This merger is causing booking difficulties

 
Old May 22, 09, 10:42 am
  #1  
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This merger is causing booking difficulties

I booked a phx-dtw flight yesterday for 6/5-6/10 on Delta's website. Both non stops are on NW metal (obviously). Both come up "upgrade unavailable" so I call the plat line and the agent puts me on hold while she has to call NW so they recoginize my status. Then, I find out I have no ability on Delta's website to assign seats. I get my PNR and head over to NW's site where I can access seat assigments only to find out I have to wait 24 hours before departure to get a "choice seat" or whatever they call it (want an exit row on the 319 but no dice). What gives?

Ian
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Old May 22, 09, 11:15 am
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The upgrade status availabity showing as "not eligible" on delta.com for NWA operating mainline flight segments has been discussed numerous time and there are multiple posts about this. If R inventory is available at your window 5 days, then you will be upgraded.

Also, you always select your seat assignments with the operating carrier, not the purchasing carrier. You can type your Delta PNR in the manage my reservations at nwa.com and it will bring it up and also give you your Northwest PNR. Reports are that Delta and NWA are now sharing the same PNR's for reservations that have segments on both carriers. If this has not started already, it will be soon. If your status is recognized by nwa.com then you will be able to select any seat in the preferred seating section including exit row seats. If all the seats are taken except for the coach choice select seating, then yes, you will not beable to get a seat until checkin. That is the way it works.

The merger causing booking problems is nothing new. It is frustrating at times, but if you remember to work with the carrier operating the flight for upgrades, seat selections, etc, that will normally make thing a tad easier.
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Old May 22, 09, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by kss5555 View Post
If your status is recognized by nwa.com then you will be able to select any seat in the preferred seating section including exit row seats. If all the seats are taken except for the coach choice select seating, then yes, you will not beable to get a seat until checkin. That is the way it works
Thanks for the info. My plat status is reflected on the NWA reservation, seats are showing available in the exit row, but I am unable to select them. Should I call my DL plat line or the general NW number to get these seats reserved?

Thanks.
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Old May 22, 09, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Thanks for the info. My plat status is reflected on the NWA reservation, seats are showing available in the exit row, but I am unable to select them. Should I call my DL plat line or the general NW number to get these seats reserved?

Thanks.
Yes, call the Plat line and have the DL agent get the exit row seat for you. The DL agent will need to call NW and NW will need to release and assign that seat to you. A bit of a hassle, but that is what I had to do recently for an upcoming flight next week. The problem seems to lie with NW protecting those exit row seats, even though the NW website clearly states that those seats are available for selection by NW and DL elites.
If you are OK with selecting a premium seat for now, with your plat status correctly reflected in the NW reservation, you should have no problem selecting one of those premium seats.
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Old May 22, 09, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
I booked a phx-dtw flight yesterday for 6/5-6/10 on Delta's website. Both non stops are on NW metal (obviously). Both come up "upgrade unavailable" so I call the plat line and the agent puts me on hold while she has to call NW so they recoginize my status. Then, I find out I have no ability on Delta's website to assign seats. I get my PNR and head over to NW's site where I can access seat assigments only to find out I have to wait 24 hours before departure to get a "choice seat" or whatever they call it (want an exit row on the 319 but no dice). What gives?

Ian
If the flight is all-NW, and your DL status is showing up on the NW site, why didn't you book the flight on NW?
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Old May 22, 09, 5:37 pm
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I don't know about the OP but my company has Delta as a preferred carrier but not NW. So I can book the flight as long as it's a codeshare but not if it's NW-coded. It's a little odd, especially if the NW coding is cheaper, but it works.
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Old May 27, 09, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
I booked a phx-dtw flight yesterday for 6/5-6/10 on Delta's website. Both non stops are on NW metal (obviously). Both come up "upgrade unavailable" so I call the plat line and the agent puts me on hold while she has to call NW so they recoginize my status. Then, I find out I have no ability on Delta's website to assign seats. I get my PNR and head over to NW's site where I can access seat assigments only to find out I have to wait 24 hours before departure to get a "choice seat" or whatever they call it (want an exit row on the 319 but no dice). What gives?

Ian
search would easily have yielded at least 20+ current threads on this very topic

But to answer the question again - DL IT is very lacking but in this case isn't at fault...DLMatic doesn't control NW flights and can't tell you anything about upgrades...only PARS can and DL doesn't use PARS NW does...the great thing about PARS is regardless of which FF Program you have your flight credited to it'll upgrade you based upon the highest status what's in your record...yes that's right - you can have 2 FF numbers in your PNR in PARS so for example if you're a CO Plat but you want to credit your flights to DL you'll still receive EUA based upon your CO Plat status on NW metal

For the 2nd question - that is correct you can't choose those seats until the full seat map is released at the 24 hour checkin window - this policy is much more customer friendly than DL's currently policy which doesn't hold seats back and allows non-elites to select them and then they wont allow elites to check in online without seat assignments...very customer unfriendly
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Old May 27, 09, 7:24 am
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It takes time to integrate two different reservation platforms. Getting the PNRs, SM# and elite status to transfer over was a good step in the right direction. It is unrealistic to expect that everything between the two entities will be completely seamless so quickly after legal merger completion.

When ever two very large companies merge this is precisely how things go and DL/NW are right on track compared to other similar sized companies merging in any industry.

I used to work for a very large telecommunications carrier and years after a merger with another large carrier they still couldn't look into each others systems. That was a failure as it shouldn't take 10 years, but for DL/NW they are progressing nominally.
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Old May 27, 09, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by socrates View Post
For the 2nd question - that is correct you can't choose those seats until the full seat map is released at the 24 hour checkin window - this policy is much more customer friendly than DL's currently policy which doesn't hold seats back and allows non-elites to select them
With all due respect, not sure how you conclude that a system which excludes certain preferred ("choice") seats from selection at time of booking is "much more customer friendly" to elites than a system where said preferred seats can be selected at time of booking. Non-elites may not select those seats.

I personally like being able, for example, to select exit rows as a Delta elite. How in the world would it be considered more "customer friendly" to hold those until the 24 hour mark and require a scramble to claim them then?
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Old May 28, 09, 6:05 am
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Originally Posted by Robert Leach View Post
With all due respect, not sure how you conclude that a system which excludes certain preferred ("choice") seats from selection at time of booking is "much more customer friendly" to elites than a system where said preferred seats can be selected at time of booking. Non-elites may not select those seats.

I personally like being able, for example, to select exit rows as a Delta elite. How in the world would it be considered more "customer friendly" to hold those until the 24 hour mark and require a scramble to claim them then?
1) elites as a % of total pnr tend to book later than base members

2) by holding back seats NWA's best customers are still able to grab preferred seating unlike DL who gives away preferred seating to base members

3) NWA allows OLCI to anyone without a seat assignment, DL refuses OLCI to anyone including ELITES without a seat assignment...to an elite this is a HUGE deal, for example I did a day trip to ATL last week...I couldn't check in for the return until 6 hours before departure because I didn't have a seat assignment...what a PIA

4) NWA makes exit rows available to ALL Skyteam elites - DL doesn't (until recently NWA elites couldn't obtain them) - this benefit is available as long as the seat map is loaded

5) NWA makes Preferred seating available online to ALL Skyteam elites - on DL you must argue with reservation agents as they aren't aware of this Skyteam benefit (DL.com doesn't allow this benefit either)

I'm sorry but I fail to see your point
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Old May 28, 09, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by socrates View Post
1)

I'm sorry but I fail to see your point
That's because you make it sound like if you're a procrastinator - then NWA would be your airline of choice.
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Old May 28, 09, 11:15 am
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some clarifications:

Hi all--wanted to provide some clarification/correction on the below points...Thx--Josh

by holding back seats NWA's best customers are still able to grab preferred seating unlike DL who gives away preferred seating to base members
- DL's policy, in place for many years, reserves advance assignment of preferred seats for DL elites, SkyTeam elite and Elite+, passengers traveling with these customers, customers with disabilities, and anyone on a Y/B fare. We track all exceptions to this (which our agents have latitude to make this call when needed) because our elite customers tell us it's one of the benefits they like best.

NWA allows OLCI to anyone without a seat assignment, DL refuses OLCI to anyone including ELITES without a seat assignment...to an elite this is a HUGE deal, for example I did a day trip to ATL last week...I couldn't check in for the return until 6 hours before departure because I didn't have a seat assignment...what a PIA
- All customers holding confirmed travel on a flight can check-in on delta.com up to 24h before departure and receive a Seat Request Card, which places them on the "awaiting seat assignment" list, lets them check bags, and scans just like a boarding pass at the gate reader once the customer's cleared into an actual seat assignment.

NWA makes exit rows available to ALL Skyteam elites - DL doesn't (until recently NWA elites couldn't obtain them) - this benefit is available as long as the seat map is loaded
- All priority seats are available to all SkyTeam elites. On aircraft where exit rows are designated as preferred seats, this also applies.

NWA makes Preferred seating available online to ALL Skyteam elites - on DL you must argue with reservation agents as they aren't aware of this Skyteam benefit (DL.com doesn't allow this benefit either)
- I mentioned this in a previous post but did want to let you know that we are working on the delta.com displays to allow this. Our Reservations agents have been working with the same SkyTeam guidelines for years and are quite well versed in which customers get access to priority seats, so please send me a private message if you experience any issues with this. Thanks--Josh
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Old May 28, 09, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by DeltaFirst View Post
That's because you make it sound like if you're a procrastinator - then NWA would be your airline of choice.
Please take the internal blinders off and remember that close-to-departure bookings are sadly very important to DL and other carriers because they insist on charging more for seats that have no differential cost of goods sold. In other words, how late someone books has no impact whatsoever on DL's cost of transporting them.

People book close-to-departure more as a result of emergencies (say, death of your father) than due to "procrastination". That make's DL's practice of charging 2X to 3X normal fares under such circumstances inarguably insidious and sinister. Additionally, most procrastinators are now in the unemployment line, frankly.

My policy, and DL needs to know this, is that if I cannot get a seat that I want upon ticket purchase I do not fly that carrier. Ever. My business goes to the carrier offering the best seat.

I stopped thinking that I was treated well by DL as a PM back in January when their foolishness and disconnection with PM's started. So, sitting in a middle seat at the back of the plane, in order to get 200% miles is a full-blown waste of my time.


Anne

Last edited by NoPlaceLikeHome; May 28, 09 at 11:41 am
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Old May 28, 09, 12:12 pm
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Turn back time a couple years and change the names of the airlines to America West and US Airways and this thread outlines the same exact issues. Merging too large airlines is always going to cause IT headaches in the beginning. You have to roll with the punches or move on to another airline until the kinks have been worked out.
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Old May 29, 09, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by DeltaFirst View Post
That's because you make it sound like if you're a procrastinator - then NWA would be your airline of choice.
hardly...I book as soon as I know I'm going somewhere, but there are times people dont know until within a week
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