Upgrades in BE to Europe?

 
Old Aug 5, 05, 9:20 am
  #1  
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Upgrades in BE to Europe?

Does anyone know if upgrades to BE are likely on a trip over the Atlantic? Both my wife and I are Silver Medallion and are planning a trip to Spain and Germany. We plan to fly Delta to either Madrid or Barcelona and then return out of Frankfurt.

The question is: what are the chances of us being upgraded to BE on a coach fare? I know a lot of you have tons of flying experience and might have good tips/advice as to which days to fly, the best fare class to purchase, or departure points, ATL, CVG or JFK. We are looking at making this trip at the end of May 06 and returning at the beginning of June 06. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.....
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Old Aug 5, 05, 9:48 am
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Old Aug 5, 05, 10:10 am
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I would have to agree with Vinnmann. I've done 4 dozen transatlantics on DL in the last three years and I've gotten an op-up 2 times. I consider myself lucky. Op-ups do happen, and while they are not unheard of, they are not exactly common either. They only occur when the flight is oversold. Even then, they may not occur. Some of the pax may miss a connection, freeing up a seat(s). Remember, DL's goal may be to fill the plane, but giving out $$ for bumps or giving op-ups to medallions are the last things that they want to do. They have pretty sophisticated yeild management tools to govern all of this.

FYI, on one of my op-ups, a very helpful GA answered many of my questions about Intl. op-ups. He told me that op-ups ARE based on medallion status. He printed a manifest with all of the medallions on my flight in sequence by status starting with highest YTD MQM PM and on down to the lowest YTD MQM FO. He showed me my name on the list. Every name above mine was either already in BE or had gotten the op-up. Then a flight from the west coast with a connecting BE pax was running late. The pax would not make the connection. While I was at the desk, the seat became available and I was next on the list. And just like my momma taught me, I said thank you to the nice man.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by ecaarch
I would have to agree with Vinnmann. I've done 4 dozen transatlantics on DL in the last three years and I've gotten an op-up 2 times. I consider myself lucky.
I agree, there are always a lot of PM's and GM's flying, and tons of FO's, and flights have been pretty full lately, so your odds as an FO of an op-up are less than slim but more than none.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 10:34 am
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I always upgrade with miles for transatlantic flights. Delta sometimes has some great YBM fares to Europe (at least when I have travelled) and I am always able to use my miles to upgrade. My family just came back from a trip to London and were on the waitlist for an upgrade. I called SMS the day before their flight and the (nicest and most polite) agent i've ever spoken to told me that all the flights from LGW-ATL were fully sold in BE and no seats were available. About an hour or so later, my parents got an email from the Gold Medallion desk letting them know that all their upgrades cleared. If you can afford the fare, it's not too hard to get the upgrade with miles. In addition, if you are spending that kind of money, delta often has special BE fares which are (in general) $100-$300 more than YBM which gurantees you the seat and you don't have to use any miles.

I'm flying JFK-TXL next month and upgraded with miles- it was no problem to find the availability.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 5, 05, 10:41 am
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I've upgraded with miles a lot, but I'm wondering how you find the "special BE" (I?) fares. Whenever I've tried to look for them on the Delta website, all I've gotten were the J fares. I must be doing something wrong.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 10:45 am
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Last edited by vinnmann; Aug 9, 07 at 2:03 pm
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Old Aug 5, 05, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by Tennisbum
I've upgraded with miles a lot, but I'm wondering how you find the "special BE" (I?) fares. Whenever I've tried to look for them on the Delta website, all I've gotten were the J fares. I must be doing something wrong.
I might be mistaken here, but it seems like the I fares have some advance purchase and other conditions - something like buy 50 days in advance and must stay at the destination for 7 days. Maybe somebody that has used an I fare can confirm here.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 10:54 am
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Thanks for the quick replies, vinnmann and ecaarch.

I was thinking that I fares might show up on the website, but calling well in advance is no problem: I have to do that anyway for the mileage upgrades.

I'll check on the restrictions for the I fares; since we generally stay for 5 or 6 weeks, we may not be eligible.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 10:56 am
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Thanks for all of the replies. It sounds like I should either pay for a full fare and use miles of just bite the bullet and go for the I fare. I'll have to check the fare difference and weigh the pros/cons. Thanks.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by vinnmann
You pick up the phone, call SMS, and ask for the I fares. Note that you must do this at least 50 days prior to departure.
Not necessarily. Remember this thread? The I fare here might have been a glitch on the new Delta website.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=458264
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Old Aug 5, 05, 11:15 am
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Advice for drivinfast: Look the number of posts under my name. Look at the number of posts under Traveller's name. While not always accurate, that number can be an indicator or how many times a FT member has been around the block and the knowledge they have amassed. I have some knowledge of DL and SkyMiles, but more often than not, you will find that the Travellers, Cholulas, Indufans, and Carnarsies of the world have a ton of knowledge that is usually on target.

p.s. - Any post that includes the phrase "Used (or Ugly) Italian Girl" should be deemed suspect, regardless of the posting count of the contributor.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 11:29 am
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Red face

Originally Posted by ecaarch
Advice for drivinfast: Look the number of posts under my name. Look at the number of posts under Traveller's name. While not always accurate, that number can be an indicator or how many times a FT member has been around the block and the knowledge they have amassed.
Not always a good indicator of flying knowledge ecaarch, but thanks anyway! A lot of my posts have come from the CHS thread.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Traveller
Not necessarily. Remember this thread? The I fare here might have been a glitch on the new Delta website.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=458264
Actually found good I fares on the website yesterday. I checked business class (for class of service) and the site automatically brought up I fares. I'm booking today.
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Old Aug 6, 05, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by obscure2k
Actually found good I fares on the website yesterday. I checked business class (for class of service) and the site automatically brought up I fares. I'm booking today.
Most of the I fares require 50 days advance purchase and a max 30 day stay but I did find a JFK-TXL one which has no advance purchase. The only significant conditions seemed to be a 45 day maximum stay and and they had to be used on the nonstops.
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