we all can clearly see it would have absolutely no safety impact on the flight. (almost all of the F cabin is currently couples).

Hopefully DL will eventually re-write the policy to include common sense. Anyway, thanks for everyone’s input!

I actually purchased Go-Go today just to post this to FT. It’s actually worked all the way so far SEA-ANC... that’s a first!
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Old Sep 3, 20, 7:46 pm
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A while back (during covid) my wife and I both got upgraded to first. I thought this was allowed and is a regular thing unless there was already a couple in first and they wouldn't do it again.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 7:49 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by GagaPilot View Post
Just thought I’d share my first ever “Downgrade” after UG clearing today.

Currently on DL1321 SEA-ANC. I’m PM, spouse is GM traveling on the same PNR. Out of our 4 segment trip, this is the final segment. Also the only segment we did not clear into F or C+ at the window.

Just before boarding began we were UG’d to C+ 12D/F and our apps reflected this. About halfway throughout boarding we both refreshed our apps and now showed 5C/D (on a 739). We were both surprised as we didn’t expect to make the UG based on our positions. We board, seats reprint to 5C/D at the scanner.

Just before door closure a red coat comes on and says they accidentally upgraded one too many for Covid capacity, and one of us needs to move to row 12D/E/F (whole row is open). My spouse (as he’s in 5C) offers to move as he’s on the aisle and can tell the flight is ready for pushback. .
2 days ago, I cleared into F next to a random passenger in row 5. We both thought it was weird due to the 50% capacity, and the FA noticed the issue right away, and ended up moving me to 1B. There might be a lack of COVID checks and balances with the F upgrades.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 8:28 pm
  #11  
 
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I was on a MSP-SEA segment in early May (my first trip after the COVID crisis policies went into effect). They had 9 pax in F out of 16 seats (I think this was a 737-800). They allowed 2 people to sit together, and did not block off 1 C-D for the exclusive use of the FA who would have otherwise sat in the front jumpseat with another FA.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 8:46 pm
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I don’t have a WFBF anecdote but does remind me of a time I flew AA for work. Was running late from the meeting to the airport and ran up to the gate, me and one other guy were the last to board. Turns out he was waiting standby. Well they waived him through and then checked me in as I was the last to board

Well of course they gave the standby guy my seat at the very end of the plane. It was completely booked to CLT. So the ramp agents argued amongst themselves, then had to ask the poor guy to get off the plane so I can board, and I met everyone’s eyes and walked with shame to the last row.

The FA even said when we arrived in CLT “glad you can make it on board in time!” He may have been snarky since I’m sure the debacle was holding up the cabin close.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by GagaPilot View Post
Just thought I’d share my first ever “Downgrade” after UG clearing today.

Currently on DL1321 SEA-ANC. I’m PM, spouse is GM traveling on the same PNR. Out of our 4 segment trip, this is the final segment. Also the only segment we did not clear into F or C+ at the window.

Just before boarding began we were UG’d to C+ 12D/F and our apps reflected this. About halfway throughout boarding we both refreshed our apps and now showed 5C/D (on a 739). We were both surprised as we didn’t expect to make the UG based on our positions. We board, seats reprint to 5C/D at the scanner.

Just before door closure a red coat comes on and says they accidentally upgraded one too many for Covid capacity, and one of us needs to move to row 12D/E/F (whole row is open). My spouse (as he’s in 5C) offers to move as he’s on the aisle and can tell the flight is ready for pushback.

No big deal as he moves back and we depart. It’s the same extremely limited service in both cabins so no big deal. So he’s in 12F and I’m up in 5D.

Now after T/O I’m looking at my app and it shows me in 12D (PM) and he’s in 5C (GM). Just curious how the system worked that out. Also, while the Red Coat seemed somewhat embarrassed, she didn’t seem very apologetic for their mistake either. I’m not looking for compensation, but would anyone expect anything? Just curious as to everyone’s opinions. My spouse had to do a mini “walk of shame” a few rows back, but the whole thing just seemed not to the usual DL standard.

And just now as I type this I was literally “thrown” a snack box saying “This is all that’s left. And there’s no salami in it.”

My how times have changed. Make no mistake our other 3 segments have been excellent (2 segments UG’d to F, and one to C+). Perhaps this is just the oddball.
Please complain to Delta. It's bad enough they almost entirely eliminated service in F and now they can't figure out a simple capacity issue. I'm sorry your husband had to take the walk of shame for something outside his control.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 10:14 pm
  #14  
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This is the part I like about UA - Upgrade shenanigan? ETC please.

UA is liable for downgrade compensation even for complimentary upgrade.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 11:44 pm
  #15  
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I will maintain until my last breath that F capacity should be flexible to accommodate couples sitting together. You remain guaranteed an empty seat next to you if you are traveling solo, but you can have the traveling companion sit next to you, in which case it should plus up the F cabin 50% capacity number by one. And I just don't see why a flight attendant sitting in 1C/D for 10 minutes on the front end and 10 minutes on the back end should even count as a "passenger" in the cabin when it comes to determination of 50% capacity.
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