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Complimentary Upgrades on Delta, the Definitive Thread

Complimentary Upgrades on Delta, the Definitive Thread

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Old May 12, 22, 9:18 am   -   Wikipost
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Index of DL forum threads on how to sit up front

Complimentary Upgrades



How do comp upgrades work?

This is the thread you are currently reading for questions including but not limited to
  • I'm new to status and upgrades, how do I request a comp upgrade?
  • when will my name appear on the list? when will I clear?
  • do I need to do anything if my status went up since I booked?
  • when will my name show up on the list?
  • why is my position so low?
  • oddities/anomalies involving the upgrade list
  • and so on
Upgrade Success/Failure
Use this thread for posting or researching data points pertaining to complimentary upgrades (how many were on the list, your position, whether you cleared, etc.) Medallion Complimentary Upgrades on AeroMexico

Upgrades on AeroMexico flights (Consolidated Thread)

Certificate Upgrades

Global Upgrade Certificates (GUCs)
Regional Upgrade Certificates (RUCs)
Buying Up Using Cash

First Class Monetization, or FCM: The Definitive Thread

Using SkyMiles for Upgrades
Upgrading With Companions

Upgrading w/companions, eligibility, timing, Sep 2020 onward (consolidated)
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Old Jan 4, 22, 1:26 pm
  #1  
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Complimentary Upgrades on Delta, the Definitive Thread

I thought it might be useful to have a thread for discussing how comp upgrades work on Delta, and after first running the idea past the DL forum mods, here it is

i.e. this thread is intended for questions and discussion about the hows and whys of complimentary Medallion upgrades, such as:
  • I'm new to status and upgrades, how do I request one?
  • when do upgrades clear?
  • do I need to do anything if my status went up since I booked?
  • when will my name show up on the list?
  • why is my position so low?
  • oddities/anomalies involving the upgrade list
  • and so on

It's true that we already have a yearly 2022 Upgrade Success (or lack thereof) Thread, and currently many of the above sorts of questions might be posted there, but the thought was that going forward we could keep that thread focused on reporting success/failure data points and "what are my chances as a ___ Medallion on AAA-BBB" type questions, and separate out the logistics and mechanics of upgrade listing/processing into its own thread.

In addition, this thread is not intended to replace any of the existing threads covering other methods and situations of sitting up front on Delta (or its partners, using Delta miles or instruments):
*these long-running threads will probably be locked in favor of post-Feb-2022 threads, once the new rules kick in
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Old Jan 4, 22, 9:03 pm
  #2  
 
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Great timing as I was actually just about to look for the right thread to ask thisÖ but this year is my first as GM and Iím just trying to understand how the 72 hour upgrade window works.

Are upgrades in the window automated to clear if thereís room for upgrades (assuming Iím high enough on the list), or does it require someone at Delta to actually process the upgrade?

Also, is there any notification when the upgrade clears? My only experience so far has been upgrades at the gate, but if I clear before even checking in there wonít be an agent or screen to announce it.
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Old Jan 4, 22, 9:07 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by VacationMode View Post
Great timing as I was actually just about to look for the right thread to ask thisÖ but this year is my first as GM and Iím just trying to understand how the 72 hour upgrade window works.

Are upgrades in the window automated to clear if thereís room for upgrades (assuming Iím high enough on the list), or does it require someone at Delta to actually process the upgrade?

Also, is there any notification when the upgrade clears? My only experience so far has been upgrades at the gate, but if I clear before even checking in there wonít be an agent or screen to announce it.
72 hours is the earliest that you *could* clear, but you won't necessarily get the upgrade just because there is an open seat. Upgrades are inventory-controlled (from a separate OU fare bucket) based on how many F seats revenue management thinks it can sell in the remaining days before departure.

If you clear automatically there will eventually be an email, but you can indirectly check for inventory yourself by pulling up the seat map. If you see a buy-up offer* then there's no inventory. If the buy-up offer disappears but you can still see F seats in the seat map, you can try picking one -- if it says FREE you can confirm the new seat and self-upgrade, essentially. (If this state occurs, it ought to be the case that you would have received the upgrade in due course of time even if you hadn't done anything, but I prefer not to leave things up to chance, or Delta's systems...) You'll still get the email eventually, congratulating you on being upgraded to the seat you chose

*aka "FCM" -- other related thread: First Class Monetization, or FCM: The Definitive Thread
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Old Jan 4, 22, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
72 hours is the earliest that you *could* clear, but you won't necessarily get the upgrade just because there is an open seat. Upgrades are inventory-controlled (from a separate OU fare bucket) based on how many F seats revenue management thinks it can sell in the remaining days before departure.

If you clear automatically there will eventually be an email, but you can indirectly check for inventory yourself by pulling up the seat map. If you see a buy-up offer* then there's no inventory. If the buy-up offer disappears but you can still see F seats in the seat map, you can try picking one -- if it says FREE you can confirm the new seat and self-upgrade, essentially. (If this state occurs, it ought to be the case that you would have received the upgrade in due course of time even if you hadn't done anything, but I prefer not to leave things up to chance, or Delta's systems...) You'll still get the email eventually, congratulating you on being upgraded to the seat you chose

*aka "FCM" -- other related thread: First Class Monetization, or FCM: The Definitive Thread
Thanks for clearing that up! My first flight of the year isnít for another month, but Iíll definitely keep an eye on the seat maps when I get in the window!
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Old Jan 5, 22, 3:26 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by VacationMode View Post
Thanks for clearing that up! My first flight of the year isnít for another month, but Iíll definitely keep an eye on the seat maps when I get in the window!
As a GM, definitely check the C+ map at 72 hours if there are only a few C+ seats left. While you may be the last on the priority list to get the upgrade clearance, you can still get the best seat remaining by checking and self upgrading (ie no middle seat).
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Old Jan 7, 22, 8:25 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
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do DM D1 upgrades ever clear before 24 hours out? I was PM for about 4 years and would often (but not always, especially on red eyes) clear D1 to/from LAX and JFK but would keep an eagle eye on the upgrade list and it seemed like a wave of seats would disappear around 5 days out. I wonder if that was RUCs? Iím bringing my partner with me on a trip next week and would rather not burn four RUCs that I donít have to if weíre likely to clear on our own. for reference there are about 18 D1 seats available at the moment and Iím earned DM plus reserve card
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Old Jan 8, 22, 1:43 am
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Anybody ever get a note on their reservation that says "Not eligible for complimentary upgrades"?

Fare class is W.
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Old Jan 8, 22, 4:33 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by coast_2_coast View Post
do DM D1 upgrades ever clear before 24 hours out?
DL site says day of departure only.

In 2020 I was able to select a domestic D1 seat shortly after booking that was more than 24h out but less than 5 days, but not sure how repeatable that is.

Originally Posted by Goodoldflyer View Post
Anybody ever get a note on their reservation that says "Not eligible for complimentary upgrades"?

Fare class is W.
​​​​​​More info is needed. International or domestic flight? How many passengers on the reservation, and are any of them non-status?
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Old Jan 8, 22, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
D
​​​​​​More info is needed. International or domestic flight? How many passengers on the reservation, and are any of them non-status?
International, flying solo, paid to upgrade the return to D1.
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Old Jan 8, 22, 7:13 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Goodoldflyer View Post
International, flying solo, paid to upgrade the return to D1.
There are no comp upgrades to Premium Select or Delta One for Delta Medallions on international flights. With a C+ fare, there is no higher class that you are comp upgrade eligible for. You either have to pay for it or use an instrument like an upgrade cert or a Mileage Upgrade Award.

https://www.delta.com/us/en/skymiles...llion-upgrades

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Last edited by xliioper; Jan 8, 22 at 7:24 am
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Old Jan 8, 22, 7:44 am
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OK, thanks. Welp, that certainly answers my question, and puts everything in perspective.
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Old Jan 8, 22, 11:20 am
  #12  
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Curiosity - I was on a flight where there were 3 empty seats in F at the gate and no one on the upgrade list. They went out filled by standby pax who had a zone of "MAIN1" and a seat assignment in F on the app. Are these NRSA, op-ups, or something else? I want to say there were a couple of empties in C+, but not sure and Y was full.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:38 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Curiosity - I was on a flight where there were 3 empty seats in F at the gate and no one on the upgrade list. They went out filled by standby pax who had a zone of "MAIN1" and a seat assignment in F on the app. Are these NRSA, op-ups, or something else? I want to say there were a couple of empties in C+, but not sure and Y was full.
If the flight was full, they could have been OP-UPs (including BE passengers without seat assignments), deadheaders (employees traveling for company business) eligible for FC if available, or NRSA (nonrevs), who are entitled to the best seat available on the flight at the time they are cleared (assuming not traveling with small child and IIRC dressed OK for FC). If the flight wasn't full, there shouldn't be any OP-UPs, but a GA might have anticipated a full flight and then had a last minute no-show after having done an OP-UP, but the rule would be that OP-UPs shouldn't happen if there's a nonrev who qualifies for FC sitting in coach.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 12:32 pm
  #14  
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I think part of my question is - do NRSA on standby show up on the F upgrade list? On UA they do.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 3:34 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I think part of my question is - do NRSA on standby show up on the F upgrade list? On UA they do.
NO. The upgrade list that we see consists only of customers who are confirmed on the flight. NRSA would appear on the standby list, at the bottom. They can clear directly into FC if a seat is available after all of the revenue passengers have been assigned seats.

RELATED: If you SDS, you cannot go onto the upgrade list until you have been cleared onto the flight, which almost always happens after the GA has cleared upgrades for those on the list.
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