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Delta SkyMiles – Even with 70000 miles there is no such thing as upgrades

I think once and for all the airlines should admit that upgrades are a load of hogwash. To qualify for an upgrade you have to buy a class of ticket that costs almost as much as the first class ticket already. In fact, if you buy an expensive coach ticket (more than normal fare) because of a later reservation, then ask to upgrade, they will ask you to buy a higher grade of ticket that seems to actually cost MORE than buying a first class ticket in the first place.

I have tried over and over to use the upgrade option with my miles. No class is good enough unless it is so close in cost to first class that you may as well not waste your miles on it. It smacks of misrepresentation, because the ONLY way you really learn this is by calling them. The website does not give any information about specific fare types needed to qualify.

United Airlines has a neat little online system – anyone can choose to upgrade to a first class ticket if there are seat available when you check in. I often wonder why other airlines don’t do this – it is kind of a clever way to get people late in the game (when they are dreading the flight that day or the next) – a time when you are most tempted to spend the extra money.

Anyway, the point is that SkyMiles do not really offer upgrades that are substantive and worth the time it takes to rack them up, and Delta should really come clean on this misrepresentation of their “rewards” for frequent flyers.

Update: Southwest has by far the fairest and most flexible frequent flyer program. You fly this many legs, you get this many legs – and if here is room you can book them the same day as the flight!

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