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Old Jun 19, 17, 8:47 am   #1
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Upgrading Y, M, B, H intl

I haven't done this in a while. My (maybe wrong) understanding was that I could purchase a ticket in an H or M class and if there is O space available I can upgrade with miles (60k or 80k) to delta one. There are three seats available with O space for my flight, but the agent is telling me that it isn't possible. No worries, I haven't purchased the ticket yet. Can anyone help?
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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:09 am   #2
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How do you know there is upgrade inventory available? If you are searching for award tickets, that is not the same inventory that upgrades come from.

If upgrade inventory is available, and this is a Delta-operated flight you are booking through Delta, then yes, you can upgrade from a Y fare down through a K fare internationally. Upgrade rates have dropped... 30k for Y/B/M, and 60k for the cheaper fare classes to either Europe or Northern Asia. Anything below K is not eligible though.

So in short, if the agent tells you upgrade inventory is available, but you are not eligible when buying those fare classes, the agent is wrong. If the agent is telling you upgrade inventory simply isn't available, that's another matter.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 9:15 am   #3
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Thanks. This is very helpful. He told me that I could only upgrade YBM fare classes which I gather was incorrect. This was a supervisor.

He also told me there was no upgrade eligible inventory at all.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:03 am   #4
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Originally Posted by floridagal23 View Post
Thanks. This is very helpful. He told me that I could only upgrade YBM fare classes which I gather was incorrect. This was a supervisor.

He also told me there was no upgrade eligible inventory at all.
Are you sure it's a DL operated flight with a DL flight number? The Y B M statement sounds like we might be talking about KLM/AF rules, although AF TATL flights would generally upgrade from coach into premium economy.

Regardless, upgrade inventory that we cannot see is required.

Try calling again.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:07 am   #5
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Thanks. This is very helpful. He told me that I could only upgrade YBM fare classes which I gather was incorrect. This was a supervisor.

He also told me there was no upgrade eligible inventory at all.
As long as it is DL marketed and operated, YBMHQK fares can be upgraded, but HQK fares will require more miles. AF/KL marketed and/or operated flights require YBM fares. As noted above, there must be mileage upgrade inventory available.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...de-awards.html
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:55 am   #6
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For mileage upgrades, you will need "OY" space (for business-class coded flights).

This is not the same as general "O" space that you can find on Delta.com, and you cannot see this inventory unless you call in.

I will also mention that unless you are short on miles, it's generally quite expensive to buy a Y/B/M/H/Q/K-fare ticket and then upgrade.... IIRC H/Q/K require something like 60-80k miles to upgrade one way between US and Europe? Whereas a low-level award ticket outright will require 70k miles.

So buying a Y/B/M/H/Q/K ticket requires the cash ticket, plus another 60-80k miles, while just buying an award ticket with miles may cost less. Your experience, of course, can always vary depending on the dates you are looking to go.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 10:59 am   #7
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For mileage upgrades, you will need "OY" space (for business-class coded flights).

This is not the same as general "O" space that you can find on Delta.com, and you cannot see this inventory unless you call in.

I will also mention that unless you are short on miles, it's generally quite expensive to buy a Y/B/M/H/Q/K-fare ticket and then upgrade.... IIRC H/Q/K require something like 60-80k miles to upgrade one way between US and Europe? Whereas a low-level award ticket outright will require 70k miles.

So buying a Y/B/M/H/Q/K ticket requires the cash ticket, plus another 60-80k miles, while just buying an award ticket with miles may cost less. Your experience, of course, can always vary depending on the dates you are looking to go.
The advantage of buying a ticket and then using miles to upgrade (versus taking an award ticket) is that you receive MQMs etc. for it.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 11:07 am   #8
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The advantage of buying a ticket and then using miles to upgrade (versus taking an award ticket) is that you receive MQMs etc. for it.
This is true. I think it's worthwhile if you need MQMs/MQDs. But it's still a large outlay in terms of cash and miles.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 11:08 am   #9
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This is true. I think it's worthwhile if you need MQMs/MQDs. But it's still a large outlay in terms of cash and miles.
Depending on the circumstances, even if you don't "need" the MQMs, rollover can be nice.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 11:13 am   #10
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Thanks everyone. The H fare was very reasonable (less than 900 each way for July 4th weekend, nonstop flights, etc) TATL on delta metal. And I have gift cards (150 per ticket) to use on top of it. The mileage tix in D1 are 225k right now one way so 60k isn't bad. So it was worth it to try but the supervisor told me no upgrade eligibility both from the fare class and also for lack of upgrade space. I guess I can keep trying to see if something opens up.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 11:16 am   #11
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Thanks everyone. The H fare was very reasonable (less than 900 each way for July 4th weekend, nonstop flights, etc) TATL on delta metal. And I have gift cards (150 per ticket) to use on top of it. The mileage tix in D1 are 225k right now one way so 60k isn't bad. So it was worth it to try but the supervisor told me no upgrade eligibility both from the fare class and also for lack of upgrade space. I guess I can keep trying to see if something opens up.
Try calling DL again!
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Old Jun 19, 17, 11:16 am   #12
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The agent is wrong about eligibility. When you call back, I suspect you will get a different answer. You don't need H fares... you can go all the way down to K for the same amount of miles, assuming those K fares are actually available this close in.

As far as lack of availability... not much you can do about that.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 12:43 pm   #13
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The agent is wrong about eligibility. When you call back, I suspect you will get a different answer. You don't need H fares... you can go all the way down to K for the same amount of miles, assuming those K fares are actually available this close in.

As far as lack of availability... not much you can do about that.
Thanks. I'll check out k fares. I spoke to an agent and then the supervisor who insisted it wasn't eligible. Ugh. Do we think they might open up the upgrade inventory? It looks like there is only one unassigned D1 seat on the map but they were selling at least 3 award seats for 225k. Flight is 10 days out.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 12:46 pm   #14
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Even if there are 3 D1 seats left, it's unlikely they would release them for upgrade before the gate. Which is unfortunate for people who want to use miles to upgrade, since per the rules (and sometimes the rules can be broken) mileage upgrade requests do not get transferred to the airport upgrade list. Either you have to clear in advance or not at all, unless you find employees willing to break the rules for you and transfer your upgrade request to the airport list.
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Old Jun 19, 17, 12:52 pm   #15
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Thanks. I'll check out k fares. I spoke to an agent and then the supervisor who insisted it wasn't eligible. Ugh. Do we think they might open up the upgrade inventory? It looks like there is only one unassigned D1 seat on the map but they were selling at least 3 award seats for 225k. Flight is 10 days out.
If you only see one open D1 seat on the seat map, I would assume that there are zero or one D1 seats remaining. It's common for people to buy tickets and not select seats, but you cannot select a seat without first at least making a reservation to travel on that flight. [For example, government fare tickets tend to be issued very late, but you usually can pick a seat at the time the reservation is made, although upgrades and presumably "upgrades" cannot clear until the ticket has actually been purchased.]
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