Yesterday afternoon, I was in the Salon Premier Aeromexico Lounge in Monterrey, Mexico waiting for my Delta flight to Atlanta. My routing was MTY-ATL-LAX and I checked on Google to see what gate my flight was departing from. Little did I know, the flight was delayed and the on-screen monitors at the lounge still showed the flight was scheduled to depart on time. Delta flight 5009 from MTY-ATL was only delayed for 30 minutes.
I opened up my Delta app on my iPhone to see what my position was on the upgrade list. Earlier in the morning, there was 1 business class seat left and I was the only one on the upgrade standby list. The Delta app screen displayed “Your flight was delayed. Tap for alternate flights and rebooking.”
From previous experience, I have seen this “Find Alternate Flights” on Delta flights that were delayed for even as little as 5-10 minutes. I have never clicked that button, until today.
The next screen said, “Flight 5009 was delayed.” This delay affects your trip on Wed, May 8, 2013 to LAX: Los Angeles, CA, US. It gave me the following instructions:
Rebook your trip now…
Hit the ‘Find Alternate Flights’ button below.
Find another flight you want.
There’s no cost to you.
Note: If you accept a seat in a lower class of service, no credit will be available.
I clicked on the “Find Alternate Flights” button and the app timed out, so I decided to go on Delta.com (be sure to click on Full HTML on the bottom) on Safari for iPhone.
I was presented with 6 one-stop options to choose from.
In addition, I was presented with 11 two-stop options to choose from.
My original routing was MTY-ATL-LAX arriving the same day (May 8th) at 10pm. One crazy routing I noticed was a 12:45 departure out of MTY to ATL in Business (with a 5 hour and 55 minute layover), then a flight from ATL-MIA in First (8 hour and 13 minute layover) which would require a hotel in Miami. The final leg would be MIA-LAX in First arriving at 10:45am on May 9th.
I was surprised at how many routings were offered in Business and First Class since I booked a $189 low cost economy Delta fare in V fare class. I wanted to try out Aeromexico in Business Class, so I clicked on the 1-stop option from MTY-MEX-LAX and I will even get into Los Angeles sooner than my original flight. Granted, I will lose 1,000 miles from the original routing and won’t have Wi-Fi on Aeromexico, but I got confirmed straight into Business Class which is what mattered.
I went out of the lounge and went outside of secured terminal to the Aeromexico ticket counter to have my boarding pass printed. I told the agent that I changed flights and she handed me the boarding passes. Furthermore, she told me that I will need to show my Mexico immigration form when I depart from MEX-LAX. Oops, I handed that form in earlier at the Delta ticketing counter. I went to the Delta ticket counter and they radioed into the Gate so I can pick it up. I went through security for the second time and picked up my immigration form. Who knows what would have happened at MEX if I didn’t have that immigration form. I might have been detained and would have made for another interesting story.
The next time your Delta flight is delayed, be sure to proactively check to see if you can find earlier flights using the methods shown above. The best part is that you don’t even need to speak to an agent and you might even score free Business and First class seats right on the spot.