Many of us can tell tales of woe about IT snafus that somehow complicated our trips.
But every so often, a computer glitch works out in our favor. And that’s what happened to my wife and daughter.
My family recently traveled from Los Angeles to Fargo. We used SkyMiles to book award tickets (which this year and next earn MQM, MQS, and MQD). Our itinerary was LAX-MSP-FAR (and vice versa on the return).
Mrs. Carley and our daughter were booked together on one reservation (We’ll call this Reservation #1). I was on a separate reservation (which we’ll title Reservation #2). Both Mrs. C and I have Platinum status, so we were upgraded to Comfort+ shortly after booking our trips. We also linked our reservations.
Then a Schedule Change Saturday smacked our itineraries. It ended up working out to our benefit: we were able to select flights with more desirable departure and arrival times.
And that’s where things got interesting.
I logged on to my wife’s Delta.com account and manually changed her itinerary. But when I signed into my account and tried to modify mine, I received a message saying I couldn’t make changes online and would have to call Delta.
So I did just that. And hours later, the process was complete.
Mommy and Daughter Upgrades!
Five days before our vacation, my wife and daughter were upgraded to first class from MSP to FAR. I was still back in C+.
The next day, my ladies were upgraded on the LAX-MSP trip. Yours truly hadn’t gotten the upgrade love from Delta, though.
I wasn’t angry or upset. If anything, we all found it amusing. And, frankly, I’d rather my wife and daughter be more comfortable than me.
“I feel bad,” my wife said. “Do you want the first class seat and I’ll sit in Comfort? Because now you’re stuck in a window seat with strangers.”
“Nah,” I said. “I changed to an exit row aisle seat.”
Her tune suddenly changed.
“Pfft, you’re fine,” she laughed. “We’ll bring you back some snacks or something. And wave to you from first class.”
Why Did They Get Upgraded?
I was curious if there was (another) change to the upgrade hierarchy. Or if something was wrong with my reservation. I wasn’t upset or anything like that. But being an airline nerd, I was genuinely curious. (And knew the situation would make a good blog post! 🙂 )
So I called the Platinum desk at Delta.
A very friendly rep handled my call. Both of us laughed when I told her my wife and kid were upgraded while I was still parked in C+.
“Your wife is Diamond, probably,” she said. I assured her that while my wife is a diamond, she’s not Diamond Medallion. 🙂
Then she compared our statuses. I came out ahead in MQM, MQD, and Million Miler totals. I earned my status long before Mrs. C earned hers.
“I honestly don’t know what happened,” the rep said. “You both booked award tickets, you have the same status, and if anything, you come out ahead in every tie-breaker.”
But she, too, was curious why the upgrades went through. So she put me on hold and called a supervisor.
Solved: A Ticket Reissuing Glitch
The Delta supervisor figured out what happened.
When I manually adjusted my wife and daughter’s reservation on Delta.com, a random bug in the reservation system reissued their tickets — from award tickets to paid, revenue tickets! So that was the biggest difference.
But wait. It gets better.
Because they were upgraded to Comfort+ shortly after our original booking, the reservation system saw their C+ seats and recoded their tickets as “W” fares. So they rocketed up the fare class pecking order.
The Platinum rep said, “So, technically, they shouldn’t have been upgraded. But we’re not going to just take away the upgrades. So, tell them to enjoy their first class ride.”
Then she added with a laugh, “And then make them buy you an ice cream or something when you get to Fargo, since you’re the one who changed their reservation!”
No need. 🙂 I was upgraded on both flights: the MSP to FAR leg cleared a couple of days prior to departure. The LAX to MSP flight cleared about three hours before the flight.
So whoever “should’ve” scored the upgrades my wife and daughter received most likely got them.
A computer glitch worked out in my wife and daughter’s favor: they received a first class upgrade on our Delta flight to MSP.
A reservation bug somehow switched their award ticket to a revenue/paid reservation.
Has this ever happened to you?
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