NW Z Upgrade Inventory Problem on DL?

Old Sep 7, 09, 1:42 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Syracuse, NY
Programs: DL Platinum / HH Diamond
Posts: 376
NW Z Upgrade Inventory Problem on DL?

For those of you who have been following me on the Delta forum, I've been trying to get
two tickets from SYR-SYD since July, but Delta has been playing games with the Z availability -- yanking most Z buckets in late July.

I wanted to buy 1 ticket with an M fare + 50K Mile upgrade, and one completely in miles, to get in Businiess.

I finally broke down and got an ExpertFlyer account, and got an email alert they made some Z availability the other day. Now that there were Z buckets, I called NWA Silver Elite line to book. I tried several NW agents and they said there was Z0 on 9/16 and Z6 on the return 10/4. I told them I was in a travel agent system and see Z9, on 9/16. They both told me they were looking at both a DL system and a NW system and saw Z0. I ended up having to book the M fare + 50K Mile upgrade via Delta. When I called Delta, they had Z9 Z6 just as ExpertFlyer said. When I was done, Z7 Z4.

Has anyone run into this? If Northwest tells you there's no upgrade availability, check with Delta, because there seems to be a bug in the system. Not sure if it effects just LAX-SYD, or if this is true with other routes.

The part that sucks is, of course, I had to pay the $75 administrative fee on the ticket I bought completely in miles because I'm booking inside 21 days. That sucks. They collect yet another fee because they held off all Z availability for M fare upgrade. Delta still doesn't rub me the right way.

FYI... If you're looking for LAX-SYD soon and you can make a decision quickly, there appears to be some Z availability on the LAX-SYD route this month and returning next month.

Before my booking 9/16 was Z9 and 10/4 was Z6. Now they're Z7 Z4. I see some availability before 9/16, and there was some past 10/5.

So, if you don't mind the high M fare, you might want to take a look at it. On 9/16, the outbound still had 27 seats available in Business, so I think they're opening these Z fares in a last ditch effort to get revenue passengers to book the flights.

Departure is in 9 days, I better get packing.
syrwhizzy is offline  
Old Sep 8, 09, 8:43 am
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: CT
Programs: DL DM, HH Dia., SPG Gold, MR Plat
Posts: 193
I had a similar problem, told the NW reservation agent what I could see for Z inventory on expertflyer, she put me on hold for a couple of mins then came back that she could book my ticket with the Z inventory.

I think you have to push your point when calling NW because there does seem to be some "disconnect" between the two systems.
GaryDD is offline  
Old Sep 14, 09, 1:41 pm
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: DL PM, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 12
Waitlisting is possible...

After reading this, and having an upcoming flight from GRU -> ATL booked in Y, and also having been told by NWA elite line that there were no Z class seats available, I called the Delta Skymiles line. I explained to the person there that I still had a few of the systemwide upgrade certs available and she basically took one of the cert numbers and added me to a waitlist so that if and when a Z class seat comes available, I should get upgraded. We'll see what happens...
mjloos is offline  
Old Sep 14, 09, 9:01 pm
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Francisco
Programs: United 1K, Marriott: Titanium
Posts: 222
I can understand your frustration.

I recently flew to SYD RT on Delta in BE and thought my data point might help. I was able to get a BE seat under the "book a higher class economy fare (M+) and upgrade to BE for 1 mile" promotion. I believe this is essentially the same thing as a PMU or upgrading with miles.
I was able to lock in BE on my outbound flight (July 25) but nothing was available on my return leg (Aug 30). So they put me on the wait list. A few weeks later, they cleared me for the Aug 30 flight in BE. I then changed my return date to Sept 5 and wasn't able to get confirmed until a few days before the flight. I had to switch my return flight again last minute to Sept 6 and there were upgrades available at the last minute.

What I have learned from this:
- Delta holds off until the last few days to release the Z seats. I called numerous times inquiring about the return flight and there were almost always BE seats available for upgrade within a few days out. Anything beyond that... forget it! Although if I waited a few days and called again, those flights that were a week away now all of a sudden had BE seats available. Tracking some of the flights, it looked like there were usually ~20+ open seats in BE from SYD to LAX. When I ended up taking my return flight there were still a handful that were empty from SYD to LAX.

So I would say you have a good shot at getting the BE upgrade but just not until a few days within the actual flight. This is unfortunate though as it requires you to buy the higher class fare without having the guaranteed upgrade at the time of booking (which no one likes doing).
timetosave is offline  

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