L Fares and Upgrades

You're on Page 1 of 8
Go to
I have been carefully looking at the class of ticket i fly for upgrade purposes and find that in spite of the uproar about upgrades and the L fare that all my discount tickets so far have qualified for upgrades even though i'm flying with a discount ticket.
My requests were consistently turned down. That's one reason I just switched to American - they're stingier on upgrades, but once you get them you can use 'em on any fare. Delta's new policy is great if you fly on someone else's dime and don't care how many of their dimes you waste, but lousy for those of us who watch our, or our company's, money. (AA transfered me into Platinum AAdvantage. The double mileage credit, pre-boarding, special check-in lines, etc., started right away.)
If I book a seat in coach and pay the higher price for the non "L" class seat and can't upgrade should Delta pay me back the difference in the fares? and if not, does this mean we the frequent flyers now must pay higher fares to enjoy the benefits we earned by flying Delta
I just feel if an airline is going to award you for flying them you should not have to pay extra to use the award.
As a Platinum Medallion on Delta for the second straight year (270 paid Delta flights in two years), I would like to remind you that all Medallion level upgrades are a PERK (see also BONUS, FREEBEE, GIFT) and not a privilege... Why should an airline reward low-paying frequent travelers before those of us who are higher-paying?

L-class fares require one to buy a ticket quite early... This also would allow a Platinum Medallion to upgrade quite early, taking seats that are currently given to those of us who pay more. Who would you rather have a bit tweaked at you? One who usually pays the lowest fare, or one who pays more?

It's simple economics... Delta gets more money from non-L fare passengers and, if forced to make a choice, would rather keep them happy. If you've been paying attention, you've noted that First is FULL on 98+% of its flights.

Maybe with an L-fare, they could let you upgrade at the gate if a seat would otherwise go unsold...

And I also look out for the company's $, flying on an L-fare when it is available, so please don't even go there.
You can't be getting upgrades on an L class fare. If you are, please let the rest of us know how you are doing this.
I can see part of you points but My company has a deal with the travel agent ( We have over 150 people flying every week ) I can get an L class flight the day befor I leave dont ask me how. But with the money we spend on the airlines and time its just to use the upgrades.
I can understand the logic behind restricting the cheapest fares from advance upgrades. All I would ask is that in every market where there is an L fare, there is also a K fare that is not priced exorbitantly higher. For example, from Atlanta to Honolulu, there are no K fares! You either buy an L fare when the market is on sale, or you buy a Q fare that can be upgraded, but it costs $950.00.

Having said that, I still think that at the time of departure, if there are empty first class seats, they should go to Platinum Medallion flyers, and then down the line from there. To say that you would rather fly with the seat empty than give it to someone who flys with you 100,000 miles a year is nothing less than greed.
I'm in my third consecutive year as Platinum, and even though Delta claims that K fares are only "marginally higher than L in most markets", the routes I usually fly make K fares over $200 more than L. This really bites; you can't offer a perk, then take it away and expect not to alienate some of your passengers who have demonstrated extreme loyalty, many times going out of their way, schedule-wise, to fly Delta. I suggested that they restrict L upgrades to Silver/Gold, and still allow Platinums (the ones who've shown the most loyalty) to upgrade. Or as TWA did, stop being tightwads and spend money to increase the number of first class seats.

Should I be penalized for planning in advance (and getting an L fare) by not being allowed to upgrade? What's going to happen in a lot of places is that frequent flyers will wait until the last minute to book flights, thereby almost ensuring that L fares will be sold out, and ultimately costing their employer more money. The result of that is that the *employers* will start to specify that employees travel something other than Delta to save money. Vicious circle.

By the way, most other major (domestic) carriers, fully aware of the ire of Delta's frequent flyers with this, are MORE THAN WILLING to match Delta's PREVIOUS frequent flyer rules if you fly on their airlne.

This "L" fair decision on Delta's part basically means for me that when I travel and Delta quotes an "L" fare, I'll now consider all the other airlines as an option. It's just another step by Delta to back away from their best customers (remember when SkyMiles came about, the lower award thresholds for Medallion members went away).
But what really is frustrating, is that Delta's rationale for doing this is to allow more seats for upgrade on non-"L" fares. As a Gold Medallion, it's STILL almost impossible to upgrade anymore.
Guess we can always hope that someday we in Atlanta will get some real competition to Delta!
When I talked to somebody in DL's consumer affair division to discuss this, I was told that Delta had determined that one of the big benefits Delta would see from this move was more profits. BS! So far this year, other airlines have seen more than $3k from me, that Delta could have had in their own pocket. If "increased profits" is truly a goal of Delta for this stupid move, I have to assume that their bean counter's spreadsheets have some serious bugs.

Like most of the replies on this thread, I am not in favor of DL's restriction of a PM upgrade on L-class fares. If there is a seat available prior to departure that would otherwise remain empty, why not give it to a PM? When I wrote to DL's Customer Service about this, their response was "to allow the use of minimum mile upgrade certificates in conjunction with our lowest fares is simply not practical from a business standpoint. To remain profitable, we must make every effort to make seats available for those customers who are willing to pay a higher fare for first-class travel." That doesn't answer my question on why PMs can't upgrade on an L-fare if there are seats in F prior to departure. I am a Million Miler and have been Royal Medallion and Platinum Medallion for the past 6 years, why can't I and other PMs get a break? As a result, I have been flying CO 60% of the time now.
i understand delta wanting to get the most money but i do feel that (and someone else said this), if you are indeed a Medallianmenber, no matter how lowly, if the seat is availabe, you should get it. We've waited many times for space availablity (no-shows) before being upgraded. I think what Delta is forgetting is that in order to be in the Medallion class, the passenger has to have spent a certain amount of money.
i understand delta wanting to get the most money but i do feel that (and someone else said this), if you are indeed a Medallianmenber, no matter how lowly, if the seat is availabe, you should get it. We've waited many times for space availablity (no-shows) before being upgraded. I think what Delta is forgetting is that in order to be in the Medallion class, the passenger has to have spent a certain amount of money.
As one who also often travels for non-profit organizations and buys tickets out of my own pocket, the differential in the price of L vs K or Q fares is disturbing.
As a PLT with DL, AA and soon UA,
like many of you, I do understand WHY
DL needs to restrict PLT pre-reserving
F seating to permit full fare coach non PLT
some opportunity to upgrade.
All of you... AusTXHiker, Robert Leach, and others are 100% correct that DL should be sent a clear and unambiguous message that EMPTY F seats, at 10 or 15 minutes pre-departure (when seats are 'cleared') should be made available to the elite members at the gate in order of a wait-list by signin-time, with priority as usual, to PLT, GLD, MED...etc.
The BEST mechanism for this can be discussed and debated, but DL's explanation to those of you who have inquired has left much to be desired.
All PLT and other very frequent fliers deserve better. This DL policy needs rethinking by the highest levels of it's management.... and now.
Maybe they are listening!