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Using Regional Upgrades on Delta (RUC) post 2/1/2022

Using Regional Upgrades on Delta (RUC) post 2/1/2022

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Old Nov 20, 22, 11:02 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: bgriff
Wiki Link
For discussion of same-day change on an itinerary with an RUC applied, see: SDC while using Regional Upgrade Certificates (RUC) Definitive Thread

FEB 1, 2022 New GUC/RUC Inventory Rules

*****GUC*****

Flight has First Class
MC/C+ = Purchased
First = Last Seat J (Old Policy = OY)

Flight has DPS only
MC/C+ = Purchased
DPS = Last Seat (GUC=P / RUC=G) (Old Policy = RY)

Flight has D1 with no DPS
MC/C+ = Purchased
D1 = Z (Old Policy = OY)

Flight has D1 with DPS
MC/C+ = Purchased
DPS = Last Seat (GUC=P / RUC=G) (Old Policy = RY)
D1 = OY @ T-24h15m

Flight has D1 with DPS
DPS = Purchased
D1 = Z (Old Policy = OY)

Note: If GUC applied to domestic flight, it has better inventory than RUC (better chance for D1 transcon or to Hawaii)

*****RUC*****

Flight has First Class
MC/C+ = Purchased
First = Z (Old Policy = OY)

Flight has D1 with no DPS
MC/C+ = Purchased
D1 = OY (no change in old policy = OY)

Delta is using public inventory buckets J Z P G (and non-public bucket OY in some cases) to determine GUC/RUC availability. However once they have confirmed you the system converts the segment in your reservation to a different bucket. Here is the class mapping:
GUC Usage
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to DPS / P class needed / Books into RV (Clears at T-24.15 into D1 as OX if OY available)
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to D1 (no DPS) / Z class needed / Books into OK
DPS purchased / Upgrade to D1 / Z class needed / Books into OK
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to FC (no D1/DPS) / J class needed / Books into OV

RUC Usage
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to DPS / G class needed / Books into RX (Clears at T-24.15 into D1 as OX if OY available) ****THIS AIRCRAFT CONFIG MAKES NO SENSE DPS IS NOT SOLD ON RUC ROUTES, MAYBE THIS IS FOR FUTURE PLANS?****
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to D1 (no DPS) / OY class needed / Books into OX
DPS purchased / Upgrade to D1 / OY class needed / Books into OX ****THIS AIRCRAFT CONFIG MAKES NO SENSE DPS IS NOT SOLD ON RUC ROUTES, MAYBE THIS IS FOR FUTURE PLANS?****
MC or C+ purchased / Upgrade to FC (no D1/DPS) / Z class needed / Books into OL

New Delta.com Upgrade Availability Indicators that appeared 2/1/22 and what they mean

Dom D1 Tag meaning:
Global Upgrade Certificate Available = GUC in Z (OY = 0 for RUC)
Upgrade Certificate Available = GUC in Z /or/ RUC in OY both available

Dom F Tag meaning:
Global Upgrade Certificate Available = GUC in Last Seat J (Z = 0 for RUC)
Upgrade Certificate Available = GUC in last seat J /or/ RUC in Z both available

Example D1 Flights from JFK - LAX (flight numbers are fictitious)

DL 01
Dom D1 flight
Actual Availability: J5 C4 D4 Z3
Hidden Availability: OY2
Website indicator: Upgrade Certificate Available
Actual decode: (2 RUC (OY) open, 3 GUC (Z) open)

DL 02
Dom D1 flight
Actual Availability: J5 C4 D4 Z3
Hidden Availability: OY0
Website indicator: Global Upgrade Certificate Available
Actual decode: (0 RUC (OY) open, 3 GUC (Z) open)

DL 03
Dom D1 flight
Actual Availability: J3 C2 D2 Z0
Hidden Availability: OY0
Website indicator: No flag - neither is available GUC (Z0) and RUC (OY0)

DL 04
Dom First flight
Actual Availability: J3 C2 D2 Z1
Hidden Availability: n/a
Website indicator: Upgrade Certificate Available
Actual decode: (1 RUC (Z) open, 3 GUC (J) open)

DL 05
Dom First flight
Actual Availability: J3 C2 D2 Z0
Hidden Availability: n/a
Website indicator: Global Upgrade Certificate Available
Actual decode: (0 RUC (Z) open, 3 GUC (J) open)

DL 06
Dom First flight
Actual Availability: J0 C0 D0 Z0
Hidden Availability: n/a
Website indicator: No flag - neither is available
Actual decode: (0 RUC (Z) open, 0 GUC (J) open)

Iím not able to check-in online for a flight where RUC/GUC was applied.
The problem is most likely that your upgrade cleared but your ticket has not been re-issued. Call to request a manual re-issue of your ticket.

__________________________________________________ __

PRE FEB 1, 2022 WIKI
More information and discussion about using same-day change after applying regional upgrades can be found in this thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...ve-thread.html
  • The clock begins ticking on RUC expiration when you make your choice benefit selection, so it's possible to time your selection when there is a specific need to use them.
  • You can select your 2017 choice benefit as soon as DL recognizes your Plat status. Certificates expire 12 months from date of issue. 2019 choice benefits (earned based on how much one flew in 2018) must be selected by Jan 31, 2020.
  • If you select certificates as your choice benefit late in your Medallion tenure, it will still be valid after your status expires -- so for example if you earn Platinum Medallion in 2018, which is valid through Jan 31, 2020, but then only earn Silver Medallion in 2019, which becomes effective Feb 1, 2020 when your Platinum Medallion status expires, RUCs selected in January 2020 would be valid through January 2021 and could be used once you were only a Silver Medallion member, giving you a much higher upgrade list position on those flights where you attempt to use them.
  • If you request to use a RUC on a flight and do not receive the upgrade, it is returned to your account for future use, but check your account to make sure.
  • RUC may be redeemed for the named Medallion member and up to one travel companion traveling on the same flight (the companion officially no longer needs to be in the same reservation, though that rule was not actually enforced even when it was the official rule). The named member and the companion will each require a separate certificate.

While the RUC process is almost entirely opaque, there are a couple of "hints" of a correctly applied waitlist.

1a) When viewing a waitlisted segment on the DL.com web site (not the app), there may be two seat maps for the same flight. The first seat map shows the coach seat you are currently in, and the second seat map for the same flight says "you may not select seats for this flight" or something like that. This second seat map corresponds to a part of the waitlist process, and indicates that at least one step of the multi-step process to add an RUC waitlist was actually done. Unfortunately, this does NOT indicate that the other manual steps of the RUC waitlist process were successfully completed by the agent (i.e. even if you see the second seat map, there still could be something wrong. There is simply no way for the customer to tell.)

1b) The status for a waitlisted segment should say something like "Upgrade Waitlisted"

2) Assuming the waitlist does not clear prior to check-in, the second hint is the upgrade waitlist. If the RUC waitlist request was coded correctly, you should show up at or very near the top of the upgrade waitlist that you can see on DL.com or the app. If you find yourself at your "usual" spot on the upgrade waitlist, this is a clue that the RUC waitlist request was not coded correctly.

3) The RUC is a form of "payment". Until the RUC clears, it remains "unused" so a waitlisted RUC will still show in your wallet as "open".

You may also wish to peruse the wiki for the GUC success thread as some of the considerations/logistics are similar between RUCs and GUCs.









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Old Nov 24, 22, 2:01 pm
  #691  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: RST/SAN
Programs: DL GM
Posts: 92
Might be a rookie question as I havenít selected in a while, but as a platinum chose 2022 upgrades today. They are listed as expiring 1/31/23. I thought they were supposed to be valid for 1 year from issuance, so does this mean I have to use them for flights flown before Jan 31 (within the next 2 months?)
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Old Nov 24, 22, 2:10 pm
  #692  
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Originally Posted by BusinessElite25 View Post
Might be a rookie question as I havenít selected in a while, but as a platinum chose 2022 upgrades today. They are listed as expiring 1/31/23. I thought they were supposed to be valid for 1 year from issuance, so does this mean I have to use them for flights flown before Jan 31 (within the next 2 months?)
Correct. As you said, previously they used to expire a year from selection, but starting this year they have to be used by the end of the associated Medallion Year. This was announced in a November 2021 email; related FT thread: Delta changes/devaluation to GUC Program -2022 (Only 1 Class of Service Upgrade)
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Old Nov 25, 22, 1:05 pm
  #693  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Scotland & PHX
Posts: 515
About three weeks ago I used an RUC for an ATL-PHX flight on 20th Dec, they said it couldn't be confirmed and I was wait listed, the FC cabin is still more than half empty and shows available for
upgrade with a cert with a dummy booking.
I called today to ask if it can be confirmed and was told the system hasn't released upgrades yet and I should wait.
Does this sound correct?
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Old Nov 25, 22, 3:00 pm
  #694  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Brooklyn
Programs: Delta Diamond, Bonvoy something good; sometimes other things too
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Originally Posted by Norri View Post
About three weeks ago I used an RUC for an ATL-PHX flight on 20th Dec, they said it couldn't be confirmed and I was wait listed, the FC cabin is still more than half empty and shows available for
upgrade with a cert with a dummy booking.
I called today to ask if it can be confirmed and was told the system hasn't released upgrades yet and I should wait.
Does this sound correct?
How many people are you trying to upgrade? If it's more than 1, the 8:15am and 2pm flights that day only have 1 upgrade seat available based on ExpertFlyer (Z class), but the website will erroneously show that the upgrade is available for any number of people. The 4:39pm has no upgrade seats; all the others have 4 or more in which case the agent would be wrong.

If there's anything weird with your existing booking on Delta.com, like an extra seat map or errors trying to access the seat map, that could mean your upgrade has already been partially cleared and an agent (who knows what they're doing) just needs to finish processing it.
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Old Nov 25, 22, 5:05 pm
  #695  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Scotland & PHX
Posts: 515
It's only me on the 11:15 flight, I also applied a RUC at the same time for a flight on 19th November on the same route that wasn't re issued properly, everything looked good until check in then I had to call to correct it don't know if that's relevant.
I spoke to an agent a couple of days ago who said the upgrade was processing and would clear by days end.
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Old Nov 26, 22, 9:28 am
  #696  
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Originally Posted by Norri View Post
It's only me on the 11:15 flight, I also applied a RUC at the same time for a flight on 19th November on the same route that wasn't re issued properly, everything looked good until check in then I had to call to correct it don't know if that's relevant.
I spoke to an agent a couple of days ago who said the upgrade was processing and would clear by days end.
It is worth calling again, especially with what the last agent told you so you can honestly say "a couple of days ago they told me it would clear by day's end but nothing has happened" (regardless of whether that statement was bs, which it probably was, it does mean you are now due some further activity). Potentially could be worth waiting until Monday when more senior agents will be working, but there is likely some more processing that needs to be done on the reservation so you can select a seat up front, and at some point it will need to be reticketed or you will have the issue of not being able to check in.
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Old Nov 26, 22, 10:57 am
  #697  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,492
Heading to SFO next week and D1 availability for RUCs started to show up about 5 days out for the early AM and late PM flight.

For now Iíd rather get to my hotel 3-4 hours earlier vs taking the late night D1 flight (especially on an old 763) but the space does seem to pop open last minute
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Old Nov 26, 22, 1:06 pm
  #698  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
Heading to SFO next week and D1 availability for RUCs started to show up about 5 days out for the early AM and late PM flight.

For now Iíd rather get to my hotel 3-4 hours earlier vs taking the late night D1 flight (especially on an old 763) but the space does seem to pop open last minute
They want GUCs for this flight? No thanks. I'll take my chances on the day of. I too am traveling from JFK-SFO next week but D1 seats are wide open. I don't think I'll even need to use a RUC let alone a GUC.
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Old Nov 28, 22, 8:18 am
  #699  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 192
Originally Posted by findark View Post
It is substantially easier to find RUC availability since the changes. It has never been the case that an empty flight would always have RUC availability.
Maybe its the route (only has F, not D1) I'm flying. Any trips i booked didnt have RUC availability at the time of booking. Hopefully I'll get upgraded prior to the gate.
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Old Nov 28, 22, 8:33 am
  #700  
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Originally Posted by azdmelani View Post
Maybe its the route (only has F, not D1) I'm flying. Any trips i booked didnt have RUC availability at the time of booking. Hopefully I'll get upgraded prior to the gate.
Essentially it is easier now because it is tied to Z revenue fares, which Delta routinely makes available in advance on many routes, whereas in the old system it was a separate category. So the revenue management team, if they want to sell discounted business class tickets to sell seats -- as they often do, especially because Delta likes to brag to Wall Street about how many of their premium cabin seats they fill with paying customers -- they end up offering upgrades as a consequence. In the old system they had to specifically decide they wanted to offer upgrades, and RM teams are often focused on generating the most revenue, so they didn't necessarily have a clear incentive to open up the upgrade bucket.

(D1 flights still use the old system, so they are not necessarily more likely to be available -- but they may by contrast be more available at the last minute, since Delta doesn't usually want to open up Z and sell cheap business class fares at the last minute ... there are other ways like advance purchase requirements where they could open Z but not sell it for things other than upgrades, but it's not clear how often they're doing that.)

That said, Z is not always going to be open, especially on flights at peak times when Delta may still expect they are going to be able to sell most/all of the seats at higher fares. You are also often more likely to have better luck finding space 3-6 months out rather than 6-12 months out, because airlines don't usually actively manage fares on flights 6+ months out, they just put in placeholders (that are not too low, so they don't accidentally fill up a flight a bunch of cheap tickets) and let the computer manage it until closer to departure when they start being more strategic about what they want to sell at what prices.
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Old Nov 28, 22, 9:08 am
  #701  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by golfr View Post
They want GUCs for this flight? No thanks. I'll take my chances on the day of. I too am traveling from JFK-SFO next week but D1 seats are wide open. I don't think I'll even need to use a RUC let alone a GUC.
At least for the flights I'm looking at they are only asking for RUCs -- not GUCs
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Old Nov 28, 22, 7:48 pm
  #702  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
At least for the flights I'm looking at they are only asking for RUCs -- not GUCs
When I checked, Tuesday was the only day that had GUC available in the morning and at night. Which day did you book?
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Old Nov 28, 22, 8:09 pm
  #703  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by golfr View Post
When I checked, Tuesday was the only day that had GUC available in the morning and at night. Which day did you book?
I ended up deciding to stick with my original flights into SJC on the 739 (closer to hotel and a lot less travel time), if it had been a 764 Iíd have switched but decided it wasnít worth the extra travel time for the 763 (especially with only middle section seats available, no window pods).

Anyway it was showing the 7am, 1015am, 545pm, and 930pm with RUC space starting at about 5 days out. It has all disappeared now apart from the 930pm
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Old Nov 28, 22, 8:45 pm
  #704  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Yeah, I see multiple flights with GUC and RUC availabilities now. I think even my flight is available with RUC. I guess they're trying to fill the seats.

Sadly, I'm getting used to the D1 on 763. Beats going across the country upright. I have 1 RUC left from PM, I'm saving it for JFK<->LAX flight since those are tough to get upgraded. Anyhoo, safe travels.
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Old Nov 29, 22, 1:21 am
  #705  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Ticketed a flight including a domestic D1 leg to JFK just now. No wait on the line to get through to a agent and about a 25 minutes hold, while agent dealt with ticket. Ticket reissued immediately and reflecting correct OL/OX.
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