Today was my first business trip since my move to San Diego. It was an odd day to fly (Saturday) for business, but I have a training at the butt crack of dawn in Birmingham, Alabama tomorrow and didn’t want to be sleepy from a red eye. Since my travel patterns have changed vastly and I do most work from home now, my status with Delta had dropped to only Gold. Yet despite this it was Saturday and I wasn’t competing for a few seats with all the Diamond and Platinum Elite. Upon checking in, the upgrade list showed me as 1 of 2 with 4 seats remaining. Knowing that a lot can change, I knew the upgrade wasn’t in the bag yet.
I tweeted and joked about watching my upgrade status like a hawk. I watched the list grow and tweeted throughout the day. 1 of 4, now 1 of 7, now 1 of 12. At least I’m still number 1 some of my tweets said. I even joked with fellow tweeters about upgrade percentages and the likelihood or my upgrade clearing
Around 3am I woke up, couldn’t sleep and rechecked my upgrade status. I was still #1 on the list of 7 with 4 seats still open. Being that my flight was now in 9 hours, I was feeling more comfortable about my almost certain upgrade.
At 10am I left my house for breakfast with my sister and her boyfriend and checked the upgrade list one last time. I even tweeted that “the upgrade was in the bag, I was still #1 on the list, 4 seats open, flight time T-2hrs!” Thank god elite’s don’t travel on Saturday! I was looking forward to the free drink and leg room.
I arrived at the airport at 11:50, already being checked in I walked straight towards the gate. I thought it was odd that it was 11:50 and I still hadn’t received a “your upgrade is now confirmed” text or announcement from the fly Delta app. I logged into the application when I was standing in line and noticed my name wasn’t on the list and there were no seats available…interesting. So I tweeted what I saw.
The @DeltaAssit team picked up on my tweet and direct messaged me that they didn’t see my name on the list either & asked me to check with the gate agent…odd?!?!? I was in line in security so this was impossible! I rushed to my gate for it was now 12:05 and the plane was to depart at 12:30. As I arrived at the gate there was no line and they were announcing final call. I walked up with my mobile boarding pass and as the gate agent scanned it, it rang out double beep, the same beep that it makes when an upgrade clears. I smiled and then the agent said, I’m sorry Mister Horan, you don’t appear to be on this flight! WHAT?!?!
He asked me to see the other gate agent. I walked over with my phone in hand and he looked and me and said, Yes Mister Horan, Your upgrade cleared but for some reason you were unchecked in from this flight. I gave your upgrade away! I honestly must of gave the poor kid the look of death! Excuse me?!? I was unchecked in and you gave my upgrade away? He told me he had manually entered the upgrades about 45 minutes earlier and had an upgraded ticket printed out, 3D (he even showed it to me) and then said, but you were then were unchecked in so I gave your ticket away, I thought you weren’t coming! I again asked him what he meant, for I had checked in online 24 hours ago! He repeated himself again, and said, “well I can’t get you first class, but I can get your original seat back in economy. After I printed up your new boarding pass, the system notified me that you were no longer checked in, so I gave your seat away. Please board the flight, I didn’t know you were coming.”
He handed me my economy boarding pass and I boarded the plane flabbergasted by the situation. A missed upgrade is a missed upgrade. But to be unchecked in is unacceptable! What is this March 2012 and am I flying United during the SHARES reservation system merger?!?! I don’t thinks so!
Per Delta’s website: Gold Elites are SUPPOSED to be upgraded 3 days before scheduled departure time.
|Priority||Medallion Level||Clearance Priority|
|1.||All Medallions on Y Class Fares||At time of ticketing by Medallion Tier|
|2.||Diamond Medallion||5 calendar days in advance for revenue B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T, E2 class fares3 followed by Award Tickets and Pay with Miles|
|3.||Platinum Medallion||5 calendar days in advance for revenue B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T, E2 class fares3 followed by Award Tickets and Pay with Miles|
|4.||Gold Medallion||3 calendar days in advance for revenue B, M, H,Q, K, L, U, T, E2 class fares3 followed by Award Tickets and Pay with Miles|
|5.||Silver Medallion||1 calendar day in advance for B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T, E2 class fares3|
|6.||Companions||Within 24 hours of departure for B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T, E2 class fares3|
|2Mileage accrual eligible only on published E fares|
3Clearance starts with B class and continues in descending order. If Medallion level and fare class are equal, time of ticketing will be the tie breaker.
However Delta Airline is probably one of the worst in releasing upgrade space. Normally upgrades do not actually happen until the gate, even for Platinum Elite. Delta instead leaves as many first class seats open as possible until the last minute in hopes for the increase in revenue and the last minute business class flyer—smart business move, but a huge change from the NWA days. Nevertheless, because Delta didn’t upgrade me 3 days before my flight and I was wait listed at #1 on the list from the time of check in to processing by the gate agent, I lost my upgrade!
How I was “unchecked in” is a mystery to me. My guess is the gate agent messed up when processing my upgrade and used the wrong key stroke. Despite this, I am now writing this from the back of the bus an enjoying my soda water and a $7 Jack on the rocks to help calm my nerves! You would of think the gate agent would of at least gave me a beverage coupon!