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Is this really the new norm?

Is this really the new norm?

Old Sep 13, 22, 8:25 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: ATL
Programs: DL - Diamond; Marriott - Titanium; National - Executive; DL Reserve - AMEX
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Is this really the new norm?

ATL based, looking to burn some RUC's and/or Amex companion certificates to LAX in November. Virtually no availability for Thursday out and Sunday returns with companion cert (outside of red eye). Only RUC availability is a red eye. RUC's are truly worthless (couldn't even use them to confirm first on my flights to Detroit this week).

Man it feels good to have my "Hometown Airline" always looking out for my Delta Diamond self (earned 6 consecutive years and counting).

I sincerely hope at some point these perceived perks that you get with status drive enough loyalists away to make a difference.

Super frustrating....
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Old Sep 13, 22, 9:28 pm
  #2  
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It's fairly straightforward to find dates with advance RUC availability these days as you can now just search for flights with Z bucket availability. Th/Fr/Su/Mo are more popular travel days than than Tu/We/Sa and you are less likely to find flights with Z bucket open for those days. November is now less that two months out which also generally means fewer flights with Z open. There's some flights with Z open for first weekend of December.

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Old Sep 13, 22, 10:19 pm
  #3  
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to directly answer the question in the title no, its not really new at all that the requisite (and limited) inventory for RUCs and AmEx companion certs isnt available ~60 days out

and its also not really new that, fairly regularly, reasonably-high-status FTers feel the need to complain about how theyre personally impacted by this situation
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Old Sep 13, 22, 11:05 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
It's fairly straightforward to find dates with advance RUC availability these days as you can now just search for flights with Z bucket availability. Th/Fr/Su/Mo are more popular travel days than than Tu/We/Sa and you are less likely to find flights with Z bucket open for those days. November is now less that two months out which also generally means fewer flights with Z open. There's some flights with Z open for first weekend of December.

how are you searching for Z bucket availability specifically? I read through the Wikipost and didnt see any details on this.
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Old Sep 13, 22, 11:09 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by Bkboom123 View Post
ATL based, looking to burn some RUC's and/or Amex companion certificates to LAX in November. Virtually no availability for Thursday out and Sunday returns with companion cert (outside of red eye). Only RUC availability is a red eye. RUC's are truly worthless (couldn't even use them to confirm first on my flights to Detroit this week).

Man it feels good to have my "Hometown Airline" always looking out for my Delta Diamond self (earned 6 consecutive years and counting).

I sincerely hope at some point these perceived perks that you get with status drive enough loyalists away to make a difference.

Super frustrating....
You're looking for prime days of the week travel on an extremely busy route with two months notice. Your hometown airline is looking to make money and seats are full. Frankly, I think you'd have more luck waiting until a few days beforehand to try and use a RUC, but your best chances will come by being flexible with timing and looking with more advance notice.
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Old Sep 13, 22, 11:25 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by tmontemb View Post
how are you searching for Z bucket availability specifically? I read through the Wikipost and didn’t see any details on this.
You'd need to use ExpertFlyer to definitively check for Z since there can be Z bucket open with no Z fares for sale either because of advance purchase requirements and you are looking at flights that are too close-in to meet them, or because of dual-inventory checking and there is limited availability in lower coach classes (domestic Z fares use U/T/X/V fare basis codes and require inventory in them to book in addition to Z inventory).

But you can also use ITA Matrix with advanced mode options to search for availability for Z fares for sale (which will generally work for flights further out). Or you can just check on Z fare prices and then use Google Flights calendar view to check for availability based on pricing. For example, if there are Z fares available in both directions, pricing on ATL-LAX will be $1578 or less roundtrip. The 3-day roundtrip options below showing on Google Flights that are $1578 or less have Z fares available in both directions. Wed-Sat and Sat-Tue trips are generally pretty reliable for availability. But there are also some Thu-Sun and Fri-Mon options showing below.


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Last edited by xliioper; Sep 13, 22 at 11:54 pm
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Old Sep 14, 22, 2:13 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by Bkboom123 View Post
ATL based, looking to burn some RUC's and/or Amex companion certificates to LAX in November. Virtually no availability for Thursday out and Sunday returns with companion cert (outside of red eye). Only RUC availability is a red eye. RUC's are truly worthless (couldn't even use them to confirm first on my flights to Detroit this week).

Man it feels good to have my "Hometown Airline" always looking out for my Delta Diamond self (earned 6 consecutive years and counting).

I sincerely hope at some point these perceived perks that you get with status drive enough loyalists away to make a difference.

Super frustrating....

So RUC is worthless because you can find availability, just its on a red eye that you don't want to do, like most people, so the book day flights so there is no RUV availability......of course why would Delta sell their seats to people who will pay !! Madness I say.
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Old Sep 14, 22, 5:39 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Bkboom123 View Post
ATL based, looking to burn some RUC's and/or Amex companion certificates to LAX in November. Virtually no availability for Thursday out and Sunday returns with companion cert (outside of red eye). Only RUC availability is a red eye. RUC's are truly worthless (couldn't even use them to confirm first on my flights to Detroit this week).

Man it feels good to have my "Hometown Airline" always looking out for my Delta Diamond self (earned 6 consecutive years and counting).

I sincerely hope at some point these perceived perks that you get with status drive enough loyalists away to make a difference.

Super frustrating....
I just booked this exact trip over Thanksgiving using up a companion cert and 4 RUCs. You have to be flexible and I found SNA had more upgrade space than LAX. There is also BUR with a connection in SLC.
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Old Sep 14, 22, 10:15 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
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Originally Posted by Bkboom123 View Post
ATL based, looking to burn some RUC's and/or Amex companion certificates to LAX in November. Virtually no availability for Thursday out and Sunday returns with companion cert (outside of red eye). Only RUC availability is a red eye. RUC's are truly worthless (couldn't even use them to confirm first on my flights to Detroit this week).

Man it feels good to have my "Hometown Airline" always looking out for my Delta Diamond self (earned 6 consecutive years and counting).

I sincerely hope at some point these perceived perks that you get with status drive enough loyalists away to make a difference.

Super frustrating....
If you want RUCs to clear in advance, you're going to have to use them well in advance. If you just want you RUC to get you a seat up front, since DL holds so many seats back until 30 min before departure, you pretty much always get your upgrade in the end if you waitlist it and nobody screws up the waitlisting.
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Old Sep 14, 22, 10:35 am
  #10  
 
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God forbid Delta sells their first class seats, their intended purpose, instead of giving them out for free! Anyway, every time Ive waitlisted an RUC (knock on wood) it has cleared
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Old Sep 14, 22, 10:38 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by coke cans and winglets View Post
God forbid Delta sells their first class seats, their intended purpose, instead of giving them out for free!
To be fair, that wasn't the purpose of those seats for decades until a few years ago.
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Old Sep 14, 22, 1:01 pm
  #12  
 
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Maybe it's the ATL-LAX route. I've used 12 RUCs in the past year on ATL-PDX-ATL and ATL-ONT-ATL. Mostly Thu.-Mon. trips. I can use them at least half the time.
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Old Sep 14, 22, 1:35 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Bkboom123 View Post
ATL based, looking to burn some RUC's and/or Amex companion certificates to LAX in November. Virtually no availability for Thursday out and Sunday returns with companion cert (outside of red eye). Only RUC availability is a red eye. RUC's are truly worthless (couldn't even use them to confirm first on my flights to Detroit this week).
That's not the new norm, that's actually the return of the old norm. RUC availability has been very stingy historically (especially ATL-LAX), but now at least you can search for yourself instead of having to call.

But I've had a lot of success with RUCs in the COVID era, where previously I had a lot of them expire unused.

David

Last edited by DiverDave; Sep 14, 22 at 1:46 pm
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Old Sep 14, 22, 6:54 pm
  #14  
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Pretty much ever since forever has ATL-LAX route has been one of the hardest upgrades. It killed my ego to walk on a brand new 777 and bypass the front cabin.
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Old Sep 14, 22, 7:34 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
You'd need to use ExpertFlyer to definitively check for Z since there can be Z bucket open with no Z fares for sale either because of advance purchase requirements and you are looking at flights that are too close-in to meet them, or because of dual-inventory checking and there is limited availability in lower coach classes (domestic Z fares use U/T/X/V fare basis codes and require inventory in them to book in addition to Z inventory).

But you can also use ITA Matrix with advanced mode options to search for availability for Z fares for sale (which will generally work for flights further out). Or you can just check on Z fare prices and then use Google Flights calendar view to check for availability based on pricing. For example, if there are Z fares available in both directions, pricing on ATL-LAX will be $1578 or less roundtrip. The 3-day roundtrip options below showing on Google Flights that are $1578 or less have Z fares available in both directions. Wed-Sat and Sat-Tue trips are generally pretty reliable for availability. But there are also some Thu-Sun and Fri-Mon options showing below.


thank you! This was a great response. I was wondering if it was EF to search and not delta! Much appreciated.
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