This has been a beyond disappointing travel year for us all. Thanks to the selfish (and mentally deficient) anti-vaxers who refuse to get vaccinated*, the world is at risk of having travel as we once knew it gone forever. (*other than those who have a real, legitimate, medical reason not to get the shots).
As I have blogged before, I had the most amazing first ever Delta Global Upgrade cert applied to a Delta SkyMiles award ticket in my life. Not only was it flawless but the flights were perfect. I was going to fly to take an amazing NCL transatlantic cruise after nearly two years off the sea.
But thanks to COVID, and to a large extent thanks to those who are keeping us in this nightmare, all those plans went down the toilet. I could not fly or travel or enjoy anything I had hoped for.
Then another opportunity opened up.
I now have a chance to travel to Europe before the end of the year. I know that the COVID situation may mean this also is out the window as well but until that time arrives I am working on re-using my Delta Global upgrade certs to travel in luxury* (*well, kinda luxury since Delta has cheapened the Delta One presentation to something similar to the Delta Premium Comfort experience I flew on the first A350 flight).
At this point in the post is the part where you want to really start paying attention because it may impact you as well as me.
Delta, during this COVID nightmare, has done some truly unforgivable nasty things like two, yes two, massive partner Skymiles devaluations in business class to Europe and beyond. But they have also tossed us a beef rib-sized bone as well allowing us to use Global Upgrade certs on award tickets.
Again – just HUGE!
But anything huge with Delta tends to toss the fragile Delta IT into a mess. And that is the case with the latest “enhancement”.
If you happen to select your free elite upgrade to Comfort Plus it can make getting a Global Upgrade request cert into your reservation let’s just say difficult at best (nearly impossible at worst).
Let’s assume you have had the request loaded in (or at least you see it correctly on Delta.com and the reps tell you it is loaded correctly) then what? Are you set?
I once got some amazing advice from a very long-time Delta flyer and was told it would be wise for me to, every day, check by searching for one or two open upgrade seats on the route I want.
You guessed it – Delta’s IT is unlikely to clear you as it should.
In my case, I woke up the other day and was still in coach and searched for upgrade space and found it wide open and not just for 1 or 2 seats but a bunch. I called Delta and when I, after a wait, got ahold of a rep was cleared instantly into Delta One.
Are there other tips that can help?
Even with the broken Delta IT, one thing Delta.com will not do for you no matter how you have the request loaded in is look for alternative routes to get where you are going where upgrade space has opened up. Again, you must be proactive and search for open space every day for the days you are flying and see if anything new has opened up and then try to switch to those flights if you can for free and upgrade. That also happened to me on this upcoming trip.
Another tip that may or may not be real is what triggers this change from no open certificate upgrade space to wide open space is a change in equipment. In my case, this is what I believe happened that allowed my upgrade to clear, but that is just my guess but a good one.
Finally, if you go to change your seat assignment and the seat-map is in “view only” mode this is yet another “tell” that you have in fact been cleared into First / Delta One but the IT system has not done what it should and processed you so it is again time to call Delta.
Bottom line is when it comes to flying Delta and getting the best benefit for your elite status, you have to take control and invest the time to get the best you can for what is offered i.e. don’t expect things to work as published! – René
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